A floating CDC mayfly nymph that will fish as an emerger with the tail and abdomen under the surface, the thorax being held high with the CDC bubble wing case. Change the colour and hook size to match your hatch.
One of my little deer hair patterns that is super easy to tie. All you need is a hot spot tag and a deer hair dubbing loop, for an effective pattern that floats high and dry all day long.
A great little minnow pattern made from Marabou, Mylar & Mallard flank. It has worked well for sea run browns but should also be just as effective for browns and bows.
Next week I will be tying at the London Fly Fishing fair at the business design centre in Islington. The London Fly Fishing Fair brings together the best of what the fly fishing world has to offer, all in the heart of London. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, or somewhere in between, this is the ideal place to get involved in the sport. Here you can buy equipment and find your next trip from destinations all over the world. Learn from the best with the top fly tyers & casting demonstrators and professionals in the industry everything fly fishing. Look forward to seeing you there!
Opening Times Friday 22nd March 2019 – 10:00 to 20:00 Saturday 23rd March 2019 – 10:00 to 16:00
The show season has started. On March 1st, 2nd & 3rd 2019 you will find me at the Glasgow Angling Centre open weekend, where i will be tying and demonstrating lots of techniques on the Veniard stand.
Call in and say hello and make use of all the great special offers the centre has especially for the weekend. Veniard will be supporting the fly tyers row along with samples of razzle dazzle chenille for the first 50 customers…
I hope to see you there…
Share a fishy valentine with the one you love…
An easy but effective little CDC bubble caddis pattern that can be quickly tied in various colours and sizes.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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) <http://www.mustad.no/productcatalog/na/product.php?id=2293>
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!
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
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.
15 Trim away the excess hackle and whip finish. A little drop of varnish on the head will crown the pattern ready for fishing.