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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.



The animal or Dyret as its known in its native Norwegian is a relatively new pattern, but one that has been embraced by Scandinavian fly fishers with open arms. It’s inventor Gunnar Bingen from Norway developed this pattern for fishing  both trout and grayling on the famous river Rena in Norway, He’s quoted as saying, ‘it’s really nothing but a cross between a super pupa and a devil bug” But this offspring of cross breading these two patterns has proven to be a deadly one. Originally thought to imitate an emerging caddis, of which its does so elegantly. But it really comes into its own by pressing all the right buttons for feeding trout when swimming caddis pupae are on the go, from late afternoon and into the night. Night fishing with this pattern under a caddis hatch can put you on the verge of madness, listening for rises in the direction of your stripped fly and striking to sound in stead of sight!

The deer hair used for this pattern should be from the winter coat and reasonably long hair makes this pattern easier to tie giving you something to grab hold of when trimming the head. You can decide what type of head you prefer, whether it be a small tight trimmed one or a large open one that pushes more water as you tug it in. Some tyers prefer to use an extra large hackle so the fibres reach out further from each side. I feel the Dyret fishes best, high and dry, so it should be well dressed with a floatant. I personally like to dress it first with a liquid floatant, give it a good shake and blow off the excess and then followed by a quick shake in a powder floatant. This results in a super water repellant dry fly. 

On flowing water I feel it fishes best in smaller hook sizes, using a dead drift method making presentation over rising  or feeding fish if possible. Also for searching faster riffles and pocket water just letting the fly drift quickly through possible holding spots is extremely effective. I have also had great success with this pattern on still waters but with short strips across the surface with pauses at intervals were you just let the fly sit on the surface for a few seconds and then start again with short pulls. Its normally at this exact moment the fish will take quite explosively.

When wrapping the hackle, palmer style, don’t make too many turns. If you wrap the hackle too tight along the whole body you may find that under casting it propels, and will twist your leader into the mother of all tangles. This should be avoided at all costs especially during night fishing! Although the original retained the full hackle most tyers now trim it on the underside as in this pattern.

Regarding colour all the olives work well for me from light to dark but many swear by grey and even yellow bodies, for night fishing black bodies or even entirely black flies are the trend. But try your own favourite trout and grayling combinations just as Gunnar Bingen did, you never know you may be on to something!

Hook: Mustad R30 # 10-16

Thread: Dyneema

Under body: Natural deer hair

Tail: Natural deer hair

Head: Natural deer hair

Over body: Superfine dubbing

Hackle: Brown or badger cock


Secure the hook in your vice so that the hook shank is horizontal. Attach your tying thread and run a foundation over the whole hook shank to the bend and then back to just behind the hook eye.


Cut a small bunch of nicely marked long deer hair and remove all under fur with a comb. Stack the deer hair so that all the points are even and measure the length of the tail. If you use long deer hair its easier to cut down the head later if you have something to hold.


Once the length of the tail is determined grip the hair with your left finger and thumb and remove the hair stacker. Without realising the deer hair from your left hand make a few tight turns around the deer hair to form the head as shown.


Once the head is secure tie down the body while sliding your left hand back towards the tail without letting go until you have tied down the deer hair all the way to the tail. 


Run the tying thread, not too tight, over the whole body. Now you can tie in your hackle at the tail base.


Choose your desired superfine dubbing body colour.


Dub your tying thread and cover the whole body tight in between the head and tail as shown. Finish with your tying thread at the head of the fly.


Wrap your hackle, palmer style along the body with open even turns. Tie off and remove the excess hackle.


Whip finish and cut away your tying thread. Now grip the long deer hair at the hook eye and trim down the head of the fly.


Last but not least, trim off the hackle fibres on the underside of the hook shank as illustrated.

Hunting for fly tying materials with Markus Hoffman

After holding a fly tying course for my good friend Markus Hoffman in Sweden, for one of his legendary Woodstort weekends, where about 25 fly tyers come together to tie flies, fish and eat some great food, that Markus takes care of himself. Many of you may know Markus and his great flies from Face book, Markus and I not only share fly tying and fishing in common, but we are both passionate hunters, after the show Markus said he would guide me on a buck hunt on the opening day, it didn’t take long. Markus filmed the last three minutes.

Tying up Madam XXL

A simple tutorial for tying perfect bullet heads. This XXL variant of one of the great attractor flies, has accounted for at least 3 of my top 10 largest trout on dry fly.

Flashy Bugger!

A real big fish fly. As the name suggests, a woolly bugger with that little extra flash to increase the attractor value.

Christmas tree streamer

The Juletræet as the original is called in Danish or translated, Christmas tree is a popular Danish coastal pattern for sea run browns. The original is from the early 80’s and comes from Danish fly tyer Steen Ulnits. This simple but effective pattern is easy to tie but requires the correct Mylar tubing. Many Mylar’s when the weave is opened, the tinsel will be curled and impossible to get to lie flat, you will need one that is easily opened and all the strands of tinsel are straight.

The Christmas tree has a great swimming action and needless to say, is a real flashy attractor.

Hook: Mustad S71 # 6

Tying thread: Dyneema

Under body: Mylar tube core

Tail, body & wing: Mylar tube & UV resin

1. Secure your salt water streamer hook in the vice with the hook shaft horizontal. Run a foundation of tying thread back to the hook point.

2. Now cut a length of clear 1mm Mylar tubing about three times the length of the hook shaft. Not all Mylar is suitable for this pattern as many are crinkly when un-wound.
3. With a pair of tweezers carefully remove the inner core from the length of Mylar.
4. Take one strand of the inner core and tie along the hook shank as shown.
5. Once secure fold over the inner core and secure with a few wraps of tying thread at the rear of the hook.
6. Cut away the excess core.
7. Take the length of Mylar tube and thread over the hook shank. The tail of open Mylar should be about the length of the hook shank.
8. Tie down the tail with a few wraps of tying thread.
9. Colour a short length of tying thread with a red waterproof marker and finish the tail with a few wraps of red tying thread.
10. Whip finish, remove your tying thread and give the tail whippings a coat with varnish.
11. re-attach your tying thread at the front of the body, behind the hook eye.
12. Once secure, use a dubbing needle to carefully open the weave of the Mylar tube over the hook eye.
13. Give the whole body a coat of UV resin.
14. Cure the UV resin with a 10 second blast with the UV light.
15. Once the body is cured and dry take hold of the front Mylar and pull back, so that its evenly distributed around the whole body. Colour your tying thread again and secure the head and whip finish.
16. Once secure remove your tying thread and varnish the head. The finished Christmas tree streamer.
The Juletræet GTI has a hot orange Antron tail and a mallard flank wing.

Hot spot pheasant tail nymph

A quick and easy pheasant tail nymph with a UV hot spot attractor wing case. For those cold days grayling fishing.

Sawyer’s Killer Bug

Heres another little gem of a pattern that may be one of the most simple flies ever tied!


The killer bug tied with the original Chadwick’s 477 reinforcing and mending wool.

This classic Grayling pattern from nymph expert and legendary river keeper Frank Sawyer still doesn’t disappoint, but if you follow Sawyer’s tying instruction, the killer or (grayling) bug as it was originally named, could and should only be tied with one brand and shade of wool, Chadwick’s No 477.


Although this wool is not produced anymore there are a whole load of substitutes to be found and the original wool cards occasionally come up for auction. Like several of Sawyers patterns, in the original he diddent use tying thread, only red coloured copper wire.

Hook: S80NP-BR (old ref. S80-3906) <>
Thread: Dyneema
Tag: Medium copper wire
Body: Chadwick’s 477 or any other pinkish grey darning wool



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



Attach your tying thread and cover the whole hook shank from just behind the hook eye to the bend.



Cut a length of medium copper wire and tie this in a little down the hook bend.



Now make 7 or 8 tight wraps of copper wire as shown for the tag. If you would like a heavier killer bug now is the time to add the extra weight.



Tie off the copper wire and remove the excess. Cut a length of your chosen wool and tie this in along the length of the whole hook shank finishing at the tag.



Now wrap the wool forward and back along the hook shank between the tag and the hook eye, but not too tight, the idea is that the body will absorb water. If you wrap the wool too tight this will be difficult. Once you have built up a cigar shaped body, tie off the wool behind the hook eye.



Trim off the excess wool and finish with a couple of whip finishes.


The proof of the pudding!

Fishing with Royalty

Ørret fra luksefjell

This is the most regal member of the Wulff pack, a legacy pattern from the  legendary fly tyer and fishermen Lee Wulff.  The Royal Wulff is probably the most popular riffle pattern.  As the name suggests these fat patterns with white wings float high in a fast riffle or broken water, the wing making it highly visible to the angler at a distance and in low light.

Hook: Mustad 94840 R 50 # 8-16

Tying thread: Black

Wing: White calf tail

Tail: Moose body hair, or deer hair

Body: Peacock herl divided by a band of red floss

Hackle: Dark brown

Dry Royal Wulff

A great foot print pattern in all sizes.



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


2 Run a little tying thread over the first half of the hook shank.


3 Clean and stack a small bunch of white calf tail. Tie this in about one third of the way behind the hook eye as shown.


4 Trim off the butt ends at an angle and make a few tight turns tight in under the front of the wing. This will hold the wing at 90 degrees from the hook shank.


5 Divide the calf hair into two equal wings and secure with a figure of eight tying thread movement and then a few turns around each wing base to secure each wing bunch together.


6 Run a foundation of tying thread over the rear calf hair as shown.


7 Cut and stack a small bunch of moose body hair and tie in as tail, this should even out the body.


8 Tie in a length of peacock herl at the tail base.


9 Wrap the peacock herl 4 or 5 times at the tail base and tie off. Run your tying thread forward and tie in another two peacock herls a little behind the wing.


10 Cut a length of red silk floss and tie this in as shown.


11 Wrap the floss back and forward to form a nice fat body. Tie off at the forward peacock herl.


12 Cut away the excess floss and make 5 or 6 turns of peacock herl. Tie off.


13 cut away the excess herl and tie in a dark brown cock hackle tight into the herl.


14 Now wrap the hackle in as many close turns as possible, firstly behind and then in front of the wing. Tie off behind the hook eye.

IMG_042615 Trim away the excess hackle and whip finish. A little drop of varnish on the head will crown the pattern ready for fishing.


And the winner of the Petitjean CDC book is:



My wife scrolled through the subscribers and stopped at  Nate Cooprider, who is the lucky winner.  Please contact me Nate with your full postal address and the book will go in the post this week to you.

For those of you that are interested there will be another nice giveaway next month. Thanks and have a great Sunday!

Sunrise flatwing


A great pattern that creates the illusion of volume while still remaining light and easy to cast.

Petitjean CDC book giveaway


I will be giving away one of the Petitjean CDC books to a lucky subscriber.


This monumental book gathers on more than 40 years of fly-tying, innovation and a passion for fly-fishing. In this his legacy, Marc reveals some of his secrets about CDC’s unique properties, his concepts in designing flies and, last but not least,  all his original patterns and a series of brand new, easy-to-tie patterns, all photographed step by step.

Author Marc Petitjean

Photography Barry Ord Clarke

500 pages

3000 photographs

2.5 kilo’s of CDC techniques & patterns

All you have to do is subscribe to my blog & share this post. I will get my wife to pick the lucky winner from my subscribers in 5 days on Sunday  20th January 2019. I will post the name of the winner at 18.00 hrs on Sunday.

The book is packed and ready to post, all I need is the address of the winner.

Good luck!

Beautiful Buggers

After many questions regarding this modern classic, here it is again, a tutorial for tying better buggers.

Quill body buzzer

A quick early season midge larvae, that with a little change in colour and size, is a good generic pattern for most buzzers.

If you enjoy watching the videos please like, share & subscribe to my YouTube channel below. Your help and support in keeping the channel going is greatly appreciated. Thanks…

Tying extended mayfly bodies


A simple but realistic extended body technique, that will give any mayfly dun or spinner pattern that little extra.

If you enjoy watching the videos please like & subscribe to my YouTube channel below. Your help and support in keeping the channel going is greatly appreciated. Thanks…

Jelly bean scud

The Willy Wonker of Gammarus patterns. A great looking scud pattern that is not only extremely easy to tie, but also a deadly pattern for both fresh and salt water.

Hook: Mustad C49S # 6-14

Tying thread: Dyneema

Rib: Fluorescent orange tying thread

Legs: Vanilla ostrich herl

Shell back: UV resin

If you enjoy watching the videos please subscribe to my YouTube channel below. Your help and support in keeping the channel going is greatly appreciated. Thanks…

Foam mayfly emerger

A simple emerger for those larger mayflies that will float all day long!

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CDC Elk hair caddis


Don’t let this quick and simple pattern deceive you, this is a great pattern that should have a place in every fly box.

Hook: Mustad R30 # 8-16

Tying thread: Olive Body:

Two CDC hackles

Wing: Bleached or light coloured elk hair

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Parachute zebra midge

A Zebra midge variant that is an unusual parachute pattern, as it has a plastic glass bubble bead head. If you have fished with the zebra midge you’ll know just how effective it is, so give this a go , you’ll be surprised.

Hook: Mustad C49S # 12-16

Bead: Pearlescent plastic

Tying thread: Black sheer 14/0

Rib: UTC Ultra wire white

Post: Para post & wing white

Thorax: Peacock herl

Hackle: Grizzle

If you enjoy watching the videos please subscribe to my YouTube channel below. Your help and support in keeping the channel going is greatly appreciated. Thanks…