Eye of the Guide


Satoshi Yamamoto - Feb 03, 2016

Original Designs:

Back to the First Desire:

A little break here; ten books are not enough to discuss to Atlantic Salmon Flies, but I have acquired and read through these within a year. I consider that's quite a lot for one subject. Of course I invested my time to read and tie and then money to purchase materials.

So I became comfortable working on tying the Atlantic Salmon Flies. I've learned and am still learning from each traditional pattern. But as I gained my skills and comforts, my initial desire came back: "would be fun if I design/express something because there are so many beautiful materials". I started to draw my idea: style, materials, color, and combination effects. Again, it's different from designing and experimenting with trout flies. If my idea for new trout flies doesn't look good on the vise I can throw it away or salvage the hook easily. With Atlantic Salmon Flies, for the best result I can produce, I had to plan carefully. Collapsing and giving up toward the end were the last things I wanted. There were some intensity and pressure building up inside of me but by then I developed a mind-set and some confidence to handle those.

Trout Food/Fly Replicas:

After all I'm a trout fisherman and a guide. I decided to design/express the two most iconic insects in my area
Salmonfly on the Gardner:

Salmonfly (Pteronarcys californica) is one of most exciting and popular hatches in SW Montana. The Gardner River in Yellowstone National Park gets much less attention than other fabled rivers. I felt I was obliged to attempt to tie a salmon fly pattern to honor that hatch and this often neglected river.

It came out as a fully dressed Built Wing pattern. I was still using an eyed hook then and this was one of those toward the end of using eyed hooks. Also it was tied with the former prescribed glasses (now I have a custom prescribed Fly-Tying glass!). Looking back even now, I still think this is one of my best.

Tied on a 3/0 hook, this one might actually catch trout during the hatch……..

Ephemerella in valle locus

In spring of 2014, I completed assignments with my mentor. I became a full-fledged fly-dresser in my own right (just kidding). By then I had developed the idea of "senior project". I usually get busy guiding when Pale Morning Dun start to hatch in late June at Livingston's spring creeks. We have both inermis and infrequence. So I might as well call it Ephemerella. Then I wondered what Paradise Valley would be in Latin à online translator!

Style, colors, materials:

This time I used a Popham as a model: three-divided body each with veiling and unique color. I used CDC, which we often incorporate in PMD imitations, as veiling in three most often-used colors = olive, gray, and yellow. The head was finished with a dubbing technique taught by my mentor.

I feel I could express my feelings for PMD: an iconic insect in one of the most beautiful places on the earth = Paradise Valley.

Satoshi Yamamoto, www.leftyanglerandflies.com, is a guide and a fly-dresser in Livingston, MT.

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