Welcome angling friend.
Since I discovered my father's steamer trunk full of feathers and hooks at six years old, fly fishing became a lifelong passion. Rummaging through dads old trunk, I was spellbound with the fly boxes belonging to my father and grandfather which were neatly organized with rows of soft feathers so skillfully affixed to sharp yet dangerous hooks. I remember watching my father in hip waders make fly casts targeting likely spots on Colorado’s Crystal River. Dad could cast a weightless fly so deftly allowing it to gently land on the surface leaving no disturbance at all. I recall watching the fly dancing on the water's surface as it floated downstream in anticipation that, at any moment, a trout would leap free of the water and smash it. Almost on cue, a trout would rise to the surface and suck that fly into its mouth. Father would set the hook and a crimson flanked rainbow trout would leap across the pool spraying water through the air.
My father preferred to catch rainbow trout to any other fish and more specifically, rainbow trout from streams flowing from the top of the Rocky Mountains. My father suddenly passed away when I was 14, so I left Colorado for a new home in Oregon. I spent 30 years chasing rainbow trout on Oregon's large rivers. In Oregon, however, the rainbow trout I pursued migrated to the ocean to grow large and strong to return as wild steelhead. A Steelhead is a rainbow trout growing much larger than any trout in Colorado could easily grow.
Oregon was a wonderful place to live and raise my daughter. Though it was not so lovely while trying to live the fly fisherman’s lifestyle. A hard truth occurred to me: fishing pressure became so extreme during the spey fishing revolution of the 90’s and into the 2000’s that it seemed as if someone was waving a 12-foot pole in every productive run of steelhead water. The numbers of returning steelhead were dismal compared to the sheer numbers of anglers pursuing them, and the politics of salmon in Oregon was deep. I had to compete with anglers spaced every 200 yards on a twelve-mile stretch of river to possibly find an open slot to catch, perhaps, a single fish, or two if it was a strong return that year. When anglers, including myself, started open carrying of firearms just to keep other anglers from low holing them, it was time to hit the road.
After 30 years of dealing with intense fishing pressure on limited resources or extra long drives to find a productive trout stream with relative solitude, I returned to my natal waters. Like a steelhead, I returned to family territory settled by my elders to fish the rivers of my grandfather on the Western Slope of Colorado.
In my 40 years as a devoted fly fishing junkie, I have studied hundreds of books, read thousands of magazines and browsed countless blogs in pursuit of fly fishing knowledge. I have earned degrees in fisheries science and ultimately contemplate chasing a PhD in a fisheries related subject, though I would miss the time I get to spend on the river. Most importantly, I log thousands of hours every year actually fishing and guiding. I have combined my education and experience as a fisheries scientist to bring you as much information as possible to help you become a better fisherman.
This website is about offering to you the proven fly patterns that fill my own fly boxes. I also write a blog section where I have added several valuable articles that can improve your fly fishing game. I have articles on reading the water, speaking a common language of science, protecting our fisheries and a small dose of fly fishing ethics which should help us all get along a little better.
John P. Newbury
The Tactical Fly Fishing REVOLUTION is Here
adjective tac·ti·cal \ ˈtak-ti-kəl \
of or relating to tactics: such as.
- small-scale actions serving a larger purpose .
- made or carried out with only a limited or immediate end in view.
- adroit in planning or maneuvering to accomplish a purpose.
The tactical revolution began long ago in the European competition fly fishing circuit and as the fishing tactics have improved, so has the popularity of fishing them around the world. Modern tactical fly patterns have also evolved to best suit the various methods being used on the competition circuit. I am pleased to offer fly patterns that have been developed by some of the best anglers and myself. Some flies are new, while others battle tested. Through trial, error and continual development -- not to mention thousands of hours actually fishing with them -- the patterns I am offering are the best performers that I know of and all are personally tied by me to my exacting standards.I am confident that you will catch a lot of fish while using them