All content © Robert Williamson

All content © Robert Williamson

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Autumn Trout

 With a feeling of early winter in the air, there is a need to get out on good fall days. Unsettled weather and other obligations just seemed to be getting in the way. We decided that on Friday September 30, 2016 we would make a trip even if the weather was just a little unsettled. We ate an early breakfast and then drove to a beautiful little river in Idaho. On the drive we kept our eyes on the larger cumulus clouds, some which had that dark grayness on the bottom. If they accumulated and bunched up against the mountains, we knew there was a chance of isolated thunderstorms right over us. As we neared the town where we would buy our licenses, the clouds had moved on and more blue sky was appearing.

After securing our licenses, we drove through the foothills toward the canyon. The road through the foothills was dotted with older homes and a few newer ones. The small community would be a nice place to live--quiet, with little traffic. We guessed that most of the residents were farmers and ranchers. Some of the homes might be summer homes owned by those who want a semi-secluded get-a-way--a place where they could come to relax and maybe do some hunting and fishing. Some homes might have been inherited by children or grandchildren of the original residents.

 It wasn't long before we were on the dirt road that paralleled the river. We glanced at the water with excitement. It looked so inviting. We found a turnout and hurriedly put on our waders and then rigged up our rods. As we walked down river looking for a good place to enter the water, we commented on how it seemed so perfect. The only other thing that would add to our already giddy demeanor would be for the trout to cooperate. We found a small clearing and walked through fall leaves and dry grasses. Upon entering the water I could sense through my waders that it was cold; just the kind of water that cutthroat trout like to live in. It was so clear. The bottom rocks matched the autumn leaves. My favorite color is yellow. I see it in the autumn aspen leaves and in the water-covered rocks of the creeks, streams, and rivers I fish. I also see it in the trout I catch. Just a tinge in cutthroat trout but more pronounced in the cutthroat that hide in shaded water and dark undercut banks. It is also pronounced on the sides and bellies of stream bred brown trout; rich and buttery during the Fall.

We started the day with hopper patterns. These were tied with tan heat shrink air-filled bodies, light elk hair wings, tan foam heads and brown rubber legs. We always add just a little floatant in the wing to keep them buoyant. After a few trout we seldom redress the wing and let the fly sit down in the surface a little.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016


Brown stoneflies
Two brown and one gray stonefly adults
Top and bottom view Silhouette Airbugs
Brown trout

The Silhouette Series of Airbugs is a "new" way to use  O2 Body Material. I have been tying large dry flies with O2 for the past 18 years. The tying technique creates two air-filled chambers that form the body of the fly and creates a nice silhouette. The air-filled body along with the elk hair wing and foam head makes for a great floating fly.

If you want to imitate some of the large stonefly adults such as the salmonfly and golden stone this is a great material and tying style to do it. By using orange, brown, black, and gold colored O2 a tier can create some great looks to imitate the stoneflies.

This technique and material also lends itself to the creation of beautiful cicada, hopper, and beetle patterns. Hoppers are best tied in the tan and pale yellow color, cicada with black or orange, and beetles with black, green, or even purple. With a little crystal flash or similar material mixed in with the wing the cicada pattern looks and works great. The body, foam head, and leg colors can be changed to create several fun patterns.

Last year I used the hopper for most of my late summer and fall dry fly fishing and had a blast.