Fly Of The Year

by | Mar 20, 2015 | 6 comments


This post is from contributing author, Pat Burke

There were not many good fishing options with the high flows, but I wasn’t going to pass up the beautiful weather on Monday.  I decided to drive out of town a bit to find more manageable flows and hopefully some big fish.  As luck would have it, I found a little bit of both.

Before I dive into this unbelievable day on the water, I need to provide some background info for the story I am about to tell.  Dom and I are members of a private online forum with a handful of other close friends.  On this forum we discuss techniques, catalog our days on the water, and work together to come up with ways to solve everyday problems encountered on the stream.  What started as just a few friends talking fishing, has developed into an invaluable tool for driving innovation and making us all better fisherman.  It’s amazing how much faster you can figure out the best techniques for any given condition when you have a half dozen guys experimenting and reporting back their findings.  The great thing about the forum is it is private, so there is no need to worry about spot burning or giving your secrets out to the masses.  If you don’t already belong to a private forum, I highly recommend you start one with a few close, trustworthy friends.

On the forum we had a vote for best new fly of 2014.  Of course, I voted for the headbanger sculpin due to the great year I had with it.  Well I ended up being severely outnumbered.  Everyone else on the forum voted for a vile, disgusting junk fly.  Yes, I’ll admit the fly catches fish.  In fact, it is an absolute stocked trout magnet.  It also takes wild fish regularly in the right conditions.  However, my biggest reservation with it was we never seemed to get anything big on it. Well, that is until my Monday morning trip this week.

I happened to have my rod rigged up with this fly from a previous outing.  When I arrived on the water, I figured I’d give it a try for a few minutes.  I only expected to have the fly on for a few casts before I’d change to a more respectable fly.  Well as luck would have it, first cast I took a really nice fish on it.


It really had to be a fluke.  No big fish ever takes this fly.  I changed out a few minutes later and spent the next half an hour cycling flies and not doing much.  It warmed up a bit so I stopped at the car to shed some layers.  While putting my pack back on, I caught sight of that despicable, dirty junk fly on my chest patch.  No one else was around to ridicule me for using the ultimate of junk flies, so I put it back on.  Wouldn’t you know a few short minutes later it took another good fish.


And another…


And another…


By this point I wouldn’t have cared who seen me fishing that fly.  I was NOT taking the fly off my line. Strangely for all of the small fish that took the fly last year, not a single one took it today.  Every fish caught was respectable.


DSC_0869 - Copy


I finished up fishing by mid afternoon and by that point I was a true believer in this magical little fly.  If we would have had a re-vote on our forum, I know I would have changed my vote!

So I’m betting by now you are wondering what the fly is.  Here it is in all it’s infinite glory.


Just kidding, I found that in a tree…  The truth is I’m still too embarrassed to admit that I was using that abomination of a fly.  There is no way I’m going to admit to using such a filthy fly on the open internet for everyone to see.  Never.

Pat Burke

Share This Article . . .

Since 2014 and 600 articles deep
Troutbitten is a free resource for all anglers
Your support is greatly appreciated

– Explore These Post Tags –

Domenick Swentosky

Central Pennsylvania

Hi. I’m a father of two young boys, a husband, author, fly fishing guide and a musician. I fish for wild brown trout in the cool limestone waters of Central Pennsylvania year round. This is my home, and I love it. Friends. Family. And the river.

More from this Category

Relocation as a Productive Fishing Strategy

Relocation as a Productive Fishing Strategy

** This post is from contributing author, Pat Burke. ** Twenty minutes after I posted the Take Five article, last week, I received this message from my friend, Pat Burke: “Just so you know, I strongly disagree with your post today.” He followed that with a smiley...

Deja Vu- What You Can Learn From Taking A Photo

Deja Vu- What You Can Learn From Taking A Photo

** This post is from contributing author, Pat Burke. ** With the advances in camera equipment and the rise of social media as a way of sharing photos, photography is becoming a larger part of the fly fishing experience.  It is a simple way to convey your experiences...

An Interview With Rich Strolis — Catching Shadows

An Interview With Rich Strolis — Catching Shadows

** This post is from contributing author, Pat Burke. ** Rich Strolis is known around the fly fishing community for his innovative patterns.  There is a long list of flies that have his name on them: the Ice Pick, Busted Stone, Hog Snare, Rock Candy Larva, Cellar...

Chillin’ With Montana Matt

Chillin’ With Montana Matt

This post is from contributing author, Pat Burke. Back in August I was moping around the house for weeks straight belly aching about how much I missed Grobe. I made a point to bring it up at least a couple times a week to my wife. My whole surreptitious plan was to...

What do you think?

Be part of the Troutbitten community of ideas.
Be helpful. And be nice.


  1. All this build up of the despicable, dirty, junk fly and it’s still a mystery! Haha. Awesome day on the water. Keep the great reads comin guys.

  2. The junkier the better! Flies don’t catch fish. Only down and dirty, good fishermen do. Please tease us some more!

  3. Gotta be a mop fly, right? 😉

  4. He gave it away when he said stocked trout magnet- the Squirmy….when I finally fished it this year the first time, I tied up 3 of them in a rush before a trip. I had 20 minutes before my buddy came. The first one caught me 47 fish in a stretch maybe 200′ long. It’s silly how they devour it.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Articles

Recent Posts

Pin It on Pinterest