Some Thoughts About Warm Water Fly Designs
by Mike Hogue

Over the last 4-5 years I've developed some flies which while not exactly revolutionary should at least change the way people think. For starters fly distributors are guilty of making the ugliest bunch of junk and passing it off as a panfish fly. To me a fly should fish well, be easy to make and look attractive to the fly-fisher. The fly fisher either has to make his own or use his trout flies. Trout flies in and of themselves are fine, the problem is that they are designed for trout. Panfish and bass are members of the same species of fish-Centrachids or sunfish. They feed by various stimulous-sight,sound, smell and feel. Trout on the otherhand have a lesser orientation to sound and are more sight oriented since they lack the large lateral sound senses that sunfishes have.

One of the difficulties in designing panfish flies is that panfish behave like bass. Often they will strike flies many times larger than themselves.Most of the time you'll fish for sunfish in stillwater. In these situations different types of flies and methods are needed to become successful because there are so many different types of forage which occur at the same time. Begin by changing your thinking.

Matching the hatch:

Let's start with the match the hatch idea. Get rid of it. Fly-fishers are used to making flies to match-the-hatch. Too often we make thousands of tiny variations of caddis and mayflies. These little alterations may be interesting but as a whole really haven't created too many "new flies" since the days of Skues, Halford and some of the early British or American fly-fishers. Some-times I think we've become much too focused in our thinking. We've come to believe that in order to be successful fly-fishers we need every, shape, size and color. (Maybe that's why I have 50-100 different styles and sizes of hooks.)

I'd like to call panfishing match the water. Also get rid of the notion that you need 50 different colors. Try this-yellow,olive, black, brown, white, pink, chartruese, orange. We all know what color these are right? I don't think the fish give a hoot if it's blue-green or green-olive, nor do I think that they could care if the material came from the butt of andorean yellow bellied eagle.

Instead of focusing on size and color as it relates to the natural life form & match the color of your bug to the water conditions. Dark colors are used with dark light conditions and dark water. Sometimes flourescent colors work well under these same conditions. Neutral colors like olive, tan, brown are best for normal day time and normal water color. Bright colors often work best in bright light. Sometimes a bright and a dark mixed is very effective. I think that through time and natural selection, life forms will often change colors to match conditions. My point is that many life-forms will often appear to match the surroundings in which they live or they won't be around too long.

How the patterns developed:

Most of the ideas came from a book of International Fly Patterns by Taff Price. Price shows patterns from all over the world. I was fascinated with the large Welsh, Irish and British wet flies. Early Welsh and British tiers fished in dark peat stained lakes...which is why so many of the flies are large and gaudy.These conditions are very similar to our dirt rich Midwestern lakes full of silt and mudddy bottoms. Since I didn't have lots of weird feathers and I still can't tye a quill wing,
( let alone try to marry wing sections) I started mixing man made materials and colors. What followed were the wet fly designs.

Another consideration is size. I like the idea of giving a bluegill a mouth full that he can swallow. That's why I started using a long shank Mustad 9672 size 10 or 12. I can present a fly that is big, flashy, creates motion and attracts attention. Also using a bigger fly keeps the dinks need to release the pee-wees!

The basic construction of the flies is similar to the traditional dry fly. Tail, dubbed body, trude wing and fore hackle. By changing the colors several new flies evolved-none of which has any rubber legs or "Sneaky Pete" popper heads and boy do they catch fish!!!!!!

Don't Be Afraid to Try These for Trout and Steelhead!
Also Try"em with 1/8" Gold Beads!

Hogue Wet Flies For Panfish

How I developed this fly I have no idea. Each year I crank out some experiments and if they work, I continue to use them.This fly is without a doubt, my most consistant producer. I have had days in which I've caught 50-60 fish using the same fly. I named this fly after my favorite soda.The fly also has the same colors as Montain Dew.

Mountain Dew:
Hook: Mustad 9672 size 10-12
Thread: 6/0 Black
Tail: Red goose shoulder
Rib: copper wire
Body: olive antron
Wing: 2/3 olive antron, 1/3 brown antron
Hackle: olive

In dark water yellow is one of the most visable colors. I found this fly to work well in the spring also. This fly can double as a Yellow Sally Dry Stonefly in a pinch. I named this fly after the red & gold Iowa State University Cyclones, as in Cy might beat the University of Iowa Hawkeyes in football this year! Ugh! 14 straight looses! Sure they will.

Hook: Mustad 9672 size 10-12
Thread: 6/0 white
Tail: dyed yellow grizzly
Rib: brass wire
Body: yellow african goat
Wing: Yellow antron
Hackle: yellow grizzly
Chartreuse is very good color for bluegills. Something about this color drives the fish nuts. I looked for a chartruese fly and found none so I updated this classic pattern for some contrast and found it to be very effective.

Chartreuse Coachman:
Hook: Mustad 9672 size 10-12
Thread: 6/0 white
Tail: Dark Moose
Rib: None
Body: black ostrich hurl with chartreuse antron middle
Wing:1/3 white antron, 2/3 chartreuse antron
Hackle: chartreuse
The Hogue coachman is one of the first patterns I developed. I believe this started out as a brown mayfly pattern and it seemed to fish much better as a wet fly. The coachman part comes from the color not the style of fly. I've used this fly all over the Midwest for trout, smallies, smaller largemouth and bluegills with great results. Be sure to give this one a try!

Hogue Coachman
Hook: Mustad 9672 size 10-12
Thread: 6/0 black
Tail: Dark Moose
Rib:copper wire
Body: medium brown rabbit
Wing: wood duck
Hackle:furnace or brown
I came up with this fly after I saw bluegills chasing my orange tube indicators I use on my leaders. I thought by using an orange fly, the fish could see the fly more easily...Bang! Ton-o-fish!

Orange Blossom Special:
Hook: Mustad 9672 size 10-12
Thread: 6/0 white
Tail: gold pheasant tippets
Rib: gold wire
Body: Orange rabbit
Wing: 2/3 orange antron, 1/3 white
Hackle: Orange or Cree

This fly came from Randy Stetzer's Book " Flies A Thousand of the Best". This fly was orginally tied as a nymph and fished much better as a wet. I've also used this successfully for trout on the Norfork River in Arkansas...with a bead..1/8" gold.

Stove Pipe:
Hook: Mustad 9672 size 10-12
Thread: 6/0 red
Tail: gold pheasant tippets
Rib: none
Body: fine olive chenille
Wing: wooduck-downwing
Hackle: soft ginger hen
I named this after the MN Vikings seems like they get Cow-punched every year by Dallas. Purple can be pretty good in dark water.

Viking Puncher:
Hook: Mustad 9672 size 10-12
Thread: 6/0 white
Tail: amherst pheasant tippets
Rib: silver wire
Body: purple rabbit
Wing: mixed purple /blue z-lon
Hackle: purple

Keep in mind these are the original colors and materials I used. For dubbing you can use rabbit,
(try cutting pieces of a zonker strip off), antron, goat, squirrel or packaged dubbing blends. Materials like fox, beaver, otter and such are too fine. Ideally you need a course, heavy textured dubbing. For the wings I use straight carded antron which comes in 20 or so different colors. This stuff is also called z-lon and if you're really on a budget go to the hardware/discount store and get a mountain throw rug for $3-$4.00. Make sure the rug is woven . Inspect the fringe-end to be such that the rug that has strands of yarn and isn't woven polyester strips.These rugs are full of sparkle yarn. You can pull the strands out with a pair of pliers. One neat benefit is that rugs have several varigated yarns mixed in.

For hackles I like using Chinese or Capon necks. The feathers are very soft and webby. I have several very nice Chinese necks listed in the order info section for $4.50 each. If you buy 4-5 necks you won't have alot invested in materials. Dyed grizzly Capons are also an excellent choice. Capons are male roosters "fixed" at birth. The feathers are soft, webby and wide. I have several colors available on the order info page for $16.00...Please compare these prices and I think you'll find they're very favorable.



For more Info Contact:

Mike Hogue / Badger Creek Fly Tying / 622 West Dryden Road, Freeville, NY 13068

Phone: 607-347-4946