McKenzie Driftboat River Trips on the Upper Delaware River


Upper Delaware River - Hand Tied Flies

by Anthony Ritter, Licensed Guide; National Park Service, NY State DEC, PA Fish and Boat Commission

2018 will be my 24th season offering half and full day river charters on the Upper Delaware River.  

Thank you to all my customers.


I will be tying at the annual Fly Fishing Show in Edison, NJ from January 26 through 28 2018 at Booth 46.

In addition, I'll also be giving two seminars at the Suffern (Rockland) Fishing EXPO March 1 through 4 2018.

My hand tied flies are available in the winter months by contacting me at: 845.252.3657 or 845.701.3894 (cellphone) or:



Upper Delaware River Breakout Emerger - Triptych


New Patterns!


E/C Caddis

I've been using this Western pattern to imitate the grannoms and shad fly hatch for the past four years on the wild Upper Delaware rainbows and they have demolished this fly.

The pattern was designed by Ralph Cutter in the Sierras, and the fly works like a charm on those 'bows that were transplanted from Northern California to our river back in the 1880's.

BWO Hackle Stacker

A terrific pattern by the late Bob Quigley who also hailed from the Western states. I've used this fly for both Olives (Baetis), Iso's and Sulphurs with great success. Just vary the hook size and the color of the body and abdomen of the mayfly.

It sits flush in the water column, like a Comparadun or CDC Cripple, and is a true winner!


CDC Loop Wing

Loop wing emergers are excellent patterns on fussy wild trout. They can be tied in a variety of color schemes to match the specific mayfly that it on the water.

In this case, here's one of my Hendrickson loop wings. I usually tie this fly as the trailer off a larger dry on 5x. In most cases the fish will hit this fly.

Trigger Loop Wing

A variation on the CDC loop wing, I have used EP Trigger fibers throughout with outstanding effects. The fibers float very well in the film and the fine fibers trap air bubbles make the bug look very vulnearble to the trout.

Pictured above is one of my sulphur loop wings.
Don't leave home without a few loop wing emergers!


Blue Quill Trigger Point

Tied in size 18, this fly kicks butt in the early season with the Paraleps. One of the first mayflies to hatch in April in the early afternoon, some of the biggest trout will slurp down these danty morsels. Easy to see this wing is made from Trigger Point fibers and has more visibility that a puff of CDC.

Blue Quill Trigger Point (alternate)

An alternate version except instead of the body being stripped peacock quill, it is Trigger Point fibers wrapped tight and then wound up the shank of the hook.


Upper Delaware March Brown Kinkmeister

I borrowed from Hans Von Klinken's (Klinkhamer) and Ralph Cutter's (E-C Caddis) pattern to design a hybrid of two very successful patterns. Pictured is a big meaty March Brown found in the Catskills throughout May but this pattern can be designed to match almost any mayfly - just vary the hook size and color.

The Kinkmeister (on the water)

Look how this fly sits flush in the water. The abdomen slightly below the surface while the parachute keeps the fly from becoming completely submerged and the deer hair post acts as a great strike indicator.


Early Brown Stonefly

My imitation of the first decent hatch in the Catskills / Upper Delaware River region of Pennsylvania and New York is the Early Brown Stonefly. Tied in size 16, it will bring fish up to the surface during mid afternoon on dead calm days during mid to late April. 

A bunch of stones!

The grizzly hackle pulled back makes an excellent downwing for this fly. Moose mane for the tails and antennae and CDC wound sparse for the legs.

Below are a few photos of some of my hand tied flies that have been very productive on the Upper Delaware River and West Branch of the Delaware River throughout the past nineteen years that I've offered half day and full day river charters using a McKenzie driftboat in the Catskill / Pocono region of New York State and Pennsylvania.

I will add more flies throughout the winter months of 2015.

When it comes to dries, all of the trout, rainbows and browns, on these river are wild and prefer imitations that sit flush to the surface of the water or are emerging through the water columm.  Many of my patterns use materials such as CDC, snowshoe rabbit and coastal deer hair for visibility, durability and... success!

All of my hand tied flies are provided to my fishing clients free of charge since I want YOU to have the best success on your river fishing trip and hatches will change throughout the spring, summer and fall.

We begin our season in April once the water temperatures reach into the mid to upper forties with Early Black Stoneflies then progress to small Blue Quills and then to larger Hendricksons and Red Quills.

In May, we have prolific hatches of Grannoms, Shad Fly and Caddis and later in the month, it's time for the larger March Browns, Grey Foxes and smaller Sulphurs.

Overcast days throughout the season can bring out the Blue Wing Olives in various sizes from 14 through 22 and later in season we will have Tricos in the morning hours and Isonychia in the late summer and in the fall as well as BWO's and Sulphurs.

Depending on the size of fly, your tippet size should match.  Your leader should be at least nine feet with about two feet of tippet material.


Flies size 18 through 22: 6x / Flies size 14 through 16: 5x / Flies size 10 through 14: 4 or 5x.

If you have any questions about any of these patterns please feel free to email me at:  or by telephone at: 845.252.3657 (landline) or 845.701.3894 (cell phone).



Rock Candy

This bead head caddis imitates the cased caddis throughout our river system has been very effective on the wild Upper Delaware River 'bows in the fast riffles when tied tandem with an emerger. They are available in #12, #14 and #16.


One of a series of emergers that I tie with snowshoe rabbit for the wing, Z-Lon for the shuck and a tannish dubbing for the abdomen. This pattern imitates the early spring hatch - The Hendrickson - which makes its appearance in late April through mid May during mid to late afternoon..


March Brown Emerger

Another excellent snowshoe emerger pattern which the trout find real buggy and irresistible. I tie this pattern large - either in size 10 or 12 and will fish this tandem with a bead head pattern on top. 

The Admiral's March Brown

One of my favorite hatches is the March Brown - a large mayfly in size 10 or 12 which will hatch in the Catskills / Upper Delaware River region from mid May through early June depending on how cool and wet our spring has been. This fly is a Sparkle Dun with Coastal Deer Hair along with a sparse tuft of Z-Lon for the wing, Z-Lon for the shuck and a ribbed tan body to complete this juicy fly.


Sparkle Sulphur

Early June is Sulphur time on the Big D.! And this dry has caught many wild browns and rainbows when the hatch is in full swing. I'll tie this fly in size 14 through 18 and will also vary the color of the abdomen since sulphurs will change from a lemon yellow to a pinkish / orange cast depending on the river location. Z-Lon for the shuck.

Uncle Wabbit's Snowshoe Sulphur

Well, the name may sound silly, but this fly tied in 16 and also in 18, is like candy to the wild rainbows. The Big D. has some major sulphur hatches in the spring, summer and fall and most times the fish will key on the smaller mayfly like this sweet sulphur. This fly is pattered after Fran Better's "Haystack" and "Uusal" with a Z-Lon shuck and Spectrum Dubbing for the body and snowshoe rabbit for the wing.


The Admiral's Sulphur Spinner

The third and last stage for any mayfly is the spinner. These spinners grow translucent wings, their tails become longer and they fly back to drop their eggs over riffles and then die. The spinners then drift down to tail-outs where they are an easy meal for the trout and are devoured. Spinners, either Rusty or Sulphur, are a must in every anglers flybox at dusk.

The Admiral's Dress Grey Caddis

'Ten hut! One of the most successful Caddis patterns in recent times is The Dress Grey Caddis. The pattern resembles the X-Caddis with a few turns of grouse or partridge for the legs, Coastal Deer Hair and a dubbling to match the caddis that's on the water. Grey, Olive and Tan are all great colors in size 12, 14 and 16.


The Admiral's Olive Parachute

The Blue Wing Olive, or Baetis, is a staple throughout the fishing season on the Upper Delaware River and all Catskill streams. I find that they appear on overcast, and drizzly days - humid with no wind is the best, and depending on the time of year are a variety of sizes. You'll find the larger size 14 Cornutas in June and smaller species of the BWO's like 18's and 20's in the fall. The fly pictured is The Admiral's Olive Parachute, which is a great pattern since it is easy to see with a nice white Z-Lon post and this pattern sits flush in the film presenting a vulnerable meal for the wild trout on the feed.

Baetis Greatis

Similar to the Sulphur Sparkle Dun is Baetis Greatis. The only difference is the color of the abdomen and body which is olive grey to match the natural on the water.  I'll tie these flies from size 14 through 20 and are very effective on selective trout that are cruising the large deep pools that the Upper Delaware River is known for. Some of the largest fish that our guests have caught have been on size 18 BWO's like the Baetis Greatis as well as BWO CDC's and Comparaduns.


Rusty Spinner

This old standby is the Rusty Spinner which can be tied from size 12 all the way down to size 18. The spinners are the last stage of the maylies life cycle and they're great patterns at dusk or overcast days when the trout are sippin'. Most maylie's bodies will turn a rusty burgundy color and their wings become translucent like glass. I use a sparse amount of white crinkly Z-Lon for wing tied splayed and Microfibbetts, also splayed downrigger style for the tails.  A little ice dub for the thorax works like a charm and seems to turn even the most fussy fish on.


One of the first flies that hatch in the Catskills and that trout look up in the early spring is the Early Black Stonefly. It's really a dark brown and is tied in a size 14 and 16. This pattern has been very effective using a brown CDC for the legs, Moose for the tail, Grizzly hackle folded over to make the elongated tent wing and some black/grey dubbing material to round out the fly.


The Admiral's Revenge

Here's another Baetis pattern which has proven over the years to be very effective on the browns and rainbows on the Upper Delaware River. It's a hybrid - using snowshoe rabbit for the wing and Microfibbets for the tail along with a nice tapered body in an olive dubbing. I've added a touch of green icedub within the olive dub for the thorax which seems to turn the fish on. Fish On!

Little Sulphur

If there were two mayflies that you would want to have in your fly vest throughout the trout fishing season, one would be the Blue Wing Olive and the other would be a Sulphur. Here's "Little Sulphur". The same receipe as "The Admiral's Revenge" on the left but this time the body and thorax are a lemon yellow with a tad of ice-dub to complete this fly pattern.


Caddis Snowshoe Sparkle Pupa

The Main Stem of the Upper Delaware River has plenty of Caddis. Look underneath the small rocks in the river and you'll find plenty of cased caddis. In May, these bugs dislodge from their cocoon and make their way to the surface. Gary LaFontaine designed the Sparkle Pupa back in 1974 and this adaptation uses a little green floss tapered to a strip of green UV Chewy Skin for the body, crinkly Z-Lon for the gassy bubby and snowshoe rabbit for the emerging wing.  Don't forget to pack this fly!

Caddis Beadhead Snowshoe Sparkle Pupa

This is the same recipe as the the fly on the left, but sometimes the fish prefer a little flash so we put a beadhead on this Snowshoe Sparkle Pupa plus it gives the fly a little weight if you're using it trailing a pheasant tail, Brassie, Copper John or Prince Nymph in the riffles for the wild Upper Delaware rainbows. Size 12 through 16.


Snowshoe Hendrickson

The first mayfly hatch in the Catskills which is anticipated eagerly by all dry fly anglers is the Hendrickson. This meaty fly starts out as a size 14 and as the hatch progresses into May will drop down in size to a 16. Either the Red Quill or the Hendrickson are excellent patterns tied either in CDC or snowshoe rabbit. The hatch begins in late April and the flies will be on the surface starting at 3:00pm. This hatch is so reliable that you can set your watch to when the bugs come up. A hatch not to be missed!

Snowshoe Red Quill 

The male bug of the Hendrickson is the Red Quill which appears during the same time period as the lighter female (to the left). It's best to have both the male and the female on the water since the fish can, at times, be fussy. Here's a great pattern using red quill for the body segmentation and a light dun showshoe for the wing.


Big Bad Red

And yet another pattern of a Red Quill mayfly which will hatch with the Hendrickson in the Catskills from late April through mid May.  I tie these in size 14 and 16. The difference in this pattern from the Snowshoe Red Quill seen above to the right  is that this wing is a darker dun of snowshoe rabbit and the thorax is twisted strands of pheasant tail which has a rusty brown cast. They both work.

The Majesty

Here's an early season pattern which is the first mayfly to arrive in mid to late April. The diminutive size 18 Blue Quill. We see this hatch appear around midday and many times wild trout will turn on to these morsels. They're small...but they are effective and will bring some 20+ inch brown trout to the surface! Blue Quill for the body, grey Hare-Tron dub for a nice built up thorax and snowshoe rabbit for the wing with a trailing shuck.




The Majesty (Alternate Wing)

Another version of "The Majesty" but this time I've used a lighter dun color for the wing as opposed to the dark dun / medium grey found in the above right photo. Depending on glare, contrast, foam lines and light conditions, a lighter wing might make the difference in hook ups so why not make the same pattern with a slighty lighter wing color. FISH ON!


This is an alternate take on Gary LaFontaine's Emergent Sparkle Pupa of the common caddis that the Upper Delaware River has plenty of. These bugs hatch in April through the month of May are are very common on the Main Stem where there are blizzard hatches. I've used some pearl tinsel for the body which glistens as well as ultra fine Z-Lon for the emergent bubble for the pupa.  Sizes: 12 through 16.









RF Caddis

Here's a simple but very effective pattern which simulates a caddis dry. Tied in sizes from 12 through 16 and the body can be either green, tan or grey to imitate the abundant naturals. The RF Caddis, hat tip to Rich Strolis of Connecticut, uses snowshoe rabbit for the wing as opposed to elk or deer hair but has much more buoyancy in the riffles and runs of the Main Stem UDR.


The X-Caddis was designed by Craig Matthews at Blue Ribbon Flies in Montana to simulate the vulnerability of the caddis with the trailing shuck of Antron or Z-Lon.  This time I've used a sparse amount of Coastal Deer Hair for the underwing and then a sparse amount of snowshoe for the emergent wing.

Vary the size from 12 to 16 along with the body in tan, olive and grey to match the natural. A bit of ice dub for the thorax and you're ready for the water!








Tan X- Caddis with / without Egg Sac

I'll tie those X-Caddis in three basic colors for the body dubbing: tan, grey and green to imitate the natural that's hatching on either the West Branch or the Main Stem. Around Mother's Day in early to mid May, you'll find the Grannom laying eggs so it's always a good idea to tie a few alternates as well.  These patterns have sparse Coastal for the wing and a little bit of snowshoe.  Sizes: 14 and 16.

Breakout Hendrickson Emerger

This pattern, "Breakout Emerger", was originated by Loren Williams and can be tied on a scud hook - here a Daichii 1150 - in different sizes and body colors to match a specific mayfly.  I've tied this pattern to tie an early season Hendrickson in size 14. Body is pheasant tail with strands wound like rope and then overwrapped with fine gold wire. Dun snowshoe for wing and fine Z-Lon for the loop wingcase. Partridge: legs and tail.





The Lordville Poo-Pah

The Poo-Pah was originated by Tim Fox on the Sacramento River in California and also works very well as a caddis imitation on the Upper Delaware River on those wild and strong 'bows. I will tie these patterns in sizes 12, 14 and 16.  Body colors are in tan, green and grey to imitate the naturals that our river has plenty of. Peacock herl is used for the collar and micro chenille for the body.  Partridge for legs and an underbody of pearl tinsel with fine gold wire segmented. Fish these patterns in the oxygenated riffles and pockets either solo or on a tandem rig with an emerger or attractor.

The Lordville Poo-Pah (sans perle)

Here's the same fly pattern as on the photo on the left, which has been a great nymph / emerger (depending on the weight of the fly) on the Big D with the wild rainbows tied this time without the bead.  A side view and top view.  I've added some black ice dub touch dubbed loosely for the thorax before adding the peacock herl rope collar giving it a buggy scraggly look.








Miss Mary Meeker

Nymphs play an important role in any flyfishers success astream. Throughout my years on the Upper Delaware River, my three favorite nymphs are: Prince Nymph, Pheasant Tail and a Copper John. I usually tie these in sizes 12 and 14 along with a gold bead since the river is big and the velocity is swift which means you've got to get these nymphs down in the water column and they have to be large enough for the fish to eat. An adaptation of these three patterns is "Miss Mary Meeker" which employs Pheasant Tail, Peacock Herl / Ice Dub, Partridge and fine red wire weighted with a gold bead.

Prince of the Upper Delaware

Besides a Pheasant Tail pattern, another great nymph pattern is the Prince Nymph.  Tied either with a bead or without, the fly has taken more than its share of feisty wild 'bows in the riffles on the Big D.  I believe the success of this pattern is the peacock herl which can also be found in Brassies, PT's and Copper Johns as well. I tie these weighted in sizes 10, 12 and 14. Just looking at this fly reminds me of the many stoneflies that get dislodged and eaten by the trout. Make sure to have a few of these in your flybox!








Here's a spin-off to the Prince nymph.  Same configuration except I use a Czech braid instead of peacock herl for the body. This fly is a great imitation for the Yellow Sally, a small golden stonefly that makes its appearance on Catskill streams and rivers like the Big D in late May and early June. That's not to say that you can't fish it on a tandem with the standard Prince early in the season since the fish sometimes want variety and this pattern provides it.  I tie these weighted with and without a bead using a gold biot and fine green wire in sizes 10 through 14.

Doctor Copper

A hat tip to John Barr who designed the Copper John, one of the best nymph patterns that I've used in the Catskills and Upper Delaware River for many years.  The above photo is a slight adaptation to Mr. Barr's bead head nymph using a longer hook, a Dai - Riki #270 3X Long.  I try to make the peacock herl  thorax a bit larger and fuller and the body of either fine red copper wire or gold copper wire slimmer.  This fly is made in sizes 10 through 16.





Poor Fred.

Every angler knows about the Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear - it's a staple in every beginning flyfishers kit. Why? Well, because it's a time proven pattern that works! Here's my version of the GRHE called "Poor Fred".

I tie this nymph weighted with and without a bead in sizes 10 through 16. Turkey flat for the bulging shuck, fine gold ribbing with Hare-Tron dubbing for the sleek body, lemon wood duck for the tail and a mix of hare's ear and a dark brown buggy for the thorax, the ever present partridge for legs and  topped off with golden brown ice dub to give it little sparkle which is one thing Poor Fred doesn't have.  Tie one on this spring!

Purcell's Fancy

This is a very effective mayfly nymph pattern that is tied either with or without a bead. It's an offshoot of the venerable Pheasant Tail created by Frank Sawyer in the U.K. The patterns calls for four pheasant tail fibers for the tail and body with fine gold wire wound like rope and also peacock herl for the thorax. For the shuck, I've switched to mottled turkey wing which is more subdued and added partridge for the legs topped with a bit of orange ice dub for the head. You can also fish this tandem with "Poor Fred" or "Prince".  Sizes: 10 through 16.




"Gordo" - a very successful parachute style tie which incorporates a trailing shuck made of Antron, quill dyed blue / grey, grey dubbing, a white Z-Lon post and dun rooster hackle. The hook can be any dry fly style. I use a Tiemco T100 on a size 14. Quill Gordons are the first large mayflies to appear on very clean oxygenated rivers before the Hendrickson / Red Quill hatch and are the same size, but the QG coloration is more grey and they have two tails whereas the Hendrickson has three tails and a more distinct reddish / tan / grey cast. A hat tip to Theodore Gordon - the yank that started it all!


Pictured above is an Isonychia Emerger that can be fished as a trailer to a heavier bead head nymph or on its own. I tie these flies in sizes 10 and 12 on a scud hook and the trout will agressively strike these wet flies, or, emergers, as they swing in the fast riffles where the naturals hatch and swim as they become duns.
The time for Slake Drakes, or Isonychia, is summer and fall. You'll see these bugs hatch when the water is in the 50s to mid 60s mostly on humid and overcast days in the afternoon.
Besides your arsenal of Blue Wing Olives and sure to have a few Iso-Iso's as well as Snowshoe Iso's! 




Cactus Razzy

"On the cover of The Rolling Stone?"  


Well, not quite... but this caddis pupa pattern has caught more than its fair share of wild 'bows on the Main Stem and was inspired by an old sage to the river valley as well as a sharp talking Rolling Stone alumni. This guy is like Narrowsburg's version of Howard Hughes and Rube Cross combined...very secretive but talented. This gent has an ability to put a spell on the fish and I was privileged to learn the ways of Ol' Cactus recipe which uses a mix of Ice Dub and Z-Lon.  When this fly is submerged in the fast oxygenated water, the mix of Z-Lon, sets off an incredible array of trapped bubbles triggering vicious strikes from the fish thinking it's a pupa which has become dislodged in the water column. Can be fished solo or tandem.

Breakout March Brown Emerger

Another great pattern designed by Loren Williams (I have a sample of the Hendrickson Breakout Emerger a few rows up).


Just change the coloration and size to match the hatch and you're all set!


I fish these emergers in the film solo or also as the dropper about eight inches behind a bead head nymph in any pocket or riffle that has oxygen...and trout!.


A proven and excellent pattern on the Big D.!




LaFontaine's Emergent Sparkle Pupa

Tiny Bubbles!


Yes, those loose strands of antron when Gary LaFontaine's superb pattern, the ESP, is submerged in the water column emits tiny bubbles as the caddis pupa swims upwards towards the surface to break free of its shuck to become an adult caddis fly.  During this time the insect becomes very vulnerable and the trout know it! I'll tie the ESP in sizes 12, 14 and 16 in tan, grey and green.  Materials consist of: Antron, touch dub a mix of sparkly antron with dubbing material in your choice of caddis colors, coastal deer hair for the wing and finish it up with a darker color for the head.  A very effective pattern for the Catskills and can be fished tandem using a larger Elk Hair Caddis greased with floatant for the top fly and the ESP for the trailer. About 80% of the time, the fish will whack the ESP!

Bird's Nest X-Caddis (with egg sac)


Here's a hybrid of Craig Matthew's X-Caddis with it's antron and coastal deer hair along with the coloration and materials of The Bird's Nest, a nymph pattern, created by Cal Bird in 1959 when he fished the Truckee River in California and Nevada.  The fly has excellent durability, floats well in the surface film and I've touched dubbed the body as well as the egg sac which glistens with small air bubbles when in the water that triggers aggressive strikes.  See photo of LaFontaine's ESP in water on left. Tied in tan (shown above), green and grey in sizes 12, 14 and 16.




Shad Fly - General Geo. Washington's Assortment

The American Shad...or, if you're John McPhee, author of "The Founding Fish" - he might use the Latin - alosa sapidissima.  But for us river junkies on the Upper Delaware River they also go by the name: 

"Poor Man's Salmon".


Whatever you want to call these fish, they are one hell of a fighter! Related to the herring and tarpon, these fish leave the Atlantic Ocean in the spring and return to fresh water rivers along the east coast to spawn. Females - roe shad - will run up to 7 pounds and strip line like a bonefish.


This past season, Julia Grace Ketner, captured an IGFA All-Tackle (Length) World Record for American Shad.

This youngster caught this record fish with me on the Upper Delaware River on May 4 2013. 

The Upper Delaware is blessed since it is the longest free flowing river in the northeast has no dams to obstruct the passage of these fish for 270 miles!


Shad will attack weighted bright colored flies and streamers out of aggression and the flies pictured have taken their fair share using colors matched with those of President Washington when he fished this river in the late 1700's.  Try one and see -- FISH ON!

Goin' Coastal

Gary LaFontaine's breakthrough pattern, Emergent Sparkle Pupa, is one of the best flies the angler can use either solo or tandem on the Big D or West Branch Delaware River during the emergence of the spring Caddis fly - whether they be Grannom, Charcoal, Popcorn or Apple.  I will tie these flies in grey, green and tan to match the insect on the water. This version features Coastal Deer Hair for the wing and not snowshoe as in the E.S.P. seen a few rows above. In size 12, 14 and 16.





Admiral's Tent Caddis

Another great pattern is The Admiral's Tent Caddis using turkey quill for the mottled coloration of the tent wing that is common for all grannoms and caddis found throughout the Catskills and Upper Delaware River Valley.  I'll also add a bit of grouse for the legs which makes the pattern even more buggy when immersed in the water. This fly can be fished solo or also tandem with an ESP. A very deadly fly available in green, grey and tan in size 12, 14 and 16.

Sulphur Breakout Emerger

Many customers had great success in the Catskills and Upper Delaware River region with the March Brown, Iso and Hendrickson Breakout Emerger last season and wanted me to tie a lighter version that could double as a Light Cahill in size 14 or Sulphur or a PMD (like an Invaria or Dorothea) in size 16 and 18.  Here it is and from the field tests in Argentina and Chile they have been very effective this past winter both fished solo or on a tandem rig on 5 or 6x.  These will be proven winners in the late Spring and throughout the summer on the tailwaters of the West Branch. Available in #14, #16 and #18.

Soopa Poopa

In honor of the 2014 Super Bowl, we bring you "Soopa Poopa" which is a hybrid of two sucessful caddis patterns. The first is Gary Lafontaine's Emergent Sparkle Pupa and the other is Tim Fox's Poo Pah. The giveway  is that nice micro chenille butt along with a sparkle bubble that traps bubbles under water and in the surface film.  The flies were tied in both green for the Seahawks and orange for the Broncos.  They've worked very well this past winter in South America.  Available in size 12, 14 and 16.


Wow!  Here's a proven pattern that was originally designed by Canadian born, now Scotsman, Bob Wyatt.  Bob called it a "Deer Hair Emerger" and if you look at Al Caucci's "Compara - Emerger"'s a dead ringer. What came first?  Who cares?  As long as the pattern works. And work it does on the Upper Delaware River.


It's an easier tie than say a Klinkhammer without the parchute post - but just as effective since it uses the abdomen of the fly submerged in the water and the wing and thorax, which is touch - dubbed, creats a more "buggy" appearance.  Both wing and thorax floats in the film waiting for a fish to nail it.


I tie the D.H.E to match all mayflies (pictured above is a March Brown)  but vary the coloration and size. The silhouette remains the same.



GQ Flash Pupa (3 Variations)

Caddis hatches play a very big part of aquatic insect life on the Main Stem of the Upper Delaware River where I have guided for the past twenty years.  Turn over any small rock in shallow riffles and you will see thousands of casings attached to the bottom of rocks which are the shelters for caddis larvae. The following patterns have been very effective when fished in oxygenated riffles of two to four feet when prospecting for wild rainbows. Try fishing these with a larger prince or PT as the point and then tie a size 14 or 16 (depending on current speed) as the dropper.  You'll be glad you did! Those 'bows seem to like the pupa.  Tight lines! Available in size 12, 14 and 16.  Green, Tan and Gray.

 Snowshoe Quills

This dry fly uses stripped peacock.   I dye it to match the natural on the water. Pictured above is the Snowshoe Red Quill.  The nice feature about this pattern is the slender body of the fly with the segmented colors that imitate the abdomen of the natural mayfly whether it be a Quill Gordon, Blue Quill, Red Quill or Sulphur. 


Rounding out the recipe is Snowshoe Rabbit for the wing tied fan style, two Micro Fibbetts for the tail splayed and a slight amount of fine super dubbing to imitate the thorax of the mayfly.


This fly is a proven winner.


Quill Gordon in size 14; Red Quill in size 14 and 16; Blue Quill in size 16 and 18; Sulphur in size 16 and 18; Baetis (BWO) in size 16 and 18.

Prince Nymph aka Bead Head Bernie

Without a doubt, a Prince Nymph, with its' iridescent peacock herl is what the wild rainbows on the Main Stem Upper Delaware River crave. To me, it could resemble the nymph stage of the Isonychia or a small stonefly nymph which the clean waters of the Upper Delaware River are known for.  I tie these nymphs with and without beads - and weighted -  in sizes 10, 12, 14 and 16.  This fly, also known in the Catskill region as "Bead Head Bernie", along with the venerable Pheasant Tail, has taken more than their share of trout from the skinny riffles from Long Eddy south to Damascus. Don't be on the river without this pattern!

Mandingo (Caddis Pupa Series)

This fly pattern can double as a sowbug or cressbug which is the primary forage for trout in the spring creeks throughout southeastern Pennsylvania or out west. However, it works just as well as being a caddis pupa with the shell made of body glass and the fine grey ostrich herl imitating gills protruding from the bottom. The head of this fly is topped off with peacock herl for its wonderful iridescence that wild rainbows love. Tied  on a Daiichi 1150 hook in sizes 12, 14 and 16.


Gartside Gurgler

The late Jack Gartside of Boston was an innovative fly tyer who came up with various salt and freshwater fly patterns that are now legendary.  He was an angler and designer that thought "outside the box" and never took this great sport too seriously.

The pattern pictured above is the "Gartside Gurgler" which can be used on both saltwater species like Reds, Specs and Stripers as well as freshwater gamefish like smallmouth bass.

I tie these patterns for the river bronzebacks who like to nail these topwater bugs in the skinny riffles in August and September. A great fly! Available in sizes 1,2 and 4.

 Double Gurgler

The same pattern as pictured at left except this time tied with two strips of closed cell foam which gives the fly a bit more support at the lip along with more gurgle and splash to entice fish.  I've also extended the tail which is comprised of bucktail dyed to your specs and a few strands of Krystal Flash and Sparkle Flash.


Tested throughout the summer in the skinny oxygenated water and pockets for river smallmouth bass under low light and windless conditions -- this topwater pattern works like a charm.


NOTE: This fly pattern can also be used for saltwater fish and is available in sizes 1/0, 1, 2 and 4 on a Tiemco 300 hook.





Isonychia - Breakout Snowshoe Emerger

The Upper Delaware River and Catskill streams have plenty of Isonychia's, or Slate Drakes, that hatch  in clean oxygenated water throughout the late summer and fall.  Here's a pattern that I have used with success either fished solo or tandem on a dropper in the riffles before the emergence of the Iso's. Peacock swords for the tail as in a Zug Bug. Tied in size 12 and 14. 

Blue Wing Olive - Breakout Snowshoe Emerger

Pictured above is snowshoe emerger which is a great staple for the many species of BWO's, or Baetis, we see hatching throughout the year in the Catskills. I find that the Blue Wing Olives prefer overcast days. These mayflies can vary from size 14 down to very small 22's in the late fall. This pattern is tied from 14 to 18 and can double with an RS2 (seen below).




This great pattern was created by Rim Chung on the South Platte River in Colorado to imitate a Baetis, or small Blue Wing Olive, which are prevalent on many tailwaters like the Upper Delaware River system. The fly can be fished either as an emerger or nymph. It is especially effective when trailed behind a parachute BWO, or larger fly under low light conditions such as a Wulff. RS2's are tied in sizes 18 and 20. On overcast days or when trout are sipping and they refuse Rusty Spinners - throw 'em an RS2!

Hi-Viz Parachute - Hendrickson

Take a look at this flush floating pattern. Yes, it's a parachute for the Hendrickson mayfly which will appear in the Catskills - Upper Delaware River region in late April / early May.  


However, I've also added a Hi-Viz Antron post in chartreuse which is a great aid to the angler both in glare and low light. I'll tie this style for all mayflies - Hendrickson, Red Quill, March Brown, Sulphurs, Cahills and BWO's.

More flies will appear throughout the winter when I am off the water. 


If you have questions or would like to order a few of these flies to try next spring please feel free to contact me.


Tight lines!


Tony Ritter


845.701.3894 - mobile








For additional information, please e-mail me at:

or call 845.252.3657 / 845.701.3894


Kindest regards and tight lines always!

Tony Ritter

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