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

Author Archive

Green drake emerger

This green drake emerger is an effective pattern when there are prolific hatches and the fish are playing hard to get. Tie it in different sizes and colours and it works well for many species of emerging mayfly.


Antron yarn caddis pupa


A twisted Antron yarn segmented abdomen makes this easy caddis larva a nice alternative to dubbed bodies.

Tying a Trico spent Spinner

A small Trico spent spinner with a neat mayfly tailing technique and a segmented moose mane hair body for a semi realistic effect.

Transitional Midge

A hatching midge with a little different quill body technique that gives a more three dimensional, transparent body effect.

Baetis Sparkle wing

A little comparadun Baetis, that not only works very well early, but just about the whole season. With a mixed wing and a quill body. Perfect in sizes 16-18.

Fly Tying Masterclass

The skating caddis

A quick medium sized adult caddis fly that skates high, creating a nice wake, making it a great little attractor, with an interesting segmented dubbing body technique.

Paraloop Griffiths

A little different play on a Griffiths gnat. A reverse paraloop hackle that gives a deeper presentation and doubles as a quick sight indicator.

Parachute Adams

One of the true classics that works just about everywhere. This one tied with a calf body hair post, two hackles, one brown and one grizzle along with an unusual dubbing technique for a fine segmented body.

Floating mayfly nymph

A floating CDC mayfly nymph that will fish as an emerger with the tail and abdomen under the surface, the thorax being held high with the CDC bubble wing case. Change the colour and hook size to match your hatch.

Egg laying caddis

One of my little deer hair patterns that is super easy to tie. All you need is a hot spot tag and a deer hair dubbing loop, for an effective pattern that floats high and dry all day long.

3M Minnow

A great little minnow pattern made from Marabou, Mylar & Mallard flank. It has worked well for sea run browns but should also be just as effective for browns and bows.

The big event 2019, London!

Next week I will be tying at the London Fly Fishing fair at the business design centre in Islington. The London Fly Fishing Fair brings together the best of what the fly fishing world has to offer, all in the heart of London. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, or somewhere in between, this is the ideal place to get involved in the sport. Here you can buy equipment and find your next trip from destinations all over the world. Learn from the best with the top fly tyers & casting demonstrators and professionals in the industry everything fly fishing. Look forward to seeing you there!

Opening Times Friday 22nd March 2019 – 10:00 to 20:00 Saturday 23rd March 2019 – 10:00 to 16:00

Mixed wing shuttlecock emerger

A quick and easy mixed wing shuttlecock style midge emerger that is a good early season pattern and works great on still waters.

Generic mayfly nymph

A quick and easy mayfly nymph that with a little change of hook size and colour can represent many of the small mayflies in the nymphal stage.

Blue winged olive

One of the earliest and most important mayflies for the trout fishermen. This easy tie gives a great foot print and is the perfect pattern for calmer flowing stretches of water.

Glasgow Angling Centre open weekend

The show season has started. On March 1st, 2nd & 3rd 2019 you will find me at the Glasgow Angling Centre open weekend, where i will be tying and demonstrating lots of techniques on the Veniard stand.

Call in and say hello and make use of all the great special offers the centre has especially for the weekend. Veniard will be supporting the fly tyers row along with samples of razzle dazzle chenille for the first 50 customers…

I hope to see you there…

Diawl Bach Hot Head

This little devil is probably the most popular nymph in the UK. Easy to tie, and found in many variants, this is one of my favorites, with a hot head. The jungle cock can be dropped or substituted with biots.

For all you lovers…

Share a fishy valentine with the one you love…

Bubble Caddis

An easy but effective little CDC bubble caddis pattern that can be quickly tied in various colours and sizes.

IOBO emerger

Tying the IOBO emerger  (It ought to be outlawed variant)

Hook: Mustad C49S # 16-22
Tying thread: Grey
Trailing shuck: Two strands of crystal flash
Body/wing: One CDC hackle

The original IOBO emerger or IOBO Humpy, as it is also known, was designed by Jack Tucker and for years was a somewhat secret pattern, only known to the privileged few. But this tiny non-specific emerger caught on fast and should not be under estimated, it is truly a deadly pattern, and a absolute must have pattern for all grayling fishermen. This little variant shown here has the addition of a small crystal flash trailing shuck that has turned many a possible blank day into a bonanza! 

Although there is only one single CDC hackle in this pattern, the key to getting it right is using the correct CDC hackle.  You should look for a hackle that is not too short, you need the length for wrapping the body and then the shell back and wing. But the hackle should also have long dense fibres that will give a little more volume to the body and wing if tying them in larger sizes. I find that natural (un-dyed) hackles are best as some dying processes make the hackle stem brittle causing it to break when wrapped.

The IOBO emerger can be fished whenever there is surface activity going on throughout the year, although I have found it to be less effective in the autumn, in larger sizes than earlier and later in the season. Use it as a searching pattern when there is no activity, letting it dead drift over pocket water or possible holding spots.  It has also fished well for friends, static, on still waters especially on flat calm days when buzzers or on the go.

When dressing this pattern its important that the crystal flash shuck is tied in long and remains long throughout the whole tying procedure. The long crystal flash fibres enable you to hold them out of the way with one hand, when the CDC fibres are collected with the other, to be folded over to form the shell back and wing. Not until everything else is finished can they be trimmed down to a few centimetres long. It’s not the most robust pattern around, the delicate CDC shell back is easily broken by the small needle sharp trout teeth, but ist so quick to tie, I find it no trouble tying another one on…

Attach your grey tying thread to the hook shank. Wind your thread back to just before the hook bend and then forward in open turns to just behind the hook eye. This will give the CDC more purchase.

After you have selected an appropriate CDC hackle tie this in 90 degrees from the hook shank with a little of the stem showing.

Tie the stem of the CDC hackle along the hook shank and place your tying thread at the tail base.


Attach your hackle pliers to the tip of the CDC hackle and wrap back towards the tying thread. make sure that you brush the CDC hackle fibres back with each turn forming the wing material. Tie off.

Once secure wind your tying thread forward through each turn of hackle stem and finish just behind the hook eye.


Grip all the CDC fibres with your right and fold over the body to form the shell back, similar to a Humpy. Secure with a few turns of tying thread, close to the hook eye.


Lift the wing and whip finish under the wing behind the hook eye. Remove your tying thread and trim off the wing tips to the desired length.

You can also tie the IOBO variant, with a little Crystal flash shuck in the tail as shown here.

British Fly Fair International 2019

At this years BFFI I will be demonstrating wing and body techniques.

This weekend Saturday 9th & Sunday 10th February
I will be tying on the Veniard stand at BFFI.
If you have an opportunity to visit the show please do. For fly tyers its the best show around, with over 80 individual exhibitors.
Just check out the website above with tons of materials for sale and the famous fly tyer row with over 50 world class fly tyers from all over Europe and North America, who will be tying all day, each day.
If any of you intend to go call in and say hello and I’ll be happy to tie a fly for you.
I hope to see you there!

BFFI 2019 will be held at:
Staffordshire County Showground ST18 0BD
9th and 10th February
9.30am – 4.30pm
The UK’s Premier Fly Fishing Show
Admission on the door
£12 – 1 Day or £20 – 2 Days
All accompanied under 16s free entry.

The burnt wing sedge

A quick little semi realistic caddis pattern with burnt feather wings, for those of you that like that little extra. One of my subscribers very kindly sent me a set of Renzetti wing burners, something that I haven’t used for years, but I have found going back to these lovely little tools a load of fun. This is the first of a few I intend to tie over the next few months. If you haven’t used wing burners I can really recommend it. I have sent Renzetti a couple of e mails asking about availability but with no reply.

Wally wing mayfly spinner

This Wally wing mayfly is a semi-realistic spinner, that is fun to tie for those of you that enjoy this type of pattern. Not only a good looking fly but also a great fishing fly! Don’t be fooled by the delicate looking wings, they are surprisingly robust.