Heres another one of the old video tutorials while I edit the new ones!
Just to let you all know that I haven’t disappeared into the woods, just been up to my neck in work and the new book deadline. I will re-publish some of my older popular posts for all the new followers. In the meantime heres a couple of images from the new book. The hoodlum fat wing and the common shrimp, yeah those are the real colours. I am trying to catch and photograph the most common foods of the salt water sea trout, but its proving difficult!
Anyway, I will do my best to get back as soon as possible with more regular posts. Tight lines…
Elk Hair Caddis
Hook Mustad R30 # 16-10 http://www.mustad.no/productcatalog/product.php?id=175
Body Olive dubbing
Hackle Brown Cock
Wing Bleached elk
This classic caddis pattern is from the tying bench of well know American fly tyer Al Troth.
This is probably the most well known caddis pattern in existence, and rightly so. The EHC as it is also known is one of the best adult caddis patterns that you could use. I myself have fished this pattern for at least 30 years, and every season it never fail to provide me with great sport.
Most of the materials are readily available but in the past few years the bleached elk hair has become more difficult to obtain. Al Troth himself recommends that you use the thigh hair from a cow elk, bleached, this I have found impossible to obtain but any good quality bleached elk does a good job. If you find like me that the bleached elk cannot be obtained, regular elk will also do a good job, it’s just a little more difficult to see at a distance on the water.
You can fish this pattern dry so that it just floats high on the hackle points, you can fish it half drowned so that it gurgles like a popper when retrieved and you can even fish it wet just under the surface. A brilliant all round pattern.
Attach the tying thread and run it along the hook shank until it hangs level with the hook barb.
Prepare the hackle and tie in at the base of the hook shank.
Attach the dubbing to the tying thread and begin to build up the body of the fly.
Once you have dubbed the whole body make sure you leave enough space for the elk wing head (2 mm behind the hook eye) secure the dubbing with a few turns of tying thread.
Using a hackle plier wind on the hackle, palmered style along the whole of the dubbed body.
Tie off the hackle and trim off the access.
With the use of a small hair stacker even thew ends of a small bunch of elk hair. You can also remove the under wool at this stage.
Remove the hair from the stacker and lie it along the top of the hook as shown to measure the correct length of wing required.
Still holding the hair in place , change hands and make two loose turns of tying thread around the head of the fly, and pull tight. Make a couple more turns of tying thread to secure the wing.
You can now trim of the surplus elk hair butt ends to make that distinctive EHC head.
Tie off the tying thread and remove.
The finished Elk Hair Caddis.
Unquestionably the most famous of all streamers, and the model for many others.
Hook: Mustad R73NP-BR # 10-4
Thread: Dyneema (waxed)
Tail: Mottled turkey
Body: Flat gold tinsel
Rib: Copper wire
Underwing: Grey squirrel tail
Wing: Mottled turkey
Collar/Head: Spun and clipped natural deer hair
A few notes regarding the original Muddler pattern:
The hook used by its originator Don Gapen was a Mustad 38941 3X Long streamer, this was one of the long flies. When tying slip wings its important to use waxed thread. The Dyneema I use in most my patterns is too smooth for for wet fly style wings and has to be waxed in order not to slip.
The original recipe is as above but excluding the copper wire rib. The rib is a later addition. The original was tied with metal tinsel that required no protection from the small sharp teeth of trout but later as plastic tinsel became the norm the wire rib was added to protect the tinsel and add additional strength. When spinning large bunches of deer hair I recommend, if you are using regular tying thread a minimum denier of 3/0 waxed is necessary to have sufficient strength to apply enough tension to achieve optimal flare in the deer hair. When tying spun and clipped deer hair patterns your choice of hair is paramount. See my earlier posts regarding tying with deer hair and spinning deer hair.
If I was unfortunate enough to be be given the choice of having only one fly to fish for all species both in fresh and salt water, I would have no problem! The Muddler minnow would without doubt be my number one choice. The pattern I tie here is as close to the original as I can get.
The original Thunder creek streamer series came from the vice of American, Keith Fulsher. In the early sixties, not satisfied with the regular head and eye size of streamers, he began experimenting and chose the reverse buck tail technique for his Thunder creek patterns. This technique involves tying the buck tail, as the technique suggests, the opposite way and then folding it back over the hook shank and tying down to form the head. The simplicity of this pattern and the minimal materials needed to tie it, is fly design at its very best! He achieved his goal, a slim two toned body with a large minnow head that allowed for larger eyes, the main attack point for predatory fish and through changing only the buck tail colour and hook size, could imitate numerous baitfish. Streamers generally fall into two categories, baitfish imitations and attractors! I am in no doubt that the Thunder creek covers both. You can try a whole load of colour combinations, and if you would like a little flash in the pattern tie this in at the rear of the head before folding the wings back. Also if you would like a heavier pattern use lead under the head dubbing. If you are looking for a slimmer pattern to imitate a sand eel, replace the buck tail with a synthetic material like fish hair or DNA, but dont build up the head with dubbing, this will keep the pattern slim and streamline.
Posted by barryoc | July 27, 2014 | Categories: Fly Fishing, Fly Photography, Fly Tying, Material Reviews, Photography, Sjøørret fluer, Step by Step | Tags: Bucktail, Bug Bond, Fly Tying, salt water, sea trout flies, Step by Step, Streamers, tape eyes, Thunder Creek | Leave a comment
I have had some questions about the Edson brass eyes and where they can be obtained. All the info is in this article alone with contact and purchase details.
One of the great classic American streamers, developed by the well know fly tier Bill Edson in 1929. The Edson Tiger dark & light where influenced by a streamer called “Dick´s Killer” that Edson received from fellow fly tier Dick Eastman of New Hampshire in 1928. The original patterns tied and sold by Edson where with jungle cock cheeks, but later he replaced the jungle cock with small teardrop brass plates which was apparently done, not only because of the increasing price of the already expensive jungle cock but also difficulty in obtaining a regular supply of it. But soon after the introduction of the metal cheeks they became so popular with his customers that they replaced the jungle cock on all his streamer patterns. But truth be told, the metal cheeks added a whole new dimension to how the patterns fished. With extra flash and weight in his streamers, there where few other patterns at this time that offered this. Although this pattern is almost a century old it still accounts for many a trout and has proven an excellent late season pattern for salt water sea trout fishing here in Scandinavia. A couple of years ago while tying at the Dutch fly fair, I was lucky enough to meet Chris Helm, who had for sale, the Edson Brass eyes.
If you contact Chris and purchase these eyes to add that extra dimension to you Tigers they do need a little work doing to them before they are ready to tie in. Using a pair of sharp wire cutters, these are not difficult to cut, they are made from brass after all, but sharp cutters make for a neater finish. You need to trim the side of the eye that is square into a point. Once this is done I use emery paper to sand the edges of the point to a fine taper, otherwise you will get a distinct mark under the tying thread where the the eye is secured.
Hook: Standard streamer # 6
Tag: Flat gold tinsel
Tail: Barred wood duck
Body: Peacock herl
Wing: Yellow buck tail
Topping: Red hackle fibers
Cheeks: Jungle cock or Edson Brass Eyes
Head: Yellow varnish
The Eyes are available along with a good
selection of Mustad streamer hooks from
Chris Helm at:
Posted by barryoc | July 26, 2014 | Categories: Fly Fishing, Fly Tying, Material Reviews, Step by Step | Tags: Chris Helm, Edson Brass Eyes, Fly Fishing, Fly photgraphy, hooks, Materials, Mustad, streamer | Leave a comment
In the autumn in Northern Europe after the long hot summer when the coastal waters begin to cool down again, its at this time of year you dont want to be without a stickleback imitation!
Although the recent tendency for tying and designing sea trout flies has gone more towards imitation patterns, some of which are extremely realistic, I am constantly drawn back to some more traditional styles of tying, that never stop producing fish. This is one of them! This extremely simple pattern is so effective on autumn sea trout that for the past few years at least a couple of dozen have to be tied for my box. During the summer months the Mickey Finn, another classic buck-tail streamer, is an outstanding pattern on bright sunny days, but falls short when fished in the autumn. I wanted a pattern that would fish as well in the dark grey autumn months, this was the result.
Stingsild Buck-tail streamer
Hook Mustad S71SS salt water streamer # 4-6 http://mustad.no/catalog/na/product.php?id=193
Body Holographic tinsel
Throat White buck-tail https://www.spiritriver.com/materials/hair-fur/select-bucktails
Underwing Four strands of gold Gliss n Glow https://www.spiritriver.com/materials/flash/gliss-n-glow
Wing Light brown buck-tail with darker brown buck-tail over https://www.spiritriver.com/materials/hair-fur/select-bucktails
Topping Five or six strands of peacock herl
Eyes Edson brass eyes http://www.whitetailﬂytieing.com/
Insert your salt water streamer hook in the vice with the hook shaft horizontal.
Run your tying thread along the hook shank until you come to a place between the hook point and barb.
At the tail of the hook tie in a length of holographic flat tinsel. Unlike salmon and exhibition flies this tinsel body should be uneven, I want to achieve the most reflective multi faceted surface as possible. So the foundation of thread doesn’t have to be flat!
This is also a fishing fly so strengthen the tinsel body by coating the thread foundation with varnish before you start wrapping the tinsel.
Wrap the tinsel over the whole length of the body and wipe off any excess varnish that may flow on to the tinsel. tie off.
Turn your fly up side down and tie in a small bunch of prepared white buck-tail. This should extend about one half of the hook length beyond the hook bend.
Trim off the excess buck-tail and tie down the butts with a few turns of tying thread.
Tie in four short lengths of gold Gliss n Glow on top of the hook shank.
Now clean and stack a small bunch of light brown or tan buck-tail and tie in on top of the Gliss n Glow.
Repeat stage 9 but with a darker brown buck-tail That extends a little longer than the light brown.
Cut five or six lengths of peacock herl from just under the eye on a peacock tail feather. Tie these in in one bunch for the topping, again a little longer than the buck-tail wing.
Take two Edson brass eyes, you can substitute these with jungle cock but the effect is not the same.
Trim down the brass eyes with wire cutters as shown.
Secure the eyes one each side of the head with a few turns of tying thread. Before you continue to tie in the eyes apply a drop of varnish to hold everything in place.
Wrap the head with tying thread and whip finish. Coat the head with black varnish. Now wet your fingers and soak the entire wing and pull it back to give it shape.
Once the wing is wet and shaped let it dry, it only takes a few minutes.
Once dry the wing will hold its shape.
A batch of Stingsild soon ready for the salt!
Posted by barryoc | July 20, 2014 | Categories: Fly Tying, Sjøørret fluer, Step by Step, Uncategorized | Tags: salt water, Sea trout fishing, sea trout flies, sjøørret fluer, Step by Step, streamer | 2 Comments
Right now I am at the cottage by the sea busy writing the new book on ‘Patterns for salt water sea trout’ Heres one of the Hoodlum images. All 50 patterns in the book will be presented like this with full stage by stage tying instructions. The book is due for publication in March next year.
Over the past few weeks I have had many questions regarding the tying thread I use and where it can be obtained heres the details.
I will also re post the piece I did on tying with Dyneema.
Veevus GSP Thread (Dyneema)
A superb quality GSP thread in different thread weights.
The 30 denier is the thinnest strongest thread for its size i know.
In the heavier sizes its perfect for Saltwater flies and for spinning deer hair.
You also get 75 meters of thread per spool which is more then most other companies offer.
Three sizes available.
30 Denier (thinnest)
100 Denier (Great allrounder)
150 Denier (Saltwater and Deerhair)
Available in Black and White
Techniques for traditional dry’s
Its often said “If you can tie a good dry fly, you can tie just about anything” this makes dry flies sound extremely difficult, they are not. There are many other patterns that look much simpler but are much more challenging for the tyer to master.
The key to good dry flies:
Attention to detail
Follow the step by step instructions
Follow these rules and you will be tying great dry flies in no time.
Although you dont need perfect, great looking flies to catch fish, a well proportioned dry fly will float better and fish better in many cases giving a much more correct footprint on the water. There is also the wow factor, a well tied box of flies is always a great talking point amongst friends and other fishermen!
The techniques shown here are normally only learned after many years of tying and observing other more experienced tyers. If we where talking about a play station game, they may be thought of as cheats! Here you are given a condensed lesson in tying the classic dry fly. If you learn the correct way right from the start you wont carry on making elementary mistakes. So study, learn and practice these techniques, and apply them to other patterns with a similar style.
Dont forget! If you have any questions please dont hesitate to ask. Just post your question at the foot of this page.
If you would like to receive a message when the next stage of the course is published, just add your e mail address at the top right of this page. Thanks, The feather bender.
Secure your hook in the vice, so the hook shank is horizontal.
Attach your tying thread and cover the hook shank with a even foundation of thread.
Take a golden pheasant tippet feather and cut out a small section as shown. Keeping the tippets on the feather shaft will give you perfect aligned tips and also keep the tippets the right way while you tie them in.
Lie one side of the tippet section on top of the hook shank and adjust to the correct length, see proportions chart. Tie in.
Trim off the tippets 2/3 of the hook shank length or where you will tie in the wings. If you cut them off shorter you will have an un even underbody later. Tie down the tippet butts. Now make two small ridges with tying thread at the wing tying in point, about 1 mm apart.
This will make a groove for the wing shafts to be placed.
Prepare two fan wing feathers by stripping off the lower fibers from the shaft. Dont worry too much about the wing tips not being too square this we will fix later.
Place one of the fan wings in the groove and tie in as with a regular dry fly hackle X whipping.
Now repeat with the second fan wing on the opposite side.
Tie down the hackles keeping them vertical and run your tying thread to the rear of the hook shank. Take a long peacock herl. To get the peacock herl to warp correctly, tie it in by the point with the concave side to the hook shank. Again tie in the herl the full length of the body too the wing. Wind your tying thread about 1/3 of the hook shank.
Wind on your peacock herl in tight even turns about 1/3 of the body length and tie off. Now carry on winding your peacock herl 2/3 of the body length.
Cover the second third of peacock herl with wraps of tying thread and the a few wraps further into the wing. The wraps of tying thread over the peacock herl will give the body the required thickness.
Now make the next segment of peacock herl into the wing base and tie off with a couple of turns of tying thread.
Select and prepare a hackle and tie in so the hackle is vertical and then run your tying thread for ward to the hook eye.
Remove the hackle stem and wind on the end of the peacock herl and tie off a couple of mm behind the hook eye. This peacock herl will give you the best foundation for your hackle. It creates a track that each turn of hackle will fall into and ensure that the hackle points stay vertical when wound.
Attach a hackle plier to the point of your hackle and wind on your hackle in nice even turns, taking care that it doesn’t twist or buckle. Tie off a couple of mm behind the hook eye.
Now take some flat edged scissors. While holding the wings in one hand, and holding the blade along the desired wing length position press your thumb against the blade trapping the wing points and whip off the points with a twist of the wrist. Take care that you are holding the wings tightly, otherwise you may pull them off!
The finished fan wing dry.