Fish Specie: Trout, Bass
Fishing Destination: Pyramid Lake
The Copper Top “The Guide Fly” is the first pattern tied as a Maholo Midge. The only difference in today’s model from the original is the red bug band behind the bead to help create contrast. It is still one of the best patterns in our box every year. It is now tied on a long shank hook, with a black holographic body, two strands of wire, one red and one copper, a red band and a copper bead.
“Mahalo” (mainly in Hawaii) used to express gratitude.
The Maholo fly story starts from Rob’s early days at the Original Reno Fly Shop. Daily the store would receive merchandise from some delivery carrier. This day was no different. As the daily chore of “working a box” continued on that day, Rob remembered seeing some new fly-tying materials come in. Working with Fly Tying Guru, Andy Burk always left a feeling that something new was right around the corner. Rob worked through the box of fly-tying materials and in it was a new type of tinsel, Holographic Tinsel. Enthused, Rob finished out the day and before leaving purchased two spools of this Holographic Tinsel, one in red and one in black. That night at home in front of the tying vise, Rob had a moment. Still fairly new to the tying and designing game, Rob was limited on creativity and skill. Rob knew how to tie a Pheasant Tail Nymph and this popular pattern became the nuts and bolts for the new fly Rob had envisioned. The only real change is Rob took this new Red Holographic material and replaced the body material of the Pheasant Tail with Holographic Tinsel. It was as simple as that, the Maholo Nymph was born.
This was a time when indicator nymphing at Pyramid Lake was still brand new. It was not long before, when Rob Anderson and Chris Evison had that magical day on the lake that started the whole thing. So over the next few days Rob, some clients and some friends all had a chance to watch their indicators sink over and over with the new fly on board – Back to the Bench – A few days later after work, Rob, Andy, Chris from the shop and good friend, Victor Marcus sat around the back room at the fly shop tying the new fly. As the group tied and laughed and carried on, Vic asks Rob “what are we calling this new fly”. Well, Rob had not thought about that so Rob turned to Andy for some help. Andy, who is essentially in the fly naming hall of fame says “gimme a minute”. So, the group goes back to tying etc. and a little while later Andy yells out “Mahalo” in a way to mimic someone excited about saying thank you to someone in Hawaii. So, then Andy tells the story of how this evolved in his mind. Andy says “You know, the indicator goes down and you always yell something like there he is, or Fish on, so why not yell Mahalo… or thank you”. So, the name of the now spelled M-A-H-O-L-O fly or Maholo Nymph, (to properly use the name of the material) was born.
The story of the Maholo midge is a much simpler one. A couple of months into the guiding season that year, Rob started running short on time. The guide business had seen a major increase due to indicator fishing and the Maholo Nymph. Rob was basically guiding during the day and tying Maholo Nymphs at night to keep up with demand. One night complaining to Chris about the long days about how long it takes to tie one of these flies, Chris says, “why not tie one Zebra Midge Style and see how that works”. So, rob spent the next hour or so turning the classic Zebra Midge into now what is called the Maholo Midge. The results were once again amazing at the lake and this new fly took way less time to tie. The inventory of Maholo flies started to grow with the idea of the Maholo Midge because now there were limitless combinations of Tinsel, Wire and Beads. The Baskin Robbins of Maholo flies had evolved dating back to the very first combination of black tinsel, red and copper wire and a gold bead whose sub name, J.W. is another story in itself.
The Maholo Midge
The Maholo Midge is simply a Zebra Midge tied with Holographic tinsel for the body. The Holographic Tinsel adds sharpness to the fly and gives the fly shine in deeper water. These flies can and should be used anywhere anglers’ fish with an indicator but especially in Stillwaters. Trout, Panfish and Bass love these flies and Chironomids are a huge part of these fish’s diet.