favorite flies? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: favorite flies?

03-09-2003, 06:26 PM
I am just wondering what flies other guys are using and what their favorites are. Also what is your go to fly when you just cant seem to move a fish on anything else?
I love fishing dries for salmon and I caught my first salmon on a brown bomber so it is probably my favorite.
Wets: 1-Red Abbey 2-Green Highlander 3-Rusty Rat.
The green machine is a good fly too but it catches too many grilse for me.
Dry: Brown, Orange, Yellow bombers.

Willie Gunn
03-10-2003, 12:13 PM
The green machine is a good fly too but it catches too many grilse for me.

Well things are different over here, could you please define "too many grilse" for me. Is that one every cast ?

To answer the question Willie Gunn ( what else) in the spring and Ali Shrimp in the summer.

I've only tried a dry fly once or twice it is not popular over here.


03-10-2003, 12:20 PM
This past summer we were fishing the Restigouche in the begining of july. We were there for the first big push of grilse into the river. In the Restigouche you may only catch 4 fish total per day.
The green machine seems to me to catch a lot of grilse. Its not that i dont like catching fish, but I would rather fish a fly that is more prone to catching salmon. When that first big push of grilse came in i could have caught a grilse on alomst every cast. my young cousin did limit with 4 grilse one night all on the green machine.
Dries are great because you can see the fish coming and know whether it is a salmon or grilse. This helps me out when i have caught 3 fish and want to catch a salmon to end the day. If its a grilse I pull the fly before he can strike, if its a salmon i let it take.

03-10-2003, 12:55 PM
My favorites are:

1. Black Bear Butt Series (green preferred);
2. Copper Killer;
3. Bomber

Per Stadigh
03-10-2003, 04:39 PM
My favorites would be:

1) Sunray Shadow variant:
1 3/4" bare plastic tube, Yellow Polar Bear (3") under Black wing of tapered goat or monkey hair (God forbid!) ~6-7" long, 2-3 strands of rainbow flashabou. All tied sparse.

2) Hair winged Mar Lodge, from big tubes down to #8 doubles - a great fly for big salmon that is used all too rarely these days.

3) Silver Stoat variant. I like to highlite it with a small fluor. orange or yellow ball shaped butt. (stretch floss and superglue) Maily used in smaller sizes with floating line.

As backup in colored water I use my own "General Thunder" a GP with a black seal's fur body and a blue throat hackle. For some reason it keeps on fishing well after the spate has given most off its colour off.

Tight lines,

03-10-2003, 11:08 PM
My favorites are all full dress classics:

1. Green Highlander
2. Silver Doctor
3. Lady Amherst
4. Thunder & Lightning


Willie Gunn
03-11-2003, 12:59 PM
Inland, William
Do you really fish fully dressed salmon flies or are they just your favourites.

I have a two or three fully dressed flies but the thought of getting them wet.


03-11-2003, 01:43 PM
Willie Gunn,

I really do fish full dress flies, for atlantics, at least 90% of the time. The Silver Doctor has been especially kind to me!

Keep in mind I only swing flies at salmon 7 to 10 days a year so it is really not an issue. If I fished for salmon as many days a year as you it would not be too practical!

Tight lines,


Topher Browne
03-13-2003, 05:26 PM
Guillaume le Conquerant,

I should feel as naked as a skinned cat without a Green Stonefly with Black TempleDog Wing/Grizzly Hackle or a Green Stonefly with Green TempleDog Wing/Badger Hackle.

Without either fly in my box, I might just as well skip the river, proceed directly to the nearest Tim Horton's, and squeeze jelly into my favorite brand of doughnut.


03-13-2003, 07:07 PM
Can you point me to a site that provides the recipe and tying instructions for the Green Stonefly with Black TempleDog Wing/Grizzly Hackle or a Green Stonefly with Green TempleDog Wing/Badger Hackle? If not, when you get a chance, can you provide the recipe here? What is a "TempleDog Wing". (Please don't tell me its a wing made from the hair of a Fu dog.) Thanks in advance for your help.

03-13-2003, 07:33 PM
Since my last post I did some cursory web searches that suggest there may actually be something called "templedog" hair. My guess is, however, that I may have to learn to read some Norse language to find anything more about it. Now I am really curious.

03-13-2003, 09:41 PM
Here's my offer:
Un café et "doughnut" chez Tim's ( I pay).
I roll-up the rim and win a Stonefly??

Semble juste, non??


03-13-2003, 10:43 PM
Smolt, If I'm right, the secret to a temple dog wing is that it's tied in reverse — that is wing tied in facing forward, then turned back toward rear of the fly by tying a wing over the top tied in conventionally (facing back) — which helps to keep the first wing facing back. The idea is that the temple dog wing is higher (more vertical) than a conventional wing. Perhaps Topher can confirm how he ties his wings.

My choice of flies depends highly on the river and season. One of my top choices for Russia is, in fact, a red/black temple dog tube fly. For NAmerican rivers I also like green highlanders, blue charms and a Gaspé fly — picasse. Also undertakers. When water temperatures call for dries, I like bombers (dead drift) and waller wakers (waking flies). In the late season when weather/water really cools off streamers become productive. I especially like a very, very sparsely tied streamer of my own design — a skinny minny. And ocassionally, I even will use a bunny leach.

03-14-2003, 12:41 AM
Oiu, Oiu, Monsier Browne,

Especially the Tim Hortons in St. Leonard on the highway through the '40 mile' woods. Remember, the RCMP does indeed patrol that wretched stretch of highway 17 at 2AM! Ouch on the fine :(


Topher Browne
03-14-2003, 10:25 AM

Temple Dog hair is the preferred winging material of modern Scandinavian fly-tying masters. It is very soft, provides a lot of action in the water, and slims down nicely when tied in correctly. Try a "Google" search under 'Hakan Norling' or 'Temple Dog Fly.'
A well-known fly shop in Southern N.H. has a photo of the Green Stonefly in their current catalog; don't know of any Web tying instructions


I do tie a Temple Dog wing in backwards, fold it back, and then secure with several wraps. It is not any more secure, but it helps give a 'teardrop' shape to the wing. As Mikael Frodin would say, you want the fly to look as if it might swim away on its own.

Lady Amherst, Inland,

If, as you hand your license and registration to the RCMP officer you also present a fresh hot cup of Tim Horton's and a Green Stonefly to Canada's finest, it greatly mitigates the extent of the potential fine.

03-14-2003, 11:02 AM
Thanks WRKE and Topher.


I found the picture of the stone fly.

The search you suggested for Temple Dog hair pretty much duplicated the information I found in my original search, including the sites written in Swedish and Norwegian. When you say: "Temple Dog hair is the preferred winging material of modern Scandinavian fly-tying masters", it suggests to me that there is a specific type hair referred to as "Temple Dog" hair.
While I presume any soft, fine, compressible hair -- like Arctic Fox e.g. -- can be used, if you get a chance, I would like to know whether there is a specific type of hair that is normally used to tie the "Temple Dog" type flies. Thanks again.

03-14-2003, 11:12 AM
In my experience, the hair used most frequently is Arctic Fox tail, but one of the absolute best is Icelandic Horse Hair. It's translucent, has action similar to AF, has long, flowing "guard hairs" and is available in longer lengths.

03-14-2003, 02:02 PM
Thanks WRKE.

03-14-2003, 02:06 PM
Is this fly a floating fly or, like the Ingall's Butterfly, is it meant to sort of hover just below the surface? Thanks to Topher Browne, I have found a picture of the fly on the Web. If anyone knows where I can find the tying instructions I would appreciate it if you would point me to them. Thanks in advance for your help.

03-14-2003, 02:51 PM
It's a wet fly. Many times tied on a double. Put a 90 degree bend in a straight pin, insert a small bead (most of the time yellow) next to the head. Tie in on top of hook. 4 or 5 turns of small silver wire as tag. Body is bright green floss. Varnish or lacquer body. Black hair wing. Then grizzly hackle tied parachute style at base of bead. Black head.

03-14-2003, 02:52 PM
In my old age I appear to have become obsessive about things related to fishing.

I have the answer regarding "Temple Dog" hair. It is in fact dog hair and, I am told, very hard to find in the U.S. (most likely because of dog lovers' -- of which I am one -- repugnance to viewing a dog as being loveable or useful only when alive). My original comment about Fu dogs -- an ancient Chinese temple dog -- was more on the mark than I suspected.

On the subject of the kinds of natural material one will and won't use for tying, about 20 years ago, I bought a piece of monkey hair to tie some Silver Monkey flies. I snipped one piece of hair from that hide and could never touch it again. It just gave me the creeps.

BTW, I got the information about Temple Dog hair from Hunter's Angling Supplies, as many of you may know, a very helpful place to do business for fly tying supplies. I have ordered some arctic fox hair. Hunter's also had Icelandic Horse Hair, but at $5 a package, I wanted to see it before I bought any.


03-14-2003, 04:01 PM
Thanks WRKE. I ordered one from Hunter's to see what it looks like in the flesh.

I wonder whether the bead, even though its plastic, would be viewed as "weight", thereby making the fly illegal in New Brunswick where only unweighted flies can be used?

03-14-2003, 04:08 PM
I can't imagine NB would object. They're so light as to be virtually weightless. Plus, WW Doak sells both green and black stoneflies. And they're located in the center of NB fishing. I've used them there for years.

03-14-2003, 04:33 PM

While you were writing this post, I was looking at the Doak catalog. I agree, if he sells them they must be legal.


Topher Browne
03-15-2003, 03:00 PM
Dear Smolt,

I purchased a lot of Templedog Hair 1 1/2 years ago from the aforementioned flyshop. I no longer see it listed in the current catalog--I would not be surprised if the product was discontinued through a need to be p.c. Templedog hair may still be available via special order.

If not, you can try Hakan Norling at www.norlingsalmonflies.a.se

My Swedish is none too good, however fly fishing is an international language!


03-15-2003, 09:26 PM

Thanks for the lead, but I think I'll stick to arctic fox.