As many of you already know, in 2019 I began selling my signature fly patterns through Montana Fly Company. This year I am excited to announce several new fly patterns that are available through Montana Fly Company in 2023! There will be two new dry flies, a Mouse, and Frog pattern to round out the new releases. The dry flies are an Isonychia Dun and Spinner variation. The Mayfly patterns have been some of my most productive searching and hatch matching patterns over the years.
McCoy’s All Day Spinner – Isonychia
I am excited to announce a new fly pattern to be released by Montana Fly Company in 2021! The McCoy’s All Day Isonychia Spinner is very durable, has a very realistic profile, can be fished all day, and is a must have pattern for our Northern Michigan streams. This fly will be available in two sizes, #10 and #12, and will complete the Isonychia lineup in a series of foam based dry flies that I released through MFC in 2019.
The All Day Isonychia Spinner is a great searching pattern and is one of my go to favorites to target rising trout during an Isonychia Spinner fall. Make sure to check with your local fly shops for availability and I expect we will have a limited quantity available here online at Mangled Fly. Read more
Tying Ice Dub Minnow
Our latest upload to our YouTube Channel is a super simple baitfish pattern that we call the Ice Dub Minnow. A favorite pattern to fish below Tippy Dam, but also works great below Hodenpyle Dam and in the backwaters for smallmouth bass on Tippy Pond. Of course these are only a few of our favorite spots, as it has worked really well for bluegills in the spring when they are shallow and pre-spawn.
If you honestly haven’t tried hunting big pre-spawn bluegills, and you want to test your skills this is a great activity during quarantine. No motor needed for this type of fishing. Get ready to be humbled by the big gills. Great casting practice before the big bugs start hatching on our trout rivers.
What also makes the Ice Dub Minnow so great is that you can easily teach it to kids and get them started in fly tying, but also it’s a great pattern to fish with kids, to get them a taste of fly fishing. As I mention in the video this minnow pattern really does fish well by itself, with a tiny split shot. I tend to like Sure Shot, but black bird shot will just work as well. Size No 4 or No 6, are both really small and easy to cast.
Let this fry pattern swing in the current with small twitches of the rod, and it will fish itself. Small minnows can’t swim very fast for very long, so they become easy meals for hungry trout. Fish this pattern in the shallows where small baitfish tend to hide. Good luck and Stay Safe.
The Chestnut Lamprey, Ichthyomyzon castaneus, is a Native Species commonly found in Lakes and Rivers throughout the Great Lakes region. They are considered to be an indicator species and their presence in a body of water has been closely associated with healthy clean water. There is, however, one negative component to their presence in a watershed and that is the negative impact they can have on fish populations during their parasitic phase.
The chestnut Lamprey has two primary life stages to complete its life cycle. The first life stage is the larval phase, commonly referred to as ammocoetes, in which the larval form is primarily a filter feeding organism. The larva will live in the fine and silty bottom sediments in slower backwater pools for an average of 5-7 years. When the larva reach 4-6 years of age they go through a metamorphosis and develop teeth and a sucking mouth disk characterized by the adult parasitic phase of their life cycle.
The metamorphic phase appears to take place from October through the end of January as the ammocoetes enter the second life stage as parasitic adults. As the water begins to warm up in April the larva exit their burrows and enter the parasitic feeding phase of their life cycle. The Chestnut Lamprey tends to be more active at night and during low light periods. Peak feeding periods for the adults range from May through July with some adults holding over until the following spring to spawn. The adult chestnut lamprey will continue to feed until the peak spawning season occurs from June to July. After spawning the adults will die and the cycle is repeated. (Hall, 1963)
In Michigan, most of our trout streams have an established population of Chestnut Lamprey, but, the Manistee River has been mentioned as having a highly abundant population in the upper portions of the watershed, especially from County Road 612 to Sharon Road. As the water temperature reaches 50 F degrees the adults begin to feed. (Hall, 1963) This temperature change coincides nicely with the obvious annual appearance of Chestnut Lamprey on the trout we catch throughout the first half of our trout season. Most of the trout in our streams will react to streamer patterns tied with a long and “leechy” appearance and lots of undulating movement in the materials.
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In late April to early May the Chestnut Lamprey larvae metamorphosis occurs and they become parasitic. To say our trout dislike them is an understatement. Here are a couple of color combos that I like for our streams using the HFGC format. Flymen micro shanks, Chocklett’s finesse chenille for fill, MFC buggerbou for tail and top, MFC Kreelex fish flash for accent, and Senyo’s Chromatic Brush for the head. There are 9 articulations and a weighted cone hidden in the head.
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Matching the Hatch
Chestnut Lamprey will range in size from 4-5” early in their adult development and will attain lengths of +7” at maturity. It’s not a coincidence that as the lamprey continue to become more active that the streamer fishing becomes more consistent for us, especially on the Manistee River. The trout are not only actively feeding at this time, but they are also combating the presence of an “alien intruder” that will parasitize them if they let their guard down! It is not uncommon to see some pretty exciting visuals while fishing “leechy” patterns at this time of year. Some fish will recklessly chase them out of their territory and oftentimes will strike with violent takes.
Take this information for what it is worth, but having an understanding of the natural phenomenon that occurs during this time of the year can only help you. Fly selection, fly movement, and presentation are all critical components to angling success and having one more arrow in the quiver can only be a positive. The Chestnut Lamprey life cycle is really just an example of one more hatch that you should pay close attention to as we move closer to the opening day of trout season here in Michigan.
Hall, J. 1963. An ecological study of the chestnut lamprey, Ichthyomyzon castaneus, in the Manistee River, Michigan. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan.
As many of you already know, in 2019 I entered a new partnership with Montana Fly Company to produce and sell some of my favorite patterns. Last season I released several new Dry Flies for Trout. These new releases are patterns from my personal arsenal that I rely upon heavily for catching fish within our region. I am excited to have Montana Fly Company producing and selling my signature fly patterns as we move forward, the quality and attention to detail is second to none! Their is a limited quantity available for sale on our site, but please shop local at your nearest Fly Shop.
The flies that I currently have in production are available in two series. All of the flies are foam based Mayfly patterns that are designed to be fished all day with a touch of realism and an impressionistic silhouette that fish can’t resist. They are all mainstays in my arsenal and have been tied in multiple forms to imitate the Isonychia, Brown Drake, and Hex hatches that are found in Northern Michigan.
Here is a breakdown of all the flies that are currently available through MFC to complete your arsenal of Northern Michigan dry flies for trout . Ask your local fly shop about these patterns and pick some up today!Read more
New Fly Release
Montana Fly Company New Fly Release for 2020 – McCoy’s Boondoggle Spinner – Burgundy Isonychia
I am very excited to announce a new fly pattern that will be released by Montana Fly Company in 2020! This fly will be available in two sizes and will help to fill the Isonychia spinner gap in a series of foam based dry flies that I released through MFC in 2019. The McCoys Boondoggle Spinner is very durable, has an irresistible profile, and is generally a must have pattern for the streams in Northern Michigan. Check with your local fly shops for availability, a limited quantity is available here online at Mangled Fly.
As with anything new it can sometimes be hard to predict demand so make sure to stock up before the supply becomes limited. If you are having difficulty finding the McCoy’s Boondoggle Spinner pattern or any of my other fly patterns locally, please drop us a line and we will do our best to help you get these dry flies in your fly box for the upcoming season.
Look for several more fly releases with MFC in the near future as I have been expanding upon some old favorites and tinkering with some new stuff for release. Good luck with all of your angling pursuits throughout the upcoming 2020 fishing season!!
New Swing Colors
Hard to believe after this many years that it took me this long to find love with the color purple on the swing fly program. But 2019 I finally did it. Have to thank Brett Howard for pushing me over the edge. This color combination has been in the Great Lakes Steelhead swing game for many years, but I just didn’t seem to ever gravitate to it. Well now that I have had success I find my self tying it more often. If your looking to expand you color scheme in your fly box here is a quick fly recipe.
Once the season slows down have goals of expanding this section of the Mangled Fly Blog, more details more videos and better fly patterns that need to be shared. Good luck this fall and hope this color can make it into your box.
- I use cotter pins with medium weight dumbbell eyes
- Hook is a size 1 Mosquito by Owner, this year using braid 50# to attach
- Barred Rabbit or Marabou in Purple
- Also experimenting with a sparkle brush as an underbody currently (purple)
- Flash is Grape , as much as you like. I don’t count strands
- Ice dub head ( defiantly chartreuse as the finishing color, but pink and orange have both worked as the core color)
Only two days until trout opener, back on the streamer train and taking my crack at @blanechocklettfishing game changer template. Twisted this pattern up with a whole bunch of @whitingfarms 4B Hen Saddles and finished it off with @epflies brushes #streamer #gamechanger #whitingfarms #mangledfly #hawkinsoutfitters #trout
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With it being streamer tying season we have a new video on our Vimeo page to share. Russ Maddin shares another streamer that is a must tie. Using Egg Yarn for the head gives this Maddin creation great action. Add a few of his techniques to your box and have a great trout season. Make sure to watch until the end, as Russ breaks down what line and leader setup to use when fishing this great fly.
Bass Popper Pattern
Woke up this morning to a very nice text message from Bob C. Bob was fishing Bass Poppers last night, and he wanted to share his success on the Mrs. Pakman popper pattern. Fishing Bass on topwater, no matter if they are smallmouth or largemouth bass, is personally on of my favorite experiences with a fly rod. The explosive takes and visual experience, that you get when a Bass takes your popper is something every fly angler needs to witness. It truly doesn’t get any better, than Bass on topwater.
The Mrs. Pakman was a pattern that we covered in the Big Appetite Smallmouth Bass DVD from a couple years ago. Kevin Feenstra and I collaborated on this Smallmouth Video, to cover all aspects of smallmouth bass fishing. One of the 6 patterns we covered was this simple foam based popper, it is easy to tie and highly effective. Check it out, if you haven’t. The Pattern is covered int he 32 nd minute of the video. Also you can watch the video On Demand here. Thank you for your support.
If your not into tying your own top water patterns. But your thinking of buying a few for this summer’s Bass fishing adventure. Two things to consider when buying a popper. First, what is the underbody color. The most important color is what does the bass see. Don’t worry about the colors on top of the popper. Some great choices to start with are yellow, white, and then go dark for an assortment like dark green or black. Second, is the hook gap on a popper. Make sure if your buying a Bass Popper that you buy one with a big hook gap. No less than the width of your thumb. Make sure the Bass Popper can hook the Bass that your targeting.
Some of the best Bass Poppers to buy are the Boogle Bug Popper , make sure to check these Poppers out for your Bass fishing needs. They are a little expensive for a fly, but they are truly worth it. Very durable, come in great colors, and are perfect size for smallmouth and largemouth bass.
Happy Bass Fishing,