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Salmonfly.Net Salmon and Steelhead Fly Tying Guide  In Memory of Yuri Shumakov 

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William Lovelace - Favorite Flies, Fly Shops, and Rivers

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Mack's Canyon BlueWhen Steve asked me to tie some flies for the Pink Salmon issue, he later expanded the idea into a favorite flies issue. Thinking about favorite flies led me to ponder how our own time on the waters we fish influences some flies that become our favorites. Famous Rivers lend themselves to creating famous or favorite flies. I can't set foot in the North Umpqua or any steelhead river without a few Green Butt Skunk variations in my box. I haven't yet fished the Skykomish River but Skykomish Sunrises have been in my boxes for years. No doubt you have some favorite waters and a few patterns to match. I know I have many rivers represented in my boxes and I hope someday I will splash those namesake flies in their currents. And don't forget that as a tier the favorites you give away to non tying friends add to the ripple effect of the favorites pool.

The fly logo for this year’s Northwest Fly Tyers and Fly Fishing Expo 2010 in Albany, Oregon is Doug Stewart's Mack's Canyon Steelhead Fly synonymous with Oregon's Deschutes River. Kaufmann Streamborn for years has been a shop that features prominently in Deschutes steelhead lore. Favorite fly shops contribute to our favorite fly category that we find in our boxes (more so for the non tiers). I think fondly of an autograph party Randall held in the 80's down the street from the original Tigard shop in a fire hall. Trey Combs, Frank Amato, and Bill Stinson were some of the steelheading authors that I had the pleasure of meeting and talking with about fishing.

Here are a number of flies from Deschutes waters that find themselves at home swimming any of our great Western steelhead waters. Commercial ties of these flies are most often made with chenille or yarn bodies for speed of tying but I prefer to dub the bodies on most of my flies. It is not that the fish really care about the difference but it may give us tyers the individual essence of the fly, river, fish connection that prompts us to give our fly one more cast. As John Shewey often points out, in steelheading, more important than the fly is that you know the next cast is going to catch a fish. For more information about these flies and many of our famous rivers to match I suggest reading these two books; Hairwing and Tube Flies for Salmon and Steelhead by Chris Mann and Trey Combs wonderful book Steelhead Fly Fishing.

The Flies

Coal CarDeschutes SkunkFlat CarFreight Train
Mack's CanyonMack's Canyon BlueMcNeese MadnessStreetwalker

To see the flies in Bill's Spade,  Blonde, Clouser,  Pink, and Tube Fly series and other William Lovelace flies, visit

The Flies Of William Lovelace

"What Can I Say About These Blondes"

"A Day on Puget Sound, Sea-Run Cutthroat, and Salt Water Flies"

"Favorite Flies for Pink Salmon"

Tube Flies on a Tube Steak Budget!


Bill Lovelace at Albany Exposition

Bill Lovelace really needs no introduction to Salmonfly.Net readers. His prolific contributions to the site are now over 130 flies and articles and his eclectic  collection on these pages  make him a valuable resource to the fly-fishing community, in particular those that wish to see a variety of steelhead fly-tying styles.

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