All content © Robert Williamson

All content © Robert Williamson

Friday, April 25, 2008


These stonefly adults were captured and preserved by the Utah State University bug lab students. While big stonefly hatches are often downplayed as hard to hit, if you are on the water at the right time with the right conditions, it can be a very exciting time. I love to look for this hatch. The bugs themselves fascinate me.

Monday, April 21, 2008


I helped on a stonefly transplant. The volunteers collected around 6000 of these critters from one river and moved them to another river where they had disappeared. Stay tuned. More info to come....

Friday, April 18, 2008

Old Man Take a Look at My Life.

I admit...I turn 50 this summer. In celebration I have come up with my ultimate birthday present. I will fish 50 different waters this summer. That's right! I am setting the goal to get out on 50 waters and I will log down in a journal these fly fishing adventures and get some photos when I can. Some of these adventures (maybe all) will be posted on this blog. I know how excited you are to share in these adventures so I'll try to get busy.

It shouldn't be that hard. A trip to the Uintas would allow me to hit several lakes and streams in just one weekend. Of course, I'll have to wait for the snow to melt to get into some of these places. And other river drainages have tributary streams which all will count in the total.

I will log all the details, especially the flies I use, the types of hatches encountered and the species, quantities and size of trout I catch. I might even throw in a warm water adventure or two.

It's going to be a great season!


"When I wade into a river fishing for trouts I feel as though I am entering another part of my soul. And as I watch the early lights flower in the shadows, I know I have come to the river seeking more, much more than the catching of the trouts.

Spring is the time for lovers and flowers and trout fishermen. Since I am all three, I must prepare early, for the sounds of the river are near and the trout are waiting."

---George Mendoza
Secret Places of Trout Fishermen
(Italics added.)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Chain-stitched Mayflies

I wrote an article for "Fly Tying" a magazine published by Frank Amato before it became the current "Fly Fishing & Tying Journal". It was about creating extended-body mayfly patterns by chain-stitching thread. Les Johnson, then editor of the magazine told me that it was very well received by the readership. I have continued to tie and fish this style of mayfly for Blue-winged Olives, Pale Morning Duns, Callibaetis, Flavs and Mahogany Duns. It can be tied to imitate almost any mayfly type. On smoother waters, with selective feeding fish, it has performed great. I have even used it as a cripple or emerger pattern by tucking the extended-body down around the bend of the hook.

The chain-stitching technique can be done by hand and is explained in my little book "Creative Flies" published by Amato, who recently, let it go out of print. It is now only available through on-line book dealers.

I love to fish this pattern to trout sipping adults off the surface. It is best to use a hook one size smaller than the natural. The extended-body makes a size eighteen into a size sixteen. I also try to find tying thread that is not too waxy. This helps when stitching the body and dividing the tail fibers.

The Blue-winged Olives are hatching now. I think I'll tie a handful up and go fishing!