I have been a commercial fly tier since 2001 and a commercial fly designer for a couple wholesale fly companies since 2005. I hope you've seen my patterns in your local shops!

While I intend to offer retail sale of flies in the near future, I am not currently equipped to do so. Instead, the following flies are intended as examples for your own tying, and to show my potential clients the sorts of specialty bugs you might use when you fish with me.

In answer to your unspoken question, no, the flies below aren't everything I produce. There are plenty of standards I tweak a little but can't claim credit for that are nonetheless a little different than what the fish see day-in and day-out, and of course the new stuff hasn't made it on the website yet. I'm constantly fiddling with new bugs and new variations on flies I'm already making. To see the double-secret bugs rather than the "greatest hits," you need to book a guided trip.

I demonstrate how to tie many of the following flies on my Youtube Channel, along with plenty of others.

If you like the flies below, you might consider purchasing my book Yellowstone Country Flies.

Yellowstone and Montana Custom Dry Flies

If you float with me during the summer or early fall, odds are you'll primarily be fishing one of these dries a good chunk of the time...

Bob Hopper

Wiese's Bob Hopper

I developed this tiny (#14) hopper pattern in 2012 after noticing refusals to a former favorite, the slightly larger GFA. Since then, it has been far and away my best hopper pattern throughout the Yellowstone region, producing easily twice as many trout on guided trips as all other hopper patterns combined, and yes this includes "Chubbies." It doesn't matter which river. The trout adore this fly. The most popular color is pale pink, but I often carry these in the following FIFTEEN colors: white, light pink, dark pink, dark tan, gold, purple, mustard, marble pattern, wood grain, cinnamon, dark brown, black, peach, olive, and red. Beyond these, I'm always on the lookout for new colors of foam to try on "Bobs." I almost guarantee you will use this pattern at least part of the day if you float the Yellowstone with me in August or early September, and it's money on many other float and wade rivers, as well. This pattern is available via Catch Fly Fishing for purchase by your local shop.

Clacka Caddis

Wiese's Clacka Caddis

I combined elements from longtime favorite the classic Coachman Trude and Craig Mathews' Iris Caddis to develop this buoyant and highly-visible yet low-floating caddis/attractor pattern. It one color or another it has been my most effective and bestselling caddis pattern since 2009. It is particularly important on rough waters that see relatively heavy pressure, like the Yellowstone. I carry it in the following colors: Coachman (peacock), pink, gingersnap, tan, olive, black (Glossossoma), and chocolate, and in about that order of effectiveness. Several colors of this pattern are produced by CATCH Fly Fishing and available for wholesale purchase by your local shop.

Flying Ant

Cinnamon Flying Ant

This is my favorite ant pattern, particularly on float trips. Its split synthetic wing and heavy hackle make this variant easily visible and higher-floating than any other I stock. Since 2013, one color or another has been my best "numbers fly" on Yellowstone River float trips during the month of August. It's also a great choice on the Yellowstone in the Park, in the Lamar Drainage (except on flat sections Slough Creek), and anywhere you want to fish an ant pattern that'll stay afloat and that has attractor properties. I tie it in two colors as "standards," but also try a variety of oddball colors from time to time, as well as other types of ants.

Hazy Cripple

Wiese's Hazy Cripple

The purple version of this low-floating yet buoyant and visible attractor mayfly cripple is the single most important dry fly in my arsenal. There is not a month on the calendar when my clients or I don't catch a fish on it, including December which otherwise is awfully grim. It's most important on my waters from late August through the middle of October, when it works better than "realistic" flies when the fall gray Baetis are hatching. Try this pattern in the right size, and we think it's pretty likely it will be just the ticket in your home waters, too. I've had anglers from all over the world rave about its effectiveness, and shops I've sold the fly to have had guides come in and buy out their entire stock and then start telling people they invented it. No joke! The copper version is more special-purpose, but an excellent choice in the summer and on sunny September days. I also tie it in some experimental colors Copper and purple are produced by CATCH Fly Fishing and available for wholesale purchase by your local shop.

Holo Cripple

Wiese's Holo Cripple

This is the "techy" version of the Hazy Cripple, tied with a material that adds a subtle shimmer and on an emerger hook to float even lower. This one is best for spookier fish, in lower-light situations where the glimmer off the body is subtle. Available in #16 and #18, in purple and rust colors. This pattern is available from CATCH Fly Fishing and available for wholesale purchase by your local shop.

Palmered CDC & Elk

Palmered CDC and Elk Caddis

Dutch tyer Hans Weilenmann developed the original CDC & Elk. My version adds a contrasting body under the CDC to add another color dimension and enable the use of lower-quality CDC. I carry the pattern in three colors, #14 blond, #16 pink, and #16 tan. The blond is by far the most important color and it's typically my best dry fly on the Firehole River, where it matches the predominant insect, the White Miller Caddis. Don't hesitate to skate these!

Purple Phaze Emerger

Wiese's Purple Phaze

This pattern is designed to float butt-down in the film. It's another special-purpose "Haze" variant, this one primarily intended for use in bad light or by those whose eyes aren't what they once were. To tell the truth, we use the other versions a lot more, but this one is wildly popular up on the Missouri River for some reason. #14 through #18. This pattern is available from CATCH Fly Fishing and available for wholesale purchase by your local shop.

Synth Double Wing

Synth Double Wing

This burly attractor dry can be just the ticket immediately after runoff when the trout have seen one too many Salmonflies. It's a takeoff on the little-remembered Gary Lafontaine pattern called the Double Wing, substituting synthetics for the original hair wings.

Widow Moth

Wiese's Widow Moth

I developed this "medium-riding" spruce moth pattern to split the difference between the standard high-riding patterns I can get commercially and a low-rider called a Spentwing, by my friend Doug Korn. I use the same custom dubbing blend Doug makes for his pattern for this fly. I primarily turn to this pattern in rough water situations when the trout might be looking for moths and might be looking for a stray caddis, such as in areas with sparse evergreen trees, where most guides don't think to use spruce moth patterns. I once had an epic day with clients floating right through the heart of Livingston using this pattern. It was a heavy spruce moth year, and the small numbers of ornamental evergreens in peoples' yards that had been infested with spruce moths were enough to get the fish looking for them.

Yellowstone and Montana Custom Nymphs

Four Feather

Wiese's Four Feather

This is the second pattern I developed after moving to Montana in 2001. It is tied from the feathers of four different birds, as the name suggests. It is a general-purpose attractor mayfly nymph most useful on larger and/or rougher waters, such as the Yellowstone and Gardner at the tail end of runoff. #12-16.

Gray Glass Caddis

Wiese's Gray Glass Caddis

I developed this pattern during my second or third season in the Yellowstone area. This is not a general-purpose fly, and it's not durable. In fact one errant backcast that hits the rocks can be the end of it. That said, it's the sort of fly that can produce three or four good fish on a hot, bright afternoon on the Lamar when nothing else is working. If you're stumped about what to use, tie one of these with a small mayfly dropper, a couple of tin shot, and a strike indicator, and fish the deepest pools you can find. #14.

Hula Princess

Wiese's Hula Princess

I developed this Serendipity-Prince-Czech Nymph combo in about 2011 to serve as a changeup nymph to the popular beadhead Prince. That's exactly how I use it, particularly on waters that see relatively heavy pressure like the Gibbon River Canyon or some roadside brook trout creeks, as well as the Yellowstone. Fish it either as a dropper under a dry or fished deep. #12-16.

Jumbo Chironomid

Wiese's Jumbo Chironomid

This large, unweighted chironomid pupa is an excellent choice on private lakes before early June, when the lakes are often stained and the fish are looking for a big mouthful. It also works well on Merrell Lake all season, due to the suspended algae common in this lake. Available in red, wine, and black, #10 or #12 depending on color.

Lucent Prince

Wiese's Lucent Prince

When Montana Fly Company brought out a line of fine, shimmering chenilles, I developed these technicolor versions of the classic beadhead Prince Nymph. They work great as dropper nymphs or fished deep on the Yellowstone. Available in amber, peacock-green, and black, #14-16.

Shimmer Nymph

Wiese's Shimmer Nymph

I developed this series of slender, segmented, flashy nymphs to combine the segmentation of the Copper John, the flash of the Lightning Bug, and the overall profile of the Pheasant Tail. They have proven effective everywhere from the Paradise Valley spring creeks to Yellowstone Park waters to the Missouri. I carry them in #14-18 Rust (PMD), #16-18 Chocolate (BWO), and #16 Black. They're available for wholesale purchase from Catch Fly Fishing.

Skinny Nymph

Wiese's Skinny Nymph

There's no doubt that slender, thread-bodied mayfly nymphs are hugely effective on heavily-pressured waters. These are my versions. Available in brown, olive, and purple, all with tiny glass beads to add sparkle and just the slightest amount of weight. Try these on the spring creeks, the Missouri River, the Lower Madison, or late in the season in the Lamar Drainage (especially the purple one!). All #18.

Yellowstone and Montana Custom Wet Flies & Soft Hackles

Drowned Haze v. 2

Drowned Haze

Purple and dun soft hackles had been special-purpose dropper patterns for me on Yellowstone River float trips in the fall for the past several seasons, imitating drowned gray Baetis mayflies, but I was never really entirely happy with them. In 2017 I added sparse gray wings, tied spent, and that did the trick, particularly with novice clients who had trouble seeing the dries I typically use during BWO hatches. #16-18

Glasshead Pheasant Tail

Wiese's Glasshead Pheasant Tail

This is the first fly I developed after moving to Montana, in early June 2001. It instantly became and remains my single most effective fly on the Firehole River, and works well elsewhere also. On the Firehole, either swing it in conjunction with another soft hackle or fish it beneath a caddis dry. You can even deep-nymph with it if nothing else is working. On most other waters, we fish the pattern on a dead drift. #14-16. Available for wholesale purchase by your local shop from CATCH Fly Fishing.

White Miller Soft Hackle

Wiese's White Miller Soft Hackle

No commercially-available pattern matches any stage of the White Miller (Nectopsyche caddis, the predominant insect on the Firehole. I tie multiple adult and egglaying/cripple versions (including a couple not pictured on this page) and two pupae. The most important pupa is this one. Fish it either on the swing with another soft hackle (the Glasshead PT perhaps) or on the dropper underneath a White Miller dry when the hatch is extra-heavy. #14.

Yellowstone and Montana Custom Streamers


Wiese's PT Bugger

I developed the PT-Bugger (which stands for "Pheasant-Two" in this case, it's a long story) way back in 1999 for the White River in Missouri and Arkansas. It works great here two. Tied with heavy barbell eyes, heavy feather collars in addition to the normal body hackles, and colors suggestive of sculpins, this pattern is most effective when fished on a "drift and drag" technique under an indicator. If it dead-drifts, great. If it drags, great. Strip or jig or twitch it a time or two. It rides upside-down, so it hangs up a little less often. I tie it in #4-8, in tan/brown, olive, and black. In 2019 I expect to experiment with some versions tied on jig hooks.


Wiese's Scleech

I don't fish articulated streamers much, mostly because flies with double hooks aren't legal in Yellowstone Park and to be honest many of my clients can't cast them without impaling me. This fly is the main exception. It's my primary "big fish or nothing" fly on the Yellowstone River. I tie it small enough that some medium-sized fish will eat it too, and with a stinger hook so that the annoying little tail-nippers that normally can't get hooked on articulated streamers will also get stuck. Now available for wholesale purchase by your local shop from CATCH Fly Fishing. Pro tip: these are also great smallmouth streamers.

Yellowstone Country Fly Fishing

Walter Wiese

113 Altair Drive

Livingston, MT 59047

(406) 223-8204

E-Mail Walter

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