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…

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

The Bulldozer: A monster popper for spring pike

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 found … Continue reading The Bulldozer: A monster popper for spring pike

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  http://www.mustad.no/productcatalog/product.php?id=175 Tying thread: Dyneema Tail: Bleached elk hair Body: Floss silk Wing/head: Bleached elk hair Legs: Rubber legs http://www.veniard.com/product2136/section172/micro-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

Wooly Muggler: A big streamer for big fish

Wooly Muggler  For me there are two big fish flies that I just dont go trout fishing without, Wooly bugger and Muddler minnow. Hook: Mustad S74SNP-ZS # 6-4  Thread: Dyneema Tail: Marabou and crystal hair  Body: Dubbing Hackle: Webby tapered saddle hackle Wing : Marabou  Head & Collar: Spun and clipped deer hair   This is a combination pattern that I made a few years ago for sunk line fishing in lakes and deep pools.  This pattern has both the great attractor qualities of both flies. The flowing pulsating marabou and the bubbling buoyant spun deer hair head. If you … Continue reading Wooly Muggler: A big streamer for big fish

CdC May fly with Marc Petitjean

  Heres the second part of the MP CdC tutorial. Where Marc is tying one of his great CdC may flies. This is not only an extremely quick and easy pattern to tie but also a very effective fishing pattern, as Marc proved to me while fishing the river Trysil here in Norway. In the first part of the course that I published earlier, I flipped all the images for right hand tyers, but with Marc being left handed I thought I would keep this tutorial as tied by Marc for all you left handed tyers out there. The vice, … Continue reading CdC May fly with Marc Petitjean

How to prepare Dry fly hackle

This is just to show you the correct way to prepare and mount a traditional dry fly hackle. Firstly a little about hackles.  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. Fly tying course # 6 Dry fly hackle prepare and traditional dry fly Generally speaking the more money you spend on … Continue reading How to prepare Dry fly hackle

Step by step tutorial for the Ammonite nymph

My apologies to everyone doing the fly tying course, but the last few days have been busy making step by steps for magazines, but now I’m all done and ready to post a patterns for the the tyer that is a little more advanced, but of course you can always give this one a go even if you are a beginner.  The original Ammonite nymph, if I am not mistaken, comes from the vice of UK tyer and photographer Steve Thonrton. Getting this great looking nymph right is all about proportions! So if you are going to give this a … Continue reading Step by step tutorial for the Ammonite nymph

FisHeadz Mackerel

Back to the tying bench again, this time with a salt water pattern. I must say, Its nice to see that salt water materials being made in smaller sizes, not just for the monster warm water fish across the pond. These FisHeadz from Deer creek in the UK , are perfect in the two smallest sizes for salt water fishing in Europe, for both bass in the south and sea trout here in the North. I still haven’t had much time to play with these, I’v only tied half a dozen flies with them, but they are that easy to … Continue reading FisHeadz Mackerel

Fly tying course # 5 Dry Fly Adult caddis

X Caddis 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. This next fly in the course is the X Caddis. This is a no hackle dry fly that floats extremely well because of the natural buoyancy of the deer hair and Antron tail. Hook: Mustad R50 94840 # 10-18 Thread: Dyneema Tail: … Continue reading Fly tying course # 5 Dry Fly Adult caddis

Fly Tying Course # 2 Thread and Whip finish

Tying thread: There are many threads available today that have many different properties. The tyer will want to use the one that is most suited to the task at hand, in respect to thickness, strength, stretchability, waxed or un-waxed and weather it has a flat or round profile on the hook, And of course colour. Size / thickness: Thick threads are described in lower numbers  3/0  and thinner threads in higher numbers 16/0.  And strong threads such as Kevlar and Dyneema are as strong as carbon fibre. Silk threads and flosses are still available, but most modern threads and flosses … Continue reading Fly Tying Course # 2 Thread and Whip finish

On line fly tying course for beginners

Calling on all my fly tying friends, the future of our craft needs your support ! As most of you who are reading this are already advanced fly tyers and friends, I hope you will help me, help others, who are new to our craft. As you are aware, it’s not easy starting to tie flies without some good fundamental tuition in choice of materials, hooks, tools and techniques. In order to help those of all ages that are new to fly tying,  I would like to start a free on line tutorial and Q & A column, that will … Continue reading On line fly tying course for beginners

CdC tutorial with Marc Petitjean part 1

This is a tutorial I made with my good friend Marc Petitjean to demonstrate how he uses the magic tool and a few other CdC techniques he has up his sleeve. If you are not familiar with Marc’s tools and materials they really are the bee’s knee’s. Super high quality Swiss made Vices and ingenious, yet simple to use tools and his CdC is some of the continuously best available. This is the step by step for one of Marc’s quick and simple CdC body and caddis wing. The vice, tools and all materials used are Marc’s own and are … Continue reading CdC tutorial with Marc Petitjean part 1