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

Step by Step

Deer Hair Immerger.

The deer hair Immerger.

Presentation is alfa and omega when fishing emergers.

This incredibly simple pattern, truly, it only takes a few minutes to tie! makes emergers into immergers. This technique places your pattern right below the surface film (immersed) as if the insect is actually climbing out of the shuck onto the surface.

Taking my Fender emerger one step further by extending the deer hair parachute post which places the entire hook, and tippet point entirely under the surface…

All you need:

Hook: Mustad C49S  http://www.mustad.no/productcatalog/product.php?id=177

Tying Thread: Dyneema

Body: Moose hair coated with Bug Bond  for Bug Bond see links: http://www.bug-bond.moonfruit.com/   http://www.veniard.com/section188/

Post: Deer hair wrapped in moose hair coated with Bug Bond

Parachute hackle: Deer hair

1.
Tie your bicolored moose hair body. You can see the full step by step for this in my earlier post ‘Fender parachute’.

2.
Cut and stack a small bunch of deer hair central in the thorax.

3.
Turn your hook so the deer hair post is at 90 degrees and make some wraps of tying thread to reinforce the post base.

4.
Tie in two moose mane hairs, one black one white, along the length of the post finishing under the parachute hair.

5.
Once you have wrapped the moose hair emerger post, tie off the moose hair, remove the excess and return your hook to the regular position.

6.
Coat the post with Bug Bond and tie in two long peacock herl’s, by the points at the rear of the thorax.

7.
Wrap the peacock herl over the whole thorax and tie off. Remove the excess.

8.
Using your index finger press the deer hair post down to form the parachute hackle.

9.
Carefully place a small drop of Bug Bond in the center of the deer hair hackle. Make sure it penetrates the deer hair.

10.
Give the Bug Bond a zap with the UV light to cure.

11.
You may wish to add one more drop to hold the deer hair hackle in place.

12.
The finished deer hair immerger, in the correct posture.

13.
Front view.

14.
View from underneath.

Only deer hair and Bug Bond…


European Roe Deer Hair, tools and top tying tips

Here it is, working with deer hair, all three parts in one post, updated with new techniques  and images.

Deer hair is normally described as hollow, This doesn´t mean that it´s hollow

like a drinking straw, but that each hair is built up of hundreds of small air filled

cells.

Image

This type of hair structure is most defined in deer from areas with an

extreme winter climate. The result, the colder it is, the better the spinning

qualities, with some exceptions. The hair from our own reindeer and the north

american caribou. In order to achieve optimal insulation, these hairs hold so

many air cells that they have a tendency to be brittle, and break under the

pressure  of tying thread.

A cross section of European Roe deer hair which I photographed with the help of a microscope at X40. You can see that the hair isn't hollow as most people believe, but filled with many small air filled cells.

A cross section of European Roe deer hair which I photographed with the help of a microscope at X40. You can see that the hair isn’t hollow as most people believe, but filled with many small air filled cells.

_E6D0047

The winter coat of the Norwegian roe deer has many air filled cells and is ideal for spinning, packing and clipping. 

_E6D0053

While the hair from the summer coat is somewhat stiffer and extremely fine. A first class hair for tails and winging dry

flies. 

The colour varies from light red brown on the summer coat to dark grey

with darker barred tips on the winter coat. 

_E6D0059

The best hair for spinning is found

on the back of the roe along the spine. This hair is extremely dense, not at all

brittle, and floats like a cork. The chalk white hair on the rump is excellent for

dying, or for patterns that require white deer hair.

You should also be aware that the roe mask has a diversity of hair that is

difficult to equal. Here you will find hair in many different lengths, shades of

brown and coarseness. Ideal for dry´s from # 10 and down to the very smallest

comparaduns. Anyone who ties caddis flies shouldn’t be without a roe mask.

If you know a hunter or a game keeper, try and secure yourself a whole roe

skin, you wont be disappointed.

My top tools for deer hair:

_E6D0123

Hair stackers:

These are a must if you want neat, tidy and well balanced flies. I use three,  a small one for tails and wings, a medium one for heavier wings and spinning and a long one for streamers, tubes and salt water patterns.  The stacker you choose should be well engineered. Its extremly important that insert and inner tube are flush and that the stackers are heavy and robust.

4 Cut a large bunch of deer hair. The most common mistake in tying this popular pattern is to use too little deer hair. Remove all the under wool and short hairs with a dubbing comb.

Friction free Comb:
This is also a very important tool for removing the underwool and shorter hair from bunches of deer hair before stacking.  The comb I use is made from  deer antler wich is friction free, plastic or metal combs have a tendency to load with static , causing the deer hair to stick to it.

14 With an old toothbrush, remove all the soot from the head.

Toothbrush:
This is a great tool for so many things! Removing under wool from hair bunches, brushing out hair after spinning but before trimming, and removing soot after singeing. I wouldn’t tie deer hair flies without this.
IMG_3797

Scissors:

Throughout my many years tying flies, I quickly understood that one of the most important tools are the scissors you use. During this time I have accumulated several dozen pairs of scissors, in all forms, shapes and sizes, but if I am honest, I have only four scissors that are constantly in use. 

1. A pair of small extra fine pointed cuticle scissors for all the small detailed work and thread.

2. A General purpose serrated scissors for cutting tinsel, wire and heavier gauge materials.

3. A pair of long bladed straight scissors for larger jobs like preparing materials for dubbing loops.

4. A medium pair of sharp pointed serrated scissors for deer hair work.

Here are the best techniques for making deer do what you want it to do!

Anglo – Swedish caddis:

IMG_5219

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. 

IMG_5185

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.

IMG_5186

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 left in the trimmed end!

IMG_5210

Using a tooth brush, brush out the loose hairs and under fur from the clip.

IMG_5182

Place a terrestrial hook in the vice.

IMG_5184

Cover the hook shaft with a foundation of tying thread. I use only Dyneema gel spun thread for tying with deer hair, if you haven’t tried it I recommend you do!

IMG_5191

Make a dubbing loop at the rear of the hook, make sure that the two ends of the loop closest too the hook shank are touching each other! If they are not the loop will remain open and will not grip the deer hair.  Wind your tying thread forward out of the way toward the hook eye.

IMG_5193

Un treated deer hair is quite fatty, If you wax your thread it has a much better purchase on the hair and reduces the chances of it slipping in the loop.

IMG_5195

Place the loaded magic tool clip in the dubbing loop and trap the deer hair centrally in the loop.

IMG_5196

Start to spin your deer hair in the dubbing loop. You can see in this image that the loop is not fully spun as you can still see the core of tying thread.

IMG_5197

You must continue spinning the loop until the core is no longer visible and the hair is evenly spun.

IMG_5198

You can now start wrapping the deer hair dubbing brush as you would a traditional palmer hackle along the whole hook shank.

IMG_5200

Make sure that you brush the deer hair fibers back with each turn so as not to trap them with the next turn!

IMG_5203

Once you have wound the whole dubbing brush tie it off and give it a good brushing with a tooth brush in every direction. This will free any fibers the have become trapped and give a better result when trimmed.

IMG_5204

With a pair of serrated straight scissors trim the hair from the rear of the hook.

IMG_5205

Once fully trimmed you should have a Goddard caddis type body.

IMG_5206

For the wing you will need a generous bunch of deer hair. Remove ALL the under fur, if you dont, the hair will not spin fully.

IMG_5207

Once cleaned stack the hair in a hair stacker. Measure the wing on the hook.

IMG_5208

While holding the hair in place at the correct length on the body make two loose turns with tying thread around the bunch of deer hair and then tighten.

IMG_5209

Make a few tight turns of tying thread through the remaining deer hair towards the hook eye to secure it and whip finish.

IMG_5211

Remove your tying thread and once again give the flared deer har head a good brushing.

IMG_5212

Now, while resting your scissors on the hook eye trim the head all the way round.

IMG_5214

The under side of the head should be trimmed level with the body and cone shaped.

IMG_5216

Take a lighter and singe the trimmed deer hair head. Take care not to set the whole fly on fire!

IMG_5219

Once the head is singed give it another brush with the tooth brush to remove the soot. And there you have it , the Anglo Swedish caddis.

Here are a couple more quick techniques, for making cork like bodies from deer hair and a deer hair guard.

14This is another technique if you would like a very tight spun body. As you cover  the hook shank with spun deer hair using a finger and thumb at the rear of the hair and at the front push and twist your right hand to pack the hair tight together.

15Once the body is finished brush out all the fibers with an old tooth brush before you start trimming. This is very important!

16Trim your body roughly to the correct size.

17Now using a gas lighter, petrol lighters and candels give off too much soot. Carefully burn the surface of the hair body. Taking care not to set it on fire!

18The singeing of the hair will tighten the packing and coaterize the tips making it tight and even. Brush off the soot with a tooth brush.

19The result is a almost cork like body of perfect spun deer hair with a smooth even finish. That also floats like a cork!

This is another trick for whip finishing large deer hair flies. If you have problems getting in to the hook eye to whip finish, before starting tying cut the end off a rubber washing up glove and make a hole in the finger tip with a dubbing needle. Place the glove finger tip over the bobbin as shown.

Once you have finished your fly the bobbin and finger tip are as shown.

Now for a easy trouble free whip finish just slide the finger tip over the hook and deer hair. Remove the tip after you have whip finished and removed your tying thread.


E-Z Sand Eel

A great pattern for salt water sea trout and Sea Bass.

I am currently working with salt water patterns for Northern Europe so I will be publishing a good selection of modern patterns for sea trout and bass in the coming week.

Hook Mustad S70SNP-DT Big Game Light # 4-6 http://www.mustad.no/productcatalog/na/product.php?id=191

Thread Dyneema

Body E-Z body tube http://www.e-zbody.com/

Tail 15 strands of Flashabou 

Eyes Fleye Foils http://www.theflypeople.com/

Head Bug Bond http://www.veniard.com/section188/

The original pattern this is based on is form the vice of my late, old friend Jack Gartside. This is not only an extremely effective pattern but also requires the minimum materials and once you have mastered the technique is very quick to tie.

Like the most effective coast wobblers that represent Tobis this pattern is a darter, and has next to no movement in the materials, but like a fleeing sand eel it “darts” in a short fast “zig zag” movement.  Another “problem” for many fly fishermen is that the hook on this pattern is mounted at the head of the fly, leaving a good length of body for the sea trout, sea bass to bite at without being hooked.  This can be the case with smaller fish but larger fish tend to take this pattern contant.  Also a interesting little experiment that I have undertaken a few times is, if you are cleaning a fish that you see has been feeding on sand eels just have a look at which way the head of the sand eel is facing in the stomach of the fish, nearly always, has the sand eel been swallowed head first!  The attach point for pradatory fish is the eyes and these new Fleye foils from Bob Popovics make very realistic sand eel and bait fish patterns.

Sand eels shoal in very large numbers, but are seldom seen during the day in the shallows as they lie buried in the sand, away from predators.  They first appear during the evening, when they come out to feed through the night.  But despite there nocturnal habits sand eel patterns can be fished around the clock the whole year.

You can also try other colour combinations, but keep in mind the general rule of the lightest colour on the stomach and the darkest colour on the back.

Secure your salt water hook in the vice. I like to use a Mustad C70SNP Big game light for this patter beacause of its wide gape and short shank.

Take a length of medium E-Z Body tubing about 6-7-cm long. Measure the the tubing along the hook shank, so that you know where to insert the hook eye into the tube.

Make a opening in the tube where you are going to thread it onto the hook shank.

Thread the tube onto your hook as shown.

Slide the tube back and attach your tying thread behind the hook eye.

Thread a long loop of mono through the E-Z body tube towards the tail.

Thread the bunch of Flashabou through the mono loop and pull this through the tube and out at the hook eye.

Tie down the Flashabou just behind the hook eye.

Tie in the end of the tube and make a neat tight head.

Select your chosen Fleye Foil product. I have used small 25 mm. sand eel foils.

Remove the Fleye Foils from there card and stick them in place, one each side of the eel head and tie down using the small attachment on the foils.

Once you have whip finished and removed your tying thread, turn your fly in the vice so you can tie down the tail at the base of the E-Z body tube. Once secure give it a small drop of Bug Bond just to hold it in place. Remove tying thread and reset hook the correct way in the vice.

The sand eel should now look like this. You can trim the Flashabou tail down to your required size and shape.

You can now colour your sand eel if wished with water proof felt markers.

Carefully coat the foils and head of the eel with Bug Bond and cure with the UV light as you go.

If you want a more three dimentional effect make small colour ajustments with felt pens after every coat of Bug Bond. This builds up layers and gives more depth.

If you ‘open’ the tail of Flashabou and place a tiny drop of Bug Bond at the base and cure! the tail will remain flaired and open.

One of the great things about E-Z body tube is that it remains flexible.

Fleye Foils. Orders and info at: http://www.theflypeople.com/

Bug Bond. Orders and info at: http://www.veniard.com/section188/

E-Z Body Orders and info at: http://www.e-zbody.com/


Fly tying course # 21 The virtual Minnow

This is a great method of making perfect strong minnow bodies, that make a good baitfish attractor in both reflected and back light situations.

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 the pulsating fur strip, makes it a first class bait fish attractor pattern.  But when viewed by a fish in a back-lit situation ( in  silhouette ) this pattern really comes to life,  with the light penetrating through the transparent melt glue / maylar body and fur guard hairs.

Hook: Mustad S74S SS Salt water R74 freshwater # 6

Under body: Melt glue

Over Body: Mylar tubeing

Thread: Dyneema

Wing/tail: Fur zonker strip

Eyes: Prizma tape eyes.

The flexibility of the Zonker as a bait fish imitation pattern is only limited to your own imagination. There are a huge amount of rabbit fur strip materials on the market in just about every colour imaginable, not to mention fox, squirrel, mink etc. Along with the vast array of tubing materials available the combination possibilities are endless.

I was first shown this melt glue body technique in 1993 by the innovative Danish fly tyer Dennis Jensen who developed it for salt water sea trout fishing in Denmark. He used a home made mould constructed from plastic padding. He would insert the hook in the mould and then inject melt glue into it and wait a few seconds for it to dry before removing it. The result was a perfect and identical minnow body every time.  Dennis also made very clever subtle body colour changes to his flies by wrapping the hook shank first with tying thread in fluorescent orange, green or blue.  Orange when he was imitating sticklebacks, green for other small fish and eels and blue when fishing in deep water.

This technique shown here requires no mould. It does take a little practice to master and a few minutes longer, but still produces the same effect.

Another advantage with the zonker, unlike bucktail and feather wing streamers, is that it is an extremely robust pattern. If tied correctly the fly will normally outlive the hook, although the eyes and Mylar tubing are somewhat vulnerable to the small sharp teeth of trout. This can be improved by coating the eyes and Mylar body with varnish or head cement.

When fishing this pattern or any long tailed streamers in general for that matter. Many fly fishermen are of the thought, that when fishing a long tailed streamer the fish tend to “Nap” at the tail and won´t take the fly properly! This can be the case for smaller trout but generally speaking a large trout will take this pattern hard and fast. If you do experience napping at the tail when fishing, stop the retrieve dead and let the fly sink a little for two or three seconds, nine times out of ten the attacking fish will pick it up on the drop.

Plug inn your melt glue gun as it takes a few minutes to reach temperature.
Meanwhile secure your hook in the vice, making sure that the hook shaft is in a relatively horizontal position.
When your melt glue gun is warm, run a small amount of clear melt glue along the top of the hook shank as shown. You may find that when you try to remove the melt glue gun you get a long strand of glue that stretches from the hook to the gun. This can be avioded or resolved by wrapping the strand quickly around the hook shank behind the eye of the hook. This pattern as described sinks slowly but well when fished, but if you would require a faster sinking pattern you can attach one or two lead strips along the hook shank before you apply the melt glue body.

When the glue is dry ( use 10 second melt glue) carefully apply a little more to form the under body and belly of the minnow. If your glue is too runny you can shape the body with a wet finger and thumb. This also quickens the drying process.

Continue forming your body to the required shape and size.

If you are not satisfied with your minnow body shape, warm up the glue with a lighter (taking care not too burn it) and re model again with wet finger and thumb. When the glue has dried you can even shape it first with by trimming the glue body with scissors and then take off the sharp cut edges by warming it again with the lighter.

Attach your tying thread right behind the melt glue body at the base of the tail.

Cut a 5-6 cm length of the Mylar tubing and remove the string core. Mylar tubing comes in a variety of materials, sizes, diameters, weaves and colours. Not all Mylar tubing works for this particular pattern, so its advisable to experiment a little before hand. The originator Dennis Jensen used a clear mother of pearl Mylar wich gives a wonderful transparent effect to the body. This can also be achieved to a degree by eliminating the Mylar tube all together and just using the raw melt glue as the finished body (see illustration 17). Now thread the sleeve over the melt glue minnow body.

Tie this in, fraying 1cm if wished, to give a little more flash at the tail base.

Select a strip of zonker fur (I have used red fox for this pattern) and prepare the tail end by cutting it to a even point. Taking care not to cut or damage the fur.

Part the fur with the help of a dubbing needle and moist fingers at the desired position and then tie it in over the foundation wrappings used to secure the Mylar sleeve as shown. I use a simple materials clip to hold the fur strip in place. Finish off with 2 or 3 half hitches and remove the tying thread. Apply a drop of cement to the tail whippings, taking care not to get any on the fur strip.

Place the zonker strip back over the tail of the fly, and secure in a material clip if needed, this will keep the fibres out of your way and make the next step easier. To attach your tying thread, make a couple of loose turns around the maylar sleeve so as to catch it just in the right position for the head. Now before you tighten these pull the access maylar through the tying thread so as to tighten the sleeve around the body, and then pull up on your bobbin holder so as to tighten the tying thread and secure the Mylar tube in place.

Once you have trimmed off the access maylar use your lighter again to burn off the rest. This is the advantage of using Nylon tying thread, it has a much higher burning point than plastic, so this should remain intact.
Pull the zonker strip over the body and while holding it tight separate the fur at the required position and tie in, but only with a couple of tight turns, tight in too the melt glue body.

Carefully trim off the zonker strip and burn the head once again with the lighter. If done correctly you will see the remaining head of tanned hide, shrink and disappear under the tying thread,( giving a small neat finished head) whip finish.

If you have used Dyneema thread you can now colour the head red with a waterproof flet pen.

Glue on your chosen colour and size of Prisma tape eye and then varnish both tail and head whippings.

The colour combinations for this pattern are endless…


Fly Tying Course # 20 The Stimulator Dry Fly

Stimulator-“Something that causes and encourages a given response” IMG_5163

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 as well as a hopper or caddis fly.

This well dressed pattern is for fishing rough fast flowing water,  where it can be seen easily at distance and it  floats like a cork. Stimulators are versatile, and although look difficult, are relatively easy to tie, again, it’s all about proportions!  By varying the size and colour, you can imitate most adult stoneflies. The Stimulator can also be tied with rubber legs, like Madam X. This is a great attractor pattern that will bring fish up to the top, when most other patterns fail! When fishing use the  same presentation as a caddis fly, streaking the stimulator over the water’s surface, especially in windy areas. Stimulators float well in rough water, but on calmer drifts, I find it fishes  better if you trim the hackle on the underside so that it  floats a little lower in the water, and strip it hard with short pauses through the surface over possible fish lies.

Hook:   Mustad curved nymph # 6 -12

Thread:  Dyneema

Tail:   Elk hair

Body:  Golden yellow Antron floss Body Hackle: Golden Badger or Furnace

Wing:   Elk hair and crystal hair fibers Dubbing

Thorax: Golden Stone

Hackle: Grizzle

IMG_5126 1

Secure your curved nymph/ terrestrial hook in the vice.

IMG_5130 2

Run the tying thread along the hook shank until it hangs level with the barb of the hook.

IMG_51313

Cut and clean a small small bunch of elk hair in for the tail, this doesn’t flare as much as winter deer hair. Tie in directly above the hook barb.

IMG_5132 4

Tie the elk hair down along the hook shank as shown.  This will give you a good foundation and volume for your floss body.

IMG_5133 5

Tie in the hackle at the base of the tail. The best is to use a good saddle hackle so you have the volume required.

IMG_5136 6

About one third of the way along the hook shank tie in a length of golden yellow Antron floss.

IMG_5138 7

Run the floss back towards the tail base and forward again building up a tapered body as you go. Tie off the floss.

IMG_5140 8

Wind the hackle, palmered style, about 7 or eight even turns.  When you reach the thorax tie off and remove the excess hackle.

IMG_5142 9

Cut another bunch of elk hair, this time a little larger for the wing. Before you stack it be sure to remove ALL the under fur and shorter hairs. You may have to stack it a few times to achieve this.

IMG_5143 10

If you stack the elk hair for the wing in a small diameter stacker the hair will ‘fall’ into its natural curve.

IMG_5145 11

Before you tie in the elk hair wing, tie in two or three strands of golden yellow crystal hair.

IMG_5147 12

Now tie in the elk hair, first with a couple of loose turns of tying thread and then tighter as you wind forward towards the hook eye. Trim off the excess deer hair and cover the butt ends with tying thread.

IMG_5149 13

Prepare and tie in a grizzle cock hackle at the base of the wing. This hackle should be long enough for six or seven turns.

IMG_5150 14

Dub the thorax with golden stone dubbing in a cone shape as shown. Make sure that you make a few turns of dubbing around the base of the wing, this will lower it and give the correct profile.

IMG_5156_2 15

Wind on your grizzle hackle in nice even turns. Tie off and whip finish.  Your completed golden stimulator!


Fly Tying Course # 19 The G & H Sedge

The G & H Sedge or Goddard Caddis

IMG_0162

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.

IMG_9592

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 cock hackles

Antennae: The two stripped butts of the hackles.

IMG_9537

1.

Secure your hook in the vice, ensure that the hook shank is horizontal.

IMG_9538

2.

Attach your tying thread and run the whole way down to the end of the shank.

IMG_9540

3.

Make a short dubbing loop for spinning the seals fur under belly of the fly.

IMG_9544

4.

Apply a little dubbing wax to the tying thread and spin just a little dark green seals fur tight in the dubbing loop. You only need a dubbing brush a little longer than the hook shank.

IMG_9545

5.

The G&H sedge requires good dense winter hair from the roe deer.

IMG_9547

6.

once you have cut a small bunch of deer hair carefully remove the underfur with a dubbing comb or old tooth brush. This is very important! If you dont remove the under fur you will restrict the spinning and flaring ability of the hair.

IMG_9548

7.

Now using a hair stacker even the butts of the hair bunch NOT the points. Once even place the hair stacker on top of the hook shank and tie in the deer hair. Keeping the seals fur dubbing brush out of the way.

IMG_9551

8.

Once the first bunch is tied in, repeat with a little smaller bunch. But note, if you would like to tie the original G&H you dont pack the stacked hair, just keep it tight but open.

IMG_9554

9.

Tie in another even smaller and shorter bunch of deer hair.

IMG_9555

10.

And now the last and smallest bunch. Make sure that you leave enough space for the hackle and head between the hook eye and deer hair.

IMG_9556

11.

Make a whip finish before you start trimming. If you find it easier you can remove the tying thread here for the trimming and re attach it later.

IMG_9559

12.

I find the easiest way to trim the G&H is by using long straight scissors that i rest on the hook eye at the correct angle and trim around the whole body. Take care not to cut the dubbing brush!

IMG_9561

13.

Once the body is the correct shape turn your fly up side down in the vice and draw the dubbing brush over the underside of the body.

IMG_9563

14.

Tie down the dubbing brush and remove the excess. Whip finish. Turn your fly the correct way in the vice again.

IMG_9564

15.

Using long flat scissors make one cut at the rear of the fly at a slight angle.

IMG_9565

16.

Prepare two rusty dun cock hackles by stripping the stems and tie in as shown. Make sure that the stems are long enough for the antennas.

IMG_9567

17.

Bring both the hackle stems forward and tie down over the hook eye. Before you begin winding on the hackles make a few wraps of tying thread over the hook shank and hackle stems to make a good even foundation. This will ensure the hackle stands correct when wound.

IMG_9569

18.

Wind on you hackles one at a time. First the rear  hackle should be wound a couple of turns backwards into the deer hair body and then forward to the hook eye and tied off. The second hackle is the wound in between the first but just forward. Whip finish.

IMG_9573

19.

Carefully trim off all the hackle points on top of the hook at the same angle as the deer hair body. The finished G&H sedge.

IMG_9578

20.

This is a more modern version of the G&H with a tight packed deer hair body and full traditional dry fly hackle.


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. 

  IMG_2813

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 up where it takes them.

If they are unlucky and land on water, in any numbers! the fish go into a feeding frenzy. In extreme situations I have experienced that the trout will take just about any fly that is presented for them. But other times they can be so selective that they will only take the perfect pattern with the right silhouette, colour and behavior. Therefor its important to to have a good imitation too hand, and a more realistic ant imitation than this is difficult to find. Without of course going way over the realistic boundaries and tying a ultra realistic pattern.  This is after all a fishing fly! Here I have made the two most characteristic body parts with melt glue, that shine just like the natural in the summer sun. You can also colour one half black and the other red, I have found that this works under most swarming situations for both black and red ants.

 

If you omit the wings and dont dress the fly, it has a in built drowning affect.  Right after an ant has crash landed on the water and it begins to struggle the rear body part (abdomen)  begins to sink, while it’s legs and wings hold it afloat a short while.  If you are going to fish this pattern ‘dry’ I recommend that you that you impregnate it well with a  floatant.

 

IMG_2618Melt glue  can be obtained, not only in black and red but a whole load of colours.

 

Hook: Mustad R50X NP-BR # 12-18 http://www.mustad.no/catalog/emea/product.php?id=2285

Tying Thread: Dyneema

Body: Black melt glue

Wing : White or blue dun CdC

Hackle: Black cock

 IMG_2619

1.

Take a black melt glue stick and using a craft knife blade cut a small disc from the end of the stick.

 IMG_2622

2.

Once you have tied a few Mutantz the size of the disc needed will become more apparent to the hook size used.

 IMG_2627

3.

Cut the disc in half and then cut 1/3rd from the remaining 2/3rds. These two parts will make the larger rear half of the body and the smaller head.

 IMG_2633

4.

Secure you dry fly hook in the vice. Make sure that the hook shaft is horizontal.

Make sure that you have the glue for the rear part of the body close at hand. Warm the hook shank with a lighter. This doesn’t take much time just a second or so. This quick warm up of the hook will not effect its tempering! 

 IMG_2634

5.

While the hook is warm, stick the glue piece to the hook in the correct position for the rear of the ant body.

IMG_2636 

6.

When the bit of black glue is stuck to the hook prepare your vice for rotation and keep one hand on the rotation handle of your vice. You can now proceed to warm and melt it slowly with the lighter. Dont use a direct flame on the glue this will overheat it and cause it to run and not flow, just hold the flame close to the glue. Once the glue is warm and begins to melt it will naturally flow around the hook shaft. 

IMG_2640 

7.

While the glue is viscous you will have to rotate your hook to get the melt glue body distributed correctly around the hook shank and achieve the perfect body shape. Make sure that the rear body segment doesn’t hang too low and too far forward that it closes the hook gape and impairs hooking. Depending on what type of glue you are using the hardening time is only a few seconds. Once you have become more apt in using melt glue you can shorten the hardening time by blowing on the glue while rotating.

 IMG_2644

8.

The rear of the body is now finished.

IMG_2645 

9.

Once the rear part of the body has set you can repeat the process. But take car not to warm the front of the hook shank too much! this will also heat the rear again.

IMG_2646 

10.

Attach the smaller piece of melt glue just behind the hook eye.

 IMG_2648

11.

Once the glue is attached carefully warm the glue with the lighter and repeat the process for the head.

 IMG_2649

12.

The finished ant body parts.

 IMG_2650

13.

This is an easy technique I developed to form quick and perfect CdC wings every time. Take a small diameter tube fly tube and cut about one cm of tube.

 IMG_2651

14.

Select a CdC hackle with long fibers and stroke the fibers 90 degrees from the shaft of the hackle.

 IMG_2652

15.

Now stroke the rear fibers back and hold in position. 

IMG_2653

16.

Trim off the point of the CdC hackle as shown.

 IMG_2654

17.

Place the short tube section over the shaft of the CdC hackle.

 IMG_2655

18.

Slide the tube back along the hackle stem to form the wing.

 IMG_2656

19.

Attach your tying thread to the hook shank and wind back towards the rear body part.

IMG_2657 

20.

Now with the tube still over the hackle offer the wing up to the hook shank and tying thread.

 IMG_2658

21.

Tie in your CdC wing with a few turns of tying thread.

IMG_2659 

22.

Once secure trim off the excess CdC and the point of the hackle.

IMG_2660 

23.

Repeat the process for the second wing. One of the advantages with this type of wing is that the open fibers of the CdC hackle will allow air to pass through it when casting, unlike hackle point wings that have a tendency to work as propellers when casting and twist the tippet.

 IMG_2662

24.

Now select a cock hackle and draw put the end fibers.

 IMG_2663

25.

Trim off the fibers, leaving only a small amount. This will give the tying thread more purchase.

IMG_2664 

26.

Tie in the the hackle at the wing base.

 IMG_2665

27.

Wind the hackle quite dense forward to the ant head and tie off.

 IMG_2666

28.

Whip finish and remove the excess hackle and tying thread.

IMG_2668 

29.

The Mutant from above.

 IMG_2669

30.

The Mutant from below. 

 

 

 


Fly Tying Course # 17 Chernobyl Ant

 IMG_5032

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.

F1000003

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 Chernobyl Ant… When I was shown the pattern, I immediately thought… Oh a typical American larger than life, synthetic affair.

But while fishing for Brookies in the north, I must admit that it wasn’t the only pattern that worked, but it was without doubt, the one that worked best.

This is not at all a complicated pattern to tie, but it must be tied in the correct order and manner. This is not only a great surface attractor for Brook trout but must species that surface feed. So try it on rainbows and salt water sea trout as a night lure.

Chernobyl Ant

Hook: Mustad R79NP-BR  9 X long # 6-8 http://www.mustad.no/catalog/emea/product.php?id=2290

Thread: Dyneema or other gel spun thread

Under body: Yellow CCFS  http://www.veniard.com/product1537/section141/closed-cell-foam-sheet

Over body: Black CCFS  http://www.veniard.com/product1537/section141/closed-cell-foam-sheet

Legs: Barred rubber legs Medium http://www.veniard.com/product2574/section172/

Hi-Vis indicator: Yellow razor foam

IMG_4982

1

Cut two strips of CCFS about 6 mm wide and 7 cm long.

IMG_4987

2

Before you secure your streamer hook in the vice thread the lower yellow foam onto the hook as shown.

IMG_4988

3

Swing the foam around to one side and attach your tying thread, running it all the way so it hangs just over the barb of the hook.

IMG_4989

4

Swing the foam around so that it lies under the hook shank. Squeeze the foam around the hook shank and make 5 or 6 turns with tying thread to make the first body segment. Be careful not to pull too tight or you will cut the foam!

IMG_4990

5

Place the black foam strip on top of the yellow and tie in on the same position again with 5 or 6 turns.

IMG_4991

6

Take a long length of rubber legs and fold it in half.  Tie this in on top of the black foam, this time you can increase the pressure of the tying thread.

IMG_4993

7

Using scissors cut the front loop of the legs in the centre.

IMG_4995

8

Now grip the two legs on the side nearest to you and carefully pull down until they ‘snap’ into position between the groove between the black and yellow foam. Repeat with the legs on the back side.

IMG_4999

9

While holding both the black and yellow foam back, as shown, wind your tying thread about 5 mm along the hook shank.

IMG_5001

10

Now lift up the yellow foam and make 5 or 6 turns of tying thread to complete the first body segment.

IMG_5002

11

Repeat stages 9 and ten for the next body segment.

IMG_5006

12

Continue until you have made 5 or 6 evenly sized body segments finishing 5 mm behind the hook eye.

IMG_5007

13

Now pull down the black over body foam and secure with tying thread in the same position as the last body segment.

IMG_5008

14

Tie inn another set of legs following the same procedure as before.

IMG_5011

15

If you would like to make your Chernobyl ant easier too see at a distance or in low light, you can tie inn a small section of bright foam as shown, as a Hi-Vis indicator. Holding both ends of the Hi-Vis indicator trim it down to size, and whip finish.

IMG_5012

16

Trim the tail and head of your ant as shown here.

IMG_5013

17

Your finished Chernobyl Ant is ready to dance.


Fly tying course # 16 The model Nymph

Pheasant tail Nymph variant

# 16 in the fly tying course  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, hooks or anything fly tying related please dont hesitate to contact me, and i’ll do my best to help.

Cheers

The feather bender

IMG_0501

The original pheasant tail nymph came from the vice of legendary English fly tyer and fishermen Frank Sawyer around 1930. He designed the pheasant tail nymph to imitate may fly nymphs (Baetis) on the southern English river Avon, where he was river keeper. Sawyer’s original pattern used only pheasant tail fibers and fine copper wire instead of normal tying thread, to give the pattern extra weight. Although this is an excellent imitation of the swift swimming Baetis nymphs in little larger sizes it also works as an all round nymph for blind fishing.

With only only three materials, and tying thread needed for this pattern it still helps to choose the right materials. At first glance, one pheasant tail feather, looks like any other pheasant tail feather, or does it? Take a look at the pheasant tail feathers I chose at random from my materials, and you will see they are very different! Not only does the background colour and shading on each tail differ immensely but the black chevrons vary from light to dark and thin to thick. But probably the most important factor is fiber length. Normally the best marked feathers with the longest fiber length are found center top of the tail.

IMG_0400

So remember when buying pheasant tails dont just take the first one you see in the shop, look through them all and find the best for the flies you intend to tie. Examine the feather, is the tip all dirty and worn ? if so its probably come from a domestically bred bird. The best tail feathers are generally from wild birds. Check if the feather is clean and has a nice glossy sheen to it and all the fibers are in place. You should also avoid tail feathers with insect damage. This can easily be seen as a thin transparent line that runs 90 degrees from the feather shaft through the fibers, where the insect has eaten the feathers barbules.

Hook: Mustad S82NP # 18-10

Thread: Olive

Tail: Pheasant tail fibers

Abdomen: Pheasant tail fibers

Rib: Fine copper wire

Thorax: Peacock herl

Wing case: Pheasant tail fibers

Legs: Pheasant tail fibers

IMG_0407

1

Secure your hook in the vice so that the hook shank is horizontal.

IMG_0408

2

Attach your tying thread and run a foundation over the whole hook shank, until the thread hangs approximately vertically  with the hook barb.

IMG_0402

3

Firstly find a tail feather with nice long fibers. To get all the points of the pheasant tail fibers even for the tail, take a small bunch in between your finger and thumb and slowly pull them away from the shaft of the feather until all the points are level.

IMG_0409

4

Now still holding the bunch tight so the points remain level cut them away from the feather shaft with one swift cut.

IMG_0411

5

Tie in the tail fibers on top of the hook shank. Three turns of tying thread over the tail and two under. The tail should be approximately 2/3 of the hook shank length.

IMG_0413

6

Cut a 10 cm length of fine copper wire.

IMG_0415

7

Tie in the copper wire the whole length of the hook shank, finishing just before the tail base.

IMG_0416

8

Before you start to wind on the abdomen take your copper wire and swing it under and onto the back side of the hook, as shown. Before you commence wrapping the peasant tail fibers to form the abdomen make sure that ALL the fibers are parallel with each other! Not twisted.

IMG_0418

9

Once you have wrapped the fibers 2/3 the length of the hook shank Tie them off as shown with 4 or 5 tight turns of tying thread over the fibers and the two in front of the the fibers on the hook shank. This will lock the tying thread and stop it from slipping.

IMG_0419

10

Take the copper wire and firstly take one turn in the opposite direction you wound the fibers, around the tail base tight into the abdomen, and then 4 or 5 open turns to form the rib. Once you come to the remaining tuft of fibers at the thorax make several tight turns of wire along the remaining hook shank. Stopping about 3 mm from the hook eye.

IMG_0420

11

Trim off the tuft of fibers and cover the bare copper wire with a layer of tying thread.

IMG_0421

12

Now cut another bunch of tail fibers and tie them on a little way into the abdomen on top of the hook shank.

IMG_0422

13

Cut two peacock herls from just under the eye of the peacock tail feather. The herl found here is much stronger than lower on the tail feather.

IMG_0423

14

Trim off the excess fibers from the wing case. Tie in the peacock herls, point first and cover the ends with tying thread towards the hook eye.

IMG_0425

15

Take both peacock herls at the same time and wrap them over the whole thorax making sure they dont twist and cross each other. Tie off behind the hook eye and cut off the excess.

IMG_0427

16

Cut a small bunch of pheasant tail fibers and tie in as shown, just behind the hook eye on the side of the thorax.

IMG_0430

17

Trim off the excess fiber and repeat step 16 on the other side of the thorax.

IMG_0431

18

Now take the bunch of pheasant tail fibers you tied in for the wing case, and fold them over the thorax. Again taking care to make sure that all the fibers are parallel and dont cross over each other.

IMG_0433

19

Trim off the fibers over the hook eye, about the same length as the hook eye and whip finish. Remove the tying thread and coat the whippings with a small drop of varnish.

IMG_0435

20

The finished pheasant tail nymph as seen from above, note the symmetry in the tail, body wing case and legs.


Fly tying course # 15 Tying the parachute Leptophlebia

IMG_2759

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.  Because of their similar size, colour and habitat this one pattern covers both. If you are fishing these hatches with this pattern I can guarantee success!

Hook:     Mustad R50 94840 # 12-14

Tying thread:    Dyneema

Tail:     Fibbets

Body:    Moose mane hair

Abdomen:    Peacock herl

Parachute post:     Poly yarn

Hackle:    Back cock

IMG_27321

Secure your size 14 dry fly hook in the vice so that the hook shank is horizontal.

IMG_27332

Run your tying thread along the whole length of the hook shank until your thread hangs vertical to the hook barb.

IMG_27343

Although both Vespertina and Maginata have three tails I only use two long ones. This takes less time to tie, uses less tailing material and trout cant count! But if you feel the need to be more realistic use three. Tie these in on top of the hook shank, this is important! The body of the fly will then rest in the film and not on it.

IMG_27354

Spin your Dyneema thread clockwise so the fibers open and the thread becomes flat.

IMG_27366

Using the flat thread cover the whole body and build up a slight taper as shown. Choose a dark, almost black long moose mane hair. The best hair from the moose for this is from the back of the neck. Tie in the moose hair by the point at the tail base.

IMG_27377

Make the first wrap of moose hair under the two tails. This will support them and keep them high.

IMG_27388

Now, making tight even wraps of moose hair cover the whole rear body of the fly. Tie off. Although moose mane is surprisingly robust if you wish you can give the body a coat with varnish.

IMG_27409

Cut a short length of Polypropylene yarn for the parachute post and tie in as shown.

IMG_274410

Flip your hook in the vice, or if you have a fully rotational vice, give it a spin and wrap the base of the parachute post 2 or 3 mm up from the hook shank.

IMG_274511

Prepare a black hackle and tie in as shown up the post base ready for wrapping later.

IMG_274612

Select a small fibered peacock herl, these are best and the correct size just below the eye on the tail feather.

IMG_274813

Spin the hook in the vice again and tie in the peacock herl at the rear of the parachute post.

IMG_274914

Wrap the herl forward to the hook eye and secure.

IMG_275215

Colour your Dyneema with a waterproof felt marker and spin the bobbin anti clockwise to twist the fibers together and make the thread smaller. Make one whip finish.

IMG_275316

Spin your vice again. Wind your thread through the thorax and up the parachute post.

IMG_275417

Wind your tying thread to the base of the post and then make a few wraps of hackle, going down towards the thorax with each wrap.

IMG_275518

Now make two turns of tying thread one to the left of the excess hackle and then one to the right. This will hold the hackle securely while you trim off the excess.

IMG_275719

Trim off the excess hackle, taking care not to cut any of the wrapped fibers.

IMG_275820

Make a whip finish under the wrapped hackle and around the post. Just before your tighten the whip finish apply a drop of varnish to the tying thread, when you tighten the varnish will slide into place and secure the knot without you getting it everywhere.

IMG_275921

The finished parachute Leptophlebia that will float deep in the film.

IMG_276122

The fish eye view.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 6,242 other followers