Picabo Angler

Pee-Ka-Boo is a Native American word meaning "Shining Waters."

Picabo Angler is a destination: A full-service fly shop & outfitter located on the banks of world-renowned Silver Creek

Filtering by Tag: silver creek

October 27TH Double R Fishing Report "End of Season"

Friday, October 24, 2014:

This is my final blog entry of the season.   I have been somewhat remiss in blogging at times, not because I was too busy fishing, but rather because my computer’s “mother board” self-destructed in August and about two weeks ago I had  trailer fire and have been preoccupied packing the contents to move them to  replacement trailer in Oregon.  I vow to be more diligent next season.  If you get a chance, email any suggestions you might have regarding what information you would like to see in my blog next season.  Is it just fishing reports?  Fly tying tips?  Fly recipes?  Fishing strategies?  Fish tales?  Stories about other Members?

We’ve certainly had an interesting season on the Double R Ranch.  To be honest, I began to tear when I saw how low the creek was upon my arrival in mid-April.  Word was that the fishing would suffer on the Ranch but, in the view of many, we had some of the best June fishing in memory.  While only the lower 6 “beats” were fished early season, the renovated Pond provided expanded water to fish and rising trout were dependable, provided the wind stayed down.  We received a pleasant surprise in the form of a Green Drake hatch the first 5 days of the season.  My opinion is that the nymphs came down with the silt from the Pond Project; now that we’ve “seeded” the Ranch water and lowered the water temperature I believe there is a good chance that the Green Drake hatch will be an annual event.  We got up to normal creek levels at the end of July as soon as the Water Master shut down surface irrigators up valley, and I felt that life had begun anew!  I firmly believe that had the Pond Project not lowered water temperatures by 4 degrees when we moved to 85 percent bottom release, we would have seen fish kills during the summer.  To my observation the Pale Morning Dun hatch was brief but denser this season, and the Trico hatch was scattered but present on the Ranch water for quite some time.  We saw very few Damsels this season, perhaps because of the lower water temperature.  Next season be on the lookout as we very well could experience fishable hatches of “Sulfur” mayflies and Gray Drakes, due to the lowered water temperatures. 

The most difficult fishing of the season was experienced during our two Indian summers when the unseasonably warm temperatures retarded the hatches of Fall Baetis and Mahogany Duns.  But, the cold fall temperatures have arrived and two days ago I ran into what I felt was the first legitimate hatch of Fall Baetis, ranging from a #16 to a #18.

I want to personally thank all the Members who contributed to my “Silver Creek Willow Project” which kicked off at the Members’ Barbecue and continued through the summer.  We raised a total of $4,000 which will buy us 196 five gallon buckets of rooted willows (four varieties) 25 gray alders, plus 8 shade trees (two each to be planted at the access points with picnic tables and the toilet).  Next April the plants will be installed in appropriate locations from Beat 6 down to Beat 1, the willows in the Canary Grass and the Gray Alders in the streamside sedge.  I am optimistic that over time these plantings will go a long way towards providing shade and refuge for fish up against the bank, will help cool the water and will provide wind breaks for the angler.  I will personally defray the cost of spraying rings of fish safe herbicide in the Canary Grass which can often out-compete young willows.

Last week I spread a pound of Wild Blue Flax seed, a native wild flower which has done well when seeded elsewhere along Silver Creek.  Next spring I will be raising yellow Monkey Flowers and Indian Paint Brush from seed and planting them in the moist riparian zone; most spring creeks feature wild flowers like these and they are a delight to me.

Next season, in conjunction with Picabo Anglers, I am going to present two seminars focusing on aquatic entomology pertinent to the Ranch water and related fly selection.  Several Members have told me that they would benefit from information regarding the succession of insect hatches through the season and some fly patterns addressing particular situations.  The Double R Ranch Fishing Club wants to do what it can to maximize Members’ fishing experience.  When we have dates and times we will be sure to get that information out to you.

Over the winter I will be drawing up plans for several access improvements, both boardwalks and hand rails, to be installed along the newly renovated Pond.  Any ideas regarding location or design would be appreciated.  I want to make the Pond accessible to every Member.

If you have any suggestions for improving the experience on the Double R Ranch, pop me off an email or give me a phone call.

Thanks, again, for another great season on the Double R Ranch.  I look forward to seeing all of you next season. 

Doug Andres

(503) 939-7657

dougandres.whenpigflies@gmail.com {C}

September 30TH Double R Fishing Report "Paraleptophlebia"

Tuesday, September 30, 2014:

In the face of the forecast which called for 17 mile an hour wind, only the strong willed angler fished today.  It drizzled for a while this morning but then the rain subsided, the wind waned and the sun came out and illuminated a partly cloudy sky.  It was a beautiful fall day for maybe an hour before the slight breeze started to climb to gale force gusts.  A few #18 Blue Winged Olives appeared, causing a few trout to rise; no Mahogany Duns were sighted today, much less Callibaetis.  When the wind got strong I switched to a #18 Pheasant Tail soft hackle and picked up a single 15 inch Rainbow by swimming the fly parallel to the bank.  The forecasted wind came up and that’s all she wrote for the day.  Nap time!

MAHOGANY DUNS . . . . !      aka Paraleptophlebia

The relatively large Mahogany Dun mayfly is a welcome blessing each fall after matching our wits with the much smaller Blue Winged Olive and the miniscule Trico.  On Silver Creek this mayfly usually tapes out at a size 14 or a size 16.  Entomologists tell us that water temperatures need to plunge to 50 degrees for several days before Mahogany Duns will hatch but we don’t achieve those temperatures locally.  The daily emergence may start around 10:00 or 11:00 a.m. and can last two, three or more hours, ending between 1:00 and 4:00 p.m.  As with most mayflies, Mahogany Dun hatches last longer on cloudy days and even rainy days, and are condensed into a shorter time period on sunny days.  Mahogany Dun hatches tend to be on the sparse side unless conditions are optimal.

The distinctive feature of this “crawler” mayfly is that it generally resides and emerges along banks, at current seams, in pools, eddies and along the edges of weed beds.  For that reason the beginning of a Mahogany Dun hatch is often not immediately noticed by the angler.  But the Mahogany Dun hatch will often prompt larger trout to move into the shallows and sip daintily.  It is a prescription for exciting and excellent fishing by the more vigilant angler.  


The Mahogany Dun nymphs will migrate to the edges of the creek, can live in water just inches deep, and may emerge by crawling out on rocks or vegetation.  The larger and more mature nymphs tend to rest and browse on rooted vegetation and congregate in calmer water where leaves and other detritus accumulate.  The nymphs themselves are such poor swimmers that they may drift a long distance in the current before regaining a hold on the creek’s substrate.  Immediately before hatching the nymphs make an awkward swim to the surface; the duns escape the nymphal shuck in, or just under, the surface film.  The nymphs may make several trips to the surface before hatching.  Thus, there are occasions when fishing a nymph can be productive, including by slowly swimming a brown soft hackle along weed beds and the bank.  Effective nymph patterns include:  the traditional Pheasant Tail nymph; a Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ear Nymph; a dark Pheasant Tail Soft Hackle; the Western Red Quill Nymph; the Western Blue Quill Nymph.


There are times when the angler will notice “bulging” along the shoreline and has to decide whether the rise form involves trout taking emergers or duns.  If you see bubbles in the ring of the rise then observe whether floating duns are being taken or are floating through the feeding lane undisturbed.  If the duns are not being intercepted, then the trout are likely feeding on emergers.  Try one of a number of standard emerger patterns which hold in the film and have dark gray brown bodies, including the “floating nymph” design.  Typical patterns that may be effective in this situation include:  the Western Red Quill Floating Nymph; the Western Red Quill Emerger; the Western Blue Quill Floating Nymph; and the Western Blue Quill Emerger.  Alternatively, one could simply start with a dun pattern and switch to an emerger pattern if the dun pattern does not produce within a dozen casts to the bulging trout.


Duns of this mayfly look like large, slow moving Chinese junks ambling down the creek.  Trout will often take hatched Mahogany Duns in preference to more numerous but smaller Blue Winged Olives.  One excellent strategy is to drift a dun pattern within 6 inches of the edge of a weed bed or the bank.  Due to the fact that the duns hatch in calmer water, it is often beneficial to lengthen one’s leader to 12 to 15 feet and reduce your tippet to 5X or 6X.  Productive dun imitations include: the Mahogany Cut Winged Parachute; the Mahogany Sparkle Dun; the Mahogany Thorax Dun; the Mahogany No Hackle; and the Red Quill and Blue Quill, both of which are Catskill types in design.


Spinner falls of the Mahogany Dun can be important to the angler who fishes late in the day.  The Mahogany Dun spinners usually swarm in early evening and drop to the water about the time when it becomes difficult to see.  Bring your flashlight and reading glasses so that it is not difficult to change spinner patterns.  Unlike the other stages of the Mahogany Dun discussed above, the spinner can be fished out in open water with equal success.  Two spinner patterns which are effective for just about any mayfly are equally productive when fished at the end of a Mahogany Dun session.  The Blue Quill Spinner’s body is constructed from a stripped peacock quill, its wing is fashioned from white hen hackle tips (tied spent or semi-spent), and the hackle is light blue dun, clipped top and bottom.  The Red Quill Spinner’s body is from a reddish-brown dyed hackle stem, its wings are made from white hen hackle tips (tied spent or semi-spent), and brown hackle is used, clipped top and bottom.           

Doug Andres

Stream Keeper

September 28TH Double R Fishing Report "Mahogany Duns"

Sunday, September 28, 2014:

Mahogany Duns . . . !

Yes, it rained most of yesterday and this morning it was chilly, overcast and threatening rain.  Plagued by curiosity, I just had to launch the float tube at Beat #8 of the field water of the Double R Ranch around 10:00 a.m.  No fish were rising and initially no insects were on the water.  But within a half hour my buddy and I started to see some extremely tiny Baetis which were more cream colored than olive.  Then we saw a few Mahogany Duns floating by.  Fish started to take the smaller of the two bugs, within the calm margins left by the slight breeze.  My friend picked up a fat 15 inch Brown on a Mahogany Dun dry, but that was all she wrote for a while.  Around 11:30 a.m. the Mahogany hatch exploded.  They looked like a fleet of Chinese Junks floating through the Hong Kong harbor.  A beautiful sight after weeks of size 22 Baetis, for sure.  I finally landed a Rainbow on my favorite Mahogany parachute.  Fish were rising everywhere and the surface was covered with Mahoganies, but we were frozen to the bone and opted to return to my trailer for some hot soup and the last Mariner game of the season.  

The Fall hatches are upon us, guys and girls.

Doug Andres

Stream Keeper

September 27TH Double R Fishing Report "Fall Fishing"

Saturday, September 27, 2014:


During out ten days of Indian Summer fishing has been challenging no matter where you have fished Silver Creek.  I felt fortunate on those days when I only landed two or three fish.  But, each day was precious because I figured it was the very last day of sunny warm weather.  A couple of days ago I pulled out my cold weather fishing clothing, just in case the weather would finally change.  

On the Double R Ranch down in down in the field we had been experiencing Baetis  spinners followed by duns starting around 9:00 a.m., and lasting for maybe 2 hours if one was lucky.  In the mid to late afternoon there often were rising fish but all I could identify were size 24 Tan Baetis . . . . the Callibaetis seemed to have disappeared.  Then a few Mahogany Duns showed up but the fish did not exactly key on them.  The fish had developed lock jaw.  When my favorite Blue Winged Olive dun and spinner patterns failed I would often turn to a #18 Pheasant Tail soft hackle or my “Who Knows Freaking Why” soft hackle.  We were in the Transitional Doldrums which plague us on Silver Creek a different week each year as we await the great fall fishing.

Well, the weather changed last night.  The forecast is for gray, overcast snotty weather which should bring out those wonderful appetizing Fall Baetis and Mahogany Duns which appear both on the field water and on The Pond.  Also be on the lookout for that species of Baetis which locally is called the “Pistachio Dun.”  It is distinguished by its lime green body and the trout love them; one can often pick up fish with a lime green bodied dun pattern even if the naturals are not on the water. I saw my first Fall Ginger Caddis the other day, about a size 12.   Terrestrial patterns remain a good choice in between hatches and late in the day.

Doug Andres

Stream Keeper


September 18TH Double R Fishing Report "Indian Summer"

Thursday, September 18, 2014:


On the Double R Ranch the hatches have been fairly consistent and reliable the past week, while the cooperation of the trout have ranged from willingness to high level lock jaw depending on the day.  

The most reliable bug has been the Callibaetis.  You can pretty much depend on the Callibaetis starting to come off starting round 11:00 a.m. each morning.  Some days the Duns are the first to be sighted while on other late mornings or early afternoons the spinners appear first.  Some days you will encounter simultaneous significant quantities of both Duns and spinners.  Anglers have had success with Dun patterns such as the Parachute Adams, Callibaetis Thorax Dun, gray or tan bodied Comparaduns and Harrop’s Callibaetis No Hackle.  Effective spinner patterns have included the Callibaetis Hatch Matcher and the Poly Winged Spinner.  A good rule of thumb is to fish size 18 in “glass” conditions, size 16 when the wind creates a slight “chop” on the water surface, and size 14 in breezy situations.  

The smallish (size 20-22) Summer Baetis are still thriving during the current Indian Summer.  Mid-morning you are likely to encounter Baetis spinners and/or and emergence of Baetis Duns.  I have taken most of my fish long the edges of the now substantial weed beds and along the riparian vegetation that lines the “real” banks.  I tent to use olive bodied patterns for the emerging duns and rusty brown bodied patterns for the bank sippers which suck down spinners late in the morning just as the Callibaetis get started.  

I have encountered Mahogany Duns on two early evenings thus far.  They have been running at size 16 and their great visibility is a welcome relief from the bugs that make one squint.  Look for this bug to become the Bug of the Day once the weather cools down towards the end of this month and through October, both on the field water and on The Pond.

Doug Andres

Stream Keeper

September 5TH Double R Fishing Report "Transition"

Thursday, September 4, 2014:

Members (and other readers) I apologize for the one month drought in blog entries but the “mother board” of my old computer busted and it took me quite a while to purchase and set up my new lap top.  But, I’m back at it, whatever “it” may be.


We are now smack in the middle of the “transition” period of the season, i.e. between summer bugs and fall insects.  Many years that portends pretty marginal and unreliable fishing but that is not the case this season.  The trout are rising all over the field water of the Double R and up on The Pond, all day in the absence of wind.  With the great variance in weather one day to the next, we are experiencing an ever changing assortment of mayflies.  There also are 2 inch long grasshoppers next to the field water and some anglers are scoring on large black beetles in the wind.  But, the unanswered question is, “Where are the damsels?”   

Callibaetis has been my favorite hatch to fish these days.  Provided the wind does not get too strong, we have been experiencing Callibaetis action starting as early as 11:00 a.m.  Some days the action begins with a spinner flight followed by a hatch of Duns, some days the order is reversed, and some days they occur simultaneously.  The “naturals” currently are about a size 16.  One tip:  If you are fishing the Callibaetis dun hatch or spinner fall in “glass” conditions (which happens many days around noon for an hour until the wind picks up) one will have greater success with a pattern that is one size smaller, these days a size 18.  I have been using a size 18 Callibaetis Hatch Matcher followed by a size 16 Harrop Callibaetis No Hackle with a salmon colored body.  I’ve heard that Members have been scoring with Callibaetis Emergers. 

Blue Winged Olives (aka “Baetis”) can be a troublesome hatch to fish these days.  The “summer” Baetis have been on the field water for a month and most of us did well with them until the uncharacteristic overcast even rainy conditions of this August became a daily reality.  There are nearly 50 species within the Baetis family and those in the summer group thrive in the heat but hate the cold, rainy overcast weather which makes Fall Baetis explode.  Last night’s frost in Picabo may well be the “opening day” for our Fall Baetis, as I have observed dark gray spinners with brown bodies which are characteristic of some Fall Baetis species.  Tie or buy some spinners with this coloration (if you can find them) or drag out your favorite Rusty Spinner pattern, especially for those after-the-hatch “bank sippers.”

Mahogany Duns are my favorite fall insect and they have just started to appear on the water.  This bug will be the feature of a future blog entry.  They are a size 16.  They are most often seen in the quiet calm margins along the (true) bank or a patch of aquatic vegetation.  On the Ranch they are present both on the field water and on The Pond.  

“Pistachio” Duns.   Members have reported sightings of this unusual Baetis which we see each Fall on the field water, but generally not on The Pond.  You can use just about any dun pattern (Comparadun, Sparkle Dun, etc.) to imitate this unique mayfly, provided the body is made using Rene Harrop’s “Professional Dubbing” in his “Caddis Green” color (or something pretty close tending towards a chartreuse coloration).  Currently the “natural” is running around a size 18 but in the weeks to come the bug will appear in size 16.  

2nd annual “Stream Keeper’s Paella Party.”

Members of the Double R Ranch Fishing Club are invited to my annual Paella Party set to begin at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 13 at the Gazebo.  I will be serving my infamous Paella together with a tomato salad, sliced watermelon, Epi bread and a dessert of Grilled Peaches with Vanilla Ice Cream.  

If you live under a bridge and haven’t encountered Paella before, it is a spicy Spanish rice dish.  I load the rice up with boneless chicken thighs, spicy Italian sausage, shrimp, scallops, crawfish tails and mussels.  

Bring your own adult beverage, soft drink or bottled water.  

If you really feel that you MUST bring something else (always appreciated) an appetizer would be fine.

Come and celebrate the end of summer and the beginning of fine fall fishing.


August 3RD Double R Fishing Report

Monday, August 4, 2014:

ROUGH WEEKEND . . . . . 

Your Stream Keeper had a rough weekend on The Creek.

I haven’t been fishing on Saturdays this season because Members seemed to be avoiding many drifts in the field water due to the low water conditions and I didn’t want to take up one of the precious fishable Beats.  This Saturday I changed my habits because the creek level has come up substantially and because I hadn’t fished in a week due to car trouble.  I launched at the gazebo bridge rather early thinking that the overcast sky and cool morning temperature would portend a great Baetis hatch.  I wore just a tee shirt since I was confident that the sun would break through and that there would be no rain.  Wrong!  I got soaked to the bone.  The trout rose even during the rain and I was looking forward to some great fishing once the rain stopped.  But, I started to feel the onset of hypothermia.  I made a bee line for the takeout behind my trailer, shed my waders and changed into some warm dry clothing.  I should have just stayed in my trailer or gone down to the Picabo Store for breakfast.  Instead, I walked out to the creek and saw trout rising everywhere to Blue Winged Olives.  Darn!

On Sunday morning I took a Guest out to fish Beats 4 through 1.  The wind slacked off early and a warm sun appeared.  There were a few Trico and a few Baetis, but the fish were tough.  For a while the trout liked Mick Halvorsen’s “Duck Butt Dun” in a BWO shade and I liked it as well because I could see its CDC post a mile away in the glare of the sun.  Eventually, the trout just “nosed” the Duck Butt Dun so I switched to a small BWO Sparkle Dun tied by my Guest, Tom Lampl.  The trout liked it but by that time I was off my game due to accumulated frustration.  When the trout changed their preference to Callibaetis I tried to tie on a commercially tied gray Hackle Stacker but the fly was so poorly tied that I could not thread a reasonably sized tippet through the eye so I gave up and went with my own Callibaetis Hatch Matcher.  By then the rising fish had retired for the morning so I gave up and went home to lick my wounds.  Another delightful morning on The Creek!

I did notice a bunch of Damsels on hovering over the water.  My sense is that the Damsel hatch is about to become a big factor on the Ranch water.  It will probably coincide with the demise of the Trico.

Doug Andres

Stream Keeper

July 28TH Double R Fishing Report "Great Blue Heron"

Monday, July 28, 2014:


This morning was one of those overcast mornings rife with the prospect of opportunity.  Early on the water was like glass, it was cool and uniformly overcast.  I should have been out on the water but slept in because I was recovering from a 4 day reunion with 4 college fraternity brothers and I felt too groggy to fish.  My loss, from what I heard from some more hardy anglers who plied the lower field water on the Double R Ranch.  Early on there were a good number of female Tricos hatching and sparsely tied green bodied Duns were the answer to the puzzle.   Thereafter, the Callibaetis in a size 16 made a strong appearance and one observant Member saw Duns with down wings floating by, and saw some of their wings become upright just before taking off.  To me, that would have been a wonderful sight . . . to see a very short period of the mayfly’s life unfold.  Just before the wind gained strength the Baetis made an appearance; that is, if you can see a size 24 on the water.   The next several days are forecasted to involve cloudy conditions as well, though maybe not as fully overcast and cool as today, so you might be advised to get your float tube out on the field water and The Pond.


I have long thought that I was the most patient creature in the galaxy.  I say “galaxy” rather than the universe because way deep down I guess I recognized the possibility that someone or something had even stronger powers of patience than me, though in truth I doubted it.  I usually fish Silver Creek 90 or more days a season and I play high stakes No Limit Texas Hold’em poker most of the winter, both endeavors favor the patient soul and I do well at both of them.  

This afternoon I was sitting in a camp chair outside my trailer enjoying one of the few cool comfortable days of July, an unexpected pleasure and a relief from the confines of my air conditioned trailer, when a Great Blue Heron landed in the shallows of the creek and assumed a fishing position.  I didn’t move an inch for a half hour, nor did the Heron.   I admired the Heron’s stamina and ability more than mine because I was, after all, comfortably seated and he was standing up.  It only occurs to me now in retrospect than standing for a period of time might not be taxing for a Heron.  But, I’ve admired the ability to stand motionless for an extended period of time ever since I watched a squad of West Point cadets stand for what seemed to a 9 year old to be hours, in the sweltering heat, until one of them keeled over maybe 20 feet from me.  Just as my increasingly faltering memory made that connection, the Heron’s head darted down and snared a small Rainbow trout.  After gobbling the trout down, the Heron resumed his watch.

July 1ST Double R Fishing Report

Tuesday, July 1, 2014:

This entry should be of interest to those who tie their own flies and like to fish Silver Creek subsurface.  I am a “soft hackle” fan and have success with the soft hackled flies detailed below.  Tie a few up and let them rip.

If you think about or read too many fly tying books like me, it is likely that the first fly patterns designed involved soft hackle materials.  I mean, no synthetic materials were available.  The first flies were tied using what was available at the time (as early as the first century B.C.) were limited to bird feathers, wool and other animal fur, and thread fashioned from natural fibers.  Dyed thread or wool permitted anglers to tie in a limited range of colors.  Dry flies were not conceived until relatively recent times.  Yet, at least among the privileged class in England, the dogmatic convention of fishing dry flies upstream can be seen as discouraging experimentation with soft hackles and other wet flies fished down and with the assistance of the current.   

Unlike most commercially tied soft hackled flies tied on light wire hooks to be fished in the film as “emergers,” my soft hackle patterns are tied on 2XL, 2XH streamer hooks (e.g. the Tiemco 5262) so that they can be swung 3 to 5 inches below the water surface.  As a general rule you’ll not want to fish soft hackles on a leader lighter than 5X because the “take” is akin to that of a steelhead strike.  Unlike the traditional dead drift nymphing technique, you want the fly line and leader to drag the soft hackle across the stream and in front of trout.  Depending on the speed of the water you are fishing, you cast the fly either straight across the stream (if the current is slow) or on a 45 degree downstream (if the current is fast).  The goal is to swim the fly downstream in a natural manner, somewhat slower than the current speed.  When you are not casting to a working fish, just thoroughly cover the water giving special attention to lies along the reeds or solid bank.  You will want to avoid unnecessary slack and hold the line in your fingertips, as the take can be subtle.  Sometimes a slight, gentle mend of the fly line (not the leader) is advisable.  Sometimes you can prompt trout to hit the soft hackle by applying a slight “tug” to the fly line (or by lifting your rod slightly) when you think that the fly is right in front of a working fish.  Some anglers will strip the soft hackle like a big river streamer.  Always be vigilant because trout will frequently take the soft hackle on the “plop,” particularly during a hatch of damsel flies or under a flight of the large White Miller Caddis.  

I tie soft hackles for Silver Creek in a range of sizes, from a #10 to a #20, and selection of size is usually governed by whether the soft hackle gets caught in underwater vegetation or by the size of the insect which has been hatching.  You will want to invest in a bottle of “Zink” (the opposite of the “Gink” floatant) or other liquid product which helps the soft hackle sink immediately rather getting held up in the meniscus.  

I generally tie my soft hackles without a base of lead wire, but when I do I use red tying thread, for easy identification in my separate soft hackle fly box.

I buy whole bird skins for tying my soft hackles; you get better quality feathers and a wide range of markings than are contained in those little bags of loose feathers sold in most fly shops which typically include a lot of waste feathers not suitable for soft hackled flies.  A variety of Grouse and Chuckar skins provide me with a range of colors and marking for size 10 and larger soft hackled flies.  Partridge, both natural and dyed, is my feather of choice for sizes 12 to 16.  Several species of Quail and other small birds such as Starling do the trick for sizes 18 and smaller.  By the way, the purpose of tying in a firm thorax of peacock herl is to provide a base on which to support the soft hackle feather, so that the resultant hackle will “pulsate” with the ebb and flow of the current.   

In my fly tying life I grew up reading Sylvester Nemes’ series of largely repetitive books about soft hackled flies.  A more concise but thorough treatment of soft hackled flies, patterns and strategies to fish them is Allen McGee’s recent work, entitled “Tying and Fishing Soft-hackled Nymphs.” 

Okay, now the fly patterns.


The Pheasant Tail sot hackle is my most versatile soft hackle for Silver Creek, not surprising given the universal effectiveness of the myriad of pheasant tail patterns.   Why ignore or mess with something which works so well?  Well, for me the answer is that after a decade of experimentation I have found that using red or orange dyed pheasant tail fibers results in a fly that is consistently more attractive to trout; brown or olive dyed pheasant tail fibers make effective soft hackles as well.  My theory is that this coloration helps set the fly apart from sticks and other debris that has the same color range as natural pheasant tail fibers.  I have also eschewed the use of copper for ribbing, finding that “Hot Yellow” Uni-Thread lures more trout, perhaps it provides more realistic segmentation or functions as an attractive “trigger.”  No matter; I am sold on bright wire.  

Hook:        Size 10 to 20, Tiemco 5262 (or other 2XL, 2XH streamer hook)

Rib:        Hot Yellow Uni-Wire

Abdomen:    Red or Orange dyed pheasant tail fibers

Thorax:        Peacock herl

Hackle:        Grouse or partridge, depending on hook size.


This is a ridiculous fly.  It is ridiculous in appearance.  And, it is ridiculously effective on Silver Creek and in any stream you fish.  It is a bit depressing to know that I will never come up with a fly pattern more effective than this fly which I “invented” two decades ago.  Such is life, I guess.  The fly gets its name from uncertainty regarding exactly why the pattern is so universally effective.  Some speculate that the fly looks like a Green Rock Worm Caddis pupa.  Other accuse it of being a damsel imitation.  Still others feel it resemble a bait fish in larger sizes.  Who Knows?  Who Cares?  Beats Me!  The Who Knows Freaking Why will also catch steelhead!  It is a simple, quick pattern to tie.  The “trigger” of this fly is undoubtedly the metallic green abdomen and a variety of materials are available in today’s market which will fashion and effective body.     

Hook:        Size 10 to 20 Tiemco 5262 (or similar 2XL, 2XH streamer hook)

Abdomen:    Bright green metallic Diamond Braid (or similar material)

Thorax:        Red-dyed peacock herl, or other contrasting color

Hackle:        Natural Guinea, Blue Grouse or similarly marked feather


I swim this Blue Damsel Soft Hackle under hovering clouds of damsels in preference to dry adult damsel patterns because the trout will follow and take the soft hackle in addition to grabbing it on the “plop.”   I generally tie the pattern on a #10 hook but also have had success with a #14 which friends have nicknamed “The Smurf.”

Hook:        Size 10 or 14 Tiemco 5262 (or similar 2XL, 2XH streamer hook)

Rib:        “Hot Yellow” Uni-Wire

Abdomen:    Twisted Royal Blue dyed long pheasant rump feather, from the top of the rump patch

Thorax:        Red dyed peacock herl (or other contrasting color)

Hackle:        “Church” feather from Royal Blue dyed pheasant rump patch

Doug Andres

Stream Keeper


June 26TH Double R Fishing Report

Thursday, June 26, 2014:

    This blog entry should be of interest to those spring creek anglers who tie their own flies and are looking for a new weapon for finicky trout.


As the Stream Keeper for that private stretch of Silver Creek which runs through the Double R Ranch in Picabo, Idaho,, I am privileged to be able to fish this fly fishing Mecca 90 days each season.   There almost never is a session on Silver Creek during which I neglect to tie on a Hatch Matcher dry fly at some point during the prevailing mayfly hatch.    The Hatch Matcher is truly a heritage pattern, one which has inextricably fallen into disuse despite its effectiveness as both a dun and a spinner imitation.  The Hatch Matcher is said to have been invented by noted Catskill fly tier Harry Darbee in the 1930s.  Why it fell from favor in that locale is hard to determine at this late date; perhaps this extremely delicate pattern was not suited to the freestone streams of upstate New York, or maybe the Hatch Matcher was a casualty of the dominance of the Catskill convention of dry fly design.  One wonders why the Hatch Matcher never became established on the limestone spring creeks of Pennsylvania.  In any event, the Hatch Matcher became a trusted fly on Silver Creek when Dick Alf gave the pattern its western introduction at his Sun Valley fly shop in the 1960s.   Ask any old codger and he will tell you that Hatch Matchers could be found next to Pete Hide “flymphs” in his fly box.   

I have fished the Hatch Matcher with great success on other western spring creeks, including Armstrong Spring Creek, O’Dell Spring Creek and Milsinek Spring Creek.  Trout eagerly take the Hatch Matcher in the calmer stretches of tail waters such as the Missouri and on Yellowstone area lakes such as Hebgen and Ennis. 

 The Hatch Matcher is fairly simple to tie once you master a few techniques which may be new to you.  It is a delicate, elegant tie created from just two materials.  The forked tail, extended body and wing are fashioned from a single mallard flank feather.  Back in the day, the fly was tied in various sizes using natural mallard flank feathers and colored streamside with Panatone pens to match the prevailing hatch.  Nowadays, a wide range of commercially dyed mallard flank feathers and thread of varying colors are available to the tier.  The creative tier can also incorporate a variety of other bird feathers into Hatch Matchers, such as the white breast feathers of Wood Duck or Gadwall drakes for small Tricos and PMDs.  The authentically tied Hatch Matcher involves a body of tying thread matching the mallard flank feather.  The pattern calls for an upright hackle collar fore and aft of the wing, however, one can also apply hackle in the parachute style if the feather’s stem is not clipped off.  When production tying, I apply head cement to the tail, extended body and wing of the fly before hackling the batch, in order to make the delicate tail more durable, but one can apply the head cement after a single fly is completed.  

 The completed Hatch Matcher may look a bit oversized in relation to the hook.  Not to worry.  If the hackle is the same size as the hook the fly will tilt backwards, showing fish primarily the forked tail and extended body.  As a fly designer I increasingly am of the view that the vast majority of effective fly patterns feature a component which operates as a trigger, and this is I believe is the effect of the forked tail and extended body.  It is much like the Zelon shuck of the Sparkle Dun or the red floss band of the Royal Wulff.   This characteristic of the Hatch Matcher also serves to make the fly extremely visible to the angler.  The Daiichi 1110 hook may feature a longer shank than a traditional dry fly hook, but it has excellent hooking efficiency and the advantage of an oversized flat eye that makes it easy to attach to tippets too large for a regular dry fly hook with a standard aperture.         

    I no longer apply dubbing over the hook shank as I prefer to keep the fly’s profile as sparse as possible which I feel is a requirement for flies to be effective on spring creeks and still waters.  I use 8/0 Uni-Thread for my Hatch Matchers and have found that this manufacturer’s range of colors is suitable for most mayflies, but sometimes I resort to dubbing or thread from another company.  You can get fancy and apply an over-rib using a contrasting colored thread to achieve the appearance of segmentation.  Rather than whip finishing, I just apply three half hitches and apply head cement right behind the eye, allowing the cement to leach into the thorax for greater durability.  

    Members who are interested in a free one-on-one lesson in tying Hatch Matchers should give me a call or just stop by my trailer on the Double R Ranch.   



  1. Wrap the hook shank with the appropriate colored thread, from the eye down to the bend.  Return the thread to the hook point. 
  2. With your left thumb and forefinger, grasp the tip of a mallard flank feather.  With your right thumb and forefinger, pull back 5 or 6 flues of the feather, creating the extended body.  Let go of your left fingers.
  3. Position the pulled back feather with your right fingers on the hook shank so that the extended body begins right at the hook point.  Switch to your left fingers, maintaining tight pressure.   Grasp the thread bobbin and attach the extended body with or 4 firm thread wraps.  
  4. While keeping the extended boy under tension, wrap the thread back and forward to create a thread body of uniform thickness.
  5. Grasp the butt ends of the feather; raise the ends straight up.  Wrap the thread in front of the butt end to elevate the wing.  Trim off the butt of the feather, leaving the wing.
  6. To create the forked tail, first open a pair of sharp fine scissors.  Poke the bottom scissor through the outside edge of the “fan” (closest to you) and separate two flues (one flue for flies that are size 18 and smaller).Poke the top scissor through the outside edge of the “fan” farthest from you.  Slide the tips of the scissors down to the base of the flues and snip off, creating a forked tail.
  7. Trim the forked tail to your preferred length, generally half the length of the hook shank. Behind the wing, tie in an appropriate colored saddle hackle, curved side facing forward.  Apply one wrap of hackle behind the wing and two wraps in front of the wing.  Tie off. 
  8. Apply head cement to the forked tail and extended body to make the fly more durable.



Blue Winged Olive Hatch Matcher 

Hook:        Daiichi 1110, sizes 16-24

Thread:     8/0 Uni-Thread: Olive, Olive Dun, Light Olive, Rusty Dun

Body:         Mallard flank feather, dyed in shades of olive

Hackle:      Whiting 100:  Light, medium or dark dun


Pale Morning Dun Hatch Matcher 

Hook:         Daiichi 1110, sizes 16-20

Thread:      8/0 Uni-Thread:  Light Cahill or Yellow

Body:          White breast feather from Wood Duck/Gadwall drake; or yellow dyed mallard flank feather

Hackle:       Whiting 100:  Light or medium dun


Callibaetis Hatch Matcher: 

Hook:           Daiichi 1110, sizes 14-20

Thread:        8/0 Uni-Thread:  Tan, Gray or Iron Gray

Body:            Mallard flank feather: natural or dyed dun or tan

Hackle:          Whiting 100:  Grizzly 


Brown Drake Hatch Matcher 

Hook:             Daiichi 1110, sizes 12-14

Thread:          8/0 Uni-Thread:  Dark brown or Camel 

Body:              Mallard flank feather: dyed medium or dark brown

Hackle:           Cree, furnace or Whiting 100 brown dyed grizzly


Female Trico Hatch Matcher 

Hook:              Daiichi 1110, sizes 20-24

Thread:           8/0 Uni-Thread:  Olive

Body:               White breast feather from Wood Duck or Gadwall drake

Hackle:            Whiting 100:  Grizzly


Male Trico Hatch Matcher 

Hook:               Daiichi 1110, sizes 20-24

Thread:            8/0 Uni-Thread:  Black

Body:                White breast feather from Wood Duck or Gadwall drake

Hackle:             Whiting 100:  Grizzly


Sparkle Trico Hatch Matcher 

Hook:                Daiichi 1110, sizes 20-24

Thread:             8/0 Uni-Thread:  Black

Over Wrap:      Midge Crystal Flash:  Peacock

Body:                 White breast feather from Wood Duck or Gadxwall drake

Hackle:              Whiting 100:  Grizzly


Adams Hatch Matcher 

Hook:                  Daiichi 1110, sizes 14-22

Thread:               8/0 Uni-Thread:  Gray or Iron Gray

Body:                   Mallard flank feather dyed medium or dark dun; quail for smaller sizes

Hackle:                Cree, or blend of brown and grizzly Whiting 100


Mahogany Dun Hatch Matcher 

Hook:                   Daiichi 1110, sizes 14-16

Thread:                8/0 Uni-Thread:  Dark Brown or Camel

Rib:                       Copper Crystal Flash (optional)

Body:                    Mallard flank feather dyed medium or dark brown

Hackle:                 Whiting 100:  Dark Dun, Black, Brown or Brown Dyed Grizzly


Purple Haze Hatch Matcher 

Hook:                    Daiichi 1110, sizes 14-20

Thread:                 8/0 Uni-Thread:  Purple

Body:                     Mallard flank feather dyed purple

Hackle:                  Whiting 100:  Grizzly


Black Hatch Matcher 

Hook:                     Daiichi 1110, sizes 14-22

Thread:                  8/0 Uni-Thread:  Black

Body:                      Mallard flank feather dyed black; Starling for smaller sizes

Hackle:                   Whiting 100:  Black 


June 25TH Double R Fishing Report

Wednesday, June 25, 2014:

Over the past week I have begun to see a few of the White Miller Caddis which usually blanket Silver Creek in early June.  Yeesterday morning there was a bona fide flight of White Miller Caddis down in the field water.  I have no explanation for the relatively late emergence of White Miller Caddis this season.  I would have expected an early hatch this year due to the low creek level which has warmed the water, particularly downstream of Highway 20.  But, I feel the White Miller Caddis is about to become a significant event in our daily fishing.  Keep your eyes open, particularly in the evening.

The term “White Miller Caddis” is a label applied to the family of caddis flies featuring antennae unusually long for a caddis fly, also colloquially known as the Long Horned Caddis.  The species we encounter early season on Silver Creek is the Oecetis.  A similar but somewhat smaller species distributed all over Yellowstone National Park and nearby waters is the Nectopsyche.    

On Silver Creek the initial hatches of the White Miller usually occur during the first week of June but may be present on Opening Day if Spring arrives early.  The conventional wisdom at Point of Rocks is that the Brown Drake hatch will start 4 or 5 days after the onset of the White Miller emergence.  This season the Brown Drakes preceded the White Millers, if the White Millers have yet even came off at Point of Rocks.  

A hot afternoon winding down into a warm evening is the prescription for a dense White Miller hatch in the evening.  One will see swarms of White Millers dancing over the creek surface in the morning, often before the day’s mayfly hatch.  In the evening there can be a thick emergence, often a blizzard hatch blanketing the creek from bank to bank, from the Gazebo Bridge (Beat #14) down to Beat 10 or 11.  

Your Stream Keeper finds the White Miller to be one of the most difficult caddis to bring to the dry fly, at least in the morning.  I’ve had only sporadic success with standard caddis patterns such as the X Caddis, the EZ Caddis or the Elk Hair Caddis.  In fact, my effort to solve the “White Miller dry problem” led me to develop my “Nectarine” series of caddis dries which turned out to work well on every species of caddis except White Millers.  I have much better success with the White Miller flights on Silver Creek by running a #10 Pheasant Tail Soft Hackle subsurface under egg laying flights of White Miller caddis; a size 14 might be a better choice this season given the low creek conditions.  I have a theory that the fish you see swirling below clouds of White Millers or coming out of the water are really chasing White Miller Caddis making their way to the surface.  That could be why swinging a soft hackle can be so effective.  Last year when the White Millers emerged in force below the Gazebo Bridge I had a succession of four nights where in the two hours before dark I landed 21, 17, 19 and 31 trout, respectively.  So, once the White Miller hatch is upon us, don’t hesitate to come down and fish the evening hatch, err flight, of White Millers.

Doug Andres

Stream Keeper

June 23RD Double R Fishing Report

Monday, June 23, 2014:

Only 15 more shopping days until Trico Season. . . .   

This miniscule mayfly, the favorite of many Silver Creek devotees, surely will come off early this season.  There already are rumors of sightings up on the Nature Conservancy Preserve.  Now is the time to re-organize your Trico box, replenishing your inventory of old standbys and picking up some new patterns to make the hunt interesting.  Your friends at Picabo Angler fly shop will assist you in preparations for Trico Madness.  


When one considers just how small the Trico mayfly measures, it is mystifying that huge trout exhibit tunnel vision when the Trico hatches.  The serious fly angler is captivated by the Trico, some following Tricos around the West.  An angler has to be serious if Trico hatches are the quarry as early mornings are mandated; press the “snooze” button a few times and one is out of luck.  Success with fishing the Trico hatch requires a different presentation than other mayfly emergences and detailed knowledge about the developmental stages of both sexes of the insect.  The Trico hatch on Silver Creek is world famous and a supreme test of the angler’s skill set and knowledge.  It calls for 12 to 15 foot leaders with three to four foot tippets of 6X or 7X material, an extremely cautious approach, and skillful presentation.  


Tricos fall in the “crawler” category of mayflies.  The nymphs are feeble swimmers at best, always preferring to crawl unless they become dislodged from their hold on rock substrate or lose their grip on aquatic vegetation.  Tricos emerge from the nymphal stage various manners.  Many hatch in open water in the surface film.  Others crawl up weed beds toward the surface, leaving the exoskeleton just beneath the surface.  Some Tricos simply crawl out of the water on rocks or on the protruding vegetation which has developed on Silver Creek by mid-summer.  None of these emergence methods seem to prompt trout to selectively feed on nymphs.  Trico nymphs generally are light to dark brown in color and are only 1/8 to 3/8 inches in length.  

However, trout can be taken on Trico nymph patterns well before the hatch begins.  An effective nymph pattern for Tricos would be tied in sizes 18 to 24, with tan to dark brown fur dubbing picked out at the thorax, and 3 pheasant tail fibers for the tailing.  The classic nymph pattern is Rene Harrop’s Trico Nymph.  If you have reason to believe that the Trico hatch is fairly imminent, make the cast cross stream or quarter it down, mending so that the fly is dead drifted.  A strike indicator can help the beginning angler respond to the subtle takes common with trout taking the Trico nymph, or one can fish the nymph as a dropper off a Trico Dun pattern or terrestrials like ants and beetles.  


All Trico addicts have days when they simply cannot hook a trout despite trying all manner of dun and spinner patterns, the two most common types of flies that anglers rely on for Trico action.  We fail to realize that there are times when trout feed on emergers in preference to winged adults or Trico spinners, as trout do with other mayfly hatches.  What is it about the Trico hatch which causes the piscatorial quarterback to fail to read the defense?   Be on the lookout for rise forms and bubbles which are sure signs of surface takes, then follow the float of a few duns to see if any of them disappear.  If you see bubbles but no duns go down, then it may be time to try an emerger pattern. 

Harrop’s “CDC Trico Emerger” can be very effective in these circumstances, as it will suspend in the surface film.  The abdomen of olive dubbing (synthetic preferable) represents the female which is what trout will see almost exclusively in their early morning feeding) the thorax is dark brown dubbing and the wing is a tuft of white or gray CDC (a great situation to use CDC “oiler puffs,” tied in by the stem and trimmed to one’s liking).  Alternatively, just add a piece of white or gray polypro yarn or a tuft of CDC when tying your preferred un-weighted Trico nymph, so as to represent the unfolding wings of the emerging nymph.

A good presentation strategy for the Trico emerger is to position one’s self directly upstream of working trout and cast downstream directly into the feeding lane in front of a single fish.  Try to cast in line with the rhythmic feeding behavior of the targeted trout.  It is preferable to employ a cast which provides slack tippet so that micro-currents do not create drag.  


Female Trico duns typically emerge early morning and molt into spinners within a few minutes to an hour, the precise timing being temperature dependent.  Most anglers arrive on the creek just in time for the flight of spinners, often not casting until swarms of “spinners” hover over the bank and water surface, resembling medieval towers.  These anglers are missing out on some of the best fishuing of the Trico hatch; get there early.  The color of the female’s abdomen is light green with a dark brown thorax.  When fishing dun patterns In the morning one should use green bodied flies to imitate the (female) dun because the dark brown bodied male dun usually does not hatch until evening (and sometimes after dark).  We’re talking about patterns tied in sizes 20 to 24.  

Female dun patterns which can be very effective on Silver Creek include:  a green or olive bodied Hatchmatcher; the Trico Sparkle Dun; the Trico No Hackle; A.K. Best’s Trico Quill Dun; the Trico Female Dun (tied with wings of light blue dun hackle tips).  On a good day with a thick hatch of female duns the angler can approach relatively close to trout feeding on duns because the trout may be distracted fleets of Trico Duns floating downstream.


When the female duns complete the molting process they will fly into the often large swarms of male spinners hovering over the creek or forming “towers” over solid ground, and mate randomly.  Male spinners will “fall” onto the creek immediately after mating, before the female spinners.  This is because after mating the female spinners spend a half hour to an hour in the riparian zone waiting for the fertilized eggs to ripen before returning creek to deposit her eggs.  The female Trico spinners are olive in color while the male Trico spinner is dark brown to black.  One should be armed with both colors whether your favorite spinner pattern has white wings made of clear antron, white polypro, CDC, Zelon or hen hackle.  Another twist is to fish double winged spinner patterns which can be tied on #16 hooks!  The Trico Hatchmatcher is an excellent pattern for fishing the spinner fall.

Progressive Strategy for Trico Success.  

  1. Get on the creek early in the morning. It can be worth it!
  2. Before the dun hatch, fish nymphs.
  3. Fish an emerger when you suspect trout are keying on emergers.
  4. Then fish a green bodied dun pattern.
  5. When trout begin to refuse a green bodied dun pattern which has been working and Trico spinners are in the air, consider switching to a dark brown or black bodied spinner pattern.  
  6. Later switch to an olive spinner pattern.
  7. Fish a 12 to 16 foot leader with a 6X or 7X tippet.
  8. Land and release your fish quickly.  Don’t handle trout.  The heat of August can exhaust trout and kill them.  

Doug Andres

Stream Keeper


Thursday, June 12, 2014:

The persistent wind made the morning fishing on the Double R Ranch water slow this morning.  I was greeted by a flight of medium sized egg laying caddis so I swam soft hackles under them and in front of the few swirling trout that were interested in the caddis.  It looked to me like the beginning of the White Miller Caddis hatch.  My #14 “Who Knows Freaking Why” soft hackle did not result in any takes, so I switched to a #14 Pheasant Tail soft hackle and landed three small trout before the wind came up really strong.  Some trout were rising with authority in the water behind my trailer (Beat #13).


Up until yesterday the Double R Ranch was operating the new dam by pouring 100 percent of the pond release over the top of the dam.  In an effort to test the effect of the new dam, we started a 20 percent bottom release and also released additional pond water from the sluice gate on the north bank.  Greg Loomis’ measurement at the Gazebo bridge was 2.5 degrees colder than the temperature at Kilpatrick Bridge . . . meaning that the water is cooler on the Double R Ranch than on the Nature Conservancy Preserve!  

One inconvenience of the dam during this experiment was that the level of the Pond would fluctuate, necessitating a series of manual adjustments of the gates of the dam.  However, we are purchasing a computerized automatic gate adjustment system (at a cost of $5,000) which will end the need to make manual gate adjustments and allow us to achieve as much as 100 percent bottom release.  I will let you know about the extent of the additional incremental water temperature reduction.  

Yesterday afternoon trout were rising all along the new island on the north side of The Pond.  I have heard rumors of hatching Callibaetis on The Pond but have not personally confirmed the sightings.  The hatch should happen any day now.  

Doug Andres

Stream Keeper

June 4 Double R Report

Monday, June 3, 2014:

The Brown Drake hatch downstream of Highway 20 has moved up to the Willows and beyond, but is still strong.  On the Ranch water, the Pale Morning Dun hatch has strengthened and become consistent.  You can bet on the bugs coming off by 10:00 a.m.  They are large now.  The other day I had trout “nose” my #18 PMD CDC Winged parachute and after a half dozen refusals I ratcheted up the size of my fly to a #14 and that did the trick.  So, go with the big fly. 


The PMD hatch is your Stream Keeper’s favorite hatch of the season next to Trico Madness.  The bug is large and the imitation is easily visible to the angler.  I don’t mess around with “emergers,” “cripples,” nymphs or the like.  It is a hatch for drifting Dun imitations and due to the force of the take of larger trout I never use a tippet smaller than 6X.  Why lose fish?  But, I do use a Trout Hunter 14 foot leader.  In a recent testing analysis conducted by Fly Fisherman, Trout Hunter leaders and tippet material were rated Number One.  You can find them at Picabo Angler.  Why risk losing the season’s largest trout on runner up leader material?

It seems like each June we get a surge of windy days which make fishing the PMD hatch unnecessarily challenging.  I remember one June when it blew for 10 straight days.  But, you can view a breezy day as an opportunity.  The riffled water surface seems to make some of the trout brazen.  Throw a large PMD imitation onto the broken water, like a size 14 or even a size 12.  You can even use a bushy Light Cahill that you employ on freestone streams or big rivers.  The trout can see the fly in the refraction of the broken water, but not enough to scare the fish away, and you can see it, too.  You can get away with a big tippet, a good thing to do this season with low water conditions.  An alternate tactic is to be very observant of trout rising in the calm flat water that the wind does not disturb.  You will not only find trout taking PMDs in the middle of the calm water, but also at the edge of the “seam” created by the wind and then there are my favorite targets, the Evil Bank Risers.  The other day I spent a half hour on a single bank riser before finally landing the 18 inch Brown trout on a #16 PMD Hatchmatcher. 

The choice of fly pattern is less important to the trout than it is to your confidence level in the fly.  Year in and year out, I have the most confidence in a fly that I call my CDC Winged Parachute, in sizes 14 to 18.  For your tyers: the tail is 4 or 5 light or medium dun MicroFibbets or similar tailing material; the wings are fashioned from pulled down CDC feathers (the best is Trout Hunter CDC); the body is either Light Cahill 8/0 Uni-Thread or dubbing; the parachute hackle is light or medium dun (I use Whiting 100 saddle hackles);  For added durability, after completion of the fly be sure to coat the CDC wings with head cement. 

Other PMD imitations that have been successful in my experience include:  the PMD Sparkle Dun; the PMD Hatchmatcher; the PMD Hackle Stacker; the PMD Comparadun; the Light Cahill; various PMD parachute patterns.

Doug Andres