Monday, April 23, 2018

Midwest Fly Fishing Schools- Our Sponsors

We would like to thank the following companies for their friendship, support and sponsorship. We are honored to have their endorsement for our efforts. Without them, what we do would not be possible.

Please join us in supporting them in return.

The world's largest supplier of fly rods! Rick Pope and company have always been supportive of what we do and we are thrilled to be partnered with them in this venture. Our students will be learning to cast on quality TFO equipment.

A leader in fly line technology! The folks at Scientific Anglers have been friends and supporters for years and we are glad to have them on board. We will be using SA lines, leaders and tippet for all of our schools and classes. With pride!

Simms is one of the most recognized names in the fly fishing industry and we are truly grateful for their support. Waders, boots, sportswear and more. Our instructors will be wearing Simms! 

It's not only the support of these companies that is appreciated. It is the un-dying support of our friends and reps that help to make this all happen.

From TFO we'd like to thank our reps, Ray Schmidt and Kate Smith. They have helped us grow the brand immensely the past few years and we couldn't to it without them. Also Rick Pope and Frank-Paul from the home offices in Dallas. Your guys support is amazing!

From Scientific Anglers we'd like to thank our Rep, Park Burson and of course the new President Brad Befus. Brad, your support and enthusiasm all these years for what we do around here is soooo appreciated.

And last but not least, Kim and Tony Ferrie, our Simms reps, single handedly made this happen for us and for this we are grateful. We couldn't do this without you guys!

Mad River Outfitters/Midwest Fly Fishing Schools

Fly Shop, Fly Fishing Guides, Hosted Fly Fishing Travel, Schools, Classes and more!

813 Bethel Rd.
Columbus, Ohio 43214


Saturday, April 21, 2018

Fly Tying- The Quill Body Nymph

Quill Body Nymph- Hendrickson

This is a fly I have been tying now for a few years and using it during the early Spring and into the season as the hatches around here progress. It is a really simple pattern but I think it's damn sexy and has served me well. The UV resin coating is of course what brings it to life and I find myself using this stuff on most nymphs these days. I also love the Thin Skin as the wing case and another product I use alot of. I do tie these in a bead-head and non-bead version. The color I'm showing here does pretty well for the Hendricksons but I also tie a Sulpher #16 and a BWO #18 version. I just change up the colors and size of hook, otherwise, the tying is the same of course.

Like I said, nothing special here that I necessarily invented, just a sexy little nymph that catches fish. Play around with the colors and sizes and let me know what you come up with! 

Brian Flechsig- April 2018

Quill Body Nymph Recipe: 

Hook: Tiemco 5262 #14-  Click Here 
*of course any quality 2X long nymph hook will do the trick
#16 for the Sulpher and #18 for the BWO
Thread: 8/0 Uni Thread- Click Here 
Ultra Thread 70 denier or Vevus 12/0 works fine also
Tail: Whiting Farms Coq DeLeon Hen Saddle- Click Here
Natural Brown on the Henny and Fl. Green Chartreuse on the Sulpher and BWO
Abdomen: Standard Quill Stem- Rusty Quill-  Click Here
Rib: Fine Copper Wire-  Click Here
* gold on the Sulpher and BWO 
UV Resin: Loon Thin UV or equivalent-  Click Here
Wing Case: Thin Skin- Mottled Bustard- Natural-  Click Here
Thorax: Ice Dub- Golden Brown-  Click Here
Optional Bead: Flymen Real Fly Beads- 1/8" Pink-  Click Here
7/64" Caddis Green on the Sulpher and 3/32" Caddis Green on the BWO 
Legs: Whiting Farms Coq DeLeon Hen Saddle- same as tail-  Click Here

1. Start your thread as you normally do and wrap back to the bend of the hook. The thread should hang right at the barb.

2. Select a feather from the Coq DeLeon Hen Saddle and cut off "a bunch" of fibers to be used for the tail. This is usally a chunk about the same width as the hook gap to give an idea. 

3. Tie in the tail at the bend of the hook using the pinch method. Wrap over the butts to secure and then wrap your thread back to the bend. 

4. Tie in the thin Copper Wire at the bend, secure up the shank and again bring the thread back to the bend of the hook. This will be used as the rib over the quill body.

5. You should have your quills soaking as you begin tying. I usually let them sit in water for 5-6 minutes or so before I need them. Watch the video for a bit more on this. I then tie them in at the bend, just like you did the copper wire. Tie it in by the tip, thus it will give you a gorgeous, lifelike taper and segmentation effect. Where you tie it in on the quill will determine the "size" of your segments. Higher on the tip for smaller flies for example. 

Now bring your thread forward to the mid point on the hook shank.

6. Wind the Quill Stem forward to the mid point of the hook shank making sure that each wrap is tight against the previous. Secure with your thread at there and trim the excess. May have to take a few wraps to lash-in and hide the trimmed butt. 

7. Wind the Copper Wire over top of the Quill abdomen as your rib. Always nice to see an evenly spaced rib to accentuate the segmentation. Tie it off an trim the excess as you did the Quill. 

8. Apply a thin coat of the UV Thin to the entire abdomen section and then hit it with your UV Light to cure. 

9. Cut a thin strip of the Thin Skin, obviously long enough to be tied in and folded over as the wing case. The width of this strip should be slightly less than the gap of the hook. You will then trim one end to a point, which allows easier tie-in and also helps ensure that it doesn't bunch up at the rear where you fold it over. 

10. Tie in the Thin Skin on top of the hook shank, right there at the mid-point of the hook shank. You can now also do a quick measurement to ensure that your proportions look good. If the abdomen seems a bit long and the thorax too short, simply wrap back over the thin skin and the abdomen, thus lenthening your thorax. I seem to do this quite often on these. 

11. Dub the thorax with a thin thread of the the Ice Dub. Make sure to leave plenty of room behind the eye as you need to tie off the wing case yet as well as add the legs. Don't crowd the eye.

* If I'm doing a bead head version, I add some Ice Dub behind the bead then tie off the thread. I then re-start the thread in front of the bead and dub a bit more in front of the bead. This places the bead in the proper position with enough room in front as described above.

12. Fold the Thin Skin over the top to form the wing case. Secure with a few wraps of thread and make sure that you wrap back towards the bend as securing. This ensures that you don't cut your thread when you go to trim the excess right behind your thread. I often have to get my micro point scissors in on this to get the final little nubs of Thin Skin out of the way when I trim. 

13. Apply more UV Thin to the Wing Case area and hit with your UV Light. I don't mind being generous with this as it creates a fantastic looking effect. You'll be blown away at how great this looks with the Thin Skin and Ice Dub "glowing" through! 

14. Cut off another "bunch" of Coq DeLeon and you are now going to tie them in as legs. I do one bunch on the side of the nymph closest to me, and one bunch on the far side, of course using the pinch method. I usually rotate my vise a bit which makes the placement a bit easier. Once in place with a few wraps, you can adjust the length as well as make the two bunches fairly even, by pulling on the butts. 

15. Once you have the length set, we are now going to position them in a downward slant. I do this by pinching and positioning them with my thumb and index finger. Hold them in the position you want while wrapping the thread back to secure. This again ensures that you don't cut your thread when you trim the butts. 3-4 wraps usually does the trick. 

Using your Micro Point Scissors, trim the butts as close as you can.

16. Make a few more wraps of thead to clean up the head and cover the remaining butts. You can then finish the fly with your favorite method. As many of you know, I typically just use a few half-hitches and then a few dabs of head cement.  

That's it! The Quill Body Nymph. This has become my "go-to" for Hendricksons, Sulphers and Blue Winged Olives. For the Sulpher I use the Fl. Green Chartreuse Coq DeLeon, Sulpher color Quill and Olive Ice Dub. For the BWO I use the same just switch the Quill color to the BWO.

Try this and let me know your thoughts. I think you're gonna love these....I know the fish do!!!

Watch the Video!

Mad River Outfitters/Midwest Fly Fishing Schools

Fly Shop, Fly Fishing Guides, Hosted Fly Fishing Travel, Schools, Classes and more!

813 Bethel Rd.
Columbus, Ohio 43214



Saturday, April 14, 2018

Fly Tying- The Sandwich Beetle

The Sandwich Beetle

The Sandwich Beetle is a very simple fly that I have been tying for quite some time here and it has served me well. As a guide and instructor, we are always looking for easy and quick flies that produce. This one fits the bill on all three fronts!

As an instructor for the Midwest Fly Fishing Schools, Brian and I do alot of teaching at Sunnybrook Trout Club and Zanesfield Rod and Gun Club here in Ohio and this fly works extremely well at both places. In fact, Brian wanted me to run this fly here so that he could learn how to tie it properly and stock his boxes for the coming season. Now I don't have to fill his box each time we are teaching together! 

BTW- This fly works as well on Bluegill and Panfish as it does trout!!

Again, pretty simple fly that works! Hope you enjoy.

Jerry Darkes- April 2017

* We have been working with Jerry here at MRO for nearly 25 years now. He has been a rep for multiple companies for years as well as a guide, instructor and trip host here in the shop. He is a accomplished author and lecturer and is very well known in the Midwestern Fly Fishing Circuit. 

He is a great friend at the shop and we are honored that he was willing to do a "guest spot" video tutorial for us. You'll be seeing more of him here.

Books by Jerry:

"Fly Fishing the Inland Oceans" - Click Here

"Tying Essential Bass and Panfish Flies" - Click Here

Sandwich Beetle Fly Recipe:

Hook:  Daiichi 1310 or equivalent, #14  Click Here
Thread:  UTC 70D, black  Click Here
Underbody:  Natural or synthetic dry fly dubbing, black  Click Here
Foam:  1.5mm -2mm foam sheeting, black with a brighter color such as orange or yellow.
              Glue together as a single sheet using a spray adhesive.  Cut into strips between 1/8”– 
              ¼” (4mm-5mm) wide. Glue- Click Here Foam- Click Here 
Legs:  Montana Fly Company Speckled Sexi Floss- size fine, in brown, olive, tan.  Click Here

1. Secure the hook in the vise.

2. Start the thread and lay base of thread on the hook shank.

3. Take the thread to bend of the hook, then finger dub several inches of the underbody material on to the thread.

4. Wrap the body up close to the hook eye, then wrap back to the middle of the hook shank.

5. Cut a section of the foam strip approximately ½” or 15mm in length.

6. Put a drop or two of Super Glue or ZapAGap on the center of the black side of the foam.

7. Lay the foam on top of the hook so the glue lines up where the thread is hanging down.  Keep the foam on top of the hook.  Wrap the thread over the foam with enough tension to compress the foam into noticeable segments.

8. Cut a 2” length of the fine Barred Sexi Floss.  Double that over and cut into 2- 1” sections.  Tie these in one one side of the body.

9. Repeat the procedure for the opposite side of the body, then add a bit more dubbing to the thread.

10. Wrap the dubbing in front of the foam, up to the hook eye.

11. Whip finish or half-hitch the thread, then trim.

12. Cut the legs to length of approximately 3 color sections.

13. Put a bit of glue on each side over the thread where the legs are tied in.

There you have it. The Sandwich Beetle. Play around with the colors of the foam and legs and see what works best for you. Throw this over some trout or panfish this season and have fun!

Watch the Video!

Mad River Outfitters/Midwest Fly Fishing Schools

Fly Shop, Fly Fishing Guides, Hosted Fly Fishing Travel, Schools, Classes and more!

813 Bethel Rd.
Columbus, Ohio 43214


Friday, April 13, 2018

Getting Started in Fly Fishing

Here at Mad River Outfitters and the Midwest Fly Fishing Schools, education is the cornerstone of our business. Not only do we sell the stuff, we teach you how to use it.

For nearly 25 years now, head instructor and MRO founder Brian Flechsig has been teaching a FREE Beginners Program here in the shop. This is a two hour program that we offer many times a season and it always draws a big crowd. The program is designed to help you take the mystery out of getting started in the sport. We always say that we can take 5 years off of your learning curve in those two hours.

In the program, Brian clears up some of the common mis-conceptions about fly fishing and also then breaks down the 6 basic things that you need to understand.

Those 6 things are:

1. The Fly Rod
2. The Fly Reel
3. The Fly Line System- backing, fly line and leader
4. Flies- the basics
5. Accessories
6. Water (with fish in it)

But.....what if you can't get to Columbus, Ohio to attend the program?

Here you go-

Getting Started in Fly Fishing has now been released on our YouTube Channel!

It is basically the same program, just done up in a series of 13 or 14 episodes.

Episode 1 is up now but look for 2 and 3 to be released in the next few days and the remainder of the episodes in the coming weeks.

Subscribe NOW!

Fishing Reports- 4/13/18

* Please remember to call us for more up-to-date or detailed information! These reports are not meant to be your one and only, daily source of information. They are typically general, even seasonal type reports and we currently don't have a set schedule as to when we update. Please, just because we don't update as often as we like, it doesn't mean that we don't care.

There are many different approaches you should take in order to get a good game plan for a trip or a day of fishing. Also remember that things change and these reports are what we know at the time of posting only. Keep in mind that we do express opinions and personal preferences from time-to-time which may be different from yours or what you may read elsewhere. Thanks for checking and don't forget to call us if you need any further information or a more up-to-date report. 614-451-0363

Thanks as always for reading our reports friends. As the weather gets more conducive we should be reporting more regularly....but we need your HELP!

Send any and all reports to admin@madriveroutfitters and we'll do our best to get them up.


The talk around the shop has been more and more about Smallmouth.  Mostly this is because once we start fishing for bass Winter is officially over, but this year it just seems to never end. We get a shot in the arm and then take a look at the forecast and its right back into winter.  This time of the year is really tough for a warm water fisherman especially in Ohio.  For those that have made it out during prime conditions pre-spawn Smallies and Saugeye have been caught. 

Understanding water temps, seasonal migration patterns, and forage are the key to successful fishing any time of the year, but more so in the Spring.  

With the very high water and few warm days the river fishing has been tough.  The most consistent fishing has been below the local dams or in small ponds.  Fishing a 6-8wt with a sinking tip line from AirFlo or Scientific Anglers is our usual rig.  Match that outfit with an articulated fly in white or shad colors and you have a great place to start.  For fishing the streams once they are at the right levels you will want to select Half and Halfs, Dungeons, Bottoms Up, Modern Deceivers and others.  For pond and lake fishing Dirty Hippies, Barely Legals, Bottoms Up, Murdich Minnow, Glass Buggers, and alike are a good start.  

These past few days have been great, but there is a lot of rain forecasted. Next week looks like we are back on the roller coaster weather pattern also.  The streams will not fish until late next week and this will be limited to just a few small creeks.  Pond fishing will continue to be the best choice.  Search out areas that have shallow bays or flats with dark bottoms.  If it is sunny and calm a rocky bank is also a great choice.  Get out there when you can and keep the dust off of your casting.  

Mad River

It has been great too see the river higher than usual for a good portion of the year so far. In general, the Mad has been fishing good to excellent and we expect that to only get better as we go here. 

Streamer fishing has produced the most buzz around the shop, but nymphing has been the numbers game.  For those that put in their time floating the river streamer fishing a good number of upper teens to low twenties fish have came to the boat.  Despite the clear water the flows have made the lower river a float only situation while the smaller upper sections have produced well for those wadding.  Euro nymphing, Indicator/bobber fishing, and streamers all produce higher in the system as well.  Pheasant Tails, Hares Ear, Hendrickson nymphs, and Prince have been the most productive nymphs.  Streamers that have produced are the usual Barely Legal, Dungeon, Big Hole Bug, Pearl Necklace, Zoo Cougar, and Peanut Envy.  

Dry fly fishing has been limited.  There have been a few Blue Wing Olives and Blue Quills around but the conditions have not provided good fishing.  The past few days we have finally seen some Hendricksons, but only sporadically.  These hatches usually start in the lower river when conditions are right and progress up river.  With the high and colder water things are a little different this year. The past two days the temps have been right for  Hendricksons to explode but the wind has kept this from happening. At any moment, all hell is going to break loose and fish are going to be eating Hendricksons until they burst.

We do have guide trips next week with the hopes of dry fly fishing. We'll let you know what we find out.

This guy will be the star of the show here as soon as the hatch gets into full-swing. Should be a few weeks of FANTASTIC dry fly fishing ahead. Be sure to have some nymphs as well for the hours prior to hatching.

Those wanting to take advantage of the Hendrickson on foot will need to keep an eye on the middle river.  The flows right now continue to be higher than usual.  Wading at a flow of more than 250cfs at 36 is not suggested.  Even at that flow it is challenging and not suggested for anyone new to wading or not familiar with the area.  Floating the river at the right times will put you in the needed areas to see the most Hendrickson action.  Like stated above the high water and weather have things pushed back.  Keep an eye out anywhere though and be ready with a box of Becks Hendrickson, Bears Para Hendrickson, and Hendrickson Sparkle Dun.  We have a feeling that since the weather has not been playing by the rules the bugs might follow.  We will keep you updated with hatch info as we see everything play out.  In the meantime Make sure to be nymphing a Bead Head Hendrickson, Pheasant Tail, or dark Hares Ear in the 12-16 range. Drop off of that nymph a Soft hackle or non bead Pheasant tail and you should be in plenty of fish.  

There is some rain in the forecast that will most likely mess things up for the first part of the week.  By mid week we should see perfect streamer water and Hendrickson picking back up towards the weekend.  Keep an eye on the flow gauges or shoot us a call at the shop and we will help you sort it all out.  

Congrats again to Nick Renzetti who landed this Beast of a girl back in March!

Clearfork River

Clearfork Map

Not many reports from fishing up there, but the past few days the river has been fishing well. 

The upper river has been the only section fishable as they continue to dump water out of the dam in the lower.  There has been a few Hendrickson, Blue Quills, and Blue Wing Olives spotted, but with the past rains the conditions have just been good the past few days.  Most individuals have been nymphing to produce the best results.  There are a few that like to streamer fish this area and continue to be rewarded.  The higher water this Spring has provided plenty of great streamer water.  

Looking ahead there will be a large amount of rain heading into the area.  Look for the upper river to start fishing as early as mid week, but most likely your best bet will be later in the week. 

At that time we should see a good Hendrickson hatch.  Be prepared with a box of Becks Hendrickson, Bears Para Hendrickson, and Hendrickson Sparkle Dun.  If you do not see any activity nymph Bead Head Hendrickson, Pheasant Tail, or dark Hares Ear in the 12-16 range. Drop off of that nymph a Soft hackle or non bead Pheasant tail and you should be in plenty of fish.  Streamer fishing will continue to be great.  Make sure to have a good array of colors and fly designs so you are prepared for anything.  The lower river will continue to be very high and not fishable.  

Clear Creek

Clear Creek Map

There has not been much to report from the creek the past week.  Flows continue to be higher that normal.  Clarity has just been good the past few days with some stain lingering in the deeper holes.  No reports of Hendrickson yet, but the conditions are perfect and we are a day or so away from the best dry fly fishing of the season.  

Streamer fishing has been the preferred method with the high flows, but with minimal success. Fish continue to be caught nymphing small caddis and mayfly nymphs also.  Fishing overall this Spring has been slow and the crowds have not been helping.  Ask anyone local and you will get an ear full as the fish regulations have changed.  

With the rain forecasted this weekend the creek will not fish till late next week.  We will keep you updated if you happen to be down that way next weekend.  Dry fly fishing should pickup by next weekend or once Spring decides to stick around.  Right now most of the focus is at fishing the hatches on the Mad.  

Erie Steelhead

Gauge Links and Maps

Fishing has been fantastic.  All of our tributaries are packed with fish in all stages of the run. 

This past week we have seen many drop back hens being caught with a few fresh fish in the mix.  The suckers have made it into the streams in big numbers also.  Most fish are being caught in the deeper water behind these sucker pods.  At this stage in the run your most productive technique will be nymphing double egg rigs under a float.  There are plenty of fish in the shallow riffles actively spawning.  Beginners commonly are distracted by visible fish in these areas.  Remember that these fish are spawning and do not readily feed.  

There is a big rain event heading to the state this weekend.  This will mess things up for a few days and continue to keep the Grand high.  Focusing on the tributaries of the Grand and the smaller streams by mid week will be your best bet.  Pushing ahead to next weekend everything but the Grand should be in great shape.  This rain will push out the drop back/ already spawned fish and bring in some fresh fish.  Look for fish to be readily taken on various methods.  Swinging has been great and the new Pieroway Renegade rods have been a HUGE focus this season.  If you need help sorting all of this switch/spey/swinging stuff out let us know.  Nymphing double egg, bugger & egg, or egg and nymph rigs under a float has put numbers to hand also. 

Our go to rigs are either a 10' 7wt or a 6-8wt switch rod.  Match these with the SA Anadro, AirFlo Nymph line, or properly weighted Rio Switch line.  Flies to keep stocked up on will be Scrabbled Eggs, Glo Bugs, Otters Eggs, Wiggle Stones, Steelhead Stones, Chicken Little, and various colors of Wooly Buggers.  As for swinging flies grab Senyo's A.I. in various colors, Flow Ryders, and Sili-Leg Intruders.  Do not over look stripping streamers also.  As we get later in the season pulling out your Smallmouth rig and stripping will reward you with a mixed bag.  If you are heading up that way, give us a call and we will keep you up to date.  

Click Here to check out the details and pricing on our Steelhead Alley Guide Service

Old friend and long-time customer Sam Hanna was out on a guide trip with Josh on Wednesday and they had continuous action. Steelhead season is full-on right now.

Mad River Outfitters/Mad River Travel/Midwest Fly Fishing Schools

Fly Shop, Guides, Trips, Classes, Schools and more!

813 Bethel Rd.
Columbus, Ohio 43214