Tying the willow fly

Giving em the Needle 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 … Continue reading Tying the willow fly

The Black Pennell wet fly

Black Pennell & Family…   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 … Continue reading The Black Pennell wet fly

Large dark olive trio

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 … Continue reading Large dark olive trio

How to tie Long Flies-streamer

Blue Devil Custom 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 … Continue reading How to tie Long Flies-streamer

How to tie a Wooly Bugger tutorial

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? Continue reading How to tie a Wooly Bugger tutorial

Tying The Humpy

This popular western pattern comes in many variants of colour, wing and tail materials, hackle and single and double hump.  The Humpy is also tied in two styles, short and fat and the long and slim version I am tying here.  Although made to imitate nothing in particular, except a juicy mouth full, this has a reputation of being a difficult fly to tie, but as I have mentioned in earlier step by step posts, follow the procedures and proportions and you will soon be banging them out by the dozen.  Hook: Mustad R50 # 10-16 Tying Thread: Dyneema Tail: … Continue reading Tying The Humpy

Fly Tying Course # 19 The G & H Sedge

The G & H Sedge or Goddard Caddis The G & H sedge, as it was originally named was created by John Goddard and Cliff Henry.  John Goddard who died last December was one of the great innovators of fly tying. This is a small tribute to one of, if not, his most famous patterns. The dressing and style of tying I demonstrate here, is taken from the 1977 re-print of his 1969  book ‘Trout flies of still-water’.   Original recipe Hook:  Long-shank 8-10 Tying Silk: Green Underbody: Dark green seals fur Body: Natural deer hair  Hackle: Two rusty dun … Continue reading Fly Tying Course # 19 The G & H Sedge

Fly Tying course # 18 Flying Mutantz

Flying Mutantz After much response regarding my Mutantz pattern I published last year, here is the new and improved Flying Mutant that has fished extremely well for me this year, with a few new techniques that can be applied to other patterns.    On the warmest summer days the temperature rises in the south facing ant hills and triggers the annual swarming.  Ants are not good flyers, so they leave the nest in large numbers to increase the chances of establishing a new colony. When they take to the wing they are at the mercy of the wind and end … Continue reading Fly Tying course # 18 Flying Mutantz

Fly Tying Course # 17 Chernobyl Ant

  This pattern was the product of Rainey Riding’s imagination after the Chernobyl atomic plant accident. Resembling an ant, only in the weirdest imagination, this is a great stimulator pattern. The CCFS (closed cell foam sheet) used in this ant floats like a cork, and the 8 rubber legs dance a jitter bug across the surface of the water. I first encountered the Chernobyl ant many years ago, while visiting a fly fishing shop in Toronto Canada, called Skinners. I enquired about good patterns for Brook trout in the north, they said that I would only need one fly, the … Continue reading Fly Tying Course # 17 Chernobyl Ant

Fly tying course # 9 Techniques for traditional dry’s

Techniques for traditional dry’s Its often said “If you can tie a good dry fly, you can tie just about anything” this makes dry flies sound extremely difficult, they are not. There are many other patterns that look much simpler but are much more challenging for the tyer to master.  The key to good dry flies:   Quality materials Proportion Attention to detail Follow the step by step instructions Practice Follow these rules and you will be tying great dry flies in no time. Although you dont need perfect, great looking flies to catch fish, a well proportioned dry fly … Continue reading Fly tying course # 9 Techniques for traditional dry’s

Fly tying course # 8 The Brassie

The Brassie Hook:  Mustad C49SNP # 6-22  http://www.mustad.no/productcatalog/product.php?id=177 Tying thread:  Dyneema Body:  Copper wire Head:  Mixed hares ear dubbing Its normal to weight nymphs with and under body of lead, but on small flies its sometimes desirable  to maintain a slim but at the same time heavy, body profile. With the Brassie copper wire of different sizes is used in respect to hook size, but you can achieve the best results with copper wire that is no thicker than the hook wire being used.  Copper wire in different colours can give extremely natural looking abdomen on pupa and larva patterns. … Continue reading Fly tying course # 8 The Brassie

Fly tying course # 4 a simple nymph

Now you should have learned the basics, mounting the hook, attaching the tying thread and the whip finish. With these you should be able to start and finish a fly, its just what’s in between now! I always believe its better to start with a simple pattern that illustrates other elementary techniques, than demonstrating each technique one for one. When you are tying this pattern you may find that handling the materials is a somewhat difficult task especially if you have large fingers and are not use to intricate work. But let me assure you, this will come with time. … Continue reading Fly tying course # 4 a simple nymph

Fly tying kit for the new beginner

Fly tying, in most cases, begins with a fly tying kit.  Unfortunately most fly tying kits can result in the same frustration as starting to tie too difficult patterns. When you open a fly tying kit for the very first time, the first thing you notice is the over powering perfume of paradichlorobenzene or moth balls. This is used to keep feather and fur eating insects at bay, and from making a smorgasbord of your materials. Beyond the moth ball vapors, your newly purchased kit, is filled with what looks like, at first glance, a fantastic array of shiny tools … Continue reading Fly tying kit for the new beginner

Fly tying course # 1 Getting started

Hi, due to the popularity of the fly tying course I have decided to publish all 20 courses again, so if you know anyone who would like to learn to tie flies or is just getting started please let them know about the course and share the link with your fly tying forums and other fly tying friends. I will be posting one course each day until the 5th January. This on line fly tying course will be dedicated to showing those of you who are new to fly tying all the correct moves and techniques for successful tying. Once … Continue reading Fly tying course # 1 Getting started

Fly Tying Course # 20 The Stimulator Dry Fly

Stimulator-“Something that causes and encourages a given response” Fly tying course # 20 already! For the many of you that have been following the course, although this fancy dry is a little challenging, if you have practiced, you should be more than capable of tying the stimulator. The only thing to remember is the proportions. If you get one wrong they will all be wrong!  The original pattern is from the American fly tyer Randall Kaufmann and is probably one of the most popular flies in North America. Originally tied to imitates the adult giant stonefly, but will fish just … Continue reading Fly Tying Course # 20 The Stimulator Dry Fly

The Autumn is upon us.

Hi, I am now back from a weeks fishing with Marc petitjean and Neil Patterson on the Kvennan beat of the river Glomma here in Norway.  We had a great week with lots of grayling on dry fly, up-to 45 cm. I will be posting a full rapport from this trip later. Heres a snap of Neil doing his thing… And Marc doing his… Just to keep you up to date, hunting has started here and the first opportunity I get (the next deer I shoot) I will be doing a step by step tutorial on skinning and preparing the … Continue reading The Autumn is upon us.

Fly tying course # 16 The model Nymph

Pheasant tail Nymph variant Apologies, apologies, and more apologies dear friends… Its been a busy summer and posting has had to take a lesser priority in the last few weeks, for photography and fishing.  But I am back and will be posting regularly again!  My first post is # 16 in the fly tying course and is the model nymph, the basic pattern for most, if not all nymphs.  For those of you that are new to the website, you can find the previous 15 courses in earlier posts. If you have any questions regarding this or other posts, materials, … Continue reading Fly tying course # 16 The model Nymph

Marc Petitjean – CdC deer hair caddis

It’s been a while, but I am back, and posting more patterns after a busy season photographing and fishing, where I have been testing new patterns and materials that I will be writing about later.  I have also visited some new destinations that I am sure, will blow your socks off! I will reveal more later.  On arriving back from my travels, there is a mountain of new materials, tools and books waiting for me to review so keep tuned as I will be going through the best of these as and when I get time. Marc also extends the … Continue reading Marc Petitjean – CdC deer hair caddis

CdC bead head nymphs with Marc Petitjean

Charles Bickle one of the pioneers of CdC flies, standing on the bank of the Orbe river in Switzerland in the town of Vallorbe in the 1920s. While visiting Marc at his home, although a little more overgrown, we managed to find the same spot on the river where the famous Bickle developed and fished the first CdC patterns. After a weekend with Marc Petitjean we managed to do a little fishing, although the conditions where not perfect and there was little activity in our local forest lakes, we did manage to make a few more tutorials. This first one, is … Continue reading CdC bead head nymphs with Marc Petitjean

Fly tying course # 15 Tying the parachute Leptophlebia

Hi, I am back again with # 15 in the fly tying course, this time its a small mayfly Dun. Where I live in Southern Norway the Claret Dun (Leptophlebia vespertina) and Sepia Dun ( Leptophlebia marginata) are amongst the first and the most common mayflies to hatch. Because of their tolerance of acidic water they are to be found on most forest lakes and ponds along with slow flowing rivers. These two mayflies are on the trouts menu from as early as April until the end of July and no Norwegian fly fisherman should be without a good imitation. … Continue reading Fly tying course # 15 Tying the parachute Leptophlebia

The Bulldozer: A monster popper for spring pike

Hook: Ad Sweir Pike # 8/0 Tying thread: Dyneema Tail: Marabou and crystal hair Skirt: Four large Whiting American hackles Topping: Peacock herl Legs: Barred rubber legs Collar: Lite Brite and Marabou Head: Three foam pencil poppers welded together Eyes: Mobile dolls eyes For a long time after I began fishing with poppers, I was constantly disappointed with how little water the pre-made cork and foam heads actually moved – when yanked, after all, optimal  popping, gurgling and splashing is what we are trying to achieve! I then experimented with cutting my own popper heads from foam blocks, but found … Continue reading The Bulldozer: A monster popper for spring pike

Fly tying course # 5 Dry Fly Adult caddis

X Caddis Dont forget! If you have any questions please dont hesitate to ask. Just post your question at the foot of this page. If you would like to receive a message when the next stage of the course is published, just add your e mail address at the top right of this page. Thanks, The feather bender. This next fly in the course is the X Caddis. This is a no hackle dry fly that floats extremely well because of the natural buoyancy of the deer hair and Antron tail. Hook: Mustad R50 94840 # 10-18 Thread: Dyneema Tail: … Continue reading Fly tying course # 5 Dry Fly Adult caddis

Fly Tying Course # 2 Thread and Whip finish

Tying thread: There are many threads available today that have many different properties. The tyer will want to use the one that is most suited to the task at hand, in respect to thickness, strength, stretchability, waxed or un-waxed and weather it has a flat or round profile on the hook, And of course colour. Size / thickness: Thick threads are described in lower numbers  3/0  and thinner threads in higher numbers 16/0.  And strong threads such as Kevlar and Dyneema are as strong as carbon fibre. Silk threads and flosses are still available, but most modern threads and flosses … Continue reading Fly Tying Course # 2 Thread and Whip finish

On line fly tying course for beginners

Calling on all my fly tying friends, the future of our craft needs your support ! As most of you who are reading this are already advanced fly tyers and friends, I hope you will help me, help others, who are new to our craft. As you are aware, it’s not easy starting to tie flies without some good fundamental tuition in choice of materials, hooks, tools and techniques. In order to help those of all ages that are new to fly tying,  I would like to start a free on line tutorial and Q & A column, that will … Continue reading On line fly tying course for beginners