Friday, March 31, 2017

Behind The Eye

Stop crowding the head area of the fly by leaving an eye length of bare 
shank to tie down wing cases, hackles, legs, throat hackle etc.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Gold Ribbed Hares Ear Nymph

Gold Ribbed Hares Ear Nymph

Hook: Nymph/wet style size 10-18
Tail: Guard hairs from a hare's mask
Rib: Gold Oval Tinsel
Abdomen: Hare’s Ear Dubbing (Light)
Wingcase:Gray duck/goose quill or turkey tail fibers
Thorax:Hare’s Ear Dubbing (Dark)

Tying Notes

Can be tied weighted or unweighted. 

Use a different color thread to determine a weighted fly.

Use different colored hares ear dubbing.

Tease out the hares ear dubbing for a buggy looking fly.

When tying nymphs with feather quill segments are usually called for, these fibers are delicate, they will split apart and will eventually break. These feather slips are usually sprayed with a clear fixatif to help keep them together while tying and finishing the fly. There are multiple alternative materials that can be used to replace the feather slips. I now use a strip of tyvec material dyed with a colored marker for a wing case. It won't slpit or break off. Over my years of tying flies, I have saved a couple of mailing envelopes I have received from various on-line purchases.

Tyvek envelopes are usually white but can be colored with a permanent marker in any color that you want.

You can also add a piece of tinsel over the wing case (like that on a copper john) for a little flash. Coat that with a drop of uv resin of your chioce.

Gold Ribbed Hares Ear with Tyvec Wing Case

Fixatif for Quill Wings

Have you run out of Fixatif for those quill wings?

$8.99 @ Michaels Craft Store

Your significant other may just have a substitute.

Unscented Hairspray

$1.97 @ Walmart

Monday, March 27, 2017

Alaska Mary Ann "Bucktail"

Alaska Mary Ann "Bucktail" ("bucktail" is what its called in the books)

Alaska Mary Ann "Bucktail"

Tail: Red hackle fibers

Body: Ivory or light tan silk floss

Rib: Medium flat silver tinsel (optional)
Wing: White polar bear
Cheek: Jungle cock
Note: Attributed to Frank Dufresne

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Devil Bug

Devil Bug

Hook: Standard dry-fly hook
Thread: Brown, 8/0 or 70 denier
Tail/Back/head: Natural deer hair, cleaned and stacked
Body: Dry-fly dubbing

Try the pattern in different colors, both natural and bright attractor

Also called a "Tom Thumb" and "Cooper Bug"

Doc Spratley

Doc Spratley
    Hook - Nymph/streamer, 8-10
    Tail - Guinea fowl
    Body - Wool
    Rib - Silver tinsel
    Hackle - Guinea fowl
    Wing - heasant tail
    Head - Peacock herl

    Saturday, March 25, 2017

    Pinedale Floater, Light & Dark

    Pinedale Floater, Light

    Hook: Dry fly
    Thread: Tan
    Tail & Body: Light tan elk hair. Body & tail are fashioned from a single bunch of hair, and body is wrapper in a criss-cross from front to rear and back to the front.
    Hackle: Light ginger

    Pinedale Floater, Dark

    Hook: Dry fly
    Thread: Brown
    Tail & Body: Brown elk hair. Body & tail are fashioned from a single bunch of hair, and body is wrapper in a criss-cross from front to rear and back to the front.
    Hackle: Dark ginger

    Reference: Popular Fly Patterns by Terry Hellekson

    Fly Fishing Rocky Mountain National Park

    Friday, March 24, 2017

    Zug Bug


    Hook: TMC 3761 #10-16
    Thread: Black 
    Weighted: Leadfree Wire
    Tail: Peacock Sword Fibers
    Ribbing: Oval Silver Tinsel
    Body: Peacock Herl
    Hackle: Brown Hackle
    Wingcase: Lemon Wood Duck, Clipped

    Thursday, March 23, 2017

    Timely Tying Tips

    When using marabou, wet it first. It will be easier to handle.

    Use a sharp blade like a scalpel blade or razor blade, instead of scissors, to cut the tensioned thread after making a whip finish. That way you only cut the thread and not the hackle fibers.

    Another variation is to keep the thread tight and use the "V" of the scissors to cut, same principle and safer

    Replace the lids on bottles of head cement etc as soon as you’re finished using it
    Add a small amount of head cement to the thread just before whip finishing . This saves you getting head cement on the hackles when finishing the small dry fly.

    Moisten your finger tips before adding dubbing to the thread 
    "Measure twice, cut one" particularly when making wings from quill feathers.
     When dubbing, pick out how much you think you need for the fly, then reduce it in half.
    If your hackle pliers are slipping, glue a thin piece of rubber band to the inside of the blade to hold the feathers securely.

    I would recommend a beginner to wax their thread.

    When tying in deer hair use 2-3 pinching loops then if you want it to spin it tighten by pulling thread down and if you want to tie in as a wing pull thread upwards to hold in place

    Every single turn of the thread better have a damn good reason for being there.

    Tie flies in batches. This will lead to greater consistency and you don't waste as much time handling different materials.

    Wind rib material the opposite way to the feather fiber etc underneath so that it secures it more effectively.

    When tying in chenille etc strip the material from the core with your finger nails. Tie in the exposed thread core to the hook. Less bulk at the tie in point.

    When coating buzzers, 4 coats of Sally Hansen’s gives the right degree of coverage.

    Learn to whip finish with your fingers.

    Save those chip bags. They can make excellent tinsel in an array of colors. Great for body material too!

    Always have a look in your local big box craft shop, home center, department store or dollar store. 
    You can find some interesting fly tying materials at a fraction of the price you’ll pay in a fly shop.

    ALWAYS keep materials you don’t want bugs to get into in the original sealed plastic bags they came in.

    Peacock herl is brittle – always rib with wire or make a rope around your thread.

    A frequent half hitch will stop things becoming undone. perfectly acceptable to do so regarless of what someone may tell you.

    Tie in game feathers such as partridge by the tip as the stalk is too large.

    Leave plenty of room for your head (I’m guilty of not doing this)

    Save the old appliance cords and cut them to approximately 6-8 inches long. Strip away a few of inches of the insulation to expose the fine copper wire inside. Great for ribbing wire

    You CAN use your expensive scissors to cut wire! Just cut wire close to the pivot area.

    Use what ever kind of feather is lying around your tying area to clean out the head cement from the 
    hook eye. Many other tying items can also be used to accomplish a clean hook eye.

    Thread tension is very important. Try to tie with the thread at 90% breaking strain.

    2 tight turns of thread are better than 6 slack ones.

    When tying with flat stick on eyes, bending them into a vee shape like this < will make installing them onto a rounded head much easier. After they are installed, I will make an x wrap with clear mono thread and then coat with epoxy or the current goos on the market. The mono will disappear, the eyes are held on tight and the epoxy or goo makes a nice head.

    Break your thread! Get to know how much pressure you can apply to your tying thread by making it break. If it does break, don’t panic! Simply attach your hackle pliers to the broken end, unwrap a bit and then reattach your tying thread

    When tying deer hair wings a couple of loose wraps around base of wing prior to fixing it in position prevents unwanted flare.      

    Keep pets especially puppies away from fly tying tables and materials. Genetic capes seem to taste best.

    A stick with a magnet taped to one end or a telescoping magnetic wand is the easiest way to find stray hooks and flies on the floor.

    Sharpen fly tying scissors by taking kitchen aluminum foil and folding so that it is four layers thick. 
    Use scissors to make about 10 cuts with the full length of the blades ...... give the tips another 5 snips. Bingo sharp scissors again.

    Peacock herl! Tie one in at the eye and one at the tail; take your thread back to the eye. Wind the herl at the eye to the bend and then secure this by winding the tail herl to the head, then secure with thread wraps.

    Wet your fingers when handling Goose biots. They'll stay in between your fingers and save you the embarrassment of swearing at yourself.

    When using Holo tinsel and UV strands as a rib. Place the UV on top of the Holo tinsel. On a bright day the tinsel glistens and when overcast or in low light the UV glows. 

    Do you want your dry flies to float all day and do so after catching fish? Use Scotchgard. Only use this as a pretreatment on batches of new flies and do not over do it. Let them dry for a couple of days.     

    You can also convert your articulated reading/fly tying lamp into a gallows tool with the aid of a child’s hair band and a spare hackle pliers.

    If you ever need emerald green tinsel, take a piece of pearl put a weight on each end and cover the pearl using a black marker pen. When dry, turn it over you’ll have emerald green.

    Thread control. Use thinner thread where possible.

    Modern bobbin holders and plastic spools have very little weight to hang and hold mid-tie when winding ribs and hackles etc. Put a piece of lead or brass rod which will fit within the spool between the holding axels to give weight.

    Use ceramic tip bobbin holders. It will greatly reduce swearing

    A bit of Velcro super glued onto a flat stick, dowel, coffee stirrer etc makes a simple dubbing brush

    Keep most things JUST out of reach, You get some exercise with a good old stretch and are less likely to knock things off the work surface. 

    A washed out mascara brush makes a more delicate dubbing brush

    When tying in deer hair wings, use you dubbing needle to work a bit of head cement into the butt ends before binding down on them. They'll last much longer.

    When tying in herl bodies, wind them onto wet head cement. They'll last much longer.

    Do not be afraid to bend the hook to suit the pattern you are tying. Just don't over do it.

    Monday, March 20, 2017

    Wash your Bucktail

    Washing your bucktails will get rid of excess dye and also smell a whole lot better!



    Hook - Bass
    Thread - Yellow
    Body - Dubbing of your choice
    Wing - Deer, elk etc.
    Head - Foam strips tied bullethead style

    Cocky Nymph

    Original recipe is in the following link

    Sunday, March 19, 2017

    Learn a New Tying Technique

    I've been tying flies for 35+ years and I certainly dont know every fly tying technique. And neither do you.

    So every now and then I take out "The Fly Tyers Benchside Reference" book and learn a new tying technique.

    I dont necessarily tie a finished fly but just try to master the technique to the best of my availabily.If it doesnt come out correctly you can always unwind everything and start over or just cut everything off of the hook.

    Give a new technique a try. You can do it if you really try!

    Double Bead Midges

    Double Bead Midges

    Hook: Straight or curved
    Bead: Your choice
    Thread: Your choice of size & color

    Be creative. Use krystal flash, wire, liquid lace, hairs etc for the body. Use different colors of beads,

    Saturday, March 18, 2017

    Baker's Hole Bugger

    Baker's Hole Bugger

    Hook: Nymph/Streamer
    Thread: Brown
    Weight: Lead or lead free wire
    Tail: Brown marabou; Krystal flash; Yellow marabou
    Rib: Gold wire
    Hackle: Grizzly
    Body: Yellow/brown variegated chenille

    Golden Eagle

    Golden Eagle

    Hook: Partridge CS17 Ken Baker
    Thread: Black 8/0
    Tag: Gold oval tinsel
    Butt: Black ostrich herl
    Body: Gold embossed tinsel
    Rib: Gold oval tinsel
    Wing: Pearl micro crystal flash then yellow bucktail
    Head: Black

    Friday, March 17, 2017



    Hook: Streamer
    Thread: Black
    Tail: White calf tail
    Body: White yarn
    Wing: White calf tail

    White Miller

    White Miller

    Hook: Wet fly
    Thread: White under floss body; black head
    Tag: Silver tinsel
    Rib: Silver tinsel
    Body: White floss
    Throat: White hackle fibers
    Wing: White duck quill slips

    Marcy Dam Mayhem (MDM Bucktail)

    Marcy Dam Mayhem (MDM Bucktail)

    Hook: Streamer hook, size #12
    Thread: Black
    Wing: White bucktail
    Throat: Red bucktail
    Rib: Small gold wire
    Body: Uni-Floss, orange and overlaid back with peacock herl
    Tail: Golden pheasant tippet feather

    Thursday, March 16, 2017

    .56%er (Tom Nixon)


    Hook: #8 down to #16 4X long
    Thread: Black
    Tail: Lemon colored wood duck side feather fibers
    Body: Oxford gray yarn with a yellow yarn belly stripe
    Hackle: Grizzly, stripped on one side

    The fly should be weighted with 10 turns of #25 lead wire (recommended for a #10 hook, weight should be adjusted proportionately for other hook sizes). The body should appear long and lean. The hackle should be tied in by the tip at the bend of the hook and palmered forward to give a sparse effect.


    Pheasant Tail Nymph (Natural) - Dubbed Thorax

    Pheasant Tail Nymph (Black) - Dubbed Thorax

    Pheasant Tail Nymph (Olive) - Dubbed Thorax

    Pheasant Tail Nymph (Tan) - Dubbed Thorax

    Euro Style Pheasant Tail


    Beadhead Hares Ear

    Buckskin Nymph

    Egan's Red Dart

    Hares Ear Variant

    Hot Wire Nymph

    Flashback Little Gray May

    Walt's Worm

    Walt's Sexy Worm

    Utah Killer Bug

    Big Horn Nymph

    Wednesday, March 15, 2017

    Kennebago #1 through #6

    Kennebago #1
    Hook: Streamer
    Thread: Black
    Body: Flat Silver Tinsel
    Wing: Brown over white bucktail

    Kennebago #2
    Hook: Streamer
    Thread: Black
    Body: Flat Silver Tinsel
    Wing: Black over yellow bucktail

    Kennebago #3
    Hook: Streamer
    Thread: Black
    Body: Flat Silver Tinsel
    Wing: Red over white bucktail

    Kennebago #4
    Hook: Streamer
    Thread: Black
    Body: Flat Silver Tinsel
    Wing: Black over white bucktail

    Kennebago #5
    Hook: Streamer
    Thread: Black
    Body: Flat Silver Tinsel
    Wing: Red over yellow bucktail

    Kennebago #6
    Hook: Streamer
    Thread: Black
    Body: Flat Silver Tinsel
    Wing: Green over white bucktail

    Depth Ray #1 & 2 Streamers

    Depth Ray #1

    Hook - Streamer style
    Thread - Black
    Tail - Orange polar bear
    Butt - Black wool
    Body - Flat silver tinsel
    Throat - Yellow hackle fibers
    Wing - Fluorescent green depth ray wool, over which is black bucktail

    Depth Ray #2

    Hook - Streamer style
    Thread - Black
    Tail - Lemon wood duck
    Butt - Fluorescent orange floss
    Body - Flat silver tinsel
    Throat - Orange polar bear
    Wing - Fluorescent green depth ray wool, over which is black bucktail

    Tying note: Hackle substituted for polar bear

    Blacknose Dace (Variant)

    Blacknose Dace (Variant)

    Hook - Streamer or Nymph
    Thread - Black
    Tag/Tail - Red Thread
    Body - Twisted silver wire
    Wing - Brown over black over white bucktail

    Blacknose Dace (Variant)

    Hook - Streamer or Nymph
    Thread - Black
    Tag/Tail - Red yarn/z-lon
    Body - Twisted black wire
    Wing - Brown bucktail
    Throat - White bucktail

    Jersey Herd (Variant)

    Jersey Herd

    Hook: Long Shank
    Thread : Black
    Tail : Peacock herl
    Under body : Tying thread or floss
    Body : Copper colored tinsel
    Rib : Copper wire, optional
    Back : Peacock herl
    Beard Hackle : Hot orange cock
    Head : Peacock herl

    Tying Note - This variation is a twisted copper wire body insread of copper tinsel

    Originally the body was made from a tin foil milk bottle top
    Creator of this trout fly: Tom Ivens (1950s)
    Country of origin for this trout fly: England
    This trout fly is designed to be fished on Still Water 

    Teeny Nymph

    Natural Pheasant Tail

    Tan / Olive / Red Pheasant Tail

    Black Pheasant Tail

    Teeny Nymph

    Hook - Nymph/Wet Style
    Thread - To match pheasant tail
    Body/Legs - Pheasant tail

    Additional Info

    March 1st Trout Open

    Tuesday, March 14, 2017

    Red Squirrel Silver Body Picket Pin

    This is a Don Bastian variation of an old standard.

    Red Squirrel Silver Body Picket Pin (RSP)

    Thread: Danville Flymaster 6/0 Brown 
    Hook: Size #6 – #10 4x long.
    Tail: Brown schlappen fibers or hen hackle
    Rib: Oval silver tinsel
    Body: Flat silver tinsel
    Hackle: Brown schlappen or hen fibers
    Wing: Red squirrel. Fox squirrel was used on these. 
    Head: Peacock herl. Use two strands; winding two at once gets the job done faster, but moreover, two strands of peacock herl are twice as strong as one. Add a drop of head cement before winding the herl.

    Sunday, March 12, 2017

    Bluegill Bully Spiders

    Hook: Wet fly
    Thread: Black
    Weight: Lead or lead free wire at bend of hook
    Body: Chenille
    Legs: Rubber legs