Cave Lake Special

 ~By: Lance Dean | April 15, 2015

Cave Lake Special

s a long time resident of Eastern Nevada, I have had the opportunity to fish Cave Lake State Park.  Located just outside of Ely, NV, Cave Lake State Park is one of Nevada’s many beautiful state parks. The lake is home to a good source of stocked rainbow trout and a source of native brown trout. In fact, a couple of years ago two German Browns were pulled out of Cave Lake the measured right around the thirty inch mark. Cave Lake is home to some fun trout fishing, during our camping trip last year I was able to sight fish for trout with a dry fly. Talk about fun fishing.  I will save the details of that trip for a different post.
Cave Lake Special
Cave Lake Special.
Today I want to talk about a fly that I have never fished, but was created for Cave Lake and I am excited to try it out. It is called the Cave Lake Special.  I found this fly while checking out a sporting goods store in Ely, NV. The green fly utilizes peacock herl, some sort of ice yarn, a bit of estaz or small polar chenille, and is topped off with a glass bead. The material of the fly itself is not what grabbed my attention that afternoon. The name Cave Lake Special is what lured me to this slick fly. I like to look for, and fish patterns made for specific waters and with a name like the Cave Lake Special, this fly was obviously made for Cave Lake.

After I made the 120 mile drive home, I had to look up the Cave Lake Special on the internet. I could only find one link about the Cave Lake Special, which can be found here.  In the forum post the writer talked about his trip to the same local sporting goods store in Ely and how the gentleman who helped him explained to him that he thought the reason the fly was so effective at Cave Lake was due to the fact that it was green and the bottoms of the lakes around Ely were covered in green moss so the effectiveness of the fly had to do with matching the fly color to its surroundings. I have heard of a theory were fly fisherman will use colors of the surrounding area they are fishing to match the colors of their flies, so the idea that the Cave Lake Special is so effective at Cave Lake because the fly is green and the bottom of the lake is supposedly covered in green moss is possible; however, I don’t entirely believe this way of thinking. 

Cave Lake Special
Finished Cave Lake Special in vise.
Recently, I have been introduced to another theory of fly colors. After watching him tie a few flies, Mike Andreasen introduced me to this new-to-me theory of underwater colors. He briefly explains this theory again in his DVD titled “Mike Andreasen’s Favorite Big Fish Lake Flies”. Mike’s DVD can be found here. Mike explained that on darker overcast days or the further down the water column one goes, colors disappear. The theory explains that the first color to disappear is red and the last colors to disappear are green and purple.  So with that in mind maybe the Cave Lake Special isn’t so effective because it matches the color of the moss on the lake floor as much as it is due to the fact that in its green form, the Cave Lake Special sits in the water column where green is a strong color that can be easily seen by fish, but that is just a thought.

Purple Cave Lake Special
Purple version of the Cave Lake Special.
For this post I am going to tie two versions of the Cave Lake Special. During the first video I am tying  the original version of the Cave Lake Special with a couple variations in color (the exact shade may be a bit off from the original Cave Lake Special or I may use a similar material rather than the exact material used on the fly.) The Cave Lake Special can be and in my opinion should be tied in a few different colors. In his DVD, Mike Andreasen gave me the understanding that purple is one of the last visible colors seen in deep water and according to the NDOW Cave Lake has an average depth of twenty-five feet and its as deep as sixty feet. Mike Andreasen says that this theory states that purple is the only color seen at about the 25 – 30 foot depth so a purple Cave Lake Special might be what the doctor ordered for one of Cave Lake’s giant browns. So with that in mind, in the second video I will tie a purple version of the Cave Lake Special that uses a different technique for wrapping the body.

Now that I have wrote about a couple of fly-to-color theories, in the comments section share with Fishbait’s Fly Box, how you select the color of fly to fish. If you use a specific theory, please share it with us or if you have your own theory, share that instead.

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Cave Lake Special - Green
HOOK: Daiichi 2220 size 8
BEAD: Green Glass or 5/32" Brass
THREAD: UTC 70 - Fl. Chartreuse
TAIL: 4 Strands of Peacock Herl and 2 Strands Chartreuse Krystal Flash
BUTT: Medium Peacock Chenille
BODY: Ice Yarn - Golden Olive
COLLAR: Palmer Chenille - Med. - Fl. Chartreuse


Cave Lake Special - Purple
HOOK: Daiichi 2220 size 8
BEAD: Purple Glass or 5/32" Brass
THREAD: UTC 70 - Purple
TAIL: 4 Strands of Peacock Herl and 2 Strands Purple Holographic Flashabou
BUTT: Estaz - Black
BODY: Purple Wool Yarn with a few strands of Purple Flashabou twisted around it.
COLLAR: Palmer Chenille - Med. -Black


Links Referenced

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