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

Archive for October, 2013

Keeping it scary… Happy Halloween

Been wrecking my brain for tying up a Halloween pattern, the only fly I could come up with that had a halloween theme name was The Undertaker. Any other good suggestions ?Undertaker double BFL


Clouser deep Minnow (Variant)

Clouser Deep Minnow (variant)


Bob Clouser is a well known fly tyer from Middletown USA. He designed the Clouser minnow with the goal of making a pattern that would represent a fleeing bait fish, with a jig motion. The key to achieving this is locating the eyes in the right position on the hook shank. When you retrieve the fly it rises and when you pause if falls or dives. It never stops moving. I am calling this a Variant because I dont believe it to be 100% the original Clouser deep minnow, but I may be wrong!  Anyway its a great sea trout and bass pattern that should be tied and tried.

Hook: Mustad S71SNP-DT # 6

Thread Dyneema

Eyes Bidoz sea eyes (original has red with black centre) l

Belly White buck tail

Flash Spirit River Crystal Splash

Back Brown buck tail 



Secure your hook in the vice with the hook shank horizontal.


Run tying thread about 1/3 along the length of the hook shank.


The eyes I use are bidoz sea eyes, they have a small rebate that fits nicely around the hook shank.


Tie in the eyes about 1/3 along the hook shank and secure with a figure of eight wrap and a drop of super glue to stop them twisting.


Cut , clean and stack  a length of white buck tail. The belly and wing should be approximately two to two and a half times the length of the hook.


Once your buck tail is ready tie it on as follows. Trim the ends straight and place the buck tail diagonally at the side of the hook shank between the hook eye and eyes. Make two loose turns around the buck tail and then tighten.


Tie down the butts as shown.


Lift the buck tail and wind the tying thread back behind the eyes.


Now wrap the tying thread over the buck tail back about level with the hook point and then forward again. Making sure that the buck tail remains on top of the hook shank.



Rotate your vice so the Clouser is up side down. Wind your thread forward taking care not to cross over the buck tail on top of the eyes.


Take about 8 strands of Crystal Splash or flash and tie in so that the longest side extends just a little further than the buck tail belly.


Take the remaining crystal splash and fold it back, this should be shorter and extend only a little further than the hook bend.


Tie down the crystal splash.


Prepare another bunch of buck tail slightly more than the first and measure it up to the belly.


Once you have tied in your buck tail back using the same method as the belly, rotate your vice the correct way again just to see that the fly is balanced.


Spin the vice round again and tie in three strands of peacock herl as the topping and whip finish.



Stick some red and black prisma tape eyes in the small eye holes.


Place a small drop of Bug Bond on top of the tape eyes and cure with the UV light.


Coat the eyes once more with Bug Bond and the head, cure with the UV light.


The finished Clouser deep minnow variant. You should try this pattern in the some other great combination colours, Blue & white, Olive & white and Chartreuse and white.

Cottus Gobio


Hook: Mustad R 74 # 2

Thread: Dyneema

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.

1Secure your Mustad R 74 # 2 hook horizontal in the vice.

Secure your Mustad R 74 # 2 hook horizontal in the vice.


Cut a good bunch of Siberian squirrel tail with clear markings. Stack the hair and tie in for the tail. The tail should be approximately the same length as the hook shank. If you would like to add weight to your fly, this is the time to do it.

Now tie in a length of medium copper wire, at the tail base for the rib.


Dubb your tying thread with dark hares ear Antron dubbing and start making the body of the minnow.


Once you have wound the dubbing forward in a tapered body, about one cm from the hook eye, brush out the fibers with a tooth brush. This will give more body and movement to the finished streamer.


Cut a zonker strip from a pine squirrel hide. Make sure that the strip is tapered to a point at the tail of the strip.


Again try and choose a squirrel strip that has nice markings and a good taper.


Place the zonker strip up on top of the body of the fly so that it´s the same length as the tail. Now wind on the copper wire rib.


Take care not to trap the fibers of the squirrel as you go. There should be no more that six turns of copper wire between the tail base and the end of the body.


Once you have reached the end of the body tie off the copper wire and the zonker strip. Remove the excess and tie down.


Now place a strip of natural red fox body hair still on the hide in a paper clip or the Marc Petitjean magic tool as used here.


Make a dubbing loop an spin the fox hair into a dubbing brush.


Wind on the fox dubbing brush making sure that you comb the hair back and up with each turn, this will form the over wing of the streamer. If you have some fox hair that has accumulated on the underside of the throat trim this away, this same depth as the body.


Now select two ring neck pheasant church window feathers, the same size. Coat these with Bug Bond.


Now tie these in, concave out, as shown. One each side to form the fins. These also give a wobbler effect on the streamer when fished.


Make another dubbing loop. Here I have used natural kangaroo body hair. If you dont have kangaroo you can use another coarse natural hair.


Now wind on the dubbing brush forward tight into the rear of the hook eye. Again taking care not to trap and tie down the hair as you go.


Whip finish. Before you begin to trim and form your streamer head, brush out the fibers with a tooth brush to open the hair and give more volume. Trim the head to shape.


Select two epoxy fly eyes, these should be a little larger than the natural for the size of the streamer. This will give a slightly more efficient attractor factor.


The finished streamer.

Deer hair daddy

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

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.

Tying with deer hair part 3. Spinning ultra tight bodies with deer hair.

Here are a couple more quick techniques, for making cork like bodies from deer hair and a deer hair guard.

14This is another technique if you would like a very tight spun body. As you cover  the hook shank with spun deer hair using a finger and thumb at the rear of the hair and at the front push and twist your right hand to pack the hair tight together.

If you would like a very tight spun body. As you cover the hook shank with spun deer hair using a finger and thumb at the rear of the hair and at the front push and twist your right hand to pack the hair tight together. Repeat this after every bunch of hair is tied in.

15Once the body is finished brush out all the fibers with an old tooth brush before you start trimming. This is very important!

Once the body is finished brush out all the fibers with an old tooth brush before you start trimming. This is very important!

16Trim your body roughly to the correct size.

Trim your body roughly to the correct size. You can be as detailed as you like at this stage.

17Now using a gas lighter, petrol lighters and candels give off too much soot. Carefully burn the surface of the hair body. Taking care not to set it on fire!

Now using a gas lighter, petrol lighters and candles give off too much soot. Carefully burn the surface of the hair body. Taking care not to set it on fire!

18The singeing of the hair will tighten the packing and coaterize the tips making it tight and even. Brush off the soot with a tooth brush.

The singeing of the hair will tighten the packing and cauterize the tips making it tight and even. Brush off the soot with a tooth brush.

19The result is a almost cork like body of perfect spun deer hair with a smooth even finish. That also floats like a cork!

The result is an almost cork like body of perfect spun deer hair with a smooth even finish. That also floats like a cork!

This is another trick for whip finishing large deer hair flies. If you have problems getting in to the hook eye to whip finish, before starting tying cut the end off a rubber washing up glove and make a hole in the finger tip with a dubbing needle. Place the glove finger tip over the bobbin as shown.

This is another trick for whip finishing large deer hair flies. If you have problems getting in to the hook eye to whip finish, before starting tying cut the end off a rubber washing up glove and make a hole in the finger tip with a dubbing needle. Place the glove finger tip over the bobbin as shown.

Once you have finished your fly the bobbin and finger tip are as shown.

Once you have finished your fly the bobbin and finger tip are as shown.

Now for a easy trouble free whip finish just slide the finger tip over the hook and deer hair. Remove the tip after you have whip finished and removed your tying thread.

Now for a easy trouble free whip finish just slide the finger tip over the hook and deer hair. Remove the tip after you have whip finished and removed your tying thread.

Be carefull what you mess with!

Although this has nothing to do with fly tying, I felt I just had to share it! its a clear message to not mess with shit Have a great weekend all.

Fridays flies: The weekend starts here!

Recently, some of you may have noticed, I have had streamer fever!  Its not often I tie them but when I do, I just can’t stop.

Heres a few of the recent ones, enjoy and give them a go! Have a great weekend.









Techniques for tying with deer hair part 2 Spinning and burning.

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.

European Roe Deer Hair, tools and top tying tips part 1

Pedal power for Bug Bond is now available!

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: 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. 

IMG_1521The 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.

IMG_1524The pedal is also supplied with a AC/DC mains adapter that should work anywhere.

IMG_1515Along with the Bug Bond Original-Lite and Original-Clear the new pedal switch mains attachment, is another step forward in fly tying with UV resins.

For release date and availability see:


Rute und Rolle

Rute und Rolle

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!

Stingsild bucktail streamer

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

Thread      Dyneema

Body         Holographic tinsel

Throat    White buck-tail

Underwing   Four strands of gold Gliss n Glow

Wing      Light brown buck-tail with darker brown buck-tail over

Topping   Five or six strands of peacock herl

Eyes    Edson brass eyes

Head    Black



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!