Hook: Mustad R 74 # 2
Tail: Siberian squirrel tail hair
Body : Squirrel tron dark hares ear dubbing
Rib: Fine copper wire
Wing: Pine squirrel zonker strip
Collar: Natural red fox body hair spun in dubbing loop
Gill covers: 2 Ring neck pheasant “church window” feathers coated with Bug Bond
Head: Natural kangaroo body hair spun in dubbing loop and clipped to shape
Eyes : Epoxy eyes
The original zonker pattern was tied by the American fly tyer Dan Byford in the 1970s and was quickly recognized the world over, as a big fish fly and extremely easy to tie, yet a realistic imitation for most smaller bait fish. The original pattern used a lead or tin sheet that was folded and glued over the hook shank and then cut to shape to make the underbody. The flexibility of the Zonker as a bait fish imitation pattern is only limited to your own imagination. There are a huge amount of rabbit fur strip materials on the market in just about every colour imaginable, not to mention fox, squirrel, mink etc, the combination possibilities are endless. Another advantage with the zonker, unlike buck tail and feather wing streamers, is that it is an extremely robust pattern. If tied correctly the fly will normally outlive the hook, although the eyes are somewhat vulnerable to the small sharp teeth of trout. This can be improved by attaching the eyes with super glue and coating them with Bug Bond or head cement.
When fishing this pattern or any long tailed streamers in general for that matter. Many fly fishermen are of the thought, that when fishing a long tailed streamer the fish tend to “Nap” at the tail and won´t take the fly properly! This can be the case for smaller trout but generally speaking a large trout will take this pattern hard and fast. If you do experience napping at the tail when fishing, stop the retrieve dead, and let the fly sink a little for two or three seconds, nine times out of ten the attacking fish will pick it up on the drop.
October 28, 2013 | Categories: Fly Fishing art, Fly Tying, Material Reviews, Sjøørret fluer, Step by Step | Tags: Brown trout, Bug Bond, Fly Tying, hooks, Materials, sjøørret fluer, Step by Step, streamer, Streamers, Zonker | 3 Comments
Many daddy patterns are somewhat delicate and easily damaged, be it by fish, or even prolonged casting, and general ware and tare. Here’s a pattern that show you how to make your daddy’s not only more resillient, but also with added float ability.
Tipulidae or Daddy long legs as they are more commonly known, are a familiar sight both on and off the water more or less the whole summer. There are in fact several hundred species of daddy’s from just a couple of mm to over 40mm long. Although most species of daddy are terrestrial there are a few that are aquatic. Daddy’s are remarkably poor fliers and once airbourne are largely at the mercy of the wind and where it takes them, being forced to crash land on the water, blowing across the waters surface surface like tumble weed. Trailing their legs behind them, in some cases even making a bow wave as they blow and skate across the surface.
The extended body method that is illustrated here is a good way of creating suitable sized bodies that can also represent other larger bodied insects such as dragon flies, mayflies and of course daddy long legs, without using larger hooks, that will in turn introduce more weight, which is inaapropriate for patterns that are intended to float.
As for the deer hair make sure that it is the best spinning hair from the winter coat. Dont just try the natural colours for the bodies of daddy’s try bright attractor colours such as bright green and yellow, these will make the difference when there are lots of daddy’s on the water and add an attractor element.
Deer hair daddy
Hook: Mustad C53SNP-BR # 12-6
Tying thread: Dyneema waxed with Veniards PFTW http://www.veniard.com/product2977/section9/
Body: Spun and clipped deer hair (winter coat)
Legs: Pheasant tail fibers
Wing & Head: Spun and clipped deer hair
Secure your curved nymph / terrestrial hook in the vice.
Cover the hook shank with tying thread a little down into the bend.
At the tail of the fly make a dubbing loop. Its important that you make this loop with doubling your tying thread and not splitting it. The deer hair is quite dense and needs the strength of a double loop to spin it correctly! Wrap your tying thread out of the way behind the hook eye.
If you are using Dyneema or another gel spun thread, you will need to wax it. This will give better purchase on the deer hair when spun.
Place a length of deer hair, from the winter coat in a magic tool or a bull dog clip and cut off the hide. Place the hair in the dubbing loop.
The deer hair should have at least 1 cm. through the loop on the cut side.
Spin your dubbing loop until the deer hair becomes an even dubbing brush.
Wind on the deer hair brush as you would a regular hackle, making sure to brush the hair back with each turn. Tie off the dubbing loop about 1 cm. behind the hook eye.
Before you start trimming the deer hair brush out and trapped hairs with a stiff tooth brush.
Now make a few initial trimming cuts with the scissors too form the basic body shape.
Trim the remaining body hair.
With a pair of finer scissors trim the body to the required body shape. Now with a lighter singe the trimmed body, DO NOT BURN!
After singeing the clipped deer hair body will tighten and become very even.
Turn your fly up side down in the vice.
Tie the joints in six or seven pheasant tail fibers for the legs while still on the tail feather.
Place the finished legs in a magic clip and trim off the tail feather shaft.
For this dubbing loop you need only split your thread. Place the pheasant tail legs in the loop and spin the bobbin. The legs will flare in all directions.
Wind on the legs.
Cut a medium bunch of deer hair and remove the underfur. Stack the deer hair if wished in a hair stacker and tie in as a wing on top of the body as shown. Its important that you use enough deer hair in the wing too little and the fly will not fish the correct way, so more is better.
The buts of the deer hair will flare and form a muddler type head.
Turn the fly the correct way again in the vice, whip finish and trim the underside of the muddler head, taking care not to remove too much wing.
Once the head is trimmed you have your finished deer hair daddy. Taking care you can also singe the head of the fly as with the body. With a balanced wing and head this pattern will land up side down every time.
The fished deer hair daddy with a singed head. This pattern floats like a cork and can be stripped through the surface if wished like a muddler.
Here are a couple more quick techniques, for making cork like bodies from deer hair and a deer hair guard.
Anglo – Swedish caddis:
This is a hybrid pattern that combines two great patterns, the wing and head of the Swedish streaking caddis and the body of the British Goddards caddis. There are a few techniques here that are useful when tying with deer hair.
Cut a thin strip of deer hair from a winter coat, rather like a deer hair zonker strip and attach a Magic tool clip about half way down the hair.
With a pair long straight scissors trim off the hide from the deer hair strip. You will see that there is a little under fur left in the trimmed end!
Using a tooth brush, brush out the loose hairs and under fur from the clip.
Place a terrestrial hook in the vice.
Cover the hook shaft with a foundation of tying thread. I use only Dyneema gel spun thread for tying with deer hair, if you haven’t tried it I recommend you do!
Make a dubbing loop at the rear of the hook, make sure that the two ends of the loop closest too the hook shank are touching each other! If they are not the loop will remain open and will not grip the deer hair. Wind your tying thread forward out of the way toward the hook eye.
Un treated deer hair is quite fatty, If you wax your thread it has a much better purchase on the hair and reduces the chances of it slipping in the loop.
Place the loaded magic tool clip in the dubbing loop and trap the deer hair centrally in the loop.
Start to spin your deer hair in the dubbing loop. You can see in this image that the loop is not fully spun as you can still see the core of tying thread.
You must continue spinning the loop until the core is no longer visible and the hair is evenly spun.
You can now start wrapping the deer hair dubbing brush as you would a traditional palmer hackle along the whole hook shank.
Make sure that you brush the deer hair fibers back with each turn so as not to trap them with the next turn!
Once you have wound the whole dubbing brush tie it off and give it a good brushing with a tooth brush in every direction. This will free any fibers the have become trapped and give a better result when trimmed.
With a pair of serrated straight scissors trim the hair from the rear of the hook.
Once fully trimmed you should have a Goddard caddis type body.
For the wing you will need a generous bunch of deer hair. Remove ALL the under fur, if you dont, the hair will not spin fully.
Once cleaned stack the hair in a hair stacker. Measure the wing on the hook.
While holding the hair in place at the correct length on the body make two loose turns with tying thread around the bunch of deer hair and then tighten.
Make a few tight turns of tying thread through the remaining deer hair towards the hook eye to secure it and whip finish.
Remove your tying thread and once again give the flared deer har head a good brushing.
Now, while resting your scissors on the hook eye trim the head all the way round.
The under side of the head should be trimmed level with the body and cone shaped.
Take a lighter and singe the trimmed deer hair head. Take care not to set the whole fly on fire!
Once the head is singed give it another brush with the tooth brush to remove the soot. And there you have it , the Anglo Swedish caddis.
The ultimate UV tool is now available!
If you use Bug Bond, the new professional curing light is now available! One of the main advantages with this new mains operated foot pedal adapter is that you have full power constantly for optimal curing.
You can order your Bug Bond mains adapter now from: http://www.fishingmegastore.com/bugbond-mains-professional-uv-light~18838.html It will also be available from all Veniard stockist soon!
So what’s new… For those of you that have seen me tie at any of the shows this year, you may have seen me using, the Professional UV light. A new attachment for the Bug Bond light, that when the on/off switch cap is disconnected, the main light unit can accept a remote foot switch that can be powered by both mains via an AC/DC adapter, or separate rechargeable battery unit. This gives the user the convenience of mains power with foot operated curing and the portability demanded by the traveling tyer… keep the foot operated switch at home under the tying bench and while on the fishing trip return the light to AA battery operation. I believe this is another first for light cured resins in fly tying…
This is the Bug Bond mains adapter in action. photo: With thanks by Tore Litlere Rydgren taken at the Nordic fly fair earlier this year.
The Bug Bond pedal and connecting power cable are of a simple but elegant light weight design. When I first tried this new addition to the UV light, surprisingly, it took a few days to get use to it! Its not normal to tie with your feet. Mastering the hand, eye, foot coordination took some getting use to! But like anything its just a matter of time.
For release date and availability see: http://deesox.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/bug-bond-fly-tying-first-again-at-sim.html
For all my German friends. In 2014, I will have deliverd fly tying step by step articles for the the top German Magazine ‘Rute und Rolle’ every month for the past twenty years! In december this year they will publish a whole special fly tying issue, with over 40 of my step by step patterns and a free pack of five of my favorit Mustad hooks.
Danke Rute und Rolle!
In Northern Europe the sea trout are now returning to the cooling coastal waters after a long hot summer, and 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!
Fly tying course # 20 already! For the many of you that have been following the course, although this fancy dry is a little challenging, if you have practiced, you should be more than capable of tying the stimulator. The only thing to remember is the proportions. If you get one wrong they will all be wrong!
The original pattern is from the American fly tyer Randall Kaufmann and is probably one of the most popular flies in North America. Originally tied to imitates the adult giant stonefly, but will fish just as well as a hopper or caddis fly.
This well dressed pattern is for fishing rough fast flowing water, where it can be seen easily at distance and it floats like a cork. Stimulators are versatile, and although look difficult, are relatively easy to tie, again, it’s all about proportions! By varying the size and colour, you can imitate most adult stoneflies. The Stimulator can also be tied with rubber legs, like Madam X. This is a great attractor pattern that will bring fish up to the top, when most other patterns fail! When fishing use the same presentation as a caddis fly, streaking the stimulator over the water’s surface, especially in windy areas. Stimulators float well in rough water, but on calmer drifts, I find it fishes better if you trim the hackle on the underside so that it floats a little lower in the water, and strip it hard with short pauses through the surface over possible fish lies.
Hook: Mustad curved nymph # 6 -12
Tail: Elk hair
Body: Golden yellow Antron floss Body Hackle: Golden Badger or Furnace
Wing: Elk hair and crystal hair fibers Dubbing
Thorax: Golden Stone
Secure your curved nymph/ terrestrial hook in the vice.
Run the tying thread along the hook shank until it hangs level with the barb of the hook.
Cut and clean a small small bunch of elk hair in for the tail, this doesn’t flare as much as winter deer hair. Tie in directly above the hook barb.
Tie the elk hair down along the hook shank as shown. This will give you a good foundation and volume for your floss body.
Tie in the hackle at the base of the tail. The best is to use a good saddle hackle so you have the volume required.
About one third of the way along the hook shank tie in a length of golden yellow Antron floss.
Run the floss back towards the tail base and forward again building up a tapered body as you go. Tie off the floss.
Wind the hackle, palmered style, about 7 or eight even turns. When you reach the thorax tie off and remove the excess hackle.
Cut another bunch of elk hair, this time a little larger for the wing. Before you stack it be sure to remove ALL the under fur and shorter hairs. You may have to stack it a few times to achieve this.
If you stack the elk hair for the wing in a small diameter stacker the hair will ‘fall’ into its natural curve.
Before you tie in the elk hair wing, tie in two or three strands of golden yellow crystal hair.
Now tie in the elk hair, first with a couple of loose turns of tying thread and then tighter as you wind forward towards the hook eye. Trim off the excess deer hair and cover the butt ends with tying thread.
Prepare and tie in a grizzle cock hackle at the base of the wing. This hackle should be long enough for six or seven turns.
Dub the thorax with golden stone dubbing in a cone shape as shown. Make sure that you make a few turns of dubbing around the base of the wing, this will lower it and give the correct profile.
Wind on your grizzle hackle in nice even turns. Tie off and whip finish. Your completed golden stimulator!
Keeping on the salt water theme for sea trout, heres another sand eel pattern that mixes the new with the old.
When designing bait fish patterns, a few things I consider are the shape and silhouette of the fish to be imitated. This is important as you never know if the fish will see it, when fished, in a reflected or backlight situation. The size and colour, and last but not least movement. All these can be achieved with a careful selection of materials. I sometimes also like to give the patterns a three dimensional effect. I achieve this through building layers. This is made much easier with Bug Bond.
Observe the bait fish that you wish to imitate, take a close look at it, there are many great websites that have fantastic photography, illustrations and films of these bait fish. Try and decide the most distinguishing features and characteristics of them. Once you have done this choose materials that best represent these features in colour and movement. After a while you better understand the materials you work with and the choices become easier.
Hook Mustad Big Game light # 6-4 http://mustad.no/catalog/na/product.php?id=191
Thread Dyneema http://www.whitetailflytieing.com/index.htm
Underbody Craft fur
Body Buck tail topped with peacock herl
Sides Green and blue grizzle cock hackles
Head tube E-Z Body http://www.e-zbody.com/
Eyes Tape eyes
Attach you tying thread to the front third of the hook shank.
Tie in a length of tapered craft fur. Its important that you brush out the fibers of the craft fur before you tie it in. The craft fur will give a little movement to the body of the fly when fished.
Now a nice bunch of straight whit buck tail under the craft fur. The generic name for deer tails has become ‘buck tails’ even if they have come from a doe deer which generally have a little shorter fibers, so be sure when buying buck tail choose the ones with nice long straight hair. The buck tail tied in this way will help support the craft fur and keep it in position.
Now cover the craft fur with a bunch of brown buck tail. Once this is done you can place a drop of varnish on the whippings just to strengthen them.
On top of the buck tail tie in four or five lengths of peacock herl. The best herl for this is found just under the eye of the peacock tail feather. Make these a little longer than the buck tail.
Select two green cock hackles and tie in on the sides.
Vail the green hackles with two blue dyed grizzle hackles a little shorter than the the green ones.
Whip finish and remove your tying thread. Take a short length of E-Z Body and thread this over the head of the fly.
Re attach your tying thread and tie down the E-Z Body behind the hook eye.
Take another three or four strands of peacock herl and tie in for the topping.
Select the correct size of Fleye foil for the hook size.
Using the short tab on the foil, tie them in, one each side.
Whip finish and remove the tying thread. Holding down the peacock herl topping apply a little bug bond to the head.
Cure the Bug Bond with the UV light. You can then build a few thin layers of Bug Bond over the whole head until you achieve the correct size and shape.
Apply the tape eyes and give one last coat of Bug Bond. Once the fly is finished, wet your fingers and soak the wing, while stroking it backwards. This will hold the wing in the correct shape and dry this way ready for use.
September 6, 2013 | Categories: Fly Tying, Sjøørret fluer, Step by Step | Tags: Bug Bond, Deer hair, E-Z Body, Fly Tying, sand eel, Sea trout fishing, sea trout flies, sjøørret fluer, Step by Step | 6 Comments
Hip, Hip and Hurrah ! The autumn sea trout season is just around the corner, and as I can see from the search engine terms on the blog, I am not the only one itching to get back into the salt. No less than 70% of all searches at the moment, are regarding sea trout flies and sea trout fishing in the salt !
So I bow to popular demand and will be publishing a few posts over the next few weeks covering essential patterns for salt water sea trout fishing. Visitors that find themselves on other parts of the globe dont dismay! Although many of these patterns where designed specifically for fishing in Norther Europe, I am in no doubt that not only the techniques will be of interest, but there is no reason that they will also work on other species in both fresh and salt water.
I’ll start with my most successful pattern. I dont know how many of these I have tied in the past couple of years, but it is in the thousands! Just about everyone who has ordered the fly from me come back for more. You can see the full step by step and fishing techniques: http://thefeatherbender.com/2013/04/09/proppen-without-doubt-my-most-productive-sea-trout-fly-2/
A larger shrimp pattern for attracting larger fish. The AO has also worked extremely well for me the last few seasons when larger patterns and more movement are required to trigger fish into taking. Although a more technical pattern to tie it’s well worth learning the technique: http://thefeatherbender.com/2013/01/23/just-foiling-around/
I have been using this pattern since the mid nineties and is a great go-to pattern when nothing is happening in the surface and blind fishing is the order of the day. One of the great things with this pattern is its flexibility of size and colour, the combinations of wing and body colour and size are endless. http://thefeatherbender.com/2013/02/28/the-virtual-minnow-a-zonker-with-a-twist/
4 Foil Gammarus
This gammarus pattern probably represents the most common food stuff of the sea trout, no matter the time of year you will always find these small shrimps on the sea trout menu. This is one of my more recent patterns, so I haven’t really had much time fishing it, but the results so far are promising! For the full step by steps on a couple of variations: http://thefeatherbender.com/2013/01/24/the-revers-foil-gammarus/ http://thefeatherbender.com/2013/02/19/the-foil-speaks-the-wise-man-listens/
If you have any questions regarding sea trout patterns, techniques or materials please dont hesitate to send me a message.
I will be posting four more patterns for sea trout over the weekend, so sign up to receive each post as they are published.