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

Archive for February, 2014

Fly tying video tutorials

Its taken some time but I have just finished filming 15 fly tying tutorials, 7 on tying with deer hair. I decided to try and film the tutorials as seen by the tyer from behind the vice and give them a clean background, so as to showcase the techniques. Here are a few stills from the videos and as soon as the editing is finished I will start publishing them.

Due to the many enquires regarding the deer hair I used in these patterns heres the info: The hair is from Natures Spirit and is available from


100% Deer hair dry with summer roe deer tail, clipped deer hair body and spun deer hair hackle.


Goddards caddis


Streaking Caddis


Deer hair immerger


Madam X


Deer hair Vespertina


Fly fishing for trout and grayling in Norway

Gamefish cover

For more information, availability and prices, about fishing for trout and grayling in some of Norway’s best rivers see,  or contact Gudmund on

Click on photos for larger image and text.

Gamefish page 1

Gamefish page 2 River Borgund

Gamefish page 3 Galten Smith

Gamefish page 4 Gjerfloen

Gamefish page 5 Hol

Gamefish page 6 Hemsil

Gamefish page 7 Telstad

Gamefish page 8 Smithseter

Gamefish page 9 Rena

Gamefish page 10 Vestsjøberget


Rutland Spring Fly Fair

Rutland Spring Fly Fair

A new date added to the calender. Next weekend I will be tying at the Rutland spring fly fair so if you are going please say hello!
Rutland Spring Fly Fair.
Sunday 2nd March 2014.
Uppingham Community College Sports Hall.
10am – 3pm. Admission £3.00 (accompanied children under 16. FREE)


Another video tutorial for the Melt Glue Zonker or Virtual Minnow

Tomorrow, a good freind who works as a camera man for NRK (Norwegian Broadcasting Company) will help me rig a perminent fly tying Video set-up in my studio, so as soon as its finished I will start producing fly tying Video tutorials several times a week. In the meantime, heres one of my old ones.


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 the pulsating fur strip, makes it a first class bait fish attractor pattern.  But when viewed by a fish in a back-lit situation ( in  silhouette ) this pattern really comes to life,  with the light penetrating through the transparent melt glue / maylar body and fur guard hairs.

Hook: Mustad S74S SS Salt water R74 freshwater # 6

Under body: Melt glue

Over Body: Mylar tubeing

Thread: Dyneema

Wing/tail: Fur zonker strip
Eyes: Prizma tape eyes.

Fly Tying head gear!

Since I posted the video of the Veniard 120 challenge, I have been bombarded with questions about the head gear David Edwards and myself are using!


They come with three separate lenses x 2. x 2.5 and x 3 that just clip on and off. The head band is adjustable and fits all. If you wish to improve your tying these will do it overnight!! You can see the slightest mistake and the rest.


They are available from:

Sandra or Dave at: The Anglers Lodge Jubilee Lakes Redworth Darlington Co Durham DL2 2UH


Though we dispatch every working day the shop itself has limited opening hours and these vary with the time of year. Check these times regularly as they will change now the nights are putting in Present Opening Hours are:- Thursday – 9a.m. to 4p.m Friday – 9a.m. to 4p.m Saturday – 9a.m. to 4p.m Sunday – 9a.m. to 2p.m Closed Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday Telephone:- 0044 1388 772611

Wooly Bugger Tutorial

A wonderful tutorial shared from the Limp cobra that should inspire all fly tyers to work a little harder on technique!

The Veniard 120 challenge!

While tying at the British fly Fair International last weekend I was asked along with David Edwards to tie a fly in under 120 seconds. To make it even more difficult we where given a envelope with undisclosed materials, the results you can see here!

Fishing Britain – High Tech Fishing Fliesyoutube.comWe’re at the home of British flytying – the BFFI show – to look at the latest in fly technology, hand tying techniques, rod decoration and…

‘The Hoodlum’ sea trout streamer

The Hoodlum


After approximately four years in testing my Hoodlum sea trout streamer has passed with flying colours!

Although a little fancy this streamer was inspired by the sparser flat-wing patterns that have been so effective on Scandinavian salt water sea trout.  There are several techniques and materials involved but once mastered, it doesn’t take long to tie.  


The front placed heavy single hook gives the Hoodlum a dynamic and realistic swimming action in the water that is irresistible.  As you can see in the above image an endless amount of colour combinations are possible, the most effective under testing where blue & white and orange & white but let your imagination go wild and create your own!

Hook: Mustad 60543NP # 4-6

Tying thread: Dyneema

Tail: UV2 white buck-tail

Tail flanks: Two white and two blue grizzle hackles

Flash: Blue Fringe wing

Body: Blue body braid

Wing: Blue and black buck-tail with two cree saddle hackles

Throat: UV2 White buck-tail

Topping: Peacock herl

Horns: Two strands of Blue tip dyed Lady Amherst pheasant tail fibers

Cheeks: Jungle cock.

IMG_64301 Secure your hook in the vice.


2 Attach your tying thread about half way along the hook shank.


3 Cut a small bunch of white buck-tail. I use Spirit rivers UV2 buck-tail to give the effect of a translucent underbody.



Clean the buck-tail of all short hair and underfur. Tie in as shown.


5 Select and prepare two white webby cock hackles the same size.


6 Flank each side of the buck-tail with the white cock hackles. Once tied in apply a little varnish to the whippings.


7 Now flank the white hackles with two blue grizzle hackles, one each side.


8 Fringe wing is a relative new material from Veniards. Its like lite brite hanks but easier to handle.


9 The base of the Fringe wing is welded, this makes it easy to cut and tie in. Cut a fine strip from the edge of the weld.


10 The result!


11 Now tie in the Fringe wing on top of the hook shank over the tail.


12 Wrap the short body with a blue body braid. Make sure that you have enough room for the wing and head of the fly.


13 Prepare a bunch of long blue buck-tail and tie in as shown.


14 place a little shorter bunch of Black buck-tail on top of the blue wing.


15 Take a bunch of white buck-tail the same length as the blue wing and tie in for the throat.


16 Select two long cree or similar saddle hackles and tie in on top and at the sides of the wing, extending a little longer than the tail.


17 From the base of a peacock eye, select six or seven herls, pull all these off together! This will keep them attached to each other and make tying in easier.


18 Tie in the peacock herl in the center of the wing as a topping.


19 This is Spirit Rivers tip dyed Lady Amherst tail, remove only two long fibers.


20 Tie in the two Amherst horns one each side of the wing. This makes the fly ‘pop’ when finished.


21 Tie in two jungle cock eyes and whip finish. The fly look a little large right now!


22 Once you have given the head of the fly a coat of varnish wait for it to dry.  Once dry, holding the fly by the hook eye hold it vertically under the tap in warm running water too soak it! Once drenched as above place your fly flat to dry. 


23 When dry all the materials will hold their correct position as above.



Finish Fly Fair April 2014

I am having a spike right now on the site with visitors from Finland, and I would just like to say, I look forward to seeing you all at the Finish fly fair in April. Please visit me and say hi.

Fender Parachute

My good friends hunting dog, Fender and just one of the many animals and huge amounts of materials he secures for my fly tying every year.

Fender secures more meat wrapped in materials for the winter.

This is a quick and simple parachute technique that requires only deer hair and Bug Bond.

Hook: Mustad C49

Tying thread: Dyneema

Body: Moose mane hair

Hackle: Roe deer hair and Bug Bond

Thorax: Underfur from deer or moose winter coat.

Secure your emerger hook in the vice with as much of the bend clear of the jaws.

Run your tying thread from just behind the hook eye down deep into the bend.

Select some long Moose mane hairs.

You will need two long hairs from the moose mane, one white and one black.

Tie in the moose hairs by the points at the base of the hook bend.

Build up a slight forward taper on the fly body with tying thread.

Take both hair at once, with the black hair at the bottom and begin to wind on in even tight turns.

Continue over the whole hook shank until you come to the thorax. Tie off.

Trim off the surplus hair and tie down ends. Although these moose mane hairs are remarkably strong you can give the body a coat with Bug Bond.

Cut and stack a small bunch of deer hair. Tie this in as a parachute post.

At the base of the hairs from a winter coat of a moose or deer there is a dense under fur. Remove enough to dub the thorax.

Dub the thorax behind and forward of the post.

Place your finger tip in the centre of the deer hair post and press down until the deer hair flattens out.

Place a small drop of Bug Bond in the center of the deer hair parachute hackle.

Give the Bug Bond a zap with the UV light.

The finished Fender emerger, made only from deer hair and Bug Bond.

The view from below. Its a perfect quick and simple parachute hackle.

Deer Hair Immerger.

The deer hair Immerger.

Presentation is alfa and omega when fishing emergers.

This incredibly simple pattern, truly, it only takes a few minutes to tie! makes emergers into immergers. This technique places your pattern right below the surface film (immersed) as if the insect is actually climbing out of the shuck onto the surface.

Taking my Fender emerger one step further by extending the deer hair parachute post which places the entire hook, and tippet point entirely under the surface…

All you need:

Hook: Mustad C49S

Tying Thread: Dyneema

Body: Moose hair coated with Bug Bond  for Bug Bond see links:

Post: Deer hair wrapped in moose hair coated with Bug Bond

Parachute hackle: Deer hair

Tie your bicolored moose hair body. You can see the full step by step for this in my earlier post ‘Fender parachute’.

Cut and stack a small bunch of deer hair central in the thorax.

Turn your hook so the deer hair post is at 90 degrees and make some wraps of tying thread to reinforce the post base.

Tie in two moose mane hairs, one black one white, along the length of the post finishing under the parachute hair.

Once you have wrapped the moose hair emerger post, tie off the moose hair, remove the excess and return your hook to the regular position.

Coat the post with Bug Bond and tie in two long peacock herl’s, by the points at the rear of the thorax.

Wrap the peacock herl over the whole thorax and tie off. Remove the excess.

Using your index finger press the deer hair post down to form the parachute hackle.

Carefully place a small drop of Bug Bond in the center of the deer hair hackle. Make sure it penetrates the deer hair.

Give the Bug Bond a zap with the UV light to cure.

You may wish to add one more drop to hold the deer hair hackle in place.

The finished deer hair immerger, in the correct posture.

Front view.

View from underneath.

Only deer hair and Bug Bond…

European Roe Deer Hair, tools and top tying tips

Here it is, working with deer hair, all three parts in one post, updated with new techniques  and images.

Deer hair is normally described as hollow, This doesn´t mean that it´s hollow

like a drinking straw, but that each hair is built up of hundreds of small air filled



This type of hair structure is most defined in deer from areas with an

extreme winter climate. The result, the colder it is, the better the spinning

qualities, with some exceptions. The hair from our own reindeer and the north

american caribou. In order to achieve optimal insulation, these hairs hold so

many air cells that they have a tendency to be brittle, and break under the

pressure  of tying thread.

A cross section of European Roe deer hair which I photographed with the help of a microscope at X40. You can see that the hair isn't hollow as most people believe, but filled with many small air filled cells.

A cross section of European Roe deer hair which I photographed with the help of a microscope at X40. You can see that the hair isn’t hollow as most people believe, but filled with many small air filled cells.


The winter coat of the Norwegian roe deer has many air filled cells and is ideal for spinning, packing and clipping. 


While the hair from the summer coat is somewhat stiffer and extremely fine. A first class hair for tails and winging dry


The colour varies from light red brown on the summer coat to dark grey

with darker barred tips on the winter coat. 


The best hair for spinning is found

on the back of the roe along the spine. This hair is extremely dense, not at all

brittle, and floats like a cork. The chalk white hair on the rump is excellent for

dying, or for patterns that require white deer hair.

You should also be aware that the roe mask has a diversity of hair that is

difficult to equal. Here you will find hair in many different lengths, shades of

brown and coarseness. Ideal for dry´s from # 10 and down to the very smallest

comparaduns. Anyone who ties caddis flies shouldn’t be without a roe mask.

If you know a hunter or a game keeper, try and secure yourself a whole roe

skin, you wont be disappointed.

My top tools for deer hair:


Hair stackers:

These are a must if you want neat, tidy and well balanced flies. I use three,  a small one for tails and wings, a medium one for heavier wings and spinning and a long one for streamers, tubes and salt water patterns.  The stacker you choose should be well engineered. Its extremly important that insert and inner tube are flush and that the stackers are heavy and robust.

4 Cut a large bunch of deer hair. The most common mistake in tying this popular pattern is to use too little deer hair. Remove all the under wool and short hairs with a dubbing comb.

Friction free Comb:
This is also a very important tool for removing the underwool and shorter hair from bunches of deer hair before stacking.  The comb I use is made from  deer antler wich is friction free, plastic or metal combs have a tendency to load with static , causing the deer hair to stick to it.

14 With an old toothbrush, remove all the soot from the head.

This is a great tool for so many things! Removing under wool from hair bunches, brushing out hair after spinning but before trimming, and removing soot after singeing. I wouldn’t tie deer hair flies without this.


Throughout my many years tying flies, I quickly understood that one of the most important tools are the scissors you use. During this time I have accumulated several dozen pairs of scissors, in all forms, shapes and sizes, but if I am honest, I have only four scissors that are constantly in use. 

1. A pair of small extra fine pointed cuticle scissors for all the small detailed work and thread.

2. A General purpose serrated scissors for cutting tinsel, wire and heavier gauge materials.

3. A pair of long bladed straight scissors for larger jobs like preparing materials for dubbing loops.

4. A medium pair of sharp pointed serrated scissors for deer hair work.

Here are the best techniques for making deer do what you want it to do!

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.

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.

15Once 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.

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!

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.

19The result is a 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.

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.