Northwest Fly Tyer

The fly tying pages of Monte Smith

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    • Blue Devil Variant tied by Davie McPhail
      Tied by: Davie McPhail Originated by: Carrie Stevens Hook: Partridge CS15 #2 Thread: 8/0 White (underbody) Tag: Silver flat braid Body:Black 6/0 (140d) Rib: Silver flat Tinsel Belly: White bucktail Underwing: Peacock herl Under-shoulder: Teal blue hackle fibers Throat: Teal blue hackle fibers Wing: 2 light olive hackles flanked by teal blue hackles Shoulder: […]
    • Blueback trout Thunder Creek Minnow
      The Thunder Creek series of flies was created by fisherman and commercial tyer Keith Fulsher of Eastchester, NY. The fly was developed because he felt the standard minnow tying method of a large thread head with painted eyes didn’t properly represent the naturals. Keith’s reverse tied bucktails added detail and allowed for a variety of ...Continue reading […]
    • John Gierach’s Little Brown Trout Bucktail
      “The solution to any problem — work, love, money, whatever — is to go fishing, and the worse the problem, the longer the trip should be.” -John Gierach John Gierach’s Little Brown Trout is a classic for both bass and trout anglers. The bucktail was developed alongside the Gierach Special bucktail. John originally tied this ...Continue reading
    • Book Alert – Herbert L. Welch: Black Ghosts and Art in a Maine Guide’s Wilderness
      The long-awaited book from authors Graydon Hilyard and Leslie Hilyard has been announced and is ready to hit shelves on December 1st, 2018. “Herbert L. Welch: Black Ghosts and Art in a Maine Guide’s Wilderness”, documents the infamous Maine outdoorsman and his many talents. In addition to boeing a talented fly tyer, Herbie is well-known ...Continue reading […]
    • Liggett Special Bucktail
      I first saw this fly pattern years ago while reading an article on GlobalFlyFisher written by Mike Martinek. Mike stated that he preferred to fish the Liggett Special over the Mickey Finn and claimed it as one of his all-time favorite bucktails. The bucktail was named for one Mr. Liggett, a Hathaway Shirt Co foreman. ...Continue reading
    • Martinek, Warner and Leight Flies on Auction
      This is another post for those of you hunting for some new streamers for your collection. We found a few nice specimens from Mike Martinek, Jim Warner, and Larry Leight. Larry Leight Streamer Flies Larry Leight West Trout Brook You can check out the rest of the streamers he has on offer here – Larry ...Continue reading


stevenson-class8I was introduced to fly fishing by my grandfather at the age of twelve.  We spent the first week or two of summer vacations camping and fishing along the Deschutes River in Central Oregon.  I dabbled in fly tying a bit through my late teens, but never really got serious about it until the early 1990’s.  My how things have changed!

I’ve tied and tried so many types of flies – you know how that goes.  Anything “new” or re-discovered that comes along…I must tie it.  A new material?  I feel the need to use it.  The latest bizarre pattern that caught the only hard-earned fish on a given trip…of course it is copied, placed into the fly box, and readied for future use.  It’s a bit of an addiction, perhaps.  Fly Tyer’s Anonymous would have huge membership, no doubt!

Though I now tend to specialize in classic Atlantic Salmon patterns, that may seem to sell the allure of fly tying short.  The mood to tie other styles often strikes, from go-to trout patterns, bluegill bugs for my kids and me to put to use, or a batch of steelhead flies for the next outing.  I’m enthused by all of it, bored by none of it.  It’s all good.

I have always worked at tying a wide range of flies.  It’s ever challenging, and it keeps my mind fresh and engaged.  I love tying both classic and modern Speys and Dees, featherwing streamers in the mold of Carrie Stevens, steelhead flies old and new, tube flies, Waddingtons,  classic winged wets, old country soft hackles, and any and all of the latest and greatest patterns to fill my fly boxes.

As a proud member of the Daiichi Hooks Pro Staff,  I am very happy to recommend their quality products.  Bill Chase is a great guy who takes care of us tyers as we all work together to spread the word about Daiichi.  They carry a large line of hooks in many different styles.  If you have not tried any of their excellent quality hooks, I highly recommend you give them a try.  I’m sure there is a model or ten that would be useful to your tying.


I love passing along what has been shared with me or what I have learned.  Known as a bit of the ‘professor-type,’ I have taught a number of classes over the years, demonstrated at shows great and small,  contributed flies to various websites, been fortunate to have some flies published in books, and generally work to better my skills and understanding of our great craft/vocation/passion constantly.  But I’m just a fly tyer.  And I’d like to share some resources, thoughts, and ideas here.

I hope this blog will serve as fodder for creative fly tying minds out there, and perhaps a resource for budding enthusiasts.

Off to the tying bench…

Monte Smith
Halsey, Oregon

TRADING FLIES – Anybody interested in trading flies?  Want to share a unique pattern or two?  A streamer? A favorite trout, steelhead or salmon fly?   I enjoy seeing flies from all over the country (and world), particularly local favorites that may not get the pub of the ‘latest and greatest’ patterns hyped by the fly fishing press.  Of course, I also like to see the latest and greatest patterns hyped by the fly fishing press!

I’ve had wonderful exchanges with tyers over the years, from some really sweet flatwing streamers from Rhode Island, a beautiful Balmoral Dee, countless trout and steelhead fishing flies to a full-dress Jock Scott tied on a big stainless circle hook!  Streamers, emergers, wet flies, tubes, dries, Waddingtons, doubles, etc……you name it.  I love them all.  Nothing better than getting a “present” in the mail and enjoying other tyers’ handiwork.

Fly tyers are a great bunch of people, willing to share with one another techniques, materials, patterns, and everything that fires us up about this hobby.  So if you’re interested at all in a trading a fly or two, drop me an email at


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