This is my version of the Floss San Juan Worm (Sexi Worm, Flexi Worm, Flexi Floss Worm, etc.). This is an excellent pattern for low, clear water. In my neck of the woods, it works well on the Paradise Valley spring creeks in late winter and early spring.
It’s pink season here in Montana. We tend to fish pink/rainbow scud and sowbug patterns in late winter and spring, not least because such patterns have a lot of crossover with eggs and in any case are a big mouthful for trout putting the feedbags on after a long winter. This one is a variation on the popular Arkansas sowbug pattern, the Trout Crack.
This is a basic soft hackle pattern using a nontraditional material as both thread and body material. While the pattern itself is good, particularly in lakes, the key purposes of this video are: 1.) To demonstrate the method by which I use feather barbs from game bird or large hen hackle feathers to tie soft hackles of any size. 2.) To show the thread discipline required to tie such small flies with such a heavy thread.
This variation on the Thunder Egg was Walter’s best steelhead pattern on small coastal rivers in Washington when he lived there from 2004-2006. It is really more of a “Great Lakes style” pattern: fast-sinking and quick & cheap enough to produce that you don’t worry too much when you lose one in the rocks.
The basic pattern also works as a trout fly, particularly when you’re trying to anchor something smaller and lighter, either an unweighted egg or a smaller nymph.
Hook: Egg hook #6-10, or scud hook #8-12.
Thread: 6/0 to match desired egg color, here light pink.
Tail: Two strands of pearl or pink Krystal Flash doubled back on themselves.
Eyes/Weight: Nickel brass dumbbell eyes. Desired size to match desired egg size. Original pattern used pink or orange-painted lead eyes.
Egg: Speckled chenille, here pink, wrapped in X-wraps around the eyes.
Will Dornan’s Water Walker is a red-hot hopper/stonefly/attractor dry pattern in the Rocky Mountain West, probably the single hottest pattern in this category in the Bozeman and Livingston Montana area in 2019. In many respects, it functions as a “less chubby Chubby Chernobyl” that attracts trout that have seen one too many big fluffy hoppers, yet is still buoyant enough to float a nymph and is visible to anglers fishing from drift boats.
This “Micro Peanut” version worked better than any other for me on guided trips in 2019, and was my second-best or third-best hopper pattern overall. It worked particularly well in the month of August.