Monday, November 2, 2009

The Hatch 2

Notes on the App

Check this app out for your iPhone or iPod touch. If you like to travel and fly fish, it is exactly what you need. It also features some of my bug shots!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Lamson and the Jumbo

Notes on the Fly

Two things I love about tributary fishing together in one photograph...

The Jumbo John is a John Barr classic that can influence even the most picky lake run fish. It is a little more involved than I would like for a fly that is almost certain to get lost in the bottom debris or in the mouth of an angry fish, so I put my personal touch on the pattern which simplified things slightly (see picture or comment for more details). Use this fly when nothing else is working, and pray it goes back in the box when your done.

The Lamson Velocity 2 is my new reel for this lake run season and so far I like it. The drag is smooth and for a large arbor it holds plenty of backing.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Mini Comet Bi-Color

Notes on the Fly

After some success with the mini comets from a previous post I decided to take the fly to the next level. It really does not add any steps or extra time to make these little bi-color beauties. Give them a try, you never know they may spark the interest of a big fish!

** Please leave a comment if you would like more specific tying instructions.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Tributary Stone

Hook: Strong Nymph #6-14
Thread: Black 6/0
Tail: Black Krystal Flash
Body: Black Dubbing
Rib: Tying Thread
Case: Black Flash Back
Legs: Rooster Hackle
Head: Black Bead

Notes on the Fly

This is an easy stonefly nymph for the big fish from the lake. What makes a good nymph for migratory fish? Something that looks and feels like food to the trout, has some weight tied in to it, and is easy to tie so you can tie a lot of them in a short amount of time. What makes this pattern nice is the rib for the body and the hackle in the thorax is the tying thread. That eliminates the step of tying in a wire/thread rib. I will be posting this time saving step in more detail in the future, and if you can't wait just send me an email or comment and I will give you more instructions.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Mini Comet

Hook: Standard Length Nymph Hook #6 - 14
Thread: 6/0 color to match
Tail: Marabou color to match
Body: Chenille color to match
Collar: Rooster color to match
Eyes: Mini Bead Chain
Head: Thread

Notes on the Fly
The original comet comes from the Salmon River and is generally much larger, with varying materials for the body and tail. My idea was the result of two factors... one was my past success with mini wooly buggers, and two was my recent find of mini bead chain eyes. I found this pattern to be extremely easy to tie, with most of the fish enticing characteristics of a wooly bugger.

My first outing of the tributary season was last Saturday and I used a #8 chartreuse version of this fly. I had two takes dead drifting through a deep pool. I lost both fish, one after a few head shakes, but the other was after a lengthy battle. It was enough excitement to spark my memory of how awesome it was to fight the giants from the lake. Give these little flies a try, they are easy to tie and they work!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Notes on the Fly Tyer

Please check out the latest issue of The Drake where you can find some of my photos of bugs and flies!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tributary Caddis

Hook: Any Strong Nymph Hook
Thread: Chartreuse 6/0
Body: Olive D-Rib
Thorax: Partridge Fluff

Notes on the Fly

The trout season is over for me, and lately I have
been filling my tributary boxes. Most of my streamers are done and ready for action, so today I started on my nymphs. This is a new fly that I am going to be trying out this year, I will post later with results.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Worthy Ways to Spend Money

Notes on the Materials

Contrary to an older post this one is about expensive aspects of fly tying. If you are serious about tying flies and you see yourself doing it for many many years, or even tying commercially, there are a few things that you should spend more money on.

1. Hooks: When buying hooks, getting them in the largest quantity possible helps keep the cost down. Good hooks are sharper and stronger, and therefore catch more fish.

2. Scissors: Buy good scissors. They will outlast and outperform the cheaper varieties. They are always worth the extra money, and they can be sharpened.

3. Lighting: Eye strain is bad. Buy a nice light
and increase the enjoyment of tying. Incandescent bulbs are hot, hurt your eyes, and do not depict accurate colors.

4. Vise: There is a reason why a nice vise is expensive. If you are going to tie flies for a long time buy a vise that will last, and perform.

**Shown in the photos are brands that I use and am happy with, there are many other quality brands of hooks, scissors, lights, and vises. Shop around but be prepared to spend more.

Monday, September 14, 2009


Notes on the Flies

Don't forget the caddis! If your season of mayfly action is done, like mine is, but you still want to pursue inland trout try a caddis. If these bugs are found fluttering around then the fish will most likely be eating them. I have had success with flies imitating all three stages of life and in all zones of the water column.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A New Scud

Hook: Curved #12 - 20
Thread: Grey (or color to match)
Dubbing: Grey squirrel ( or color to match)
Rib: Tying Thread Tag
Shell Back: Pink Krystal Flash (midge size)

*(the fly is featured far left and you can click the image for a better view)
**(scud color darkens and becomes more opaque when they are out of the water)

Notes on the Fly

Why more scuds you ask? Well if you are still in search of tricos or trico related fishing tips at this time of year, I don't have a solution for you, and just like when I first started fly fishing, you may have to wait for next year. The rising fish in my neighborhood are becoming few and far between and the ones that are rising look more like bait fish than game fish. So lately I have been working nymphs, specifically scuds, which isn't really a nymph at all, but that is a different post...

Why more scuds you ask again? Well my stream is chalk full of them (see pic above from the latest kick sample), and the trout like to eat them (think shrimp scampi for trout). Also if you are a beginning fly tier than the scud is a great fly to start with. It is relatively easy pattern, and will catch fish in a variety of ways. You can dead drift it. Swing it. Twitch it. You really can't go wrong...

I thought you already had a scud pattern that worked? I do, however, variety is a key strategy in keeping the larger/smarter fish guessing. If you want to buy flies at your local shop that all the other locals are buying and using feel free, they will work when fished correctly. However, if you want to catch more fish, and maybe even larger fish than tie some of your own and make them look different.

And finally... as always if you have any tying instruction questions feel free to comment here, I will gladly get back to you with any additional info I can. Good luck, and if you have scuds living in your stream tie a couple and give them a try!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Blood Worm Revisit

Notes on the Fly

The fly on the left is my old blood worm pattern, and the fly on the right is the new one with modifications.  

At first glance they seem the same!   Look closer and you will find the changes I talked about in the previous post.  No head, more slender, and larger segmentation.  A much closer representation to the natural.  

Using this new fly I landed my largest trout to date in my home stream this past weekend!  It may not have been completely due to the fly, after all I am a firm believer in presentation is 9/10 of the law, but making the fly look closer to the real thing couldn't have hurt! 

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Baetis Nymph

Hook:        Curved #18 - 26
Thread:     Brown/Olive
Tail:           Tag of Thread
Body:         Micro Tubing
Thorax:      Peacock Herl

Notes on the Fly

I have been developing a more accurate and easier to tie baetis nymph pattern since last winter, finally this summer I collected a few good samples to match from.  Normally I use a small Pheasant Tail to match a BWO nymph but as you can see below that is not a close representation, and PT take to long to tie.   The new fly is super easy to tie, very durable, and matches the natural nicely.  Give it a try and let me know if you have any questions I would be happy to help.  

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Scud Revisited

Hook:          Any curved #20 to #12
Thread:       To match outer dubbing
Rib:              Silver (sm) Ultra Wire
Body:           Superfine 
Overbody:   Light Sparse Superfine

Notes on the Fly

The other day I realized that I never posted the actual 'dry' version of this fly in my original post.  If the new photo doesn't help and you are having trouble tying this imitation give me a quick contact and I'd be happy to help.  

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Bloody Worms

Hook:      Any Hook #14 - 18
Thread:   Red 8/0
Body:       Micro-tubing

Notes on the Fly

The blood worm is a great tie, especially for beginners who want to catch fish on their own flies.  I use micro-tubing for an over-body to better segment the body, but I've also had success with plain thread versions too.  

I've used blood worms for a few seasons now, but this is the first year I've actually picked some real ones up in a kick sample.  My pattern shown in the picture, although it has caught fish, is a little off from the natural, and since this picture, I have changed my standard blood worm pattern a bit, keeping it more slender, and tying the fly with no head.  Fish the blood worm pattern when the trout are feeding low in the water column, and when they are not taking anything else. 

These flies are easy to tie and effective, so tie a few, and go catch some trout! 

Thursday, August 13, 2009

An Early Start

Notes on the Fly Tyer

This is my daughter a day after her two year old birthday. For this past year she has been sitting on my lap and practicing her thread wraps. For the last few months I have been allowing her to choose materials out of my scrap bin, and I would hold them on the hook and she would tie them on.

For her birthday I finally let go and let her tie by herself. The fly in the picture was her first creation done by her alone. Well I started the thread, but that's it! So now we tie together and it is one of her favorite activities. If she grows up and enjoys tying and fishing even a little, I will be one blessed dad.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Organize Cheaply

Notes on My Bench

Here are three ways to organize your fly tying station cheaply. 

1) This tip was taken directly from AK Best, because when a master of a craft writes something you pay attention...  Take a 2x4 cut it, and drill holes in it.  This will serve as your tool caddy.  Even if you by an 8 foot 2x4 it will be a MUCH cheaper investment than
those fancy fly tying organizers.  If your wife complains, paint it.  

2) Search the 'spinning/casting' 
section of your local fishing store.  All of my plastic organizers are the small cheap Plano boxes... around $3 each.  Compare that to an official hook organizer, fly box, or dubbing box, and you can by a lot of those little boxes!  I also use those boxes for all of my dubbing.  NEVER buy an assorted dubbing box it is overpriced and you will run out of your favorite color fast.  Instead, buy the cheapest plastic box you can and purchase small packs of all the colors in the assorted box.  This may actually work out to be the same price in the end, except, you have TONS more dubbing 'backup' you can add when that favorite colors run out. 

3)  Build/customize an old, small, cheap, computer desk.  Most of you will have an old one, unless you have trashed it already, or sold it in a yard sale... if that's the case go to a yard sale and get one for $5, it may be your old one!  My wife gave me her old one willingly and it took me all of 30 minutes to customize it into my ideal tying station.  

Staying organized keeps the other people in the house happy, and it makes you tie faster and better.  Being cheap allows you to spend your money on money worthy materials, such as good hackle and quality hooks.  Have fun and be creative.

*(If you are rich then disregard this post, and buy a custom built Oak fly tying station... someone needs to support a cool business like that!)
**(A photo of my complete bench can be found on the right.)

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Only Way...

Hook:     Curved #20-24 fine
Thread:   Black 10/0
Tail:         Partridge
Body:       Thread
Wing:       Medallion Sheeting Clear
Thorax:    Black Superfine

Notes On the Fly
I have fished the Trico Spinner Fall for three years now and have done so relatively successfully.  It is tough fishing but it caries the potential for some larger fish on a dry so I have always loved the 'hatch'.  This season temps have been cool and the last two outings I have had a crack at the actual trico hatch.  The first attempt was a failure.  My adult imitations were not up to snuff, and I got plenty of looks but no takers, and here is where the title fits in.  After being refused I did some quick research as to why, and there were a lot of reasons (see previous post photo)!  The hackle didn't quite match, the flies were too big, and the wing color was completely wrong.  Using the photos I tied up some new flies, went back to the stream a few days later, and caught fish.  Picky fish need picky fly tiers.  Do some research and tie your flies from what you observe on the stream, not what a book or blog tells you, and you will catch more fish.  Not exactly self promoting information here, but I feel like it is the only way...  

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A New Way...

Notes On the Fly

When you begin to really 'match the hatch' try to catch a few of the bugs and really compare them to your imitations.  My tying and fly selection really began to change when I started this process.  

Your perception of a bug can be a little different than you think when they are in the air, on the water, or even in your hand.  I know after a few years of matching the hatch successfully I still struggle with this same thing! 

I picked this fly (seen in the image above) a #20 Medallion Trico Dun because it appeared to be the correct match when I first examined the air and water.  Not until I caught a bug and tossed it in my trico box did I see I was 2 sizes off... as usual I needed a smaller pattern.  Right around the time I started putting real bugs in my fly boxes was when I started tying all my flies smaller... and catching more fish.  Give it try and see if it helps you.  

Sunday, August 2, 2009


Hook:       Any Dry #16 - 30
Thread:    Color to match 
Hackle:    Color to match

(keep it simple they are just ants...)

Notes on the Fly

Make sure you bring a variety of sizes and colors this time of year.  If there is nothing rising, find a few on the stream bank and match them up the best you can.  Throw to some fishy looking places, and don't be afraid to give them a twitch or two as most terrestrials squirm while floating to their demise. 

Friday, July 3, 2009

Trico Spinners

Hook:  #20 Standard Dry #22 and smaller 
I use curved shank hooks.

Body:  Black Thread (male) Black Thread 
with white floss over (female)

Tail:  Synthetic X Long
Wing:  Organza
Thorax:  Black superfine

Notes on the Fly

It is that time of year again... at least in Western NY.  Make sure you set your alarm well before sunrise to catch this spinner fall, or wait for an unseasonable cool spell, and the bugs will wait for you to sleep in a little.  Good luck, you will need it! 

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Graphic Caddis

Hook:            Any Curved Shank #10 - 18
Thread:         Olive 8/0
Underbody:  Metallic Flash 
Body:             Olive D-Rib
Legs:              Partridge
Thorax:         Olive Ostrich 

(pattern by John Barr)

Notes on the Fly

It has been a while since I have posted, or shot any fly photos for that matter.  My focus has been fishing, and shooting outside in the beautiful spring weather.  Lately I have had some success with this pattern, especially fished in the riffles during times without surface activity. This is another John Barr pattern, so you know it works.  

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Micro X-Caddis

Hook:          Standard Dry #18 -24
Thread:       Olive
Shuck:         Amber Atron 
Body:          Olive Superfine
Wing:          Elk Hair (or CDC)

Click image for more detail.

Notes on the Fly

The Micro X-Caddis can be the saving grace to an otherwise tough day on the stream.  This fly sits low in the film, and imitates a hatching/struggling adult.  I have had good luck fishing this in broken and flat water, and also giving the fly some movement.  When tying add a generous amount of head cement to the wing base and the wing will keep it's shape longer.  Also don't be afraid to make these really small (you can use CDC for the wing), and of course do a little research to match the colors of your area.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

BWO Rabbits Foot Emerger

Hook:      Curved #12 - 22
Thread:    Olive 8/0
Body:       Olive Goose Biot
Wing:       Dun Rabbits Foot

Click image for more details!!

Notes on the Fly

A very easy tie, and durable fly makes this a must have imitation this mayfly season.   It works as an all purpose emerger similar to the klinkhamer special.  Match body colors to the appropriate hatching bug and enjoy!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Rusty Spinner

Hook:           Standard Dry #14 - 10
Thread:        Rusty Brown 8/0
Tail:              Synthetic Fibers Dun
Body:            Goose or Turkey Biot Rusty Brown
Wing Case:   Dun Medallion Sheeting
Hackle:         1X Short Dun
Wing:             Clear Medallion Sheeting
Thorax:          Rusty Brown Superfine

(Pattern From Shane Stalcup's, Mayflies "Top to Bottom")

Notes on the Fly

Over the last season this fly has out produced every spinner pattern I have ever tried.  Have you ever wondered why a standard Rusty Spinner has no hackle, but standard 'Real Spinners' have legs?  There are three things that really set this fly apart from others in it's class.  The Medallion wings are very realistic, unlike other synthetic fibers, gathered hackle, or hen tip wings.  The biot body gives off a nice buggy appearance with natural segmentation, and the flush short hackle gives the all important appearance of legs.  

Most early season spinner falls are very productive for the average fisherman, because of the hungry trout and shear numbers of spinners on the water.  This I believe, is the reason for the very basic patterns people tie/buy, and fish with.  However, even with these relatively 'easy' conditions I have witnessed some veteran fisherman getting practically skunked on the water during an intense early season spinner fall.  So far this pattern has worked every time, even when others are not hooking up.  

The only thing I would caution when using this pattern is the poor casting qualities of it's spent medallion wings.  These can cause some major leader twisting so beware.  One way I have over come this issue is smashing up the wings, or even slicing them up.  The fish do not care, and if you examine a real spinner on the water they rarely look perfect, because after all, they are dead.  

Give this pattern a try.  It takes a little longer than a basic rusty spinner, but trust me it is worth the extra effort.  

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Surface Midge

Hook:           1X fine Curved #18 - 30
Thread:        Black 10/0
Shuck:          Light Dun CDC
Wing:            Light Dun CDC
Body:            Thread
Thorax:         Black Superfine

Notes on the Fly

I finally hooked a fish on the surface Sunday... and this was the fly.  When I arrived to the stream there were plenty of insects fluttering around and an occasional riser.  As I settled into the water I picked out a couple of the more steady risers and began to cast the staple midge surface patterns I have caught plenty of fish on before... nothing.  I had recently tied this pattern as an experiment, so I thought I would give it a try, determined to avoid the sunken drift.  After a few casts I had my first fish of the season to hand with a dry fly.  

The pattern is a flush floating emerger that is easy to tie, but not the easiest to see (but neither are real midge emergers so I look at this as a good thing).  When fishing small patterns that you can't see, mark where the fly hits the water, and visualize the flies path.  Watch the water for a rise in the area, and lift on anything that looks close.  If the lift proves unsuccessful let the fly continue following the new mark left by the lift.  Some fish begin to follow the fly after the slight movement.  

Friday, March 20, 2009

Midge Madness

Hook:           Curved 1x fine 1x short  #30 - 20
Thread:        10/0 color to match natural
Overbody:   Micro Tubing
Head:            8/0 color to match natural

(click image for a closer look)

Notes on the Fly

This is John Barr's creation, and my favorite midge pattern to date.  The size of an actual midge larva is quite astonishing if you actually do some research and take a sample.  When I first began tying I thought my midge patterns were small... and than I looked at a real bug and compared it to mine.  I quickly learned why I never hooked anything on my imitations.  The real thing made my midge look like a #8 stone!   Around that revelation I had purchased John Barr's book, Barr Flies.  I tried out his Pure Midge Larva pattern, and it looked much closer to the natural.  

I have had tremendous success with this pattern, and here is how... First I tie a box full of every color and size I think I will see on the stream (think small and than make it two sizes smaller is a good rule), next I observe what the majority of the midge activity looks like.  Once I have an idea what the popular bug is I catch one and throw it in my midge box.  Finally I choose the imitation that looks the closest, tie it on, and fish the pattern where the fish are feeding.  These will take fish at every level, from surface film to right off the bottom.  

Now is the time of year that can produce some great midge fishing so make sure you tie some of these and get fishing! 

Monday, March 16, 2009

Stretch Magic!

Hook:            Standard Nymph #10 - 16
Thread:        Black 8/0 or 6/0
Bead:             Black Cyclops
Antenna:     Black Krystal Flash
Tail:                 Goose Biots
Rib:                 Stretch Magic
Legs:               Black Stretch Magic
Body:              Any Buggy Dubbing
Wing Case:   Thin Skin

Notes on the Fly

This is a mixture of a few stonefly nymph patterns I have found.  I have taken certain qualities I liked and found easy to tie and used them, and dropped others that were not worth the effort. 

First thing I really like about this fly is the antenna coming out of the bead.  One of the few bead-head patterns that really look life like!  Also the stretch magic material is a great product that is easy to tie with and very durable.  

This is a nymph that takes a little bit longer to tie than I would like, but is a must have early season pattern.  You can fish this fly in every moving body of water in your area, and catch a variety of fish... from 5 inch brookies, to 14 inch browns, and even 12 pound steelhead. Give it a try, and keep thinking warm thoughts!  

Monday, March 9, 2009

Not Your Usual Adams

Hook:        Standard Dry #12 - 20
Thread:     Black 8/0
Tail:           Synthetic Fibers
Body:         Snowshoe Dun Dubbing
Wing:         Snowshoe Natural
Hackle:      Brown and Grizzly 

Notes on the Fly

This is a small variation of Fran Betters "Usual" which is a high floating all purpose emerger pattern.  The Adams by origin is considered an all purpose adult Mayfly pattern, however this may pass as a general attractor.  Another fly that will ride the rapids with ease... give it a try! 

**From now on I will only post tying instructions by request to save time, and allow me to post more patterns.  If you are interested in the instructions just leave a comment and I will get back to you as quick as possible.**

Monday, February 23, 2009

Those Beadchain Eyes...

Hook:      Any Streamer or Long Nymph Hook
Thread:   6/0 Color to Match
Tail:           Marabou
Body:        Chenille
Hackle:   Rooster
Rib:         Ultra wire or Heavy Thread 
Eyes:         Beadchain 

Tying Instructions
1) Pre-weight hook shanks with lead wraps, I usually do half the hooks weighted and half not. 

2) Insert the hook in the vise and start your thread next to the eye, laying a good foundation for your beadchain eyes.

3) X wrap your eyes near the eye but giving yourself room for a thread head at the end.  Once the eyes are set move your thread back and drop a generous amount of head cement in between the eyes.  This will help keep them from spinning around the shank.

4) Tie in Marabou Tail, around the length of the hook shank.

5) Tie in rib, and chenille and create a  nice thread underbody and leaving your thread right before the beadchain eyes.

6) Wrap chenille up to the eyes and tie off.  Prepare and tie in a hackle feather making sure the fibers will curve back towards the bend.

7) Palmer hackle with hackle pliers making the wraps away from your body.  Leave the pliers dangling after the last wrap.

8) Rib through the hackle and try not to hold down any fibers. 

9) Tie off rib and trim excess and trim the excess hackle.  

10) Make a neat head and whip.  When all flies are done cement generously.  

Notes On the Fly
This variation of a standard pattern is successful for a few reasons.  It is a little different looking than the standard wooly bugger, and sometimes being a little different makes the fish a little more interested.  The eyes give this fly a nice flash, but they also allow the fly to pass as a more natural looking food source then the standard beadhead does.  Fishing without a heavy bead gives this fly a more balanced look when drifting in the water column, this could be just what the fish are looking for.  

Try this fly in any color you have.  My personal favorites are all black, all white, black/brown (pictured), and black/olive.  Add extra flash to the tail if desired especially when fishing deep or in cloudy water.  If you are just starting to tie flies this is a good place to start.  They are durable, easy to tie, and will catch any species of fish you are after! 

Friday, February 13, 2009

Just the Beginning

Hook:         Standard Dry #14-20
Tail:            Pheasant Tail
Rib:             Small Copper
Body:          Pheasant Tail
Post:           Snowshoe
Abdomen:  Brown Superfine
Wing Pad:   Pheasant Tail

Tying Instructions
1) Tie in a short tail with 4-10 PT fibers depending on hook size.

2) Tie in copper rib, and pull back the excess fibers from the tail and tie them in the same as the rib.

3) Make a smooth thread body, and wrap the PT fibers forward.  Do not clip excess.

4) Counter-rib the copper wire, tie off tightly, and clip excess.

5) Pull back the excess PT fibers in preparation for the wing pad.

6) Prepare Snowshoe fibers and tie them in the middle of the abdomen section creating a bushy post.  

7) Dub the abdomen with superfine.

8) Pull the PT fibers half on one side, and half on the other to form a split wing pad, clip excess.  

9) Whip finish, trim snowshoe fibers, and cement when all flies are complete.

Notes on the Fly

The snowshoe is durable, visible, and will easily float this nymph.  Use the shorter snowshoe fibers, because you want to save your longer stuff for upright wings.  Make sure you use long and strong PT fibers, and they will suffice for three sections of the fly!

Click on image to the left to get a better view. 

If you find trout are rising during a hatch, but not eating the duns, or other emerger patterns try one of these.   

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Almost Time for an Old Favorite

Hook:         Curved #16-22
Shuck:            Partridge
Body:          Olive Goose Biot
Abdomen:  Olive Superfine
Hackle:       Light Dun
Post:            Grey Z-Lon

Tying Instructions
1) Tie in partridge tail half way down the bend, and *goose biot notch down.

2) Make a smooth thread underbody and leave the thread where the thorax will begin. 

3) Use hackle pliers and wind goose biot up to thread, exposing the natural rib, tie off and clip excess.

4) Tie in the Z-Lon post at a slight angle towards the eye, and clip excess.

5) Tie in a prepared hackle feather up the post, so the feather and the post are pointing up.

6) Create the thorax using superfine leaving room near the eye for the hackle and thread head.

7) Hackle down the post clockwise, and *tie off making sure extra hackle fibers are clipped, or hidden on top of the hook.  

8) Whip finish, and cement when all your flies are complete.  

(* Denotes an important, sometimes difficult procedure.  Take your time and get it right!)

Notes on the Fly
With a day that almost reached 60 degrees I got the itch to post something that rides on the surface.  This is one of my favorite emerger patterns, and in a month or so I plan on using it!  Take your time with these, and soon you will be able to whip them up like any other dry fly.
This is one of my go to BWO patterns.  I can tie these down to a #22, fairly easily, and it will ride right every time, primarily because of the angled post and curved hook shank.  If you are having trouble getting this to float right, make sure you keep the partridge shuck sparse, and do not apply floatant to anything except the post. 
Don't be afraid to change the colors to suit the mayflies where you fish.  Have fun, and think warmer temps!   

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Season of Scuds Continues...

Hook:           Curved #12 - 20
Thread:        Grey 8/0
Body:             Thread
Rib:                Small Silver Ultra Wire
OverBody:   Light Colored 
                         Superfine Dubbing

(fly shown is wet)

Tying Instructions

1) Start thread and tie in ribbing half way down the bend.

2) Continue the thread up the hook to form a nice body, this should be slightly tapered towards the front and back of the hook.

3) Rib the wire leaving around 1/32 to 1/16" of space (depending on hook size), between each turn.  Snip wire and leave the thread near the eye. 

4) Apply superfine dubbing loosely, by the direct or dubbing loop method.

5) Work the dubbing over the body and the rib making sure it stays loose and keeping the tapered ends.  Whip finish at the eye and that's it! 

Notes on the Fly

After examining a kick sample during my last trip to the stream I noticed a few things about the little critter we call a scud.  The colors and sizes were accurate of my last post, however, the body was very translucent when it was in the water.  If you want a larger more detailed version click here.  This photo was taken seconds after I pulled the seine from the stream.  

My last four trips to the water I have used a small pink version of this pattern, and it produced some very nice results.  Try tying one yourself!   

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Season for Scuds

Hook:       Curved Hook #12-20
Thread:    Tan 8/0
Rib:            5x Tippet
Shell:        Ziploc Bag (1/4 to 1/8" strip)
Body:        Fur of Choice and Superfine

Tying Instructions
1) Mount hook, and wrap thread towards the bend.  Tie in the rib towards the bend.

2) Tie on shell material, and wrap to the bend.  *Make sure it stays even.

3) Wrap an underbody of superfine with your choice of fur on top from the bend to the eye.  You can apply dubbing directly to the thread or with a loop.  Flies #18 and smaller I use only superfine.  Leave the thread at the eye.

4) Bring the shell up to the eye and tie it down with a few wraps, *making sure it stays centered on the hook shank.

5) Rib the tippet material up to the eye making sure the shell remains centered and pinched correctly around the body.

6) Clip the extra shell and rib material flush, and whip finish.

7) After you have tied as many as you desire, cement heads and pick out the dubbing a little. 

(* Denotes the start of a key, sometimes problematic, procedure.  Take your time here and get it right!)

Notes on the Fly
I have never liked using the standard store bought scuds. I have two in my possession that my wife bought me a long time ago. Sometimes I even wonder if they would catch anything? I'm sure they do. I have heard and seen the success of the standard scud, but I have no confidence in them, and if you don't know confidence in a pattern is everything.

There are a few things in particular I don't like about a standard scud pattern that I fixed in my version. First thing is the humpback. The scuds I have found on the stream don't appear this way at all, so I have negated this by tying only on the straight part of the hook shank. I also do not add the classic humpback weight to my flies. Weightless scuds float much more realistically in the water column even when sunk with a few split shot.

Second major factor is color. A lot of the scuds I see for sale look like a neon colored nightmare. Not to say these bright colored beauties don't work, I even tie a few of the pink variations, but I have had better luck with the natural colors. Most of my patterns fall into the olive, brown, and grey end of the spectrum.  

Finally is the Ziploc bag strips. I use them because they are relatively free, and I try my best to live by the sacred 3R's. They do not create the neatest looking pattern, as the plastic only stretches so much, but it certainly doesn't hurt the effectiveness!

Give my scuds a try. They are an easy pattern to tie, and when fished in the right bodies of water they can be very deadly. If you happen to find this article useful, successful, or even shameful to your world of fly-tying and fishing stop back and let me know. I would love to hear about it!

See what a real scud looks like here.