Project Healing Waters – Frederick Program (Jan. 2021 Update)

By Andrew Frutiger

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In our latest installment of online fly tying seminars, Colin Flournoy took the veterans through the more advanced Crittermite fly. Released by Fly Fishing Hall of Famer Bob Kraft in 2014, the Crittermite is a deadlier version of the hellgrammite.

The Crittermite

As with the hellgrammite, the Crittermite is meant to be fished on the bottom of larger rivers like the Monocacy or Potomac with good water flow. The best way to fish this fly is to cast to the center and retrieve to the edges using short strips. Smallmouth bass love these flies, as well as large browns (16” plus) but be prepared to bring heavier rods (7wt to 8wt) with floating line to get the fly out where it needs to be.

Jim Lowell continued his casting clinic, focusing on the basics: back cast, pause, and forward cast. To get the tightest possible loops, you must balance mechanics vs. feel. You can have the best mechanics in the world, but if you are not patient on your backstroke (feel the bump) then your foreword stroke will waste both power and accuracy, not only coming up short but also spooking the fish and leading to lost opportunities.

If you have any questions or would like to participate in any of our upcoming fly tying sessions at Fort Detrick, please reach out to me at any time at or go to our Facebook page at Project Healing Waters – Frederick Chapter.