Clouser deep Minnow (Variant)

Clouser Deep Minnow (variant) Bob Clouser is a well known fly tyer from Middletown USA. He designed the Clouser minnow with the goal of making a pattern that would represent a fleeing bait fish, with a jig motion. The key to achieving this is locating the eyes in the right position on the hook shank. When you retrieve the fly it rises and when you pause if falls or dives. It never stops moving. I am calling this a Variant because I dont believe it to be 100% the original Clouser deep minnow, but I may be wrong!  Anyway its a … Continue reading Clouser deep Minnow (Variant)

Deer hair daddy

Many daddy patterns are somewhat delicate and easily damaged, be it by fish, or even prolonged casting, and general ware and tare.  Here’s a pattern that show you how to make your daddy’s not only more resillient, but also with added float ability.   Tipulidae or Daddy long legs as they are more commonly known, are a familiar sight both on and off the water more or less the whole summer.  There are in fact several hundred species of daddy’s from just a couple of mm  to over 40mm long.  Although most species of daddy are terrestrial there are a … Continue reading Deer hair daddy

Techniques for tying with deer hair part 2 Spinning and burning.

Anglo – Swedish caddis: This is a hybrid pattern that combines two great patterns, the wing and head of the Swedish streaking caddis and the body of the British Goddards caddis. There are a few techniques here that are useful when tying with deer hair.  Cut a thin strip of deer hair from a winter coat, rather like a deer hair zonker strip and attach a Magic tool clip about half way down the hair. With a pair long straight scissors trim off the hide from the deer hair strip. You will see that there is a little under fur … Continue reading Techniques for tying with deer hair part 2 Spinning and burning.

Foils rush in where angels fear to tread

Keeping on the salt water theme for sea trout, heres another sand eel pattern that mixes the new with the old. When designing bait fish patterns, a few things I consider are the shape and silhouette of the fish to be imitated. This is important as you never know if the fish will see it, when fished, in a reflected or backlight situation. The size and colour, and last but not least movement. All these can be achieved with a careful selection of materials. I sometimes also like to give the patterns a three dimensional effect. I achieve this through … Continue reading Foils rush in where angels fear to tread

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.

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 The model Nymph

How to tie The foil Gammarus pattern

After many requests regarding my Gammarus pattern and where to obtain the foils heres a up dated re post with a little more info. This photo was taken last week, while on a fishing trip to Shetland. Some of the small Lochs had huge amounts of gammarus and the fish refused everything else! Every fish we took in such Lochs where full to the gills with these small fresh water shrimp. Having a good imitative pattern proved to be seriously effective! The fish that where feeding on Gammarus where in exceptional condition! Some of you may have seen, that a … Continue reading How to tie The foil Gammarus pattern

UV Caddis Pupa

UVF is the fluorescent wavelength in bright colours we know from paints and dyes. This can be an advantage in different light and water conditions and colours. UVR or Ultra Violet Reflectance is a UV light that cannot be seen with the naked eye for humans. However it can be seen and is apparently used by most insects and animals. There eyes are constructed with different rods and cones that are tuned to UV wavelengths. Although I have never used UV materials in my tying before with the exception of fluorescent flosses, threads and bead heads I am looking forward … Continue reading UV Caddis Pupa

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

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 Tying the parachute Leptophlebia

The H & L Variant dry fly

Heres an American Classic to tie and try over the holidays. The H & L or House and Lot as it is also known was said to be President Dwight Eisenhower’s favorite trout pattern, especially for fishing Eastern streams. Like most of the fat boy attractors this pattern should be over dressed, a little longer, larger and fatter than normal. This pattern should float high and dry, creating and irresistible footprint when drifted  over the feeding window of any trout.  Otherwise I dont know much about the history of this pattern, if  one of you do, please post a little … Continue reading The H & L Variant dry fly

Melt Glue Caddis Pupa

Keeping on the theme of melt glue I thought I would show you this pattern that has a little different technique than the Mutant. Here I combine the  material into the melt glue. It does take a little practice and time to master these melt glue techniques but the results are worth it! For more general info on caddis pupa take a look at the Bee Cee caddis in the archive. Melt Glue Caddis Pupa: Hook: Mustad C49SNP-BR # 12-8 Thread: Dyneema Body: Melt Glue Gills/rib: Olive Ostrich herl Thorax/Head: Black and brown Antron dubbing and CdC Continue reading Melt Glue Caddis Pupa

Crayfish Master class.

Although I don’t fish with super realistic patterns, I do enjoy tying them every now and then. If you are starting from scratch, as I did with this crayfish, it takes a little time to actually work out the fundamentals, scale, hook size, proportions, materials and techniques. I always start with a morphology  image from the visual dictionary, this gives you the basic shape, scale, body segment and leg count. Once this is established I select the materials and then try and plan the correct order to put them together. This can be rather like building a piece of IKEA … Continue reading Crayfish Master class.

The Virtual Minnow: A zonker with a twist…

The original zonker pattern was tied by the American fly tyer Dan Byford in the 1970s and was quickly recognised the world over, as a big fish fly and extremely easy to tie, yet realistic imitation for most smaller bait fish. The original pattern used a lead or tin sheet that was folded and glued over the hook shank and then cut to shape to make the underbody.   This melt glue body technique gives the zonker a new life. If viewed by a fish in reflected light the shine and flashing of the maylar mixed with the animation of … Continue reading The Virtual Minnow: A zonker with a twist…

muddler minnow streamer

Muddler Minnow – most famous of all streamers

  Muddler Minnow  Materials for Muddler Minnow Hook: Mustad R73NP-BR # 10-4Thread: Dyneema (waxed)Tail: Mottled turkeyBody: Flat gold tinselRib: Copper wireUnderwing: Grey squirrel tailWing: Mottled turkeyCollar/Head: Spun and clipped natural deer hair Original Muddler minnow pattern notes: The hook used … Continue reading Muddler Minnow – most famous of all streamers

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

Bullet head technique Madam X

This is another deer hair technique that very useful for many dry, terrestrial, and streamer patterns. Although not an easy technique to get right without detailed instruction, once mastered, never forgotten! Hook: Mustad R30 94833 # 4-10 Tying thread: Dyneema Tail: Bleached elk hair Body: Floss silk Wing/head: Bleached elk hair Legs: Rubber legs This pattern was designed by US tyer Doug Swisher for attractor fishing in the Rocky mountains. The advantage of rubber legs in an attractor pattern is that the create maximum movement in the surface, ideal for searching out fish with both free drift and stripped across … Continue reading Bullet head technique Madam X

How to prepare Dry fly hackle

This is just to show you the correct way to prepare and mount a traditional dry fly hackle. Firstly a little about hackles.  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. Fly tying course # 6 Dry fly hackle prepare and traditional dry fly Generally speaking the more money you spend on … Continue reading How to prepare Dry fly hackle

Step by step tutorial for the Ammonite nymph

My apologies to everyone doing the fly tying course, but the last few days have been busy making step by steps for magazines, but now I’m all done and ready to post a patterns for the the tyer that is a little more advanced, but of course you can always give this one a go even if you are a beginner.  The original Ammonite nymph, if I am not mistaken, comes from the vice of UK tyer and photographer Steve Thonrton. Getting this great looking nymph right is all about proportions! So if you are going to give this a … Continue reading Step by step tutorial for the Ammonite nymph

FisHeadz Mackerel

Back to the tying bench again, this time with a salt water pattern. I must say, Its nice to see that salt water materials being made in smaller sizes, not just for the monster warm water fish across the pond. These FisHeadz from Deer creek in the UK , are perfect in the two smallest sizes for salt water fishing in Europe, for both bass in the south and sea trout here in the North. I still haven’t had much time to play with these, I’v only tied half a dozen flies with them, but they are that easy to … Continue reading FisHeadz Mackerel

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 Dry Fly Adult caddis

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 Thread and Whip finish

Making a fur hackle and dubbing tutorial

Once again this is a request I have had from several fellow bloggers for the fur hackle spinning technique. Although similar too the spinning deer hair article, there are a few pointers you should be aware of when mastering this technique. Just about all natural and synthetic furs, feathers and hairs can be used as one form of dubbing or another. Before you start its worth considering what type of hair or material is suitable for the type of fly you are tying. There are several factors regarding the choice of natural materials. 1. Dry fly, nymph, wet flies. 2. … Continue reading Making a fur hackle and dubbing tutorial

Just foiling around!

The Awesome opossum Yesterday I received in the post a few samples of Shrimp foils from the fly people in Germany.  One sheet with coated foils and a second with uncoated.  The coated foils really look the business but unfortunately after three attempts to tie them on and failing miserably in all three, I went over to the uncoated and and had no problems at all.  Although the coated ones seemed flexible enough and relatively easy to position, every time I attached the thread and applied the slightest pressure they snapped! Its not as if I was being heavy handed … Continue reading Just foiling around!

Making a deer hair dubbing loop.

Recently I have had many questions regarding spinning deer hair and the best method of attaining a even open fibered body for deer hair flies. I use this technique on patterns such as G&H Sedge. The other technique is for making cork like bodies from deer hair. Once mastered these techniques can be applied to many patterns. 8 You can now begin to wind the dubbing onto the hook shank just like a conventional feather hackle, combing the fibers back with each turn. Continue reading Making a deer hair dubbing loop.