Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Fly Fishing for Carp with Mulberry Flies

Fly Fishing for Carp with Mulberry Flies......what could be more exciting! 

Round about late May/early June around here, the Mulberries start to ripen and begin to fall into the water, and the carp take notice. This activity usually lasts well into July. During this time, they are so focused on eating them that they won't take anything but, and you need to have the right fly. Below you will find links to the flies on our website, as well as a video on how to tie our favorite pattern.

We are celebrating Carp season around here in a big way, by releasing the "Carpin" DVD on our YouTube Channel. This legendary instructional DVD features our own Brian Flechsig, along with guests Dave Whitlock, Jerry Darkes, Michael Bennett and Jim Andrix. Find the link to the 1st Chapter here and then watch the remainder on our YouTube Channel.

We have also installed links here where you can watch the legendary "Carp" Episode of the Walker's Cay Chronicles with Brian Flechsig and Flip Pallot. Some good information contained there as well on successfully catching carp on Mulberries.

Mulberry Flies

Mulberry - Purple

Mulberry- Black

These are the flies here that are referenced in the DVD as well as the Walker's Cay Chronicles. It is designed to sink and is by far our top choice.

Dirk's Mulberry fly gets an honorable mention and is another pattern that we sell in the shop. It works well when the berries are floating and the fish are eating them off of the surface. This is a minority of the time in our experience around here but we do sell a ton of these as well.

Learn how to tie the Mulberry fly

Carpin'- the DVD

Chapter 1 here- remaining chapters being released on our YouTube Channel over the next few weeks!

The Walker's Cay Chronicles- "Carpin' Episode"

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Specialists in fly fishing for Carp!

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, June 8, 2018

Fly Tying- The Bucktail Deceiver Fly

The Bucktail Deceiver Fly

The Bucktail Deceiver is a fly that myself and other Mad River Outfitters guides use extensively for Pike, Smallmouth and even Musky here in Ohio. It is basically a variation on Lefty's original deceiver with a bit of Bob Popovics innovation thrown in there. This fly was shown to me of course by the master, Pat Kelly and this color in particular is one of our favorites. Anyone who has been on a boat with myself or Pat has fished this fly! Although it's pretty easy, we thought we'd share it here on the YouTube Channel for those interested.

I hope you enjoy tying and fishing these as much as I do. Let your imagination run wild with variations and color schemes and be sure to share with us what you come up with.

Josh McQueen- June 2018

Bucktail Deceiver Recipe:

Hook: Partridge Universal Predator – 4/0  Click Here
Thread: Flat Waxed Nylon 210 – Fl. Yellow  Click Here
Tail: Big Fly Fiber- Sunrise  Click Here
Body: Bucktail- Fl. Yellow and Hot Pink  Click Here
Flash: Flashabou Mirage Blend- Fl. Yellow  Click Here
Cement: Brushable Zap-A-Gap or Hard as Hull  Click Here

Step 1: Secure hook in to vise and lay foundation of thread from hook eye all the back to the bend of the hook, allowing thread to hang between the barb and the point. Laying a thread base will ensure good traction for the materials that we will secure to the hook shank through out the tying process.

Step 2: Secure first bunch of fl. yellow bucktail to the hook, spreading hair evenly 360 degrees around the hook shank. Try to keep this bundle of hair pretty sparse as we will progressively be adding more bucktail to each bundle as we move of the hook shank. After securing bucktail to the hook shank advance thread about one hook eye width in front of the last tie in point and build a small bump of thread. This will serve as the prop for the next bundle of bucktail. (similar to the methodology used in Bob Popovics Bucktail Deceiver) 

Step 3: Tie in the next bundle of bucktail directly in front of the thread bump constructed in the previous step and distribute hair evenly 360 degrees around the hook shank. Once hair is evenly distributed around the hook shank make securing wraps over the bucktail back towards the thread bump causing the hair to flair. (this bundle of hair should be slightly more dense that the amount of hair used in step 2)

Step 4: Repeat the previous step one more time. Remembering to increase the amount of hair slightly as compared to the previous bundle as we are trying to build taper in the fly.

Step 5:  Secure the Big Fly Fiber on top of the hook shank with three loose wraps. Then use thumb and forefinger to distribute fibers evenly around the hook shank. After securing Big Fly Fiber build another thread bump/dam in front of tying point to use as a prop for the next bundle of bucktail.

Step 6: Repeat step 3 but in this stage of the fly we will switch over to the hot pink color of bucktail. You will also want to make sure you are continuing to use more hair than in previous steps. 

After securing and evenly distributing pink bucktail create another thread bump and repeat this step one more time. Giving you a total of two cones of pink bucktail. If for some reason you have more than one hook eye width left on the shank you may add third cone of pink bucktail. Once complete whip finish and cut thread. 

Add super glue or UV Resin to the thread head (eyes are optional) If using a UV Resin you will want to finish with a coat of Hard as Hull or Hard as Nails to give you a nice tack free bomb proof coating.  

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, June 1, 2018

Fishing Reports- 6/1/18

* 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.

Summer Classes

Our Summer season kicks-off on Monday with our FREE Beginner's Fly Fishing Program and then runs through early July.

Can't make it to the shop for the class? You can now watch the 15 Episode Series...."Getting Started in Fly Fishing" on our YouTube Channel.


Here's a breakdown of the schedule:

Monday, June 4th- FREE Beginner's Fly Fishing Program- 7-9 p.m.- Click Here

Saturday, June 9th- Basic Fly Casting Clinic- 9-11 a.m.- Click Here

Wednesday, June 13th- Basic Knots and Rigging Class- 7-9 p.m.- Click Here

Saturday and Sunday, June 16th and 17th- 2-Day Fly Fishing School at Sunnybrook Trout Club- Click Here

Monday, June 18th- Basic Fly Casting Clinic- 6-8 p.m.- Click Here

Saturday, June 23rd- Knots and Leaders Class- 9-11 a.m.- Click Here

Sunday, June 24th- 1-Day Fly Fishing School at Zanesfield Rod and Gun Club- Click Here

Wednesday, June 27th- Entomology 101 Class- 7-9 p.m.- Click Here

Sunday, July 1st- "Carp School" with guide Andy Jensen at the Muzzy Lakes Club- Click Here

Monday, July 9th- Basic Fly Casting Clinic- 6-8 p.m.- Click Here

Sunday, July 15th- On-River Seminar: Smallmouth Bass with guide Ryan Ratliff- local river- Click Here

Looking for a unique trip yet this year?

"Naktoberfest" at Alaska's Katmai Trophy Lodge

September 29th- October 6th

with hosts Jeff Liskay and Jerry Darkes 

"Naktoberfest" celebrates the end of the Alaska fly fishing season and the opportunity to tangle with the largest rainbow trout of the year on the Naknek River.  In a river famous for its trophy trout, this is time when “in the know” anglers show up.  Each Fall the Naknek produces rainbows pushing 20 pounds.  These “coastal rainbows” travel the Naknek River corridor between Naknek Lake and Bristol Bay feeding heavily all season.  By the end of the year they are at peak size and in prime condition.  If you love to fish streamers and swing flies on both single-hand and two-hand rods for giant trout, you need to experience Naktoberfest! 

Customer Feedback

We LOVE getting photos, reports, reviews and feedback from our customers.....both locally and around the world!

Please keep it coming!

Our good friend Doug Perrett from Johns Island, South Carolina sent us this photo: "Flounder on the fly. It's not easy but it CAN be done. 

Dear MRO,
Stopped in the shop before I left for northern Michigan, and Ryan helped me out with a new line and some streamers for pike. Extremely happy to have gotten my first pike on a fly, caught on a firetiger half and half. Thanks for the help and the flies! Sincerely,
Ann Heuerman

And from our new friend and recent Ohio transplant Mark Fryt:

Just wanted to give a quick thanks to Pat. I stopped into the shop last week to get some smallmouth flies and more advice and Pat hooked me up. All I have for the time being is my 5wt so the advice and the poppers/streamers that I got worked well with my fly rod. It was my first time going for smallmouth on a river and I was able to catch a pretty good size smallie and a bunch of smaller ones. I caught the larger smallie right in some riffles and spooked a lot in the shallows.

I started just below the Griggs reservoir and floated down to 5th Ave on my paddle board...really makes me focus on my casting while trying to balance on that thing haha! But made it work. Just a blast of a day!

So thanks again Pat!
P.S.- Didn't have any pics this time, I was too busy trying to not fall off my SUP lol. Once I get used to the paddle board I'll snap some. 



Bass fishing continues to be the big talk around here locally.  Over the past couple weeks most of the major streams have been producing some really nice post-spawn Smallmouth.  With the recent pop-up storms the windows have been tight though.  Guides have been reporting a good number of fry in the shallow areas close to spawning sections of the rivers.  This is a great sight being the tough conditions over the past few springs.  Those anglers who know locations were these fish migrate during different seasons have been very successful.  Streamers are still the best option, but there have been some reports of great popper fishing right before most streams "blew out" from the storms.  

Guides Josh McQueen, Pat Kelly, Ryan Ratliff and Donnie Knight are all chomping at the bit to get you out on the water to experience the amazing smallmouth bass fishing going on in Ohio right now.

Largemouth fishing has been great in the ponds and lakes throughout the state.  Most of the bass are in post-spawn also, but this past week started to put the feed on.  The cottonwood seeds, flowering trees and shrubs, and the algae bloom from the rapid warm weather has created tough pond top water fishing.  Look for days with a slight breeze to push the mat of all this stuff to one side of the water.

Crappies are either in full spawn mode or finishing up around the state.  Many people have been targeting them with double Clousers or Clouser with dropper rigs.  Fishing these flies on an intermediate sinking line for aggressive fish or under a float for those inactive fish are the main technique.  Bluegills are either just hitting the beds or in full swing.  These bed fields are a great place to throw a popper if that is your thing.  Look for schools of panfish roaming the surface over deep water also.  These fish will continue this routine all summer.  Fish small streamers to the cruising fish and San Juans or Midge larva to the rising fish.  Trout dries can also be used in this situation, but make sure to have your floatant and Loon Easy Dry handy to take care of the slime.  These areas are also great attractions for bass looking for an easy meal.  Casting streamers to the outside edge or weed line close to the spawning flats will produce some nice fish.  Choose flies like the Dirty Hippie, Monkey Butt, Dungeon, Bang Tail, Bottoms Up or others in Olive or Bluegill colors are top choices. 

Pike fishing continues to be fantastic.  The popup thunderstorms have put a damper on a few streams, but the fishing will continue to be great for the next couple months.  We have been seeing some really great fish lately too.  This fishing is not a leisurely float down a river though.  If you are in for some serious streamer fishing and big eats then make sure to get on the books for one of these trips.  Musky fishing also has been very good.  The rains have been tough on the streams lately, but this should help lengthen the season for a couple more weeks.  

Friend, customer and frequent contributor Don Gregory was out with Pat on a Pike guide trip last Friday. "This fish ate 5 times before we finally hooked up. He wouldn't take no for an answer! He really wanted to make it to the MRO Social Media pages!

Hybrid Striper fishing also continues to be fantastic.  Josh has this game dialed in, but what doesn't he have dialed!  Streamers, Jet Boats, and sink tips are the name of the game here.  These fish are strong and love to put a deep bend in a flyrod!  We have many great fisheries in the state that are growing some big fish.  Shoot us a call with some dates and we will get you on Josh’s boat!  

Midwest Fly Fishing School grad Roberto Noden was out on a Wiper Trip with Josh last weekend and scored big. This kid has been on a tear since his 1st school last June. Not the last time you'll be seeing him for sure! 

The cottonwood seeds have been fallling pretty good for about a week now. You know what that means!

Carp Season!

Let's get some photos up for the next reports!!!!

How about this-

Send us a 2018 caught Carp Photo and we'll send you out this cool camo MRO Hat for FREE! Send to

Be sure to include your name and address in the e-mail so we can send your hat out. 

In the meantime......

Brian's legendary Carpin' DVD is now being released by chapter on our YouTube Channel. It features Dave Whitlock, Jim Andrix, Michael Bennett and Jerry Darkes. New chapters released each week. Be sure to subscribe while you are there.

Watch Chapter 1 here:

With the popup storms we have had lately, Largemouth Bass will be the main target this weekend and into early next week.  Most of the local ponds stay clear providing a fun day of sight fishing.  Water temps are way up so look for the bigger fish to be in those deep weeds or in thick vegetation.  Fish slow swimming flies on a sinktip or lake line for the most success.  Flies like the Bottoms Up, Super Worm, Reaper, Half and Half, Mud Puppy, and Peanuts will get the job done.  If you are just looking for numbers then target the shallow flats for smaller bass and panfish.  On the flats fish sparse streamers like Wooly Buggers, Black Nose Dace and Stacked Blonds with a quick jerk-strip technique. 

Once the streams drop look for great Smallmouth fishing to pick back up.  The smaller streams are just about back to perfect conditions with this weekend or early next week being good depending on the location.   There also are still a few Lake Run fish up north, but they will be moving out soon from the increasing water temps up there.  Popper fishing will pick up by next week also.  The new Double Barrel poppers have been a big hit so far as they are loud and very durable.  Channel Catfish have also been targeted while fishing these streams.  This is the rare time of the year when these fish readily eat a fly.  Do not be surprised if a few of these show up on your Smallie trip.

If you are looking to give Pike or Stripers a shot make sure to shoot us a call.  Josh and Pat continue to add new waters and their boats are wamed up and ready to go at a moments notice.  Also as for anything else you are looking to target make sure to get on our calendar soon before your wanted dates are gone.  Most of our schedules are filling fast, but there are a few slots open.

The Mad continues to be a bit perplexing here this Spring. We are certainly catching fish, just not in the manner that we are accustomed to. The hatches have been "off" this year and the number of rising fish has been way down. Not sure why but surely has something to do with the strange, cold Spring we had. As stated, we are still catching fish, but most have been on nymphs and soft hackles and a handful on streamers when the water has been right.

The BIG news as we speak is that we have Brown Drakes and hopefully the next week or so will make up for the lack of dry fly fishing. Hatches have been decent in the lower parts of the river and will be moving upstream over the next week or so. No reports of huge spinner falls yet so the fishing the next week or so could be fantastic to EPIC.

Be sure to have some Brown Drake nymphs if fishing in the afternoon before the hatch. Then around 8:00 p.m. start looking. Make sure to look up at the sky as well for the spinners. Those of you who have experienced this before, you know what we are talking about!!! If you love catching big trout on big dries, drop everything and go fishing in the next week and plan to stay until dark or after.

By the way, the "top secret" fly that our guides have been hoarding the past few seasons is now available to the public:

The Glo Drake Spinner actually has a Glow-in-the-Dark parachute post wing. Charge it up with a flashlight or better yet a UV light and you can see it on the water.....even after dark.

This fly is a MUST have if you are chasing Drakes.

You could also experience a buffet of different bugs starting in the early evening, depending on where you are on the river. Plenty of Sulphers still around, both #16 and #18 but will most likely be an upper river event for the next few weeks. Mostly an evening thing although on an overcast day you could see them hatching all day. Also a few March Browns still around as well as some Light Cahills. The spinner falls though have been about the only activity that has been getting the fish interested. We haven't seen strong hatches of either bug but the spinners have been falling right before dark and some fish have been paying attention. 

Decent numbers of caddis flitting around during the day as well and wouldn't hesitate to throw an Elk Hair or a Galloup's Butch Caddis #14-16 to try and bring fish up. They have been eating pupa in the afternoons so no big secret that a green soft hackle will produce always on the Mad.

All that being said, our focus will on the Drakes for the next week or more. Brian will be out on the water two or three times at least next week and will surely update on Social Media as he often does.

Stay tuned and let us know what you find out there. Nothing like Drake season!!!!


Clearfork River

Clearfork Map

The upper river has been producing very well.  Good hatches of March Browns, Light Cahill and Sulphurs.  No word yet of any Drakes but should be any moment. These will mostly be in the Upper stretch and can provide for some amazing evening fishing just like the Mad. 
Caddis have also been active and they make for a great choice while you are waiting for a mayfly hatch.  Mid-morning can be a great time to skate an Elk Hair Caddis or Stimulator to see if you get a response.  Trail one of these with a Soft Hackle and you will usually find a few fish.  The lower river has also produced some fish, but the warm water fish have been more willing to cooperate.  Water levels are slightly high providing good streamer water.  If you make a trip up that way make sure to let us know if you see some bugs hatching or stream conditions.  Mohican State Park offers some camping opportunities right on the river and there are many other family activities. 
Expect Sulphurs and Caddis to be the main hatches.  We are on Brown Drake watch also.  Keep an eye out for these big mayflies late in the evenings.  Make sure to have your dry fly box stocked and ready for anything.  Keep a few ants and beetles handy also as the thermals start to pick up and drop a few bugs into the water.  Flies to have are the Quick Sight ant, Hi-Vis Para Ant, and Ant Acid for terrestrials.  For mayflies Sulphurs are king.  Have plenty of the Thorax, Compara Dun, Parachutes and Spinners. Caddis will be Elk Hair, Stimulators, Butch Caddis, Goddard, and Henryville Special.  For Drakes take a look at the new Glo Drake Spinner, Compara Drake, Para Drake, Brown Drake nymph…they are all good.  

Have a few March Browns, and Lt Cahils also, but those are coming to an end in the Upper river. Cahills will continue in the lower stretch for a few more weeks, especially in the evenings. 

Clear Creek

Clear Creek Map

Earlier last week the creek was in great shape but producing very few quality fish.  Most trout were taken on small Hares Ear or Pheasant Tail nymphs.  Midge and small caddis dries also have produced.  Smallmouth Bass have also started to show up.  Striping a streamer has been the most successful for these fish.  Water temps continue to be great. 
The storms have put a damper on the creek this week, but looking ahead Saturday should start good streamer fishing for those who know the creek well.  Early next week will be your best bet.  Look for Sulphurs, Lt Cahills, and caddis to be your dry flies if the fish are keying in on them.  Fishing a small streamer can produce trout and a few Smallies.  If you are visiting the Hocking Hills area and want a chance at a trout (despite the size) Clear Creek is worth a quick detour.  This time of the year there are many other opportunities down there for Smallmouth in the Hocking or Largemouth in the numerous area lakes. 

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