In order to fish for trout, we used to have to drive 2.5 hours to Bennett Springs State Park and Trout Hatchery.  Dustin and I spent many fantastic, albeit tiring, days at Bennett.  Our routine would consist of getting up around 230 or 300 so we could arrive in time for the horn.  We’d be silly and fish way too long, and then barely make it home with one eye open.  I have a special affinity for this place since it is essentially where Dustin and I learned to fly fish, him just a few (15 years) prior to myself.

Yesterday, my mom said a work colleague heads to Bennett next weekend.  She asked what Dustin I normally had luck with, and wondered if he could tie up a few patterns.  The following are what we always made sure we had in the box for a trip to Bennett.  Truth be told, the only other fly we caught fish on that is not in this group is a John Deere.

King Prince: IMG_4372

Dustin and I both caught a lot of trout on the King, and most mornings would start out with this little guy.  When Dustin first started to tie these, I was completely enamored with them.  I wanted a King on my line all the time.  Kings just flat out produce.   


The credit for this fly goes to the guys at Rainbow Fly Shop in Independence.  I am not sure which one is the original creator, but he deserves a prize.  This fly really is super; we’ve tore them up at Bennett with it, and wild Colorado trout have fell victim to it as well.  The fish above, it scarfed the Superman.

Red Rocket:IMG_4369

Much the same as the Superman, just a little change-up in colors, which is exactly what the trout need sometimes.  I mean we don’t like to eat the same things all the time, right?  So why should they.  This little guy has been a killer as well.  Dustin also ties it with blue wire – which is the way I prefer, just because it has netted me more fish than the red and silver.  He also ties this as an emerger.


What a versatile fly this is.  Dustin has caught fish with this while fishing it as a dry, fishing it deep with sinking line, and fishing it just below the surface with floating line while stripping it back to him.  Throw this fly on late morning or early afternoon and it will score you some trout.  We’ve fished a variety of colors with this as well. 

Caribou Maribou;IMG_4359

We’ve seen many a fish swim by with some kind of maribou hanging from it’s lip.  Bennett Trout cannot resist the maribou, it is just fact.

San Juan Worm:IMG_4089

Okay, I have to say it, Dustin and I don’t like to fish these.  I am not sure why, because they work.  Early in this fly fishing game, Dustin soured me on this worm as he looked in his box with disgust at them.  From that point on I thought they were the devil of all flies.  Totally silly, because when the water is high, the fish eat these.  As we all know, rain brings out the segmented worms, and well, those worms are mighty tasty to our fish.  With water high and muddy at Bennett, it might be well time to tie on a San Juan. 

Incredible water surrounds me now, so it is somewhat unbelievable that I wouldn’t mind another day at the trout park.  It certainly holds a bit of nostalgia, for Dustin and I both.  With Dustin tying these Bennett flies, and Brooke’s Eleven Point flies, homesickness starts to kick in a bit.     


I hope my mom’s colleague enjoys Dustin’s flies and has a great weekend with her husband and grandkids.


Written by Stephanie Mullins


Colorado Angler

Nice looking flies, there – the Crackleback intrigues me. It looks like a fun fly to experiment with.

Ah…the dreaded San Juan. Like you two, I don't like tossing those either. But sometimes it can be a necessary evil.

An extremely effective version of this fly can also be tied with little strips of chamois…you know, the things we use to dry our cars with?

I've found those to be far more deadlier than the traditional red in high, off-color water.

Use a razor to cut extremely thin strips – taper the ends and you're off and running. Once in the water, they round out nicely and have great movement.

Stephanie and Dustin

@Josh – he tied and photographed these at 10 o'clock last night. I was pretty darn impressed when I saw them this morning.

@COAngler & @Dustin – This is why Dustin needs to man the blog more. I'll have him give you boys the recipe when he gets home.

@CoAngler – Chamois worms for high, dirty water, eh? We'll give it a whirl since high water is right around the corner. Damn worms.

@Sanders – When are you going to start posting yours? Sheesh already!


Unless I'm mistaken – a distinct possibility , btw – the Crackleback is credited to one of owners of Feathercraft in St. Louis – Ed or Bob Story.

And – they DO work. Everywhere. Fished every way.

I always did well at Bennett with a TINY (24) Light Cahill style dry, too.

Stephanie and Dustin

@Wolfy – I'm not sure who created it, but they also deserve a prize. Many fish have been caught with it.

Dustin learned the pattern in his first fly tying class, and its been one of the best ties he's learned. He absolutely loves it – in every color. Glad to hear you have had success with it too.

Stephanie and Dustin

@Dustin & @CoAngler – recipe for Crackleback
TMC 100's sizes 12-18
Body is holographic tinsel with a piece of holographic tinsel on the top. Originally tied with ostrich feathers to help keep it floating, use ostrich if you only want to use it as a dry.
Saddle hackle to match the size.
You can also add a bead if you want to fish sub-surface and/or deep.


Hey – just want to say thanks for following my blog, and I hope that you'll be regular visitors. I love your site, and look forward to much more. Keep having fun, and don't be strangers. -R


I know this is an old post but I stumbled across it….Those are some very good looking flies! I was curious though, what size did you tie the Zebra midge variations (superman and red rocket) in for Bennett?

Stephanie and Dustin

Cole, those are really old patterns and if I was to tie them with a UV collar of some sort and a few to size 20. Those are some of the first patterns I learned to tie. Let me know if those work for you.


They did work very well although I had to fish a variation of them. I used a white tinsel body with a red wire rib, and it worked fantastic in a size 14 (all I had on hand when tying them). I fished them all Saturday and Sunday of this past weekend and even had a moment at the bridge where I caught one on almost every cast. Overall, I never caught anything overly huge on them, but had a fun successful visit! Thanks for the help, as I really appreciate it!

PS: Try tying them with a collar of "hares ear" Ice dub as this seemed to be a top producer!


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