Have you ever opened a fly box and was overwhelmed by the different shapes and patterns of flies? Some of the most common questions I have received are, “Will this fly be fished subsurface or on the surface?”, “What does this fly mimic?”, “How do I know what fly to use?”. To adequately answer these [...]


This article is part of a series by Old Town Pro Staff member Megan Hess. Megan is the founder of BeadHead Fishing Company, a guide service and fly tying company based out of Hudson, Maine. She has her bachelors degree in aquatic biology and a masters degree in ecology and environmental sciences. She researched mercury contamination in [...]

A Classic Streamer For A New Generation

Registered Maine Guide, commercial fly tyer, and Fishe enthusiast Megan Hess talks with Fishe about fishing and tying Carrie Stevens’ Gray Ghost pattern (fly recipe and instructions with pics included!). For fly tying addicts, Carrie Stevens (1882 – 1970) is a household name. Fishing and tying in the Rangeley Lakes region of Maine, she is [...]

BeadHead on The Maine Fly Fishing Podcast

In episode 4 of the Maine Fly Fishing Podcast, I sat down with Megan Hess of Beadhead Fly Fishing.  Greg LaBonte of Maine Fly Guys co-hosted the show with me.  We were excited to talk with Megan about being a Registered Maine Guide, women's fly fishing in Maine and learn a little about some entomology [...]

Mayflies: Is that a Hex or a Green Drake?

Dry fly season is upon us in Maine! The words “Hex Hatch” and “Green Drakes” have been buzzing around recently because the water temperatures and photoperiod (length of sunlight during the day) are just right to initiate these hatches. It has been my experience that you will find both Hexs and Eastern Green Drakes emerging on the [...]

Kidneys of the River

Freshwater mussels (Unionidae) are of extreme importance to an aquatic ecosystem’s function and health. Probably the most well-known ecosystem service that mussels provide is ‘cleaning up the water.’ They are filter feeders; meaning they get their nutrients from straining small organisms and particles out of the water. Some species are even being reintroduced to areas of [...]

Mercury & Dragonflies: Understanding how mercury gets into our fish.

It’s always interesting for me, being an aquatic biologist and angler, to look down into the water and see the diversity of life on the bottom of a beautiful stream.  It wasn’t until recently during my time researching invertebrates, that I now go out to a stream while fishing and wonder how much mercury, a [...]