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

Archive for January, 2016

The Famous Grouse

 

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Inspired by my sons first hunting trip and the beautiful feathers from the female black grouse he shot. In this simple wet fly tutorial I have tried to include as many classic wet fly elements as possible. Tail, tinsel body, oval tinsel rib, palmered body hackle slip wing and throat hackle, but keeping the colours simple.

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Thor Edward on a very successful first days hunting, here with a female capercaillie the largest member of the grouse family. One of these birds has enough material to tie flies for fishing, for many many years…

Hook: Mustad S60NP-BR # 8
Thread: Dyneema
Tail: Speckled fibres from grouse body hackle
Wing: Slips from two matching grouse tail feathers
Body: Flat silver tinsel
Rib: Oval silver tinsel
Throat hackle:   Grouse saddle hackle
Body hackle: Grizzle variant
Cheeks: Jungle cock
Head: Black

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1

Secure your hook in the vice, attach your tying thread and cover the whole hook shank with a foundation of thread.

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2

Tie in a small bunch of speckled fibres from a grouse body hackle. This should be approximately the same length as the hook gape.

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3

Now cut a 10 cm length of oval silver tinsel and tie this in at the tail base. Try all the time to keep the wraps of tying thread to a minimum and the underbody as parallel as possible.

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4

Now cut a length of flat silver tinsel and tie this in onto of the rib at the tail base. Run the tying thread forward towards the hook eye again keeping the wraps as even as possible.

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5

Before you start wrapping your tinsel body give the hook shank a fine coat of fine varnish. This will strengthen the body. Wrap the tinsel in nice even turns until you reach the hook eye and tie off.

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6

Select a grizzle variant cock hackle and prepare this by removing the fibres at the base of the stem. Tie in the hackle at 90 degrees to the hook shank.

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7

Make 5 or 6 evenly spaced wraps of the hackle back towards the tail. Once at the tail while holding the hackle in place with one hand make a turn on oval tinsel to catch the hackle and hold it in place. Continue up the hook shank with the tinsel making the same amount of turns of tinsel as hackle. Tie off the tinsel.

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8

Select a nicely marked saddle hackle from the grouse and prepare as shown.

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9

Before you tie in the throat hackle carefully trim off the grizzle hackle tip at the tail and the excess tinsel rib. Tie in the hackle again at 90 degrees to the hook shank.

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10

Wind the throat hackle, make sure that you take your time and get all the fibres flowing the same way and evenly spaced around the hook. Tie off.

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11

Take a matching pair of grouse tail feathers one from each side of the tail and cut out to similar sized slips for the wing.

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12

Match the two slips back to back and tip to tip, make sure they are also the same breadth. Holding them in one hand measure the wing length.

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13

Make a turn of tying thread and secure the wing in position. While holding tension on the tying thread with one hand adjust the wing if necessary with the other. Secure with two more turns of thread.

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14

Trim off the excess wing and secure trying to keep the head small.

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15

Select two small jungle cock eyes of the same six and tie one each side of the wing.

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16

Trim off the jungle cock stems and whip finish. Give the head a nice coat with glossy black varnish. Take your time with the varnishing and give it several coats if needed, many good fly tyers fall short in this department!

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The Famous Grouse

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A classic style wet fly presentation of my own design, inspired by my sons first hunting trip and the materials gained. I will publish the full step by step later today.

 


Fly tying tool review

Stonfo Pettine comb

Its not often that I recommend tools but every now and again you come across one thats just worth knowing about.

Over the years I have accumulated a good deal of fly tying tools, some bought and many received as gifts or for testing. These cover everything from the most essential tools, to the down right ridiculous. I also have some treasured tools that I wouldn’t part with for anything, hand made gems from friends and fellow fly tyers. So its nice to find a simple inexpensive tool, that I can highly recommend, that is specially designed for the fly tyer without any bling appeal and actually does what it is supposed to.

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At one end, a little moulded plastic comb and at the other a dubbing teaser, from the Italian company ‘STONFO’ and it really works.

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The teeth in the comb are perfectly spaced for cleaning deer hair. Many combs have teeth placed too close together, which essentially pull out much more hair, than is wished or intended, or they are too wide apart and remove only the underfur and not the shorter hairs.

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The comb also has a nifty little curved edge, which, very importantly reduces the amount of hair that can be combed with one stroke. Too large a comb will capture too much hair with one stroke and the friction and tension from this will also remove the best and longest hair which you wish to retain.

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The dubbing teaser end is essentially just a small amount of Velcro attached to paddle shaped spoon. Most of us have used or use Velcro for teasing out dubbing to make it more spiky or buggy, but again here, I would like to think that this has been given thought and designed correctly, and that they have just not been lucky with it! The paddle shape enables you to use the narrow end if only a little teasing is required or the broader end of the paddle for larger bodies and flies.

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Also unlike a metal or wood handled teaser, the moulded plastic handle is forgiving, allowing only a certain amount of applied pressure when used before it bends. This allows perfect and precise dubbing teasing!

So if you are looking for an inexpensive comb / dubbing teaser that really does the job, this one scores 10 out of 10 from the feather bender.

I intended posting a link here, but found no dealer info, price, or links on the STONFO website! so I guess just check at your local store or Veniard stockist.

http://www.stonfo.com/site/category/133?parent_section_id=4

 


Tom Thumb Tutorial

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This magical little deer hair pattern seems for the most to have been forgotten! I have looked through a whole range of my ‘go to’ pattern books and have found reference to it only in name, no images and no step by step. Although I have located some info regarding the pattern on the net I felt that it deserved a proper step by step tutorial. As far as I understand the Tom Thumb is said to have originated from England in the 1940s, but I find this a little misleading as deer hair at this time, was little, if not used at all in England! But Canada where the pattern was popularised is another matter all together, being the birthplace of many deer hair patterns and pioneer of tying with deer hair. Although you can tie the TT with a wide range of deer hair in smaller sizes the optimal sizes 8-12 need a hair of a certain length. So if you are new to the game and intend buying deer hair specifically for this pattern I can recommend Natures Spirit Humpy deer hair. The TT primarily being a Humpy without a hackle! Its also difficult to find two materials, deer hair and peacock herl, that trout and grayling are more attracted to!

The TT is a skater pattern and the larger the front wing the more water it will push, if you shorten the front wing like an elk hair caddis, you have a diving caddis pattern ‘Borger’s Devil Bug’ if you trim it even shorter you have a ‘Cooper bug’ and if you tie it on a size 18 or smaller you have a ‘Cooper’s bug’ that represent hatching midge. Please tie and try this pattern, I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Hook: Mustad R50 # 8 – 14
Tying thread: Dyneema
Tail: Deer hair
Body: Peacock herl
Shellback: Deer hair
Wing: Deer hair

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1
Secure your hook in the vice with the hook shaft horizontal.

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2
Attach your tying thread and cover the whole hook shank.

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3
Select deer hair that has sufficient length for the size of hook being used.

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4
Cut a small bunch of deer hair for the tail and remove all the under fur and shorter hairs. Stack the deer hair so all the points are level.

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5
Tie in the bunch of prepared deer hair as shown for the tail. If you wish to imitate a hatching mayfly make the tail a little longer and shorter if it caddis and again for midge.

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6
Trim away the excess deer hair and run the tying thread back towards the tail base.

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7
Cut and prepare as before another slightly larger bunch of deer hair for the shell back and wing. This can be measured a little longer than the tail.

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8
Tie this in as before trying to keep the majority of the deer hair on top of the hook shank.

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9
Tie in 3 or 4 long strands of peacock herl at the tail base. Run your tying thread forward towards the hook eye.

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10
Keeping the strands of peacock herl tight and together wrap the whole hook shank and tie off.

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11
Now taking care not to include the tail hairs fold over the last bunch of long deer hair, keeping it on top of the hook shank and tie down behind the hook eye.

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12
Once your hair is secure make a whip finish. Now bring your tying thread forward in front of the wing but behind the hook eye. While holding the wing up, make several wraps of tying thread to hold it in position so the wing stands up!

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13
Make a whip finish and remove your tying thread.

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14
The Devil bug variant with a dubbed body and bleached elk wing.

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15
The Cooper bug.

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The Cooper’s bug midge variant # 18.

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17
This is one of my own spent spinner variants.

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And one with Klippspringer hair with a little red thread grayling bling!


Tom Thumb

This almost forgotten pattern is one that should not be underestimated. Not imitating anything in particular, but can be fished in different sizes and colours under most hatches, turning trout and grayling on when other patterns just wont work. I will be publishing the full step by step later today.

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Although deer hair is the norm for this pattern, this particular Tom Thumb I have tied using Klippspringer hair from South Africa.


Tying the willow fly

Giving em the Needle

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One of the late autumns highlights is great hatches of needle flies Leuctra, especially here on the big grayling rivers of mid Norway. Although the hatches begin as early as June and run until November the climax is in august- september. These small stoneflies can be difficult to see on the best of days, especially amongst the autumns fall of floating foliage, and remember they crawl onto land to hatch, so you will always find more on the bank, than on the water. Because they hatch and mate on land its the females that are of the greatest interest, when they return to the water to lay eggs. Earlier this year in late august we experienced great grayling fishing on the river Glomma here in Norway. Although we quickly realized what was on the graylings menu, the greatest challenge was making a clean drift without any drag through the many differing surface currents between the rod and the feeding fish. Each differing current pulling and holding the line at different speeds This we overcome with, when possible by presenting the fly directly into the feeding window of rising fish, keeping the drift short but effective! The other was to fish directly up-stream while wading and using a parachute cast ( a simple cast that is made by quickly dipping the tip of the rod fast down towards the water at the end of the cast before the line hits the water) this causes the line to fall in a wavy snake like form, making mending the line as it drifts back towards you easier without drag.

I developed this pattern using a Marc Petitjean technique that he calls twist and wrap. This simple but effective CdC technique can be used for most dry fly bodies, for larger bodies you can use two or more CdC hackles. But care must be taken that only one twist is made for each wrap of hackle, if more twists are made, it over stresses the delicate CdC hackle stem and may cause it to break. Making one twists after each wrap distributes the stress along the whole length of the hackle and not concentrated at the thinest point as when twisted whole. You should also brush the fibers of the hackle down the stem with your finger and thumb with each wrap, so they are caught against the hook shank and give the segmented body volume.

The wing should lie tight to the body and flat, it should also extend a little further than the rear of the body. The wings on the natural are a dark brown but the blue dun wing makes this pattern more visible when fishing. This is important when fishing for grayling as the rises can be extremely difficult to see if at all, especially when fishing a ripple, so keeping your eye on the fly is paramount. You can also tie this pattern spent by adding more wings at 90 degrees to the hook shank. When spinning the CdC for the thorax and legs it should be a light open dubbing brush, too much CdC here will make the fly fish too high. Stoneflies lie much deeper in the surface than may and caddis flies.

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Hook Mustad R50 # 16
Thread Black
Body Dark brown or black CdC hackle
Wing Blue dun CdC hackle
Thorax Dark brown or black CdC hackle

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1
Secure your hook in the vice with the shank horizontal.

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2
Lay a foundation of tying thread over the whole hook shank.

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3
Select a large CdC hackle and strip off the down fibers at the base of the stem.

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4
Attach the hackle stem to the hook shank with two loose turns of tying thread.

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5
Pull the hackle through the tying thread loops and tighten the tying thread just as you get to the end to catch and secure the hackle tip.

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6
Wind your tying thread forward towards the hook eye and twist the CdC hackle twice so that the fibers twist around the hackle stem. DONT try and twist any more than twice or the hackle will break!

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7
With each turn of hackle make one twist to form the segmented body. When the whole hook shank is covered forward to the thorax tie off and remove the excess hackle.

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8
With straight scissors trim off all the fibers.

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9
Your segmented needle fly body should now look like this.

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10
Select a blue dun CdC hackle and trim off the point end of the hackle as shown.

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11
Take a 1 cm length of a fine plastic tube-fly, tube and thread it over the end of the hackle. When pulled down over the hackle this will form the wonder wing and hold it in the correct position ready for tying in.

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12
Place the wing on top of the hook shank and secure with a few wraps of tying thread close to the tube.

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13
Trim off the stripped point of the hackle and remove the tube.

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14
Trim off the excess hackle and tie down over the thorax.

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15
Load a magic tool with only one side of a CdC hackle. You dont need much CdC for this!

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16
Split your tying thread or spin the hackle in a dubbing loop keeping the fibers as long as possible, they can always be trimmed down. Wrap the CdC hackle forward covering the thorax.

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17
Holding the fibers back make a few turns of tying thread to form the head.

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18
Now pull two long CdC fibers forward and tie down. Whip finish.

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19
Remove the tying thread. Spin your fly up side down and trim off the CdC fibers level with the rear body on the underside. Make sure that you keep some of the side fibers for the legs and antennae

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20
Your finished CdC needle fly.

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21
Underside with the segmented CdC body and the correct profile.


The Black Pennell

Black Pennell & Family…

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One of the classic ‘Black’ flies that has survived the test of time.  Classified as a fancy wet or loch style pattern the Black Pennell came from the tying bench of Mr H. Cholmondeley Pennell a wealthy Edwardian english gentleman, who loved fishing in Northern Europe. There are several styles in tying this pattern, some with a fine slim body of only one layer of tying thread, the tapered body, as shown here and one with seals fur or black wool. Although some listings say that the hackle should be of a black hen tied sparingly, the original is of cock hackle tied long extending over the hook point and into the bend. When used during lake fishing these flies are normally fished as part of a team of flies, one on the point and two droppers. The fly on the point and bottom dropper being  slightly heavier wet flies, and the top dropper being a larger bushy dry fly that makes a wake when retrieved. The idea is that the wake fly acts as an attractor  getting the trouts attention. When the fish rises to inspect the wake fly they see the wets and take one of them.  If done correctly, fished from a drifting boat, this is an extremely effective method  of fishing. When river fishing the black pennell family of flies are fished in the traditional way of ‘down and across’ stream letting them ‘swing’ around at the end of the cast. 

Hook Mustad  R30NP-BR 94833 # 14-10

Thread Black

Butt Flat silver tinsel

Tail Golden Pheasant tippet

Body Black floss (occasionally black seals fur)

Rib Fine oval silver tinsel

Hackle Black cock

 

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1

Place your hook in the vice, make sure that it is horizontal. Attach your tying thread a couple of mm behind the hook eye and cover the hook shank with a even foundation of tying thread.

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2

Cut a length of flat silver tinsel and tie this in on the underside of the hook shank. Wind your tying thread five or six turns forward towards the hook eye.

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3

Now make two or three turns of flat silver tinsel for the butt and tie off. Trim off the excess.

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4

This is a neat little trick to get a perfect tippet tail. Take a whole golden pheasant tippet feather and and cut out a ‘V’ shape as shown with just the right amount of tippets on one side.

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5

Trim off one side of the tippet and lie flat on top of the hook shank. Secure with just a couple of turns of tying thread and adjust the tail to the correct length and position.

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6

Trim off the remaining tippet excess and wrap tying thread forward and back along the hook shank until you have a slightly tapered body, tie in a length of fine oval silver tinsel as shown. If you are using extra fine tying thread, you can tie in a length of black floss for the body.

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7

With your tying thread at the head of the fly make five or six even turns of oval silver tinsel for the rib and tie off a few mm behind the hook eye. Making sure that you have enough room for the hackle.

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8

Select and prepare a long fibered black cock hackle and tie in where the tinsel finishes. Wind your tying thread forward to just behind the hook eye.

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9

Now carefully make two or three turns of hackle, depending on how webby the hackle is. Make sure while wrapping that all fibers with each turn are pointing backwards. Tie off the hackle and remove the excess.

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10

Whip finish and remove the tying thread,  Now heres another trick to get the hackle to lie correctly. Wet your fingers with a little spit and stroke backwards. Now take a small plastic tube, clear is best, so that you can see how the hackle is lying inside and slip this over the head of the fly and twist from side to side to adjust how the hackle is lying.

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11

After a few minutes, depending on how wet the hackle was care fully remove the tube and the hackle will be perfect. With the hackle out of the way of the fly head you can now varnish the head. A perfect Black Pennell.

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12

Silver Pennell

 

This variant with a slim silver tinsel body is preferred for salmon and sea trout. sometimes tied with a hot orange dyed tippet tail.

 

Hook Mustad  R30NP-BR 94833 # 14-10

Thread Black

Tail Golden Pheasant tippet (Occasionally dyed hot orange)

Body Flat silver tinsel

Rib Fine oval silver tinsel

Hackle Black cock

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13

Blae and Black

 

This winged version of the Black Pennell was extremely popular during midge hatches and in larger sizes for migratory fish.

Hook Mustad  R30NP-BR 94833 # 14-10

Thread Black

Tail Golden Pheasant tippet

Body Black floss (occasionally black seals fur and with a silver tinsel rib)

Hackle Black cock

Wing Grey teal or mallard quill slips

 


Large dark olive trio

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Large dark olive

The large dark olive (Baetis rhodani) are probably the most widespread of all the European may flies, being Multivoltine, where water temperature allows, having two or more generation cycles per year, makes it even more important to the trout and fly fishermen alike! When designing fishing flies its not the very small details that count, although aesthetically pleasing to the fly tyer, and an important part of our craft! its a combination of several that will be the deciding factor for the fish. Size, colour, silhouette, footprint, behavior.

One of the earliest hatches here in Norway that I tend to fish is on the Trysil river with my good friend Espen Eilertsen owner and head guide of Call of the wild Drift boat fishing.
Although the weather was warm, a light shower that lasted an hour or so had just tapered off and there where Rodanis mayflies hatching everywhere, and when I say everywhere, I mean everywhere, but this being the first day of the hatch, the famous Trysil grayling were not as eager as the gulls to take advantage of the a la carte menu. I couldn’t believe that fish where not rising! The whole river surface was covered with duns, popping up and floating like regatta of small sail boats down river. Espen reassured me that this was normal and it always takes a little time for them to start feeding on the surface when the hatch first begins. The first few hours of the hatch, they generally concentrate where the food is most plentiful and thats below the surface. Taking nymphs and emergers as they rise to the surface.

For the next three hours we had only been in contact with a few fish and drifted just about every type of river condition from shallow rapids to fast flowing channels to flat calm slow drifts, and the Clacka drift boat in combination with Espen´s expert handling of the craft is impressive, performing perfectly as a sturdy fishing and casting platform at all times. We drifted through breath taking Alaskan type landscape, with steep rising pine and spruce covered mountains on each side of us, that you only get full wide screen effect of from mid-river, the speed of the boat slowing down as we could see in the distance where the river opens out and widens into a large basin.

Fishing a LDO nymph on the point and an emerger on a dropper that was easy to see on the dark water, drifted perfectly 7-8 meters from the boat, quickly approaching two rolling grayling in the next pool, that we had had our eyes on for the last 80 meters or so, drift. When without warning another, previously unseen fish rose from the depths of a dark pool and enthusiastically disappeared with my dropper. Espen lowered the oars and began pulling, to slow our decent and dropped the anchor. I lifted my rod and it immediately assumed the golden arch position with the grayling diving deep into the pool. After a short battle my first grayling of the season was released.

After a little fly and leader attention, Espen was holding the boat steady and suddenly says ” nine o clock, 15 meters ” I lift my rod and make a couple of false casts to shake of the dry fly floatant and lie my line down in the nine o clock position, “perfect” says Espen. The fly drifts perfectly along with several naturals, one of which is 60 cm or so ahead of mine, when it slowly enters the steady risers feeding window and “sup” its gone. Mine is next in line ! and like a text book account of how it should be, the fish obliges and leaves only small rings in the surface where my fly once was. If there was only a slight breeze these rises would be impossible to see. I automatically lift the rod and my line tightens, I can feel immediately that this fish is of another class from the ones I have had contact with so far. The fish dives and enters the strong under current using his majestic dorsal fin to his advantage and holding his position deep on the bottom. After 2 or 3 minutes he succumbed to the overwhelming power of space age carbon. What a beautiful fish, 38 cm of grayling, a new personal record on dry fly.

Normally the style of rise observed, will give a good indication to what stage of the insects life is being taken! With emergers the fish almost seem to be anesthetized slowly and repeatedly sucking in the water under the target, or the surface film is pushed up in a small mound without the fish actually breaking the surface. When rising to dun’s the rise is more enthusiastic, slashy and splashy. When rises are sparse or the fish are playing hard to get, just taking one or another emerger. You can search pocket water or fish dead drift with an appropriate single nymph or even combined with a emerger dropper. This ribbed abdomen technique is an old one that I have revitalized with the help of Bug Bond and spirit based felt pens. Moose mane hair is not from the beard that hangs on the neck but the longest hair that can be found on the back of the upper neck. Being a elk hunter I have access to a huge amount of select material each autumn, but the skins being the size they are I only take smaller patches of the best and most useful hair for curing. These hairs are remarkably strong, practically unbreakable when pulled between the fingers!

Hook: Mustad R72 nymph
Tying thread: Dyneema
Tail: Fine deer hair
Body: Moose mane hair two dark and one light coated with Bug Bond
Wing case: Virtual nymph Felxibody
Thorax: Virtual nymph medium olive and black seal fur mix
Legs: Bronze mallard

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1
Secure your 2 X long nymph hook in the vice, so the hook shaft is horizontal.

 

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2
Attach your tying thread a few mm behind the hook eye and run all the way back to the rear of the shank.

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3
Select 3 fine and quite stiff deer hairs. The ones I have used here are from a roe deer mask. Tie them in as shown in the form of a trident.

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4
Take a tiny drop of Bug Bond and place on the three deer hair bases. Give this a zap with the UV torch. This will keep the three tails in place.

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5
Take a patch of moose mane. The natural mane is a mixture of what they call salt and pepper coloured hair. If you can get hold of un treated (washed or tanned) moose mane this has much more durable hair.

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6
Select two long dark hairs and one long light.

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7
Tie in the hairs. Tie in the light one first at the base of the hook shank and then the dark hair.

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8
Now take both hairs at once, make sure that they are parallel with each other and not twisted. Wind them on tight and even over the whole body of the nymph. Make sure they dont cross each other while winding on!

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9
Tie off at the thorax.

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10
Once you have cut away the excess give the whole body a fine coat of Bug Bond UV resin.

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11
When you have cured the first coat colour the body with a olive waterproof felt pen.

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12
Give the whole body a final coat of Bug Bond. This time you can apply a little more to give the nymph body a taper .

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13
Now wind your tying thread a little back over the rear body as shown and tie in a small strip of olive flexibody for the wing case. Make sure this is central to the body and on top of the hook shank.

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14
If you wish to add a little weight to the fly, now is the time before you dub the thorax. Spin a little olive seals fir dubbing and wind on over the base of the flexibody.

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15
Select a small bronze mallard hackle and cut out the central stem and remove the down, as illustrated.

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16
Place the bronzed mallard over the body so the fibers cover each side of the nymph body. Make a couple of loose turns of tying thread to hold these in place. Then you can pull on the hackle stem to adjust the length of the legs before tying down.

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17
Once the legs are tied in remove the excess and make a couple more turns of tying thread tight into the dubbing so the legs flare out at an angle.

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18
Take a little more olive seal fur and mix with a little black seals fur then dub the remaining thorax. Make sure that you leave enough room for the wing case and head.

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19
Fold over the flexibody strip for the wing case and secure with 2 or 3 tight turns of tying thread tight back towards the thorax. Make sure the wing case is nice and tight over the thorax.

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20
Carefully trim off the remaining flexibody and tie down. Whip finish and varnish.

Large dark olive emerger

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Hook: Mustad C49S
Tying thread: Dyneema
Tail: Fine deer hair
Body: Moose mane hair one dark one light coated with Bug Bond
Wing: Bronze mallard, CdC and deer hair
Legs: Coq de Leon fibers

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1
Secure your emerger hook in the vice, so the hook shaft is horizontal.

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2
Attach your tying thread a few mm behind the hook eye and run all the way back to the rear of the shank.
Select 3 fine and quite stiff deer hairs. The ones I have used here are from a roe deer mask. Tie them in as shown in the form of a trident.

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3
Take a patch of moose mane. The natural mane is a mixture of what they call salt and pepper coloured hair. If you can get hold of un treated (washed or tanned) moose mane this has much more durable hair.

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4
Select two long hairs one dark and one light.
Tie in the hairs. Tie in the dark one first at the base of the hook shank and then the light one.

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5
Now take both hairs at once, make sure that they are parallel with each other and not twisted. Wind them on tight and even over the whole body of the fly. Make sure they dont cross each other while winding on! Tie off at the thorax.

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6
Trim off the excess and give the whole body a coat with Bug Bond.

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7
Colour the body with a waterproof felt pen.

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8
Tie in a small bunch of bronze mallard for the wing.

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9
Spin a small amount of Olive CdC in a dubbing loop.

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10
Wind on the dubbing loop to form the thorax making sure that most of the dubbing sits on top of the hook shank.

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11
Now a small bunch of fine deer hair for the over wing. Try and use deer hair with nice markings.

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12
Now take a few fibers of olive or yellow Coq de Leon and tie these in for the legs on the underside of the thorax.

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13
Spin another small amount of CdC and wind on to form the head.

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14
Whip finish and varnish.

 

Large dark olive dry

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Hook: Mustad R30
Tying thread: Dyneema
Tail: Coq de Leon
Body: Moose mane hair one dark one light coated with bug Bond
Wing: Grey duck wing quill sections
Hackle: Golden Badger


Tying Long Flies

Blue Devil Custom

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This is one of the many patterns from the legendary Rangeley fly tyer Carrie G Stevens. Most of her patterns where tied on 6 X long – 10 X long shank hooks although she did use some that where even 12 X long, these super long shank hooks is what gives these flies their unique profile and silhouette. In 1924 Carrie G Stevens caught a 6lb 13oz brook trout on a prototype streamer she had made herself. She entered her catch into the fishing competition in the well known American magazine “Field and Stream” shortly after her prototype streamer and the trophy brook trout it caught would be her spring board to international acclaim as the originator of this new style of streamer.
Hook: Mustad L87NP-BR #2 or Partridge CS15 #4
Tying thread: Dyneema
Tag: Flat silver tinsel
Body: Red silk floss
Rib: Flat silver tinsel
Throat: White buck tail with red/orange hackle or hackle fibres
Wing: Eight – ten strands of peacock herl, two red/orange hackles, two blue hackles.
Shoulder: Brown grey partridge hackle
Cheeks: Jungle Cock

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1.
Secure your 10XL streamer hook in the vice with the hook shank horizontal.

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2.
Attach your tying thread to the hook shank just above the point.

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3.
Tie in a short length of flat silver tinsel and make 6 or 7 turns to form the tag.

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4.
Tie in another longer length of flat silver tinsel at the end of the tag and run your tying thread neatly along the hook shank towards the hook eye. Now tie in a length of red floss silk just behind the eye.

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5.
Wrap the floss silk in neat flat turns back towards the tag try and make these wraps as neat and flat as possible. Once at the tag reverse the floss and begin wrapping it back towards the hook eye, and tie off.

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6.
Now take your flat silver tinsel for the rib and wind forward in even open turns, trying to make each turn the same distance and angle as the last. Tie off.

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7.
Cut clean and stack a bunch of white buck tail for the throat. This should be about one hook gape longer than the hook. Tie in as shown.

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8.
Select 8-10 straight strands of nice peacock herl, avoid strung herl, these are often bent or broken. Choose full bodied herl with nice points and good iredescent colour. Tie these in lying on top of the hook shank. Don’t worry if these flare a little you can position these later with the wing.

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9.
Construct the wing by selecting all four components for both sides of the wing. Measure and strip off the un-needed fibres at the base so they are all the correct size.

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10.
Typically these wings are constructed by glueing each component on top of each other. The glue or cement used should be thick enough so as not to bleed into the fibres of the feathers. The glue used here is a regular bottle of Veniard Cellire varnish that I have left the top off for a few days. This will make the varnish evaporate down to about 50% and result in a thick sticky cement that won’t bleed. Run a small amount of cement along the base of the hackle for the inner wing. Make sure that you only apply it to the area to be covered by the shoulder hackle.

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11.
Now place the second wing component on top of the glued area of the first hackle.

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12.
Make sure that the shoulder partridge hackles have a similar pattern.

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13.
Cement the shoulder hackle onto the wing as shown.

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14.
Followed by the Jungle cock cheeks.

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15.
When both wings are constructed they should look balanced as with these, leave to dry for a few minutes.

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16.
Prepare your throat hackle and tie in. Many use only fibres here but I find a traditional hackle better as the top half of the wound hackle makes a good buffer for holding the wing evenly positioned.

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17.
Wind on the throat hackle and tie off.

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18.
With wet fingers separate the hackle in two a little more on the throat part and position.

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19.
Place a small piece of foam over the hackle as shown and hold this in place with a english hackle plier for a couple of minutes. This will form the hackle into the correct position and shape.

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20.
Now you can trim the hackle stems on the wing sections. This should be done at a angle so you get a taper on the head of the fly.

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21.
Position each wing section and tie in with as few wraps of tying thread as possible.

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22.
If you are using Dyneema thread colour it black with a waterproof felt pen and finish the head with a whip finish.

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23.
Give the head a few coats of glossy varnish.

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Wooly Bugger tutorial

Wooly Bugger

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Hook                          Mustad S74SNP-DT # 6-4
Head                          Brass or Tungsten bead
Tying thread             Dyneema
Tail                             UV2 White Marabu and Crystal hår
Body                           White chenille
Hackle                        White cock or saddle hackle
Most fly fishermen have at one time or another fished with or a variant of the wooly bugger. This is without doubt one of the modern classics, that has only grown in popularity, and not without reason! The Wooly bugger is known as a fish catcher the world over. Its often named when a fishermen is asked, if you could fish with only one fly, what would it be ?

Right from when this pattern first saw the light of day its been changed, and modified at vices all over the world and is now to be found in an uncountable amount of colours and variants, some I may say better than others!

I myself use the pattern in only four colours, white, black, grizzle and a combination of the latter. More recently I have also began using more UV and Fluorescent materials especially in my salt water patterns. This has not only made the flies more attractive but has also increased catches in salt water markably. But try not to exaggerate these materials or their use, it can easily go into overkill. So remember less is more!

This is an extremely simple pattern to tie and requires a minimum of materials, but as I have mentioned many times before, its all about proportions! Spending time getting this right from the beginning will produce great looking flies only after you have tied a few. I am not saying that scruffy buggers won’t catch fish, quite the opposite, but there is more to fly tying than catching fish! What fly tyer doesn’t want his flies to look great?

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1
Its important to match the size of your bead head to the hook size being used, or to the swimming action required of the pattern. Slide the chosen bead onto the hook shank and secure the hook, horizontal in the vice.
Attach your tying thread and run all the way back to the hook bend. This will give a good foundation for the rest of the fly.

 

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2
For the tail I like to add another dimension by using UV2 marabou.

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3
Select a nice bunch of marabou with fine tapered points for the tail. The tail should be approximately the same length as the hook. Tie in the marabou along the whole length of the hook shank tight into the bead head.

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4
Now you can tie in four or six strands of Crystal flash material around the tail. These should be a tad longer than the marabou tail. If you require even more weight, now is the time to add it.

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5
Cut a length of chenille and once again tie this in the whole length of the hook shank, keeping your tying thread behind the bead head. Make sure that the chenille is correctly secured at the marabou tail base, if not the chenille will slip when tightened and wrapped!

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6
Now wrap the chenille in tight even turns all the way forward to the bead head and tie off. Remove the excess chenille and make a couple of whip finishes to secure it correctly.

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7
Select an appropriate sized cock or saddle hackle with extra webby fibres and tie this in directly behind the bead head as shown. Make a whip finish. Now tightly wind your tying thread back towards the tail base making sure that each turn of thread falls in-between each segment of wound chenille.

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8
Attach a hackle plier to the point of the hackle and wrap the hackle palmer style in the opposite direction to the wrap of your tying thread. That means if you wind your tying thread clockwise, the hackle should be wound anti-clockwise. Again taking care to wrap precisely in each segment of chenille. Once the tail base is reached tie off the hackle with a few turns of tying thread.

 

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9
Now carefully wind your tying thread forward through each segment of chenille over the hackle, taking care not to tie down the fibres. Wrapping the tying thread and hackle in opposite directions will make the fly stronger and extend it’d fishing life. Make a couple of whip finishes.

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10
Remove the tying thread. Now place a large drop of varnish or head cement, whichever you prefer on the point of a dubbing needle. Now place the drop of varnish on the junction between the hook eye and the forward bead opening. You will see the varnish disappear into and under the bead head, repeat this two or three times until no more varnish is sucked into the bead. This will make a invisible finish and saturate the tying thread and materials under and behind the bead.

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11
Remove any excess varnish from the hook eye by pulling through a hackle.

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12
The finished and correctly tied wooly bugger. If you would like to correct the palmered hackle into a perfect position, moisten it with a little water and slip a drinking straw over the body of the fly until dry. When its removed everything will be in place.