Golden Polar Minnow

by Mysticfish on October 27, 2015

Several years ago, I posted a video with the Polar Express Minnow.  For that pattern, I used UV Pearl and accented it with some permanent markers.  That’s still a viable fly. As a fly tier, I am constantly tinkering with my own patterns and those of other tiers.  I have tied the Polar Express Minnow with a variety of UV and standard Polar Chenille’s. I have also finished the heads with rabbit, Senyo’s Laser Dub and Ice Dub.  I’ve found various levels of success with most of them, but the Gold UV Polar Chenille has been a standout.


Thread: UTC Tan 210

Hook: Gamakatsu B10S #6

Eyes: Spirit River Real Eyes 3/16” Nickel/Pearl

Tail: UV Polar Chenille twisted and furled

Body: UV Polar Chenille Gold (Click to purchase)

Head: Tan/Claret Ice Dub in split thread or dubbing loop (Click to purchase)

Trout, Salmon and even bass can’t leave it alone some days. Here is an updated Golden Polar Minnow with Claret and Tan Ice Dub completing the head.  Please let me know if you like it or find another version of your own that gets it done.

 Note: If you want a sparser body, don’t be afraid to trim some Polar Fibers to shape and thin your fly.

Have fun fly fishing!


North 40 Fly Shop eMag Swing edition

by Mysticfish on October 18, 2015

North 40 Fly Shop

Check out the latest eMag from North 40 Fly Shop. We’ve got video links to YouTube featuring fly fishing friends (the North 40 crew), spey casting techniques with Calvin Fuller and fly tying steelhead flies with Bruce Berry.

Twisp Washington October 24

Join us at the Twisp Washington Brew Pub on October 24th for a showing of the 2015 Drake Video Awards, some free BBQ and  some steelhead talk.

North 40 Fly Shop Hosted Trips

Consider some destination travel with one of our excellent hosted trips to Belize or Christmas Island.

Clearwater River Steelhead

Read about my first trip to the Clearwater River to chase Steelhead.

Spey Casting running lines

Check out Calvin Fuller’s take on the pros and cons of Mono vs. Coated Running Lines for spey casting.

two handed in Montana

Find out why two hand rods make sense in Montana and consider what rod is right for your needs.

Our fishing season in Alaska is over for 2015, but fishing opportunities exist in Montana year round.  Steelhead throughout the Northwest will be on our minds for months to come.  Destination travel plans can help one get through the coming winter.  Fly tying season will soon be underway. Give a shout if I can help you with tackle, trip planning, reservations or whatever fishing topics are on your mind.


Montana “Mini” Intruder

by Mysticfish on September 8, 2015

Swing season is upon us. While swinging flies can be a productive technique all year round, there is something special about swinging flies in the fall as the seasons change. Swining requires some attention, but not like fishing a dry fly or an indicator does. After the cast, the swinger has time to take in the view, to smell the scent of the changing season, to scan the water for the next best placement. Its a deliberate style of fishing with time for reflection and building anticipation for the next tug. It is a wonderful melding of the best that fly fishing has to offer.

One of the flies I will be swinging this fall is the Montana “Mini” Intruder fly pattern. Its compact enough to fling on two to four weight trout spey rods. It’s got movement, flash and trout catching colors. You can fish it on a dry line or drop it off a tip.  Here is a video from North 40 Fly Shop on building one up.

When I get hungry for some solid tugs on trout spey two handed fly rods, the Montana Mini Intruder is a go to fly.  The receipe is pretty simple and colors are always adaptable to your own waters and choices.  I’ve tried several color schemes, but this one has proven to work quite well in Montana.

Ultra Thread 140 Brown

15mm Waddington Shank from Umpqua

Senyo’s Thin Intruder Trailer Wire for Hook Size 6 or smaller

Gamakatsu Octopus Size 8 Red or OPST Swing Hook Size 6

Spirit River Real Eyes 5/32” Red

Ice Dub UV Tan

Hedron Flashabou Gold, Copper, Red

Diamond Midge Braid Bonefish Tan

Senyo’s Laser Dub Tan and Brown


OPST Dubbing Spinner

by Mysticfish on August 26, 2015

Details matter when tying and designing flies.  Here is a simple tool that gets it right.  Simple, with lots of deep thought.  Here is Jerry French telling us why.

I tie most of my flies with dubbing loops.  I use lots of rabbit fur and Ice Dub. It is quick and easy to simply split my thread and spin my materials right from my bobbin.  When it comes to applying bulkier materials though, a dubbing loop is needed.  I’ve messed around with lots of dubbing spinners and never been happy.  This new tool makes me happy and that makes me want to tie more flies.  Having more flies is good when you want to catch more fish.

Check out the OPST website for other great products designed by serious anglers.  I particularly like the Swing Hook.

OPST Swing Hooks are highly specialized, fly fishing specific, fish friendly hooks that will penetrate instantly and hold longer.”

I got a pack of the Swing Hooks from the OPST booth at ICAST and have given them a go.  They are another fine detail that I will be adding to my swinging flies from now on.

Swing On.