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


British Fly Fair International 2019

At this years BFFI I will be demonstrating wing and body techniques.

This weekend Saturday 9th & Sunday 10th February
I will be tying on the Veniard stand at BFFI.
If you have an opportunity to visit the show please do. For fly tyers its the best show around, with over 80 individual exhibitors.
Just check out the website above with tons of materials for sale and the famous fly tyer row with over 50 world class fly tyers from all over Europe and North America, who will be tying all day, each day.
If any of you intend to go call in and say hello and I’ll be happy to tie a fly for you.
I hope to see you there!

BFFI 2019 will be held at:
Staffordshire County Showground ST18 0BD
9th and 10th February
9.30am – 4.30pm
The UK’s Premier Fly Fishing Show
Admission on the door
£12 – 1 Day or £20 – 2 Days
All accompanied under 16s free entry.


The burnt wing sedge

A quick little semi realistic caddis pattern with burnt feather wings, for those of you that like that little extra. One of my subscribers very kindly sent me a set of Renzetti wing burners, something that I haven’t used for years, but I have found going back to these lovely little tools a load of fun. This is the first of a few I intend to tie over the next few months. If you haven’t used wing burners I can really recommend it. I have sent Renzetti a couple of e mails asking about availability but with no reply.

Wally wing mayfly spinner

This Wally wing mayfly is a semi-realistic spinner, that is fun to tie for those of you that enjoy this type of pattern. Not only a good looking fly but also a great fishing fly! Don’t be fooled by the delicate looking wings, they are surprisingly robust.



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

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

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

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

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

Hook: Mustad R30 # 10-16

Thread: Dyneema

Under body: Natural deer hair

Tail: Natural deer hair

Head: Natural deer hair

Over body: Superfine dubbing

Hackle: Brown or badger cock


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


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


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


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


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


Choose your desired superfine dubbing body colour.


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


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


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


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

Hunting for fly tying materials with Markus Hoffman

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

Tying up Madam XXL

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

Flashy Bugger!

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

Christmas tree streamer

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

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

Hook: Mustad S71 # 6

Tying thread: Dyneema

Under body: Mylar tube core

Tail, body & wing: Mylar tube & UV resin

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

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

Hot spot pheasant tail nymph

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

Sawyer’s Killer Bug

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


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

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


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

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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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


The proof of the pudding!

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