February Fly of the Month: The Blowtorch

February Fly of the Month: The Blowtorch

Confidence flies are a thing of beauty.  Whether you find yourself on a new patch of river or a familiar stream regardless of the season or conditions, it's comforting to have a starting lineup of fly patterns to reach for that have proven themselves time and time again.  Devin Olsen's Blowtorch pattern has earned the role of starter for me on both the rivers I fish near home and throughout the west.  It just seems to catch fish everywhere when tied in a variety of sizes and weights.  

At first glance, the Blowtorch has a very distinct caddis pupa profile and certainly works very well throughout late spring and summer when the caddis proliferate.  I find it produces reliably throughout the year as well and suppose it's just an irresistibly meaty morsel in the eyes of a trout.   Locally, it's been the one nymph pattern that consistently catches bull trout, particularly in the fall when the rivers are full of salmon eggs.  Perhaps that egg orange splash of color is all that it takes to trigger a strike.  With its dark silhouette and hot tag, the Blowtorch is an exceptional fly when the streams are high and dirty after a rain or during spring runoff.   Tie a few this month as you're preparing for trout season and let them work their magic.


Blowtorch Recipe:
Hook: Hanak 400BL 
Rib: 6x Monofilament & Pearl Sulky Thread or Micro Flashabou 
Hot Spot: UV Pink Ice Dub




Confluence Beer Pairing:  This month's inspired pairing is Rude Boy, or its stateside counterpart Smirnoff Ice.  Neither is particularly palatable but both make a great gag to hide in your fishing buddy's pack or allow them to unsuspectingly stumble upon through some other means.  After more than a decade long hiatus, I got "iced" several times last month, be it cleverly hidden in my lunch cooler on the bonefish flats of Belize or disguised in a box of donuts addressed to me at the fly shop.  Should you choose to brutally "ice" one of your friends while fishing, just be sure to have a few extra fresh Blowtorches on hand in case you need a reconciliatory offering.

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