Designer: Cory Hansen

Pattern: Wild Thing

Some of Cory's first memories involve fishing with his dad.  At the age of 10 his father bought him his first ever fly rod.  Growing up in Yellowstone National Park the first 12 years of his life instilled a deep appreciation for the outdoors. The upper Gardiner River was within walking distance of the house and he and his dad would spend countless hours fishing it.  Upon moving to Alaska in 2001 his love of fishing continued to grow.  After high school he remained in Alaska and started what would become a career in the fly fishing industry.  Guiding for Bear Creek Outfitters in Juneau was his first real fly fishing guide job, which led to guiding week-long float trips for both Frontier River Guides and Alaska Rainbow Adventures, two of the best float trip operators in Alaska.  Now as a full-time member of Alaska Fly Fishing Goods he gets to share his knowledge and passion with everyone.  While guiding still has its pull, settling down with his wife and two dogs is an excellent reason to be home during the summer months. 

About the Wild Thing

When I was still going to college, I worked at Alaska Fly Fishing Goods for a couple of summers before I went back to guiding full time.  In 2010, JD Flies was looking for new Alaska fly patterns and my co-worker encouraged me to submit some of mine.  My gut told me the Wild Thing was going to be a winner.  I drew the inspiration from the original Egg Sucking Leech style of fly.  Adding a stinger hook was a no brainer.  The synthetic wing, rubber legs and polar chenille are really what helped bring this pattern to life.

My idea for the Wild Thing was simple.  I wanted a fly that had a heavy head to get a decent jigging action, but not so heavy that you couldn't swing runs with it.  In my mind I was hoping for a fly that fished like the Dolly Llama but was easier to cast.  And like the original Egg Sucking Leech, it has turned out to be a super fishy fly that catches a wide variety of species. Rainbow trout, Dolly Varden, chum, coho and king salmon all hammer it.

The pink version works for everything and that didn't surprise me at all.  If you have fished Alaska before you know what I'm talking about. Rainbows love it as well as kings and coho.  In Western Alaska the black version is deadly on chrome bright chums.  In Southeast AK and B.C.  the black version has also proven to be an extremely effective fly to swing for bruiser steelhead. The chartreuse version was added after the pattern had been out a few years, and has proven itself as a winner king fly.  Perhaps the most surprising color was purple and how much big rainbows love it.  In the lower reaches of some Western AK rivers this is one of my most productive trout patterns.