Sunday, December 30, 2012

Minnow (generic)

Remove a couple of STIM-U-DENTS from the package and position 1 on top of the hook shank as shown, approximately at the barb of the hook.

Switch hands and continue to hold the tooth pick. Mark the tooth pick for length and for the forward shape of the body as shown.

Transfer the measurement to the other tooth pick and tie the tooth picks onto the hook shank. At this time you can head cement the entire body if desired. Then tie in the marabou tail. Tying Note: you could add flat strips of lead (such as TWISTONS) along the body or a piece of lead wire along the under side of the body for a weighted version.

Tie in a strip of bills body braid (green for the back) and a strip of bills body braid (silver or pearl for the body).

Wrap the silver braid forward and tie off. Pull the back braid forward over the top of the body and tie off.

Add eyes and whatever marking you want with the acrylic paint and let dry. Coat the body of the fly with a UV resin or epoxy. overcoat with sally hansens hard as nail polish if necessary.

Minnow (generic)

Hook: your favorite and size
Thread: 6/0 white or clear mono
Under body: shaped stim-u-dent tooth picks
Tail: marabou
Back: bills body braid or equivalent
Over body: bills body braid or equivalent
Eyes and body markings: acrylic paint
Coating: uv resin, epoxy and sally hansens hard as nails

The shown above recipe is merely a suggestion of what to use. As a creative tyer you have the option to switch items in the recipe to suit your needs or material supply.

Weighting Options

An older fly pattern known as the "JANSSEN MINNOW" can be tied in this manner. Paint up your minnow to look like them or be creative.

Thanks for looking.

DuBois Hackle Gauge

I was lurking on Ebay one evening and I spied an item called the "Du Bois Fly Fisherman's & Fly Tier's Gauge". I am familiar with other types of hackle gauges but I had never heard about this on so I ended up buying it for a reasonable price. This gauge is multi functional as opposed to other hackle gauges. It allows you to check on hook sizes, wet and dry tail length, wet and dry hackle length and wet and dry wing lengths. All in one gauge. Simple enough.

The gauge comes in a clear plastic protective sleeve and an instruction sheet on how to use the gauge.

Hackle Gauge

Instruction Sheet

Monday, December 17, 2012

Fly Fishing is a Joke

Fly Fishing is a Joke from Henry Harrison on Vimeo.

Buying Samples

I recently saw this on a fly tying forum. The tyer saw a pattern in a fly bin, got home and recreated it by memory and then asked other forum members if they knew the name of the pattern.

If you want to recreate that fly pattern you saw in whatever kind of shop you saw it in, buy 1-3 flies to have as samples and/or to deconstruct a fly to see how the pattern was tied. Shops will usually have the condiment cups or zip lock baggies to put flies in. Jot down the pattern name, size and where you bought it from for future reference. When you get home, take one out and photograph it for additional reference.

Don't try to go by memory after you get home.

Great for holding samples.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Brooks Stonefly (Variant)

Charlie Brooks stonefly is one of those patterns that is tied "in the round" style.
No matter how the fly drifts, it looks the same.

The fly that I tied is simple a revised version of the original pattern and does not have the biot tail or the ostrich herl gills. I merely simplified the fly to my tastes.

Wrap the hook with lead/non lead wire. The number of turns is entirely up to you. More weight = a heavier fly which will drift deeper. I like to wrap my tying thread at about a 45 degree angle on the lead wraps. I build a small dam of thread at bend side of the lead to hold the lead in that position on the shank and then I spiral wrap the thread forward to the eye of the hook. Once there I will build another dam of thread to lock in the lead wraps in its position on the shank.

Cover the lead wraps with as many thread wraps of your choosing. I just wrap up and down the lead a few times. If you like to add head cement to the area you can do so. I don't feeel its necessary as I have anchored the lead wraps tightly.

The original pattern calls for biots for the tail but to simplify, I am using pheasant tail. Tie it in and trim off the waste.

The next item to tie in is a wire rib. I used a "hot orange" color for the rib.

Dub the thread with your favorite stonefly blend and color of dubbing.

Wrap the wire rib forward and trim off the waste.

Tie in the hackle at the rear of the thorax. I'm using a grizzly hackle in a color that looks like "cree". A dyed brown grizzly would also be acceptable.

Dub the thorax area of the fly with the same dubbing as the abdomen.

Wrap the hackle through the thorax, tie off the hackle and trim the waste. Whip finish or half hitch the head and apply your head cement if desired.

As always, thanks for looking.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I Don't Know....

.....what I did right but I made it to the big

I just wish I could get more senior discounts!!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Iphone 5

Not that anybody cares but I finally got sick of that POS Motorola DroidX cell phone and pre ordered the I phone 5. Unfortunately the due date is OCT 5. Not that long of a wait I guess.

Now to find some cool apps (flyfishing of course)

If anybody has some cool apps worth downloading, please leave me a comment. Not really a gamer but gotta have Angry Birds!

As always, thanks for looking!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Wire Heads

If you haven't seen or read about this innovative technique yet, here is your chance to do so. Have you ever run out of tying beads, then try this out!

Check out the articles and videos on Doug Korns "55 on the Fly" blog for all the details.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

A.K. Vise

On nearly all of fly fishing/tying bulletin boards and forums that I participate in, there is usually a question on the vise from A.K. Best that was manufactured by Mackenzie (McKenzie) many years ago. There has also been very little to go by in the way of photographs on the web. With a great big thank you to M. Valbano on the Washington Fly Fishing fly tying board we now have a very good visualization of the A.K. Best fly tying vise and all of its tools.

The above photo is the full version (larger base, third hand and bobbin cradle) but from what I've been told there also was a sorta stripped down model that did not come with he  bobbin cradle or third hand.

Trying to find these vises and/or the original tools today is next to impossible unless your the highest bidder on Ebay, some other sporting goods auction site, estate sale or just plain lucky at a flea market or yard sale.

As always, thanks for reading.

Friday, August 17, 2012

I want to tie flies, What materials do I buy..

This is a question often seen on fly tying/fishing forums. The obvious items would be a vise, bobbin holder, scissors, whip finisher etc but you should also find 5-10 flies you want to tie. Check out the recipes. Buy the  materials listed in those recipes. These materials now become the building blocks for many future flies you may want to tie. If you are a new tyer, its obvious you cant go out and buy every tying material a fly catalog has to offer. Use that GOOGLE function thats comes on every computer and sign up for every free fly tying catalog you can find. 

There is no one catalog to rule them all!

Something that is also of great value will be to take fly tying classes from your local fly shop. These guys have been teaching fly tying for more years than you have probably been alive so they do know what they are doing. Teachers will sit down with each tyer and explain what each and every tool has to do with fly tying. Tyers on You Tube simply will not do that with you, they simply tie flys. Teachers have many more reasons to use this material over that material and will teach you about he different materials to use or not use. Some You tube tyers will have your head spinning faster than Linda Blair spitting up pea soup in the Exorcist movie! 

Tying lessons will reduce the learning curve drastically.

I'v tied for 30+ years ad I'm not ashamed to take a lesson every now and then or even attend a fly tying seminar. I could spend hours in front of a famous tyer at fly tying/fishing shows just to learn a technique. I try to attend tying seminars somewhere in the local New England are at least 2-5 times a year. (Sometimes my job as a submarine designer just wont let that happen and I dont like tying while on the road at different assignments). So I pay out the $75-100 bucks per lesson/seminar but the wealth gained is much more valuable than the money. 

Sorry for the rant. I was just trying to help.

We Could Use a Little Rain....

Pray for a little rain!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Popper Painting Ideas

Walking through my local Rite-Aide pharmacy (waiting for a prescription to be filled, honestly) and no way embarrassed about walking in the fingernail aisle looking for popper painting material ideas (as some men claim to be), I spied some fingernail stickers that would have great potential on poppers, the possibilities would be endless. Using some of these stickers sure would add another level of silliness to my already painted poppers.

Here is some more good example that could be used on the back of some poppers

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

USA Olympic Outfits made where???

Thank you Ralph Lauren. You can now join your buddy Donald Trump!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Black & Brown Bear Streamers

Black Bear

Hook: Mustad 79580 or equivalent
Thread: Black
Tail: Gray Squirrel. Tail should be 1/2 the length of the body
Hackle: Black tied palmered over the body
Body: Black chenille
Wing: Gray Squirrel 

Brown Bear

Hook: Mustad 79580 or equivalent
Thread: Black
Tail: Fox Squirrel. Tail should be 1/2 the length of the body
Hackle: Brown tied palmered over the body
Body: Brown chenille
Wing: Fox Squirrel 


Popular Fly Patterns by Terry Hellekson

Thanks for looking

Monday, May 7, 2012



Hook: Mustad 3906 size 8-16 or equivalent
Thread: Black 
Ribbing: Dark brown neck hackle stem
Body: Orange yarn or dubbed synthetic fur. Reverse wrap the body with fine gold wire after ribbing has been wrapped.
Hackle: Soft grizzly. Hen hackle is preferred over cock hackle

The above recipe is called for in Popular Fly Patterns by Terry Hellekson.

There are many version of this fly and its recipe. This is just a simpler method of tying it.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Heather Nymph

Heather Nymph

Mustad 9671 size 10-12 or equivalent
Brown thread
Scarlet red hackle fibers
Fine gold oval tinsel
Dubbed insect green rabbit fur or equivalent
Peacock herl
2 turns of soft grizzly hen hackle

This pattern is very useful during damsel fly hatches on lakes. It was originated by Fenton Roskelley of Spokane, Washington, in 1960.

Reference: Popular Fly Patterns by Terry Hellekson

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Royal Bobesh

Weight the hook if desired. Not all czech nymphs are weighted

Tie in gold ribbing wire

Tie in scud back at the bend of the hook

Dub the body

Pull scud back over body

Rib body with gold wire and build a small thorax area with wraps of gold wire. Pick out dubbing for legs if desired

Tying Note

You can tie off the ribbing wire in front of the body, tie in some tinsel and wrap that tinsel for the same effect as the wire.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

A.P. Nymph

The "A. P." in this fly's name could stand for either "All Purpose" or the inventor, André Puyans. A generic nymph, it looks like a lot of things that live underwater and get eaten by trout. You can weight the fly with lead under the body or with a beadhead.

The following step-by-step tying process will assist you in tying the A.P. series nymphs.
The unique manner in which they are tied can be incorporated into many other patterns.

A.P. Nymph

Additional Recipes

A.P. Beaver Nymph
Hook: Mustad 3906B or equivalent
Thread: Black
Tail , Wingcase & Legs: Dark Moose Hair
Ribbing: Gold Wire (copper can also be used)
Body & Thorax: Dubbed Beaver Fur
Head: Dubbed Beaver Fur

A.P. Black Beaver Nymph
Hook: Mustad 3906B or equivalent
Thread: Black
Tail , Wingcase & Legs: Dark Moose Hair
Ribbing: Gold Wire (copper can also be used)
Body & Thorax: Dubbed Black Beaver Fur
Head: Dubbed Black Beaver Fur

A.P. Claret & Beaver Nymph
Hook: Mustad 3906B or equivalent
Thread: Black
Tail , Wingcase & Legs: Dark Moose Hair
Ribbing: Gold Wire (copper can also be used)
Body & Thorax: Dubbed blend of 40% medium color beaver, 
20% claret synthetic for, 20% seal brown synthetic fur & 20% hares ear
Head: Dubbed with body blend

A.P. Hendrickson Nymph
Hook: Mustad 3906B or equivalent
Thread: Brown
Tail , Wingcase & Legs: Bronze mallard
Ribbing: Gold Wire (copper can also be used)
Body & Thorax: Dubbed dyed reddish brown beaver or synthetic fur
Head: Dubbed with body blend

A.P. Muskrat #1
Hook: Mustad 3906B or equivalent
Thread: Gray
Tail , Wingcase & Legs: Blue Dun Hackle Fibers
Ribbing: Gold Wire (copper can also be used)
Body & Thorax: Dubbed dark muskrat fur taken from the back of the muskrat
Head: Dubbed with body blend

A.P. Muskrat #2
Hook: Mustad 3906B or equivalent
Thread: Gray
Tail , Wingcase & Legs: Moose Body Hair
Ribbing: Gold Wire (copper can also be used)
Body & Thorax: Dubbed dark muskrat fur taken from the back of the muskrat
Head: Dubbed with body blend

A.P. Olive Nymph
Hook: Mustad 3906B or equivalent
Thread: Brown
Tail , Wingcase & Legs: Dyed olive barred mallard
Ribbing: Gold Wire (copper can also be used)
Body & Thorax: Dubbed dyed olive beaver or synthetic fur
Head: Dubbed with body blend

A.P. Peacock & Pheasant Nymph
Hook: Mustad 9671 or equivalent
Thread: Black
Tail , Wingcase & Legs: Ringneck Pheasant center tail fibers. Select so that dark center portion covers wingcase area.
Ribbing: Copper Wire
Body & Thorax: Peacock herl
Head: Black tying thread

Tying Notes/Suggestions

Add a bead to make it a beadhead style fly

Add flash to make it a flashback style nymph

Try different colors & sizes to match the hatch

Try natural as well as synthetic dubbing

Tie the wing case similar to the Copper John

Use tinsel only as the wing case

Use your favorite hook

Try tying this pattern on a curved hook

Tie a light colored abdomen/dark colored thorax

Tie it with an all wire abdomen

Tie it weighted or unweighted

Use your favorite weighting material (lead or non lead)

You can weight the entire shank or just the thorax area

Dubbing the tiny heads on these patterns is optional

Length of tails should equal 1 to 1 1/2 times the hook gap

Tying techniques associated with this pattern

Wrapping thread on hook

Wrapping lead wire on hook



Dubbing on thread and wrapping dubbed body, thorax & head areas


Creating legs


The fly and recipes on this page is simply a demonstrated method of tying a fly. 
Every fly tyer has his or her very own tying style which allows them the freedom to tie how and what they want and not stick to predetermined rules but to be creative..