The Virtual Minnow: A zonker with a twist…

The original zonker pattern was tied by the American fly tyer Dan Byford in the 1970s and was quickly recognised the world over, as a big fish fly and extremely easy to tie, yet 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.   This melt glue body technique gives the zonker a new life. If viewed by a fish in reflected light the shine and flashing of the maylar mixed with the animation of … Continue reading The Virtual Minnow: A zonker with a twist…


Fly tying course # 10 Muddler Minnow

  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 … Continue reading Fly tying course # 10 Muddler Minnow

The feather benders tying room

Now that the blog has become established and I have just reached 50,000 visitors and over 3000 followers I thought it only correct to take you on a little tour of the tying room. This is where it all the tying and photography happens. It may look like its a bit chaotic but everything I use on a regular basis is close at hand. Trying to keep order in the hook department is always testing, without order, everything falls apart, I can spend more time looking for hooks that actually tying the pattern it was intended for! But I have … Continue reading The feather benders tying room

Fly tying course # 9 Techniques for traditional dry’s

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:   Quality materials Proportion Attention to detail Follow the step by step instructions Practice 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 … Continue reading Fly tying course # 9 Techniques for traditional dry’s

The Bulldozer: A monster popper for spring pike

Bulldozer Hook: Ad Sweir Pike # 8/0 Tying thread: Dyneema Tail: Marabou and crystal hair Skirt: Four large Whiting American hackles Topping: Peacock herl Legs: Barred rubber legs Collar: Lite Brite and Marabou Head: Three foam pencil poppers welded together Eyes: Mobile dolls eyes For a long time after I began fishing with poppers, I was constantly disappointed with how little water the pre-made cork and foam heads actually moved – when yanked, after all, optimal  popping, gurgling and splashing is what we are trying to achieve! I then experimented with cutting my own popper heads from foam blocks, but … Continue reading The Bulldozer: A monster popper for spring pike

Fly tying course # 8 The Brassie

The Brassie Hook:  Mustad C49SNP # 6-22 Tying thread:  Dyneema Body:  Copper wire Head:  Mixed hares ear dubbing Its normal to weight nymphs with and under body of lead, but on small flies its sometimes desirable  to maintain a slim but at the same time heavy, body profile. With the Brassie copper wire of different sizes is used in respect to hook size, but you can achieve the best results with copper wire that is no thicker than the hook wire being used.  Copper wire in different colours can give extremely natural looking abdomen on pupa and larva patterns. … Continue reading Fly tying course # 8 The Brassie

“The foil speaks, the wise man listens”

After many requests regarding my Gammarus pattern and where to obtain the foils heres a up dated re post with a little more info. This photo was taken last week, while on a fishing trip to Shetland. Some of the small Lochs had huge amounts of gammarus and the fish refused everything else! Every fish we took in such Lochs where full to the gills with these small fresh water shrimp. Having a good imitative pattern proved to be seriously effective! The fish that where feeding on Gammarus where in exceptional condition! Some of you may have seen, that a … Continue reading “The foil speaks, the wise man listens”

Streaking Caddis: Another deer hair tutorial

I believe that many great trout patterns have several things in common: they are quick and easy  to tie, no special techniques or tools required.  The materials are easy to obtain, that would say available from most fly tying stores. They cast without problems and last but not least they catch fish.  This legendary pattern comes from the vice of the Swedish fly tying Guru, Lennart Bergquist. The bullet shaped aero and aqua dynamic form of this pattern makes casting a dream and presentation precise, for me there is something magical from the moment my SC lands on the water … Continue reading Streaking Caddis: Another deer hair tutorial

Fly tying course # 7 Bullet head technique Madam X

This is another deer hair technique that very useful for many dry, terrestrial, and streamer patterns. Although not an easy technique to get right without detailed instruction, once mastered, never forgotten! Hook: Mustad R30 94833 # 4-10 Tying thread: Dyneema Tail: Bleached elk hair Body: Floss silk Wing/head: Bleached elk hair Legs: Rubber legs This pattern was designed by US tyer Doug Swisher for attractor fishing in the Rocky mountains. The advantage of rubber legs in an attractor pattern is that the create maximum movement in the surface, ideal for searching out fish with both free drift and stripped … Continue reading Fly tying course # 7 Bullet head technique Madam X