The aim of this blog is to connect fly-tyers all over the world, to share, techniques, patterns, information and knowledge.

Archive for May, 2013


UV Caddis Pupa. The difference is clear!

Here are some UV Caddis tied for fishing at the weekend in the mountain lakes in Norway.


Although they look tasty with natural light, You can really see how they pop with the UV light. I cant wait to test them!



UV Caddis Pupa

UVF is the fluorescent wavelength in bright colours we know from paints and dyes. This can be an advantage in different light and water conditions and colours.

UVR or Ultra Violet Reflectance is a UV light that cannot be seen with the naked eye for humans. However it can be seen and is apparently used by most insects and animals. There eyes are constructed with different rods and cones that are tuned to UV wavelengths. Although I have never used UV materials in my tying before with the exception of fluorescent flosses, threads and bead heads I am looking forward to tying and testing these new materials.


When it comes to pupa I, like many other fly tyers have tried to imitate the pupal shuck that a caddis pupa pumps full of gas to help it rise to the surface and separate the pupal shuck from the body when hatching. In the past I have done this with poly yarn and CdC as above.


The new UV2 Sparkle yarn as seen in daylight is rather like the poly yarn forming a regular trailing shuck.


But when seen with UV light the sparkle yarn gives this a whole new dimension!

UV Caddis Pupa

Hook:      Mustad C49S # 10-18

Thread:   MP Spilt Second Olive

Rib/Gills:  Olive ostrich herl

Underbody: Floss

Body: Larva Lace

Shuck:  Spirit River UV2 Sparkle Yarn

Collar:  Spirit River Dazl-Hares ear dubbing Black

Head:  Bead head



Secure your hook in the vice with the bead head of your choice attached.



Run tying thread the whole length of the hook shank and down into the bend.



Tie in a long ostrich herl at the tail base of the fly.


Cut a length of Larva Lace, the colour is your choice and push the end in the bead head and tie in.


Wrap the tying thread all the way down to the tail of the fly securing the Larva Lace.


With another bobbin loaded with fluorescent floss, again the colour choice is yours, cover the whole body of the fly giving it a slight taper.


Tie off the floss and remove. Wind your tying thread forward to the bead head.


Now wrap the Larva Lace in six or seven even turns up the body. Dont wrap too tight! Tie off.


Now wrap the ostrich herl pulling each turn down into the open rib of the Larva Lace. This will make it more durable to small sharp fish teeth and tie off.


Run a water proof felt pen down the back of the body.


Take your UV2 Sparkle Yarn


Cut a short length and open the fibers as shown.


Split your thread or make a dubbing loop and just catch the ends of the fibers in the loop before you spin it to make a dubbing brush.


Wrap the dubbing brush around the whole collar of the pupa. The yarn should be almost like a cloak covering the whole body if you want the correct shuck effect.


Now spin some Dazl-hares ear mix on to your tying thread and make wrap the collar.


Wrap tight into the bead head.


Whip finish and remove the tying thread. Give the collar and sparkle yarn a good brushing with a stiff tooth brush to tease out the fibers.


The finished UV Caddis pupa.


Its not until the UV Caddis is wet that it really comes to life.


And when seen within the fishes UV spectrum it changes again…

CdC tutorial with Marc Petitjean part 2 The May fly


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, tools and all materials used are Marc’s own and are available from


Secure your dry fly hook in the vice, making sure the hook shank is horizontal.


Attach your tying thread and cover the hook shank back towards the hook bend.


Chose a nicely marked Coq de Leon hackle for the may fly tail.


Remove a small bunch of Coq de Leon fibers and tie in for the tail. The tail should be about the same length as the hook shaft.


Now tie in the tip of a CdC hackle. You can see the technique for this in the MP CdC tutorial # 1. Twist the hackle once.


With every wrap of the hackle on the hook shaft make one twist of the hackle. If you twist too much without wrapping the hackle will break.


Continue wrapping and twisting as you cover the hook shank with the mayfly body.


Once you have covered the whole body of the may fly tie off the CdC hackle, about 5 mm behind the hook eye.


Once the hackle is tied off, trim off the excess hackle.


Your may fly body should now look like this!


With a pair of fine straight scissors trim off the CdC fibers from around the body.


Once trimmed you should have a fine tapered segmented may fly body as shown.


Now take three CdC hackles of similar length. The colour is up-to you but mixing three different makes a very nice subtle wing colour effect. Place them in a MP magic tool. You can see the technique for this in the MP CdC tutorial # 1.


Split your tying thread to make a dubbing loop.


Now place the CdC in the dubbing loop. You can see the technique for this in the MP CdC tutorial # 1.



Spin the bobbin to form the CdC dubbing brush.


With every wrap of the dubbing brush collect all the fibers and hold them up on top of the hook shank.


Once you have wound on the whole dubbing brush tie off behind the hook eye.


Make a whip finish.


Once you have whip finished remove the tying thread.


Turn the vice up side down and trim away the CdC fibers on the underside of the body, while holding the whole wing collected.



Return the vice to the original position and trim the very top of the wing fibers horizontally.


Now turning your vice up side down again, brush all the wing fibers downwards and trim as shown diagonally towards the tail base.


And there you have it! The finished MP may fly dun.

Another CdC tutorial with Marc Petitjean


Charles Bickle one of the pioneers of CdC flies, standing on the bank of the Orbe river in Switzerland in the town of Vallorbe in the 1920s.


While visiting Marc at his home, although a little more overgrown, we managed to find the same spot on the river where the famous Bickle developed and fished the first CdC patterns.

After a weekend with Marc Petitjean we managed to do a little fishing, although the conditions where not perfect and there was little activity in our local forest lakes, we did manage to make a few more tutorials.

This first one, is one of Marc’s quick and easy CdC bead head nymphs. When Marc began tying nymphs with CdC ( nearly 20 years ago) many prominent anglers thought it was a joke! and that CdC was not a suitable material for nymphs, oh how time has proved them wrong. Over the next few weeks I will be posting several articles on Marc Petitjean patterns and his ingenious tools and how to use them.


Place a bead head on the nymph hook and secure in your vice with the hook shank horizontal.


Wrap a short length of lead wire, enough to go into the bead head.


Using your nail push the wraps of lead wire into the bead head opening.


Attach your tying thread and make a few turns to hold the lead wire in place in the bead head and then wrap it back towards the hook bend.


Select three CdC hackles of your colour choice approximately the same length. The choice of colours will determine the colour of the twisted segmented finished body, that has an almost woven effect.


Tie in the ends of the CdC hackles as shown.


At the very end of the hackles attach the Petitjean hackle plier. This technique can only be done successfully with Marc’s plier, it does not slip, even with three hackles in it!



Now trim off the hackle shaft ends, close to the pliers.



Now wind your tying thread forward about 2/3 of the hook shank. Take the pliers and twist the CdC only about three times. If you twist it more you will break the CdC hackle stems.


Begin wrapping the twisted CdC to form the body of the nymph. Marc calls this Twist and Wrap but only one twist for each wrap. Continue until you reach the tying thread.


Tie off the CdC hackles.


Trim off the excess CdC hackle stems behind the bead head.


Carefully trim off the CdC fibers around the whole body of the nymph.


The trimmed body.


Now for the nymph legs. You dont need too much CdC fibers for this so remove the fibers from one side of the hackle.


Place a small amount of Petitjean ice dub over the jaws of the smallest magic tool.


Take the prepared CdC hackle.


Holding the hackle with both hands pull it down on top of the ice dubbing and into the jaws of the Magic tool.


Now the hackle and dubbing should be in place in the jaws of the Magic tool.


Now trim off the CdC ends on each side of the Magic tool jaws. This is very important or the hackle will be caught in the magic tool spring when you try and remove it.


Transfer the hackle and dubbing to the magic clip tool and with straight scissors cut of the hackle stem.


Put your loaded magic clip to one side and make a dubbing loop to spin the CdC in.



If you are using the Petitjean bobbin holder you can make the loop like this.


While holding the loop open with your finger push the bobbin end into the loop as shown.


Remove your finger and rest the loop on the bobbin.


Slide the thread up the bobbin and as it recovers to a vertical position the loop will catch on the bobbin dubbing loop hook and hang there.


Open the loop with one hand and offer up the loaded magic tool.


Place the fibers of CdC and ice dubbing in the loop and remove the magic tool clip.


The material should be now trapped in the loop.


Twist the bobbin and spin the material into a dubbing brush.


You can now wind on the dubbing brush to form the legs of the nymph.


Once the dubbing brush is completely wound on tip your bobbin as shown.


If you slowly increase the angle of the bobbin the loop will slide off the dubbing loop hook on the bobbin as shown here.


Make a couple of turns of tying thread just to secure the loop end behind the bead head.


Trim off the remaining loop end.


You can now whip finish the nymph tight into the bead head.


Remove the tying thread and you have your finished bead head CdC nymph.


Fishing with Marc Petitjean

I have My good friend Marc Petitjean visiting today so we will be tying and fishing over the weekend. I will post the full story and some nice step by step tutorials from Marc next week. Have a good one.

Fly tying course # 15 Tying the parachute Leptophlebia


Hi, I am back again with # 15 in the fly tying course, this time its a small mayfly Dun.

Where I live in Southern Norway the Claret Dun (Leptophlebia vespertina) and Sepia Dun ( Leptophlebia marginata) are amongst the first and the most common mayflies to hatch. Because of their tolerance of acidic water they are to be found on most forest lakes and ponds along with slow flowing rivers. These two mayflies are on the trouts menu from as early as April until the end of July and no Norwegian fly fisherman should be without a good imitation.  Because of their similar size, colour and habitat this one pattern covers both. If you are fishing these hatches with this pattern I can guarantee success!

Hook:     Mustad R50 94840 # 12-14

Tying thread:    Dyneema

Tail:     Fibbets

Body:    Moose mane hair

Abdomen:    Peacock herl

Parachute post:     Poly yarn

Hackle:    Back cock


Secure your size 14 dry fly hook in the vice so that the hook shank is horizontal.


Run your tying thread along the whole length of the hook shank until your thread hangs vertical to the hook barb.


Although both Vespertina and Maginata have three tails I only use two long ones. This takes less time to tie, uses less tailing material and trout cant count! But if you feel the need to be more realistic use three. Tie these in on top of the hook shank, this is important! The body of the fly will then rest in the film and not on it.


Spin your Dyneema thread clockwise so the fibers open and the thread becomes flat.


Using the flat thread cover the whole body and build up a slight taper as shown. Choose a dark, almost black long moose mane hair. The best hair from the moose for this is from the back of the neck. Tie in the moose hair by the point at the tail base.


Make the first wrap of moose hair under the two tails. This will support them and keep them high.


Now, making tight even wraps of moose hair cover the whole rear body of the fly. Tie off. Although moose mane is surprisingly robust if you wish you can give the body a coat with varnish.


Cut a short length of Polypropylene yarn for the parachute post and tie in as shown.


Flip your hook in the vice, or if you have a fully rotational vice, give it a spin and wrap the base of the parachute post 2 or 3 mm up from the hook shank.


Prepare a black hackle and tie in as shown up the post base ready for wrapping later.


Select a small fibered peacock herl, these are best and the correct size just below the eye on the tail feather.


Spin the hook in the vice again and tie in the peacock herl at the rear of the parachute post.


Wrap the herl forward to the hook eye and secure.


Colour your Dyneema with a waterproof felt marker and spin the bobbin anti clockwise to twist the fibers together and make the thread smaller. Make one whip finish.


Spin your vice again. Wind your thread through the thorax and up the parachute post.


Wind your tying thread to the base of the post and then make a few wraps of hackle, going down towards the thorax with each wrap.


Now make two turns of tying thread one to the left of the excess hackle and then one to the right. This will hold the hackle securely while you trim off the excess.


Trim off the excess hackle, taking care not to cut any of the wrapped fibers.


Make a whip finish under the wrapped hackle and around the post. Just before your tighten the whip finish apply a drop of varnish to the tying thread, when you tighten the varnish will slide into place and secure the knot without you getting it everywhere.


The finished parachute Leptophlebia that will float deep in the film.


The fish eye view.


Bound by a single thread!

Bound by a single thread!

In the latest issue of Fly Fishing & Fly Tying you can see my full tutorial with Dyneema tying thread. Spinning, splitting, colouring and much more.