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Welcome to the 

Fly Fishing Round Table

There are many on-line

fly-fishing sites.

So it doesn't make sense for us to add another one covering the
same ground (er, water). 

We want this page to be a place where we can discuss our love of fly fishing with you. We aren't sure where this page will take us but it's for you.  Sort of a fly-fishing version of "The View." (Except we promise not to all talk at the

same time).

  We want to hear from you. If it's about fly-fishing, we're ready to talk!

We want to hear from you!

Previous Questions:

1. Who coined the phrase "matching the hatch?"

2. Who wrote the definitive book on spring creek fishing?

Answers: For $500 Alex, the answer to number one is Ernest Schwiebert who wrote the book of that name in 1955.

For $1000 Alex, the answer to number two is Mike Lawson. The book Spring Creeks was published in 2003.

New Questions:

1. Do you normally start fishing the tail-end or head of a pool? Almost the same question; do you move from one fishing spot to another heading in an upstream or downstream direction - why?

2. What would be the 4-6 flies (wet or dry) that you would not leave home without and have in your
fly box as the 'go to' flies?

*Thanks to Marc Driessen for these great questions

Just you and the fish!

Click Here to Add a Title

What's the big deal about

fly fishing?  

Read Jim McLennan's story on April Vokey's website.

The Stages of a Caddis Fly

The larva comes out of the egg and often builds a protective case of sand or plant material to live in. The intermediate stage is called a pupa, which swims to the surface and emerges as an adult.

Larvae, pupae and adult stages are important to trout. 

Larva imitations are fished near the stream bottom, pupa imitations are often "swung" downstream on a tight line, and adults are fished at the surface with either a dead-drift or a twitching presentation.

Illustrations by Lynda McLennan

The Stages of a Mayfly are.

Nymph -  different sizers and colours according to what bug they are. Three tails, 1 claw on each leg.

Emerger- when it's time for the nymph to become an adult the nymph splits at the wing case and the dun or adult comes out of it's casing (the schuck) and is now an adult. For many mayflies this is done near or at the surface of the water. The schucks then drift in the current, often collecting along the shore. 

Dun  or  Adult - the Dun is a beautiful stage of the Mayfly.  They float along the water like a queen - like royalty.  Perfect for a rising fish.
There are different colours, sizes, according to each species, such as pale morning duns, blue-winged olives and green drakes.
Spinner - lives only for laying eggs.  It has a very short life-span.  A spinner's wings are  transparent and the tails are quite long.

(Posted Apr. 27, 2020)

Word Finder Puzzles

We have two puzzles now.   Let us know if you can't find all the words and we will send you the answers.
Trout Food                         and                      Fly-Fishing Tackle

Previous Questions

1. I could use some help with my fly casting, more specifically longer, 45-60’, straight line casts into the wind.

Three words to remember about casting into the wind are low, tight, and fast.
Low means a low trajectory on the forward cast; directing the fly slightly toward the water rather than up into the sky. Tight, means a tight loop, which exposes less line to the wind and penetrates better.
Fast means fast line-speed, achieved with a long, straight stroke on the forward cast, along with a double haul.

2. The Bow river is kicking my butt. I have logged a lot of hours and have not produced. I have fished in

Alaska and Montana on wadeable/walkable creeks/smaller rivers.

Large rivers are much more difficult to "read" than smaller streams. On the Bow, the big issue is where to fish, or more correctly, where not to fish. You can't fish it all, and you shouldn't fish it all. Focus on the water you can reach, and look for places where the speed, depth, and direction of the water changes, especially where these areas meet one another, like where fast water meets slow water, where deep water meets shallow water, where the current is
deflected by something along the bank. A shameless plug here for Jim's "Bow River Intensive" school on July 18, which is offered specifically to address the problems the Bow presents. 
Check his school out next year or book a private with him in September.  

What is the most basic thing we need to know about fish in moving water?

It relates to the way a fish breathes. How does a fish breathe? Through its gills, which means the water must come in through the fish's mouth, through and out over the gills. The fish must face into the current for this to happen.

Knowing this, we can position ourselves behind the fish so it can't see us. From here we have a better chance to fool the fish. This is very helpful when you are casting to a fish.

Thank you to all who sent us their thoughts. Great response. (Posted April 20, 2020)

You are fishing on a stream and have not had any luck. 

What are at least 4 things you can do if you are not catching fish?

The worst thing you can do is to keep fishing in the same spot with the same fly and the same method when it's not working. So there's really just one answer, with multiple implications:  Stop doing what isn't working.
Change something - the fly, the method, the location, the depth you're fishing at. If you're fishing a big fly, try a smaller one. If you're fishing dry flies, try a nymph or streamer.  Change your tippet size.  If you're fishing slow water, try faster water. (Posted May 11, 2020)

Fly Fishing Etiquette

What should I do on the river when approaching a stream with someone fishing already?

What shouldn't I do?

There are different "rules" in different places, usually determined by how many anglers use the water.  In very heavily fished waters, like "pay to play''spring creeks in Montana and other places, everybody knows that they'll be sharing the water with other fishers in plain sight. No one expects to have 400 yards of water to themselves. But in places where there are generally fewer fly fishers, people do have a reasonable expectation of more space and more water to themselves. I've written about this in more detail in my book Water Marks. This is what I said, in part: "Fly-fishing etiquette is largely a question of how much space to give the other guy. The best way to answer the question is often simply to ask it. You can check with the other fisherman to find out where he plans to fish, and ask if it's okay if you take the other side of the creek. But of course that's like asking for directions when your spouse thinks you're lost, and most of us won't do it. The other solution comes through application of the Golden Rule. If you were the other guy, how much space would you like to have." 

(Posted Apr. 28, 2020)

Twelve Essential Flies For Alberta Streams

Clouser Minnow

Woolly Bugger Family

Adams or Parachute Adams


Golden Stonefly Nymph


Pale Morning Dun


Elk Hair Caddis

Pheasant Tail Nymph Family

Royal Wulff

Hare's Ear Nymph Family

Which of the flies on the left are imitated by:

Dry flies              Adams or Parachute Adams


                             Pale Morning Dun

                             Elk Hair Caddis

                             Royal Wulff

Nymphs              Golden Stonefly Nymph

                             Pheasant Tail Nymph Family

                             Hare's Ear Nymph Family

Streamers           Clouser Minnow

                             Woolly Bugger Family

Terrestrials         Ant


Answers Apr. 27, 2020

Fly Fishing Tackle

Before you choose your outfit think about the following: 

Where do you think you will fish most?

      - large rivers mainly, with a few smaller streams

      - smaller streams mainly, with large rivers occasionally

      - larger rivers and lakes

By asking this question you can decide on a 5-wt. or 6-wt. outfit.

For example, if you will be fishing mostly smaller streams and the occasional large river then

choose a 5-wt. which is lighter than a 6-wt.

Outfit weights can be very light, as in a 2-wt or very heavy, as in an 8-wt.

      3-wt,  4-wt,   - light weight outfits for special circumstances such as a small stream, where delicacy is crucial.

      5-wt                - this is a versatile outfit.  It will work in most situations.

      6-wt.               - nice for larger rivers and good for nymph and streamer fishing.

      7-wt, 8-wt,     - these can work well for folks who like to nymph with heavy setups or cast large, weighted streamers.

There are other factors for choosing a fly rod and the easiest way to find the right rod for you is to 

take casting lessons first. With some casting experience you'll be able to choose the rod more that casts best for you.


Here are some of our recommendations about tackle for people taking up fly-fishing in western North America.

  • Fly Rod - 8 1/2-foot or 9-foot rod for 5-wt or 6-wt line
  • Fly Line - Weight forward floating line
  • Reel - single action reel (standard, mid or large arbour) that will hold the line plus between 50 and 100 yards of backing.
  • Leader - 9-foot 3X leader to start, changing tippet size as circumstances and the fly size dictate
  • Waders - Breathable chest or waist-high stocking foot waders
  • Wading shoes - felt or rubber soled
  • Vest or chest pack - to carry all your stuff
  • Stuff - forceps, nipper, split shot, strike indicators 3X, 4X, 5X tippet material, fly floatant, fly boxes

(Posted April 20, 2020)

All content copyright Jim and Lynda McLennan 

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