Friday, July 19, 2019

Pontoon Hopper



Pontoon Hopper

Hook - Dry fly style
Thread - Color to match
Body - Short segment from the end of a feather quill - dyed or colored wirh a marker
Legs - Biots

Tying Note - The body can be substituted with a wooden dowel carved to shape and painted or colored with a permanent marker. 
The legs can be substituted with knotted pheasant tail legs. 
Add painted eyes and antennae and wings.



I found a photo in Mike Valla's book "The Founding Flies" and decided to tie one up. 

It is attributed to Charlie Craighead and tweaked by Bill Bennett and was popularized by Vince Marinaro.

I Google searched for more historical info but there is very little out there on the web.

It certainly is not a very durable fly and I doubt that it would survive to catch a second fish.

Image result for grasshopper


Saturday, July 13, 2019

Beginner Fly Tying Tool & Materials

Tying Tools

This list of beginners tying tools is simply a list based on my 39+ years’ experience in fly tying. It is a BASIC list.

This list is provided for your convenience and in no way requires you to buy all tying tools all at once or any tools for that matter. It is also a generic list of tools as I really don't have any preferences as to what brand of materials you buy.

Any brands mentioned are purely for examples, not an endorsement.

Again, you do not have to buy the entire list all at once!

Buy what you want when you need it!

In addition, buy the items that are affordable to you. There is no need to spend $$$$$ on tying tools when $$ are available and just as good to get you started.

Essential

*Tying Vise – Stationary, rotating or full rotating vises are all available to the beginner.
Which vise you purchase is your decision. A good idea is to try them out at your local fly shop to see which vise will work for you.

EXAMPLES

Stationary – Does not rotate the hook
Thompson Model A. Great to learn on and the least expensive.

Rotating – Rotates the hook but not around the hook axis
Regal, HMH, Anvil etc. C-clamp or pedestal versions.

Full Rotating – Rotates the hook directly in line with the hook axis
Renzetti, Peak, J-Vise etc. C-clamp or pedestal versions.

*Bobbin Holder – Purchase a bobbin holder that has a ceramic tube or a ceramic insert in the tip of the tube. You can purchase stainless steel tube bobbin holders for use with ribbing wire, lead/non-lead wire and other tying materials.
                                  
*Scissors – An inexpensive pair of Fiskar 4-inch dressmakers’ scissor is an excellent start and will cut just about any material out there. Yes you can cut wire with your scissors, just cut close to the pivot point

There are too many scissor manufacturers to list here. See this recent article on scissors:



Less essential but useful later on in your tying adventure

Whip finisher – There is the “Matterelli” style and the “Thompson” style whip finishers. Learning to whip finish with your fingers will save you a few bucks. Fingers are free!
              
Bodkin - The bodkin is mainly used to put on head cement but has other uses such as picking out dubbing to make fuzzy bodies, picking out trapped hackle fiber from under ribbing wire, clearing out head cement from the hook eye etc. A bodkin is a simple DIY project. Just stick a needle into a small diameter dowel and voila! Bodkin.

Half Hitch Knot Tool – This tool is for tyers who can’t or won’t use a whip finisher. Used to make half hitches at the hook eye to finish the head. Each tool has a different diameter hole drilled in each end to support different diameter hook eye sizes.

Hackle Plier – Used to grasp the tip of a hackle to wrap around the hook shank. Fingers still work great for holding and winding hackles.

Hair Stacker – After cutting hairs off of the skin, insert the hair tip end down into the hair stacker to even the tips of various types of hair such as buck tail, deer, elk, moose etc. Some experienced tyers still prefer to finger/hand stack hairs to prevent the paint brush look of stacked hairs produced from a stacker.

Hair Packer – This tool is more suited for the tyer who wants to tie deer hair style bass and pike/musky fly patterns.

Tweezers – This tool has many uses around the tying bench. Can be used to pick out fibers of errant materials, picking up hooks, holding beads etc.

Dubbing Teaser – This is another DIY project. Glue a strip of Velcro to a popsicle stick or coffee stirrer and use it to scruff up dubbing for a fuzzy body

Dubbing Twister – Use this tool in conjunction with a dubbing loop of thread and spiky dubbing to help create dubbed bodies, small dubbing brushes right on the hook shank etc. There are many styles of dubbing twisters. Search on-line and make a choice of which one you want.

Comb – Ideal for removing underfur from hairs or furs. Especially useful for coming out the underfur on deer hair and buck tails for spinning hair and making streamers. A simple moustache comb is a good choice or combs made of antler.

Bobbin holder threader – Insert the flexible wire loop into the bobbin holder thread tube, insert the thread into the loop and pull the tool to thread the bobbin holder. Totally not needed as you can insert the thread into the tube, put the tube in your mouth and draw/suck the thread through the tube. Dental floss threaders are an option.

* A vise, bobbin holder and scissors are three basic tools that will get a beginner into tying flies.

Poor quality tying tools are destined to discourage beginner tiers and cause greater expense when the time comes to replace them. Buy the best you can.


Fly Tying Kits (Controversial but there are good kits if you really want one)





Fly Tying Tool Sets









Tying Materials

This list of beginner tying materials is simply a list based on my 39+ years experience in fly tying. The list provided below is for a new tyer who wants to tie trout flies but can spill over to different genres of fly tying. It is a BASIC list. It contains materials that can tie hundreds or even thousands of fly patterns.

This list is in no order of preference. This list is provided for your convenience and in no way requires you to buy all tying materials all at once or any materials for that matter. It is also a generic list of materials as I really don't have any preferences as to what brand of materials you buy.

Eventually you will need materials if you want to continue tying flies. The list wilL give you a head start as to what you might want to buy.

Again, you do not have to buy the entire list all at once!  

Buy what you want when you need it!

1. Hooks (in different styles and sizes)
2. Thread (6/0 to start in black & white)
3. Pheasant Tail (center feathers when possible for the longest fibers)
4. Peacock Herl (eye feathers and strung herl)
5. Marabou (blood quills are better)
6. Deer hair
7. Elk hair
8. Buck tail (in different colors like black, red, yellow, or white)
9. Lead or non-lead wire (in different sizes)
10. Ribbing wire (silver, copper & gold)
11. Rooster Hackle (grizzly, brown, white & dun) A good option is an introduction pack
12. Hen neck or saddle (grizzly, brown, dun etc) (great for soft hackle & wings)
13. Hungarian Partridge Skin (great for soft hackles)
14. Dubbing dispenser of hares ear (various colors) & superfine dubbing for dry flies
15. Gray duck or goose wing feathers (used for wing cases, biot bodies, tails etc.)
16. Head cement & tying wax (not immediately needed but nice to have on hand)
17. Tinsel and other flash materials (in assorted colors)
18. Calf tail (start with white, add colors when necessary)
19. Yarns & chenille (used for making bodies, both in assorted colors)
20. Floss/Uni-stretch (1 strand or 4 strand in assorted colors)
21. Strung hackle (practice wrapping hackle with this. cheap alternative to the pricey hackles)
22. Beads (not necessary to begin tying flies but if you really need them get them)
23. Rubber legs


Poor quality materials are destined to discourage beginner tiers and cause greater expense when the time comes to replace them. Buy the best you can.

A popular and frequently mentioned recommendation seen on most forums is to pick out 5-10 that you want to learn how to tie. buy the materials provided in the recipes of those flies. these materials are now the building blocks for tying different fly patterns in the future.

Fly Tying Material Kits


Saturday, July 6, 2019

Wood Pussy


Wood Pussy
(Skunk)

Hook - Salmon/steelhead or streamer style
Thread - Black
Tail - Dyed black bucktail
Body - Silver wire
Wing - Dyed black bucktail over white bucktail, angled up to approximately 45 degrees
UV Resin

Reference - Fishing Flies & Fly Tying - William F Blades

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Queen Bess


Queen Bess
(Silver Wire Body)

Hook - Salmon/steelhead style
Thread - Black
Tail - Gray squirrel tail
Body - Silver or copper wire
Throat - Golden pheasant tippets
Wing - Gray squirrel tail over yellow bucktail


Queen Bess
(Copper Wire Body)

Hook - Salmon/steelhead style
Thread - Black
Tail - Gray squirrel tail
Body - Silver or copper wire
Throat - Golden pheasant tippets
Wing - Gray squirrel tail over yellow bucktail

Reference - Fishing Flies & Fly Tying - William F Blades



Queen Bess
(Flat Silver Tinsel Body)

Hook - Salmon/steelhead style
Thread - Black
Tail - Gray squirrel tail
Body - Flat silver tinsel
Wing - Gray squirrel tail over yellow bucktail

Reference - Steelhead Fly Fishing & Flies - Trey Combs

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Josh's Reaper Midge



Josh's Reaper Midge

Hook - Wide Gap Hook or dry-fly hook, sizes 16-22
Thread - Black
Abdomen - Veevus Iris Thread in color of choice
Wing - Pearl Krystal Flash
Hackle - Grizzly
Thorax - UV Ice Dub in pink, purple, orange etc

Image result for Veevus Iris Thread

Monday, June 24, 2019

Mercury Brassie


Mercury Brassie

Hook - Nymph/wet style
Bead - Silver lined glass bead
Thread - Gray
Body - Copper wire
Thorax - Gray beaver/muskrat dubbing

Black Mirage Zebra Midge


Black Mirage Zebra Midge
  
Hook - Curved style
Bead - Black nickel/Silver tungsten/brass
Ribbing - Red wire
Flash - Medium opal mirage tinsel


Reference



Sunday, June 16, 2019

Silver Rider



Silver Rider

Hook - Salmon style
Thread - Black
Tag - Oval silver tinsel
Tip - Black floss, uni-stretch etc
Tail - Black floss
Ribbing - Oval silver tinsel
Body - Flat silver tinsel
Throat - Mix of white bucktail & pearl Krystal flash
Wing - Mix of black bucktail & black krystal flash

Reference - Atlantic Salmon Flies - Jacques Heroux



Friday, June 14, 2019

Black Demon



Black Demon

Hook - Mustad 9575
Thread - Black
Body - Embossed Gold Tinsel
Wing - Black Squirrel
Throat - Orange Hackle Fibers


Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Glass Bead Buzzer (Chironomid)



Glass Bead Buzzer (Chironomid)

Hook- Curved style
Thread - White
Breathers - White uni-stretch
Body - Beads - Black tungsten, red killer caddis bead, clear silver lined beads 

Reference - Flydresser - Autumn 2005

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Royaled Crystal Gnat


Royaled Crystal Gnat

Hook - Dry fly style
Thread - Red
Hackle - Grizzly
Body - Peacock micro crystal chenille - Red thread - Peacock micro crystal chenille

A variation of a Griffiths Gnat

Monday, June 10, 2019

Pink Pup



Pink Pup

Hook - Streamer style
Thread - Black
Ribbing - Flat silver tinsel over black front body
Rear Body - Flat silver tinsel
Front Body - Black floss, uni-stretch etc
Wing - Brown bucktail over red bucktail over yellow bucktail

Reference - Tying & Fishing Bucktails - Mike Valla

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Poison



Poison

Hook - Streamer style
Thread - Black
Tail - Dyed red hackle fibers
Ribbing - Flat gold tinsel
Body - Syracuse orange Lion Brand #133 yarn
Wing - Brown bucktail
Cheek - Jungle cock
Painted eyes - Yellow iris, black pupil

Reference - Tying & Fishing Bucktails - Mike Valla

Tying note: I opted to tie the sparsely tied version identified in the book. I used orange antron yarn.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

The Mop


The Mop

Hook - Streamer style
Thread - White
Body - Silver mylar tubing, tied down at the bend with white thread that then forms the butt
Throat - Yellow nylon fibers and red calf tail
Wing - Peacock herls, tips cut flat
Head - Silver with white eye and red pupil

Reference - Art of Angling Journal - Volume 2 Issue 1 Originator - Ora Smith

Monday, May 27, 2019

Frost's Blue Smelt


Frost's Blue Smelt

Body - Braided silver mylar piping secured at both ends with blue thread
Wing - White bucktail over which are 4 strands of peacock herl over which is 
medium/light blue bucktail
Eyes - White with blach pupil

Tying Notes

I ran out of silver mylar piping and substituted pearl mylar piping
I used Mustad 3399 #6 hooks & .024 diameter Beadalon connector wire

Reference - Tandem Streamers - Donald A Wilson


Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Bucktail Shad



Bucktail Shad

Hook - Streamer style
Thread - Black 
Ribbing - Flat silver tinsel
Body - Gray chenille
Wing - Black over white bucktail
Throat - Yellow marabou

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Silver Smelt


Silver Smelt

Hook: Mustad 3665A
Thread: Black 8/0
Body: Oval silver tinsel
Wing: Four light grey saddle hackles
Throat: Red hackle fibers tied in beard style
Head: Painted silver with black eye with white pupil with red center

Reference - Trolling Flies for Trout and Salmon - Dick Stewart & Bob Leeman


Wormfly Tandem


Wormfly Tandem

Aft fly
Hook - Nymph/wet style
Thread - Black
Tail - Red antron yarn
Body - Peacock herl rope
Hackle - Brown hen

Connector - 20 lb Maxima monofilament

Front fly
Hook - Nymph/wet style
Thread - Black
Tail - Red antron yarn
Body - Peacock herl rope
Hackle - Brown hen

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Red Sky


Red Sky

Hook - Salmon/steelhead style
Thread - Red
Tag - Gulff Red Alert uv resin
Ribbing - Gold wire
Body - Red wire
Throat - Dyed red hackle fibers
Wing - Dyed red squirrel tail

Sundowner


Sundowner

Hook - Salmon/steelhead style
Thread - Orange/hot orange
Tip - Copper oval tinsel
Tag - Orange uni-stretch or floss
Body - 1 strand each of copper and copper brown ultra wire twisted into a rope
Throat - Dyed orange hackle fibers
Wing - Dyed orange squirrel tail

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Roadside Diner


Roadside Diner

Hook - Mustad 3995A, #6-8
Thread - Black
Tail - Red hackle fibers
Ribbing - Flat gold tinsel
Body - Brown floss
Wing - American oppossum or bucktail
Topping - Small clump of black skunk or bucktail

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Arnold



Arnold

Hook - Salmon/steelhead style
Thread - Black
Ribbing - Oval silver tinsel
Body - Flat silver tinsel
Inner Wing - Red and white bucktail, mixed
Outer Wing - Grizzly saddle, one on each side of bucktail wing

Reference - Steelhead Fly Tying Manual - Tom Light & Neal Humphrey

American Coachman



American Coachman

Hook - Salmon/steelhead style
Thread - Black or yellow
Tail - Red calf or red bucktail
Body - Yellow floss or wool yarn
Wing - White bucktail or white calf tail
Hackle - Brown, tied in front of wing

Reference - Steelhead Fly Tying Manual - Tom Light & Neal Humphrey

Barber Pole



Barber Pole

Hook - Salmon/steelhead style
Thread - Black or green
Body - Green floss 
Ribbing - Flat silver tinsel
Hackle - Grizzly

Reference - Steelhead Fly Tying Manual - Tom Light & Neal Humphrey

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Marabou Centennial Smelt


Marabou Centennial Smelt

Hook - Mustad 94720, size 6-8
Thread - Black
Body - Copper Mylar Braid, wrapped around hook shank (I used oval copper tinsel)
Throat - White Marabou, to bend of hook.
Wing - 3 strands each of pearl, blue, and pink Crystal Flash, over which is a medium gray marabou plume. (I used rainbow crystal flash)
Topping - 4 or 5 peacock herls as long as wing.
Eyes - Painted white with black pupils

Monday, April 15, 2019

Galloup's BWO Nymph



Galloup's BWO Nymph

Hook - Nymph Style
Thread - Wine
Tail - Hungarian Partridge
Body - Blue Wing Olive Turkey Biot Quill - See below
Wing Case - Pheasant Tail
Gills/Flash - UV Pearl Ice Dub
Thorax - Peacock herl



Use the quill side of the feather for tying this fly

Friday, April 5, 2019

Traditional Wet Flies





Dark Hendrickson

Hook - Wet fly style
Thread - Black
Tail - Wood duck flank
Body - Muskrat
Hackle - Dun hen
Wing - Wood duck flank



Dark Cahill

Hook - Wet fly style
Thread - Black
Tail - Dark ginger or brown hackle fibers
Body - Muskrat
Hackle - Dark ginger or brown hackle
Wing - Wood duck flank



Light Cahill

Hook - Wet fly style
Thread - Black
Tail - Light ginger or brown hackle fibers
Body - Natural buff red fox fur
Hackle - Light ginger or brown
Wing - Wood duck flank



Quill Gordon

Hook - Wet fly style
Thread - Black
Tail - Natural dun hen hackle fibers
Body - Stripped peacock eye quill
Hackle - Natural dun hen
Wing - Wood duck flank


Reference - The Classic Wet Fly Box - Mike Valla

Friday, March 29, 2019

Samuel R Slaymaker II Flies



Little Brook Trout Bucktail

As per Bates

Hook: size: 2-12, 6x long
Head: Black
Tail: A very small bunch of bright green bucktail, under or over which is a section cut from bright red floss, both slightly longer then the gap of the hook.
Body: Wound with cream colored spun fur
Ribbing: Narrow flat silver tinsel
Throat: A small bunch of bright orange bucktail, the same length as the tail. 
Wing: Of four very small separated bunches of hair, extending slightly beyond the tail.  A very small bunch of white bucktail over which is a very small bunch of bright orange bucktail, slightly blended.  Over this is a very small bunch of bright green bucktail, topped with a very small bunch of barred badger hair
Cheeks: Jungle Cock




Little Brown Trout Bucktail

As per Bates, with a slight alteration*

Hook: size: 2-12, 6x long
Head: Black
Tail: A very small breast feather, with the dark center removed, from a ring neck pheasant.  The feather is as long as the gap of the hook and curves upward.
Body: Wound with white spun wool
Ribbing: Copper wire (narrow flat gold tinsel may be substituted, *I used medium oval copper tinsel)
Throat: None
Wing: Of four very small separated bunches of hair, extending slightly beyond the tail.  A very small bunch of yellow bucktail over which is a very small bunch of reddish-orange bucktail, slightly blended.  Over this is a very small bunch of medium dark squirrel tail, topped and slightly blended with a very small bunch of dark brown squirrel tail. 
Cheeks: Jungle Cock




Little Rainbow Trout Bucktail

As per Bates

Hook: size: 2-12, 6x long
Head: Black
Tail: A very small bunch of bright green bucktail, slightly longer then the gap of the hook.
Body: Wound with pinkish-white fur
Ribbing: Narrow flat silver tinsel
Throat: A small bunch of pink bucktail, the same length as the tail. 
Wing: Of four very small separated bunches of hair, extending slightly beyond the tail.  A very small bunch of white bucktail over which is a very small bunch of pink bucktail, slightly blended.  Over this is a very small bunch of bright green bucktail, topped with a very small bunch of natural badger hair
Cheeks: Jungle Cock

Reference - Samuel R Slaymaker II in Streamer Fly Tying & Fishing -  Joseph D Bates

Friday, March 22, 2019

Bob Church's Appetizer



Bob Church's Appetizer
Lure (fry pattern)


Hook - Long nymph/streamer style
Thread - White then finish with black
Tail - Green and orange hackle fibers mixed and topped with mallard flank fibers
Ribbing - Oval silver tinsel
Body - White chenille
Throat - Same as tail materials
Wing - White marabou, pearl krystal flash and gray squirrel hair