Large dark olive trio

Large dark olive The large dark olive (Baetis rhodani) are probably the most widespread of all the European may flies, being Multivoltine, where water temperature allows, having two or more generation cycles per year, makes it even more important to the trout and fly fishermen alike! When designing fishing flies its not the very small details that count, although aesthetically pleasing to the fly tyer, and an important part of our craft! its a combination of several that will be the deciding factor for the fish. Size, colour, silhouette, footprint, behavior. One of the earliest hatches here in Norway that … Continue reading Large dark olive trio

How to tie Cottus Gobio sculpin

Hook: Mustad R 74 # 2 Thread: Dyneema Tail: Siberian squirrel tail hair Body : Squirrel tron dark hares ear dubbing Rib: Fine copper wire Wing: Pine squirrel zonker strip Collar: Natural red fox body hair spun in dubbing loop Gill covers: 2 Ring neck pheasant “church window” feathers coated with Bug Bond Head: Natural kangaroo body hair spun in dubbing loop and clipped to shape Eyes : Epoxy eyes The original zonker pattern was tied by the American fly tyer Dan Byford in the 1970s and was quickly recognized the world over, as a big fish fly and extremely … Continue reading How to tie Cottus Gobio sculpin

How to tie Pseudo Mayfly Spinner

Fishing, or even identifying a mayfly spinner fall can be one of the most challenging situations a fly fisherman can experience! Its all about breaking codes and learning to read the signs. With the larger mayflies its somewhat easier to recognize the spinner fall, danica and vulgata are so large that they can be seen at a greater distance floating in a crucifix posture and lifeless in the surface, sometimes with such a high mortality rate they cover the whole surface of the river. But smaller darker and sometimes almost transparent species can be difficult to see even at close … Continue reading How to tie Pseudo Mayfly Spinner

Helter Skelter Pike Fly jig.

Hook Mustad S74SZ # 2/0-4/0 Thread Dyneema Body E-Z Body XL filled with 3-5 beads Under wing White buck tail Wing Chartreuse and white Icelandic sheep Over wing Lime green Big fish fiber Sides Grizzle cock hackles coloured yellow Eyes Large mobile eyes and bug bond or epoxy I developed the Heltor skeltor to maximize all the attractor elements possible in one fly. The Icelandic sheep and big fly fiber are extremely mobile in water, but their effect is enhanced by the weight of the brass beads that roll back and forth in the body tube giving not only a … Continue reading Helter Skelter Pike Fly jig.

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

How to tie The foil Gammarus

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

Pedal power for Bug Bond is now available!

The ultimate UV tool is now available! If you use Bug Bond, the new professional curing light is now available! One of the main advantages with this new mains operated foot pedal adapter is that you have full power constantly for optimal curing.  You can order your Bug Bond mains adapter now from:  It will also be available from all Veniard stockist soon! So what’s new…  For those of you that have seen me tie at any of the shows this year, you may have seen me using, the Professional UV light. A new attachment for the Bug Bond light, that … Continue reading Pedal power for Bug Bond is now available!

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

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!

Virtual Nymph

My first attempt with some of the great Virtual Nymph products I received at the weekend and Bug Bond. Not 100% happy with the results, but when I have played a little more, I will be making the full step by step for this Stone fly nymph. Hook:  Mustad Slow death 33862NP-BR  http://www.mustad.no/productcatalog/na/product.php?id=2196 Thread:  Dyneema Tail:  Porcupine guard hairs Underbody:  Natural seal fur Dubbing Body:  Natural nymph skin Wing cases Virtual nymph stone clinger wing-buds and heads coated with Bug Bond Legs:  Turkey biots coated with Bug Bond Antenna:  Porcupine guard hairs Check out the products on: http://www.virtual-nymph.com/ and  http://www.bug-bond.moonfruit.com/ http://www.veniard.com/section188/ Continue reading Virtual Nymph

Confessions of a glue user…

Confessions of a glue user… For over two decades I have been a serious user of various types and brands of two component bonding agents and epoxy in my fly tying and rod building, all of which have their (highs and lows) advantages and disadvantages! Although epoxy is available at most corner shops and relatively simple to use, it does take some experience working out the correct amount to mix for the specific job at hand, so there is minimum waste but also mixing the correct amount of both components to advance or reduce curing time as required. Also when … Continue reading Confessions of a glue user…

Fly Tying with a gun

Tying with melt glue does require a little more practice and patience than most regular materials. But the results can be rewarding!  Melt glue is a material that one has to get used to using. Once its mastered, it can be put to use not only in developing new patterns but also as a substitute in existing ones. Melt glue guns come in various sizes from hobby to industrial, I find the hobby size not only the cheapest but also the easiest to employ. Another advantage with the hobby gun is the amount of different glue that is available. Although … Continue reading Fly Tying with a gun

How to tie Bug Bond Thunder Creek streamer

The original Thunder creek streamer series came from the vice of American, Keith Fulsher. In the early sixties, not satisfied with the regular head and eye size of streamers, he began experimenting and chose the reverse buck tail technique for his Thunder creek patterns.  This technique involves tying the buck tail, as the technique suggests, the opposite way and then folding it back over the hook shank and tying down to form the head. The simplicity of this pattern and the minimal materials needed to tie it, is fly design at its very best! He achieved his goal, a slim … Continue reading How to tie Bug Bond Thunder Creek streamer

The fly for Autumn Pike…

“Steaming is term given to a style of mugging where an unsuspecting victim is chosen, followed and attacked suddenly at great speed without warning”. The art of camouflage, surprise and speed are the pikes most powerful weapons for securing a meal. Of course some meals are obtained easier than others, but generally speaking the freshwater crocodile wont say no to a free meal.  Like the muggers victims the pikes are chosen for much the same reasons, easy pickings! weak and old, or both, unable to move fast or get away, once attacked and of course the bounty. The idea behind … Continue reading The fly for Autumn Pike…

How to tie Shrimp for all seasons

From late autumn until early spring the majority of bait fish around our coastline leave the shallows and head out for deeper water where they will be protected from the bitter cold of winter. Many of the species of shrimp that can be found on the other hand move into deeper tidal pools and onto shelves were the coastline is steeper. Therefor shrimps are on the coastal sea trout’s menu the whole year round, and are found in great numbers all over Northern Europe’s coastline.  These are particularly important to fly fishermen because they mature in the shallows where we … Continue reading How to tie Shrimp for all seasons

How to tie E-Z Sand Eel-step by step

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 Bondhttp://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” … Continue reading How to tie E-Z Sand Eel-step by step

Yabba Yabba Hey!

Although I don’t fish with 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 furniture … Continue reading Yabba Yabba Hey!