Santa’s Helper

Submitted By Skip Nault

Tyer Comments:

This simple caddis pattern is easy to tie and a great steelhead pattern. The metal fiber dubbing helps to get the fly down fast.  The pattern was designed by Mark Kasubik.

Hook: TMC 2457, 2X short, 2X heavy, #12-14 scud hook
Thread: 6/0 black
Bead: 1/8 inch gold brass bead
Abdomen: Spirit River Depth Advantage Dubbing, Chartruese
Thorax: Peacock Herl, 2 strands, or synthetic peacock

Rib: Small red or gold wire.

Tying Instructions

You will love this dubbing…it goes on like a dream. Be certain to taper the body from the bend of the hook, progressively getting bigger to the thorax. Order of tying on the beaded hook:

1. Cover hook with thread.
2. Tie on wire rib at tail end.
3. Dub abdomen.
4. Wrap ribbing.
5. Tie on peacock herl collar (thorax).
6. Whip finish

Can also be tied on smaller or larger scud hooks with appropriate sized bead.  This pattern resembles the green rock worm (caddis larva) found in many of Ohio’s streams.

Santa’ Helper

Aurora Nymph

Submitted By Skip Nault

Tyer Comments:  This is one of the best flies I have used to fool brown trout, especially in the spring and early summer on the Clear Fork River.  Also has worked well on rainbow trout wherever it has been fished, especially in PA’s Spring Creek. The pattern originally was designed by Michigan’s Dennis Potter. Updated 5/17/20



Hook: #12-14 scud hook

Bead: gold or copper tungsten

Thread:  8/0 black, olive, white or red

Body: medium opal tinsel

Rib: small gold wire

Thorax: 2-3 strands peacock herl

Wing cover:  medium (or large) opal tinsel

Tail & legs: mini rubber legs, any color

Tying instructions:

Wrap thread at base of bead to snug in, then wrap thread back to hook bend.  Tie in rubber leg material to form paired tail.  Next, tie in small gold wire length of hook to wrap forward.  Secure a length of tinsel near tail and spiral with overlapping turns up to just behind bead.  This is when it is nice to have a rotary vice.  Next, counter wrap the gold wire up to the bead.  Coat abdomen with UV epoxy and cure with UV light.  Now tie in a small piece of large tinsel to form the wing cover.  Wrap peacock herl to form a thorax 1.5 times size of bead head, then pull over large tinsel to form a wing cover.  Place a length of rubber leg material to form a set of legs on the far side of nymph and a similar length on the near side and secure with no more than three wraps of thread between the legs.  Tie 4 to 5 half hitches with a half hitch tool just behind the bead.

Note:  As an alternative, tie the aurora nymph on a barbless jig hook.  The jig hook rides hook point up and is much less likely to snag on the bottom of the stream.

  Both the gold wire and UV epoxy protect the tinsel when hook is removed from fish with forceps.

New Aurora Nymph


An Aurora Nymph tied on a jig hook.

Trout in the Classroom

Trout in the Classroom (TIC) is an environmental education program in which students in grades k-12 . . .

  • raise trout from eggs to fry.
  • monitor tank water quality.
  • engage in stream habitat study.
  • learn to appreciate water resources.
  • begin to foster a conservation ethic.
  • grow to understand ecosystems.

Most programs end the year by releasing their trout in a state-approved stream near the school or within a nearby watershed.

During the year each teacher tailors the program to fit his or her curricular needs. Therefore, each program is unique. TIC has interdisciplinary applications in science, social studies, mathematics, language arts, fine arts, and physical education. In each state, Trout in the Classroom is funded by a number of generous supporters and made more rich through varied partnerships.

Currently, the Clear Fork River Chapter sponsors a half dozen TIC programs in area schools. It takes about $1,200 to set up a trout-rearing tank, with most of the cost going toward a water chiller (trout like cold water). The cost for subsequent years is minimal once all equipment is on hand after the first year. The program begins in January when classrooms receive fertilized rainbow or brown trout eggs from an Ohio Division of Wildlife fish hatchery and ends when trout fingerlings are released into a stream (usually Apple Creek in Wooster) in May.  On the day of the release, kids learn about stream ecology and sample the stream for aquatic macroinvertebrates, the insects and their relatives that trout feed on when living in the stream. They also clean up trash from the stream.

The chapter can direct interested teachers to funding sources so that equipment can be purchased.

For more information, visit the website Those interested in participating in the program should contact Anthony Salupo, our TIC coordinator at Contact Us.

Click on pictures for larger images and captions.


Stocking Apple Creek

In the spring of 2005, The Clear Fork River Chapter of TU teamed with the City of Wooster to stock Apple Creek at Grosjean Park in Wooster with 500, 12-inch long rainbow trout.  This was the start of an “experimental trout fishery” open to the public. Anglers were encouraged to fly fish and practice catch and release. The experiment was a success!

The stream was stocked again in the fall of 2005 and in the spring and fall of each year thereafter until 2011. From 2012 to the present, the stream has been stocked in the fall only, once each in October and November. The fish overwinter successfully and provide excellent fishing all year, even in the stressful hot months of July and August.

The stream is stocked with both rainbow trout and brown trout purchased from a private fish hatchery located in Castalia. The fish average 1.5 pounds each and 14-15 inches in length with some trout weighing in at 3 pounds and 20 inches. The cost of purchasing the trout is borne by grants from the Ohio Division of Wildlife, the City of Wooster and the CFRTU chapter.

The stocking of the creek is a special event. The stocking truck arrives full of trout ready to be released into the creek at 10 in the morning on the days of the stockings. The fish are off-loaded into large buckets partially filled with water and hauled to the creek by an ATV or hand carried. The trout are distributed over a one-mile stretch of the stream into deep holes and runs. It is important to get the fish from the truck to the creek as quickly as possible during this stressful period for the fish.

The chapter invites not only Trout Unlimited members to participate in the stocking, but family and friends as well. Everyone gets a little wet during the two hours of stocking, but everyone has a great time as well. Waders or hip boots can help keep you dry, but when the weather is not too cold, wet wading in old sneakers and pants works quite well.

This is also a time when we pick up litter from the creek as well as the wooded areas that border the stream. Apple Creek is a beautiful “urban” stream and we want to keep it that way.

The stocking of Apple Creek is a special treat for all who participate. Come along next time and join in on the fun!

Click on images for larger view and picture captions.


Fly Tying

The chapter has conducted or sponsored a number of fly tying events for members, from beginners to advanced tiers. Some of our monthly chapter meetings have been devoted to fly tying. Also, small groups sessions have been arranged for more intensive instruction for fly tiers.

The chapter has purchased a dozen fly tying kits with tying materials to loan out to beginning tiers. Also, once per year, usually February or March, the chapter holds its monthly chapter meeting in conjunction with John Rochus’ fly tying get-together, at the Sippo Lake Library building in Canton. The three hour long meeting includes a session where expert fly tiers demonstrate how to tie selected patterns. Members and guests bring along their vises, tools and materials and learn to tie these patterns.

Click on pictures for a larger image and captions

Macroinvertebrate Surveys

Beginning in 2012, chapter members have been sampling Apple Creek for macroinvertebrates at 2 sites one to two times a year. Sampling tools are dip nets and kick seines.

A diverse array of invertebrates has been recorded, especially those taxa (mayflies, caddis flies and stoneflies) sensitive to water pollutants. An assessment of macroinvertebrate diversity is used to calculate a pollution index of stream water quality . in Apple Creek. In all surveys at both sites, water quality has registered as excellent.

Macroinvertebrates in Apple Creek serve as a major food source for stocked trout and serve as indicators to fly fishermen what fly patterns can be successfully fished.

Click on pictures for a larger image and captions.


Fly Fishing Clinics

Apple Creek at Grosjean Park in Wooster has been stocked with rainbow and brown trout starting in 2005.  Since 2012, the October stocking has been coupled with a free fly-fishing clinic for novice and beginner anglers.

Prior to the clinics, the stream is stocked with large brown trout and rainbow trout. The cost of purchasing trout is from an Outdoor Education Grant provided by the Ohio Division of Wildlife, funds from the City of Wooster and the CFRTU chapter.

The clinic is open to adults and kids 12 years of age and older. A parent or responsible adult must accompany kids under 16. Those 16 years and older must possess a valid Ohio fishing license. We encourage family members to participate. The clinics are held from 1 until 4 p.m. on  Saturday and Sunday afternoons. There is a limit of 20 participants for each clinic.

The clinics will familiarize participants with fly fishing tackle and flies, how to cast a fly line, fish a fly, and to hook, play,  land and release trout safely back into the stream.  Fly fishing tackle, flies, and waders are provided for those who need them. Instructors are experienced fly anglers from the CFRTU chapter. All fishing is Catch & Release to help sustain the fishery.

Look under Home Waters, Apple Creek for a map showing how to get to Apple Creek and Grosjean Park.

Click on pictures for a larger image and captions.





Wounded Warriors

Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) is a charity and veterans service organization that offers a variety of programs, services and events for wounded veterans of the military actions following September 11, 2001. It operates as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.

Each fall, the Chapter teams up with Dan Longnecker, owner of Little Pickerel Creek Farm in Castalia, to provide volunteers for a two-day, fly fishing and pheasant hunting program. We support the fly fishing program held on the first day.

We meet the Wounded Warriors at the DOW fish hatchery in Castalia where we fish the heavily stocked Cold Creek for rainbow trout. We provide all of the fly fishing tackle and flies and a dozen or so of our chapter members instruct the Warriors on how to cast a fly line, fish a fly and how to hook, play and land a trout. The fish are harvested and prepared for a cookout that evening.

This is a fabulous event. Everyone is all smiles at the end of the day!

Click on the images for a better look.



Please note that unless otherwise indicated, all monthly chapter meetings are held in Rm 111 in the Fisher Auditorium on the OARDC/Ohio State University campus, 1680 Madison Ave., Wooster OH.  Chapter meetings are held the second Monday of the month from September through May, starting at 7:15 PM.



Event: February 2018 Chapter meeting

Date: 2/12/18 Time: 7:15-9:00 PM.

Details:  Featured speaker will be Aaron Brown, Wayne County Wildlife Officer.  His presentation is “Behind the Badge:  Ohio’s Wildlife Officers.”  Aaron will add focus to Ohio’s enforcement of fisheries regulations and laws.  He is familiar with our chapters programs and has served as a guide for our fly fishing clinics.

Aaron is originally from Lorain County, Ohio, but mostly grew up in western PA.  As a boy he enjoyed hunting, fishing and trapping.  He started fly fishing at his grandfathers farm pond in Ashland Co., where he would visit for a few weeks every summer.  His father was also an Ohio Wildlife Officer and Aaron decided to follow him in that career path.  He graduated from Slippery Rock University and Hocking Hills College with degrees in Wildlife management.  Following several earlier assignments, he has been a wildlife officer for the past 6 years.

The chapter will have a variety of fly fishing and fly tying items available at the monthly raffle.  Proceeds from the raffle support our programs including the stocking of Apple Creek with trout.


Aaron Brown


Event: March 2018 Chapter meeting

Date: Saturday, March 17, noon until 3 PM.

Details: The March meeting will be held at the Exploration Gateway at Sippo Lake  Park, 5710 12th St NW, in Canton, OH.  The meeting will be held in conjunction with one of John Rochus’ Fly-tying Get-togethers.

The noontime speakers are guides for Mad River Outfitters  (Columbus), Patrick Kelly and Josh McQueen.  Their topic will be fly-fishing in Ohio for steelhead, smallmouth bass, northern pike and muskies.  Both speakers are from Ohio and began fly-fishing at an early age.  By their mid-twenties they began their guiding careers.

Both men guide walk-in and drift boat trips as well as jet boat trips.  Pat’s specialty   and “claim to fame” is his Musky trips to southern Ohio.  Josh’s claim is that he is the first “Pike on a Fly” guide in Ohio.

Following these presentations, door prizes will be passed out and the raffle winner for a new fly rod and reel will be chosen.  The raffle will feature a Temple Fork Outfitters, Axiom 2, 6-wt, 9-ft, fly rod and matching, large arbor, BVK reel.  The outfit will handle steelhead, big trout and bass.  The retail value of the rod & reel is $589.

For the last portion of the Get-Together, expert fly tiers will demonstrate how to tie their favorite flies.  Bring along your tying vices and tying tools.  Materials for tying flies can be purchased for $1.00.

Plenty of snack foods and drinks will be available for everyone.

Patrick Kelley
Josh McQueen

Event: April 2018 Chapter meeting

Date: 4/9/18 Time: 7:15-9:00 PM

Details: Kevin Kayle, Ohio Division of Wildlife fisheries Biologist will discuss “Current status of the Ohio Steelhead Fishery.”

Kevin Kayle


Event: May 2018 Chapter meeting

Date: 5/14/18 Time: 7:15-9:00 PM

Details: Dr. Stu Ludsin, Associate Professor and Co-Director of the Ohio State University Aquatic Ecology Laboratory, Columbus, will talk about “The threat that human driven changes to Lake Erie poses to its fisheries.”

Stu Ludsin


The CFRTU Chapter is always looking for speakers for our monthly meetings.  Please contact Randy Rowe ( for suggestions for speakers on fly fishing, conservation of aquatic resources and related topics.