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.