Author Archive

Jumpin’ Jack Flash Tutorial

Jumpin’ Jack Flash Tutorial

Many of the patterns I tie are born during the fishing season. They are the result of something that happened on the water, or a pattern I wanted to improve. Jumpin’ Jack Flash was not one of those patterns. It was born on a cold winter day of fun tying with the kids. They had […]


Jumpin’ Jack Flash

Jumpin’ Jack Flash

Jumpin’ Jack Flash became one of my favorite patterns for muskie last year. Its flashy so it gets attention, and it swims erratically so its gets eaten.  Tutorial coming soon.  - Matt


What About The Bait?

What About The Bait?

Like my last post, this one starts with a common question in the fly shop or during an instructional.  The question is centered around how I gained an understanding of how fish behave.  “How did you learn these things?”  My answer, by fishing bait.  It is an answer that often raises eyebrows or causes a smirk. Fishing […]


Poke The Bear

Poke The Bear

  I have been asked, “Whats the key to streamer fishing for big trout?”  This could be a lengthy discussion, but to me it really comes down to one thing…getting them to eat when they don’t want to.  The best streamer fisherman I know do this on a regular basis.  When streamer fishing is “on”, […]


History Always Repeats Itself

History Always Repeats Itself

When asked where I was raised, I often answer, “In a boat.” My parents took my us fishing whenever possible. I think I was in my teens before I realized it wasn’t weird to take a vacation not centered around hunting and fishing. Maybe I’m still not fully convinced it isn’t. As a kid, I […]


Fish Heads, Fish Heads, Rolly-Polly Fish Heads

Fish Heads, Fish Heads, Rolly-Polly Fish Heads

Sesame Street anyone?  I like fish faces.  I like the unique qualities each one possesses, like a fingerprint.  This is why I love to photograph them.  Here is sampling from the past last few seasons…


Dub-Rub

Dub-Rub

Playing with a mix of Granato’s Chub Dub and rubber legs.


Streamer Architecture

Streamer Architecture

  I am frequently asked what my thought process is when tying a streamer, especially when it comes to larger flies.  My brain works in a scattered fashion, so I imagine I often cause more confusion than clarity.  When helping a friend figure out the basics for teaching a streamer tying class for beginners, I […]


Knight Rider Tutorial

Knight Rider Tutorial

Mousing for browns in Michigan is a night game. And while big hair balls get attention, they don’t hook up as well. I first started playing around with patterns that weren’t as hard for the trout to engulf.  Patterns inspired by Gartside Gurglers.  That worked, but I still wasn’t happy with my rolled/hookup ratio. That […]


Fighting Off The Shakes

Fighting Off The Shakes

  Muskie season in the upper midwest feels like its years away.  Looking through old photos isn’t helping, but like any addict, I can’t help myself.   Here’s a sampling from my brothers and I over the last couple seasons.


The Blacker The Better

The Blacker The Better

A common question among fly fishers is, “Dude, if you could pick one color fly, what would it be?” This is an easy answer for me. Anything black. If I can’t fish black, then I would try black. Then maybe black. My affection for black stems from the various water conditions in Michigan. You will […]


The Big Fly Threshold

The Big Fly Threshold

I’m a big fly guy. I love tying them, I love fishing them. We (fly fishing community) are constantly testing the boundary of big flies, and rewriting the definition. I remember years ago when I thought a 4″ Madonna was big fly. Now, I would consider it a small fly. But is there a point […]


Yard Sale Tutorial

Yard Sale Tutorial

  The Yard Sale is a spin off of a fly I tie called the Fur Trader.  It is tied in a similar fashion (stacking materials), but it was inspired by my daughter.  She is a big fan of visiting fly shops, and has been since she was old enough to walk and talk.  It […]


The Brothers Brown

The Brothers Brown

My brothers and I had the pleasure of working with film maker, Rob Thompson, of Third Year Fly Fisher.  He is responsible for such films as Zero 2 Hero, The Heart of the Driftless, and Night of the Hex.  Rob is a pretty damn cool dude and was fun to work with.  Here is the […]


Under The Influence

Under The Influence

I think its safe to say that all modern day fly tiers have influences.  Similar to a band.  We have people that taught us how to tie our first fly, and we have people that help us push the limits of the flies we tie.  I still remember when my older brother, Eric, got a […]


I Am Haunted By Streamers

I Am Haunted By Streamers

  Streamer ideas haunt me.  They get in my head and drive me crazy until I get them out.  I’ve been know to get out of bed in the middle of the night, and sit at the vise.  I’ve found sketching them can help, but it can also make things worse.  I am a terrible […]


Release

Release

A beautiful late fall muskie heading back into the chilly water.  


Sparkle Dad Tutorial

Sparkle Dad Tutorial

The woolly bugger was one of the first flies I ever tied.  It taught me a tying technique that I would apply many times over the year.  it was almost my favorite smallmouth fly back in the day.  Eventually, I want to add some tweaks.  Mostly, more movement and a bigger profile.  The Sparkle Dad […]


Rule Breakers

Rule Breakers

The easiest rule to learn about muskies is:  they don’t care about the rules.   There are definitely “rules” you can follow to increase the odds of getting a muskie to eat.  And there are a lot of them.  Muskie fisherman are perhaps the most guilty of over analyzing when a fish will eat.  Moonrise, moonset, […]


Predator

Predator

Won’t be long before ice up and this rod will finally get put away.  I sees a lot of time on open water.


Stuck With Each Other

Stuck With Each Other

  As a kid growing up, my brothers and I were more or less forced to fish together.  My parents didn’t want us fishing alone.  Most of the time it wasn’t an issue.  Other times, like all brothers, there was drama.  Who had to row, where we would fish, how we would fish, should we […]


Sparkle-dads

Sparkle-dads

One of my favorite crayfish imitations for trout and bass.


Beer Heals All Wounds

Beer Heals All Wounds

A good friend was recently faced with a conundrum.  Here’s the short version…his line from a local shop was on backorder.  For the inconvenience, the shop guy offered up his own line for the day.  My buddy got a snag, and 18″ of the front taper of a streamer line broke off.  No big deal…or […]


Last fly off the vise

Last fly off the vise

A GBGH heading to Minnesota.