In this gear review, we’ll be thinking small and dreaming big by diving into the Yakoda Supply fly catalog, and seeing how some of these bugs perform on the water. In this breakdown, we’ll be looking at 5 different flies from Yakoda Supply, and going over what stood out to us with each one once tied on the end of some 5x/6x. Considering the cooling temps and changing seasons, we decided to focus on some sub-surface entomology – specifically nymphs and similar patterns designed to be floated beneath a bobber, or on a tight line rig. Check out how these flies faired in durability, presentation, and overall effectiveness in our review below…
When it comes to flies, many anglers consider themselves indifferent. However, any guide will tell you that the biggest difference between a day of hauling fish into the boat, and a day of stinking like roadkill is oftentimes the adaptability of an angler, and their willingness to constantly change their offerings. Trout may have brains the size of a pistachio, but their unwavering instinct will quickly lead to a harsh refusal of any fly deemed suspicious. Luckily, there are a million flies out there to try, and with some help friends our friends at Yakoda, we now have a few more.
Yakoda Supply is a brand based in Colorado and specializes in affordable fly-fishing-focused gear such as unique apparel and in-the-field fishing systems. A few years ago, Yakoda has branched out into the fly-supply game, and now offers a plethora of unique flies, designed by Yakoda, and tied through MFC.
When approached to try out Yakoda’s unique selection of flies, we were more than grateful for the opportunity to try some new patterns not found in our local fly-shops. Considering the amount of daily foot traffic seen on our local waters, it was around that time of year that the fishing had started to slow down and the usual run-of-the-mill patterns had begun to lose their potency (let’s disregard pegged eggs here…). So, it wasn’t long after receiving a few Yakoda fly tins that we had our gear together and were eagerly on our way to our local waters to try to dish out some lip piercings.
Over the course of a few days, we had the chance to test out these flies in a variance of different environments. After day 1, we narrowed down our test subjects to just a few flies and worked water from there. The flies that were chosen from there, you can find covered below:
Starting off at bat, we have what may have been the crowd favorite: The Yakoda Mountain Dew. The Mtn. Dew is an attractor pattern, serving less to mimic a specific type of subsurface insect life, but more to act as a flashy enticement to tempt a curious trout to bite.
This fly possesses a slightly caddis-like composure with its iridescent green body and dubbing collar, but its purpose underwater is more vaguely proportionate to Lance Egan’s Rainbow Warrior – fly that has inspired countless others like it. Due to the slim tapered build of the fly and the weighted bead head, we found it was easy to work it through fast-moving pockets and pick up trout with only a few seconds between drifts. However, this fly could also be fished in larger. slower moving pools, attracting takes from fish that were buried down in the colder water.
What’s really great about this fly is its versatility. As most who favor flash over match will agree, this fly is usually a safe bet in almost all circumstances. Sometimes, as a great way to alert trout to a hanging dry just above it, or as a delicious alternative hanging off a tag end, it’s certainly a fly you want to have a few of at all times.
Next on the list is the Yakoda CDC stonefly. We tried this pattern in a couple of variations, but the one that seemed to work best for us was the golden stonefly imitation. Designed to mimic golden stonefly larva, this is a refreshing alternative to some other patterns on the market. While Golden stoneflies, or Yellow Sally’s, are a well-noted summer bug, the fish didn’t seem to mind.
We were super surprised by the success that the CDC stonefly brought, especially considering our proximity to the summer months. While stonefly larvae can be found in most western rivers year-round, fish tend to become a bit more selective and prefer smaller midges once the weather gets colder. Then again, talk to any Pat’s rubber legs enthusiasts and they’ll have me swallowing my words.
This fly capitalized on its vibrant colors, and upon getting wet, turned into a glowing mass of feather and biot. With its heavy weight, this fly plunged quickly and with grace – its CDC collar dancing in the water all the way down. During its drift, this fly possessed a perfect combination of weight and material that it presented a natural tumble across the bottom, while still appearing lifelike and inviting to any hungry trout whose feeding lane it entered. To anyone who knows a thing or two about tying, they know that CDC works in the water in a unique way that’s simply irresistible to trout.
To anyone who’s versed in their zoological identifications: Annelid is a fancy term for: yes, a worm. But unlike the infamous squirmy wormy or San Juan worm, this fly acts and operates a little differently. Tied solely around the hook shank, and coated with a resin finish, this fly more closely mimics the smaller annelids that often get pulled off submerged logs and rocks as opposed to the nightcrawlers you grandpa fished on his ugly stik.
The beauty of the minimal construction of the Opal Annelid is its sink rate. Where it lacks in animation, this fly is streamlined to sink directly into a feeding lane and start fishing immediately. Considering this fly is best suited for when the river gauge rises, you want to have something that can get down fast in turbid waters.
This fly is great for picking apart pocket water, and even better for pursuading stubborn fish to bite even after they’ve seemingly sworn off insects for the day. One final thing that’s great about this fly is its durability. Unlike rubber or yarn, these flies and their protective coating are more than a substantial match for little jagged trout teeth. Considering all the fish you’ll be catching with it – you’ll be happy to see this fly can take a hit.
Oh – definitely remember to debarb this one.
Upon opening the Yakoda Fly Tin, the Hotwire CDC pheasant tail stood out to me immediately. Being a sucker for the classics, pheasant tail nymphs are a staple to my tightline fly selection. Slap a CDC collar on that puppy and that fly added up to be one tasty little number.
Boasting a more natural range of colors, this fly is an excellent representation of stonefly larvae found squirming under rocks. The CDC stirs around underwater, imitating little insect legs kicking around trying not to become trout food. Fished underneath a bead of split-shot and beside a Yakoda Mountain Dew, this fly effectively plunged in and out of pockets, placing itself right in the feeding lane of unsuspecting trout.
The Hotwire CDC Pheasant tail operates on the simple notion of: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. It’s a simple pattern, upgraded by a jig head and fancy collar, but simple nonetheless. If you’re new to the tightlining game, or just looking for a little extra weight under your bobber, this fly is a fantastic tag end or standalone fly for trout fishing all year round.
Lastly, we have one of the hottest flies on the list – the Green Machine. Much like the Stonefly imitation mentioned above, this fly capitalized on a large insect-like body and a lot of moving parts. The CDC collar and pheasant tail provided an excellent array of movement underwater, while the flashback and copper wire really added a shine and bugginess to the fly’s presentation.
As the clouds rolled in over us, we tied this fly on as the lead fly to a shallow rig and danced it along a gradual drop off. The fly scuttled across the bottom underneath the indicator, and bounced from rock to rock as it floated through the water. It was nice to actually see the fly in the water as we could assume a hungry fish may also be able to take notice of it.
As we worked up the tailwater, we dropped the fly in a fast-moving riffle. Within a few seconds, the bobber began to jiggle and our green little friend was on its way down river via a plump little brown trout’s mouth. Upon landing the fish and seeing the fly out of the water, it was really cool to see how the vibrant bug that had sat in the tin had morphed into something much more natural-looking – something that one could expect to see when insect-scouting under rocks.
Overall, these flies are creative, durable, and well tied. As much is to be expected from the minds of Yakoda and the vises of MFC. As said before, when it comes to fly-fishing: the best fly to use is a good presentation. If you’re not versed in how to properly fish your rig, your chances of success are going to plummet – no matter what flies you’re using. However, sometimes it feels like you can be doing everything right – and the fish still just aren’t biting. This is when any competent angler knows to reassess what’s on the end of their line and make a fly-change. What we loved about Yakoda’s fly assortment, is that it offered us more options when doing so.
The kiss of death to an angler is getting stuck in old ways. How many folks have you met out on the river that swear by their size 18 Parachute Adams, and are complaining about not catching any fish? We’re not saying that these Yakoda flies are the final solution to all your problems, but if you’re looking to mix up your offering – we definitely recommend giving these bugs a try.
If the flies mentioned above aren’t exactly what you’re looking for, HERE is Yakoda’s full selection of flies.