Shopping Cart
Your Cart is Empty
There was an error with PayPalClick here to try again
CelebrateThank you for your business!You should be receiving an order confirmation from Paypal shortly.Exit Shopping Cart

        Guided Fly and Spey Fishing Trips for Steelhead and Brown Trout with    

Fish Lake Run Outfitters  



Concord Grape Spey Fly Tying Demo

Posted on October 12, 2020 at 3:25 PM Comments comments ()

The Concord Grape is a quick tie that catches fish.

Check out the video to learn how to tie and fish this productive pattern:

You need Adobe Flash Player to view this content.


Steelhead Bucktails

Posted on October 8, 2020 at 12:00 AM Comments comments ()

Bucktail Muddler

One of the coolest things I find about steelhead fishing is the absolute variability in flies that one can catch them on. Sure, it's fun to have old standbys. Finding a confidence pattern is like finding a twenty on the sidewalk- money in the bank. Those are the patterns to tie on your line when you need to feel like you're still a somewhat capable steelheader. Whether that's fishing in slightly off conditions, trying to break a dry spell (we all have those), or simply fishing a new stretch of water where you're looking for feedback as quickly as possible- confidence patterns have a crucial place in a fly box. 

But as fun as it is to catch a steelhead in general, I think if it's possible, it might be even more fun catching one on a new pattern or profile scheme or color. Part of the reason behind that is until a fly pattern is proven, you just don't know if it will catch a fish. I've tied lots of flies I thought looked great. But it's not me those flies have to catch, and sometimes the fish don't share my opinions. Maybe that's due more to confidence- again until a fly is proven you don't know how a fish will react, and the longer you fish it without a fish the more you can second guess whether it's a good pattern or not. It is often right about then that I find myself switching out to a proven pattern and relegating the previous to my infamous drawer of misfit flies.This coming fall, however, I've set out to add as much variety to my steelhead game as possible. So of the flies I've been tying, while many are old standbys, perhaps even more are new patterns. 

To accomplish variety, in the leadup to fall steelhead, I've put quite a lot of emphasis on tying different patterns with different materials. And one material I've recently rediscovered is bucktail. While I've always had a few hanging around in my fly tying supplies, I haven't really used them for tying steelhead flies. That changed recently. I've gone on a bit of a bucktail kick, tying everything from templedog style patterns to muddlers and I have to say, I'm really impressed with the results. But more importantly, though I've only got out once so far, I had a nice fish eat a natural bucktail bugger. Now I can't wait to go through my bucktail lineup. 

Tight Lines,

 - D 


Tying the Ry-Snack

Posted on April 6, 2020 at 10:30 AM Comments comments ()

We just love big, wild brown trout. Like this one.

Which is why we tie and fish things like this- the Ry-Snack.

There's simply no other way to say it. Big, wild brown trout are different. While it's fun to catch a bunch of those 8-14" fish, to truly see what your local wild trout stream or river holds, you need to be approaching the game with a different strategy. Enter the Ry-Snack. Named after fellow guide and pattern originator Matt Rysak, this pattern has moved more trout between 18 and 25+ inches than all other patterns I fish... combined. It is a super variable fly that can be tied as either a single or a double. It can be toned down to more subtle and smaller as conditions require. But any we fish it, it is a fish getter. So here's how to tie it.

Step 1: Tie your stinger hook with a yellow marabou feather and a brown marabou feather stacked. (If you're tying on a single hook, ignore this step and do it in step 3).

Step 2: Set up your streamer hook. Tie eyes on the top of the hook so it ride point up. I also heavily weigh the top side with about 8" of .020 or .030 wire layed back and forth on the top.

Step 3:  Tie the stinger hook to the streamer hook. I like to tie the hook points opposite. When I tie the stringer on to the streamer hook, I use 20 lb dacron braid, but any semi-stiff, heavy braid will work.

Step 4: Tie rubber legs, a yellow hackle feather, and brown chenille just above the bend.

Step 5: Wrap the chenille up to the eyes. Palmer the hackle feather through it. Tie in a second set of rubber legs.

Step 6: Tie a tuft of yellow marabou right behind the eyes.

Step 7: Tie a clump of brown Australian possom fur under the eyes and mold into a head.

Step 8: Tie a clump of black laser dubbing over top the eyes to finish the head. Then fish the hell out of it.

Looking for big, wild browns is always a challenge, but it is a fun one. The reason this pattern catches so many fish for me and the people I fish, is that it is the first pattern I tie on in the morning and I am almost always fishing at least one of my guys with this out of the boat at all times. Brown and yellow is a proven trout killer. So if you're looking to head out to your local wild trout fishery and see just what lurks in the depths out there, pound the banks, the logjams, hit the structure. One day, maybe today, you will see a legit monster. Whether that is an 18-20" fish out of a deep logjam pool where the brookies have noticably disappeared from over the last two or three years, a 22-24" fish out of the river nearby where the locals float tube down in the summer, or the 26-27" + fish out of the waters of the Allegheny or other true trophy trout waters, this pattern might introduce you to your best wild stream trout.

See what's out there! 


Destroyer Fly Tying Demo

Posted on March 22, 2020 at 9:10 AM Comments comments ()

Finished product

We simply call this pattern the Destroyer. And for good reason. It catches everything. It is my go-to lake run brown pattern, a great clear water steelhead pattern, catches the shit out of the lake run smallmouth, loved by stream trout here in the lower 48, and is an excellent AK trout pattern fished either on the swing during the smolt emigration or dead-drifted during the flesh hatch due to the tan and peachy color scheme. That's why we call it the Destroyer. It destroys.

Check out what's hanging out of this lake run brown's mouth. Yep, you guessed it. Same fly tied with a bit heavier eyes.

And this one.

Need I say more?

This pattern is tied out of a string leech template. However I've made some tweaks to the system that really shine. Most string leeches tied with rabbit strips tie the stinger hook directly to the end of the rabbit strip. This creates great movement in the water, but means that you can't change out the hook when it gets bent out or dull. The fly is done. How can this be overcome? You want the movement, but also the ability to trade the hook out. When I tie string leeches, I tie about 1/8" of tubing on the back of the bunny strip and pass the dacron loop through it. I can change out the stinger and still have the weight of the stinger hook adding movement to the bunny strip. Check out the fly tying instructions for the Destroyer below.

Step 1: Start with about a 3" strip of barred tan and olive or tan and brown bunny strip. Tie in a small piece of junction tubing all the way at the back.

Step 2: Set up your hook. Tie a dacron loop onto a cutter hook (one that you will cut just above the bend when the fly is done). Tie in your weighted eyes.

Step 3: Tie your bunny strip in just above the bend.

Step 4: Tie in a 4" strip of polar chenille and 4" strip of peach cactus chenille.

Step 5: Wrap the peach cactus chenille up to the weighted eyes, tie off and clip any extra. Palmer the polar chenille up to the weighted eyes, tie off and clip any extra.

Step 6: Fold the bunny strip forward over top of the chenille, tie off just behind the eyes and clip off any extra.

Step 7: Wrap a collar just behind the weighted eyes of bunny fur spun in a dubbing loop in the same color as the strip and tie off.

Step 8: Tie in a head of tan UV ice dubbing and tie the fly off.

Step 9: Pass the dacron loop through the tubing at the end and pass through the eye of the stinger hook, snug the eye of the stinger hook into place inside the tubing to hold it and clip the cutter hook off just above the bend.

Step 10: Catch all the fish anywhere.

Agent Orange Tying Demo

Posted on March 15, 2020 at 12:25 AM Comments comments ()

Finished Agent Orange

Realized it's been a minute since I did a tying demo. Figured with the prior post, I'd do a pattern for swinging in off colored water. This fly is a staple for swinging when the viz is low.

Step 1: Set up the hookshank- tie in your stinger loop and weighted eyes. Notice I double the intruder wire back and tie it down.

Step 2: Tie in about 3 1/2 inch yellow/barred fluoro orange rabbit strip reversed about a quarter-inch behind the eyes.

Step 3: Tie in fluoro orange polar chenille at the rear of hook.

Step 4: Tie in UV yellow cactus chenile and wrap it up to the bunny strip.

Step 5: Palmer the polar chenille through the UV cactus chenille and up in front of the bunny strip.

Step 6: Tie in chartreuse crinkle flash.

Step 7: Reverse tie in black craft fur and fold over the body of the fly.

Step 8: Tie in a pair of jungle cock cheeks.

Step 9: Tie in black laser dubbing behind the eyes, tie off, and brush out, glue off, catch steelhead. 

Thinking about fall...

Posted on July 23, 2016 at 11:05 AM Comments comments ()

Well we are in the dead of summer now. Still a little more than two months out, and with daily highs in the 90's, theres not a lot of steelhead fishing to be had! To pass the time, why not focus on filling your boxes for fall? When I sit at the bench, many times the fly that I create or the pattern I tie uses difficult materials or techniques. The more I fish, the more I like to experiment and use rhea, lady amhearst, and other materials that can be troublesome. But again, the more I fish, the more I have come to realize that these flies are tied more for my enjoyment than the fish's. A steelhead is not a particulary picky fish. Find a well rested and unharrassed fish and it will more than likely eat whatever you put in front of it, whether it is a traditional salmon fly, a marabou spey, or a simple woolly bugger.

Recently the flies I've been cranking out have been old reliables that I've fished for years. Enter the marabou spey. The fly above is known as a hobo spey. They are relatively quick on the vise, can be tied in many colors and weighted or unweighted, and they catch fish. Pretty much all you do is spin a couple marabou feathers in different colors onto a hook and tie it off. Recently I've been using more Scandinavian style overwing flies such as the whiskey hangover- to good success, and haven't really fished a hobo spey in a while. But as I've been tying them lately, I remember some of my first takes I ever had swinging streamers. A marabou pattern caught my first Cattaraugus Steelhead, swung on a light sinktip. Sometimes in slower tailouts, they can even be fished on floating line and long leader as sparser tied marabou sinks well when waterlogged if given a quick strip to get it under the surface. It also has a ton of movement, and puts fish on the board. With each fly I tie, I can feel my excitement grow.

So while you sit at the vise this summer and fill your box. Tie up some old patterns that you used to fish years ago. We go through cycles. We push the envelope with the newest and most up to date techniques and materials. It leads to progression and personal growth as an angler. But growth without remembering our roots is meaningless. One of the best ways to see just how far you've come is to revisit some of those old fly patterns. Along with the nostalgia it will bring, I guaranteed you fished those flies for a reason. 

Me, I'm pretty fired up about getting another tug on a hobo spey.


Starry Night Tying Demo

Posted on December 10, 2015 at 3:10 PM Comments comments ()

Starry Night is tied in a classic hairwing style on an intruder hookshank. It is a solid clear to light murky water fly that takes steelhead where ever they swim. It's a fun fly to swing in the upper half of the water column, plus it's a quick tie on the vice!

Materials needed:

- Medium sized hookshank and intruder wire

- Purple anadromous brush

- Purple diamond braid

- Purple krinkle flash

- Natural Guinea Fowl

- Jungle cock swords

Step 1. Tie and glue in intruder wire. 

Step 2. Cut off a small clump of the purple anadromous brush fibers and tie in as a tail.

Step 3. Tie in and wrap the purple diamond braid up the hookshank up to just behind the eye.

Step 4. Cut off a larger clump of the anadromous brush spin it in a dubbing loop, and wrap around the shank.

Step 5. Tie in 4-6 strands of purple krinkle flash over the wing.

Step 6. Tie in natural guinea fowl as a collar.

Step 7. Tie in the jungle cock swords, tie off, and glue.

Good fishing, and a fly tying demo

Posted on December 9, 2015 at 5:05 PM Comments comments ()

Over the past few weeks, we have experienced very good steelhead and to a lesser extent lake run brown fishing. There are solid numbers of fish in every river as we speak, and with mild temperatures and rain in the forecast, the next few weeks should be fantastic fishing!

Tying Demo- Whiskey Hangover (AKA Black & Blue Steel). This is one of the best big river steelhead flies in my arsenal. 


- Medium hookshank and intruder wire

- Weighted Eyes

- UV Polar Chenille

- Peach or orange chenille

- Pink, Blue, and Black Craft Fur

- Rainbow Flashabou

- Jungle Cock Swords

- Yellow and Orange Barred Rabbit Strip

Step 1. Tie in the intruder wire and weighted eyes. A lot of people like to fold over the wire and tie it back down, but I tie it in with loose wraps and then glue it to the shank so I don't waste the wire.

Step 2. Tie in the polar chenille first, then the peach chenille. Wrap the peach chenille about two thirds the way up the hookshank, then use the polar chenille as hackle through the peach chenille.

Step 3. Cut off a chunk of pink craft fur.

Step 4. TIe the pink craft fur in backwards (so it hangs over the eyes) then fold it back over the shank and tie it down.

Step 5. Cut off a larger chunk of blue craft fur and repeat the process.

Step 6. Cut off a chunk of rainbow flashabou (around 8-10 long strands).

Step 7. Tie the flashabou in half, then fold the forward section over the hookshank.

Step 8. Tie in the black craft fur the same way as the pink and blue craft fur.

Step 9. Tie in a pair of jungle cock swords. I like to strip the fibers off the quill so then I can fold the quill back and lock it down tightly.

Step 10. Cut off a chunk of yellow and orange barred rabbit fur from the pelt (or strip), and spin it in a dubbing loop. (The photo is before the fur has been spun).

Step 11. Wrap the spun fur behind the eyes and tie it in. Glue when done. (Finished product shown).

Step 12. Swing up steelhead.

At the vice...

Posted on August 13, 2015 at 8:55 PM Comments comments ()

With the nights starting to get a little longer and the temperatures dipping into the low 50s overnight, I'm starting to feel the itch of fall steelheading on the Catt. Early fall can present a number of both opportunities and challenges. Generally the season kicks off with low and clear water, and it looks like this up coming late summer-early fall is no different.

One productive way to pass the time waiting for the first push of chrome or for conditions to improve is to sit down at the vice and tie some up some proven weapons or to experiment with new materials or designs. In anticipation of a busy fall, I've been putting a lot of time in on the vice to whip out a ton of guide patterns. These patterns are the old standbys, generally the first on in the morning and the last off at night.

One proven pattern is the pumking (named after a beer):


This pattern is a great all around fall pattern. It's a pretty simple pattern to tie, doesn't take long to finish, and catches fish. Pretty much why it's a guide pattern. The pattern combines olive and black (two favorite steelhead colors) while a brighter head catches fish's attention. These are crucial elements to creating any successful steelhead or lake run brown pattern. 

Finally, any successful pattern has to have a good profile. When fishing the swing, you want to show the biggest part (profile) of the fly to the fish. One way to form a good profile without overloading the fly with material is to tie materials in backwards, then fold it over the fly. I tie almost all my streamers in this fashion, and it can be done with just about every material. The pumking uses predominantly craftfur for the body, and reverse tying works awesome. 

Finally, when tying in weighted eyes, tie them in on the underside of the hookshank. That way your fly will swim right side up. And place your stinger hook in point up. You'll get much fewer snags that way.

Tie em up guys!