The Feather Bender’s Tying Techniques giveaway

If you are a subscriber to The Feather Bender, you may have noticed a new look to the site over the last few days. It’ been a long time coming, but its here now!  As a little celebration I will be drawing one lucky subscriber to win a signed copy of my latest book and a small box of flies tied by me. If you all ready subscribe, all you have to do is like this post and share it to one of the social media tags to the left. If you are not a subscriber, scroll down the column … Continue reading The Feather Bender’s Tying Techniques giveaway

How to tie 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 … Continue reading How to tie Sawyer’s Killer Bug

Shove,Shave,Singe and Sand Technique for deer hair bodies

    My Shove, Shave, Singe and Sand technique for the tightest deer hair bodies. Probably the most frequent question I am asked at shows and demos is how do I get my small deer hair bodies so tight. Well heres my secret in full step by step tuition. This is one of my very early patterns the deer hair pupa that was inspired by a meeting with the late Gary LaFontaine many years ago and his own deep sparkle pupa pattern. The first requirement for tight bodies is the correct deer hair. Although I acquire most of my own … Continue reading Shove,Shave,Singe and Sand Technique for deer hair bodies

The royal member of the Wulff pack

The Royal Wulff As the name says, the man behind the famous series of patterns was Lee Wulff and the most famous of all is the Wulff that is Royal! The fattest pattern of the Wulff family is just as good fished as a searching pattern as it is as a adult may fly. It just presses all the right buttons, It floats high, its visible even at a great distance in rough water and looks like a mouthful of whatever trout are eating. Although a great pattern, I hardly ever see people tying it! Why is that? It’s a … Continue reading The royal member of the Wulff pack

Grayling patterns my absolute favourites

Keeping on a grayling theme heres one of my absolute favourites, Not only to fish with but also to tie. All these patterns from bygone days are remarkably simple, but still require a degree of  technique to master them precisely. One of the peculiar characteristics of the grayling is that they have a preference for flies dressed with a hot spot of red in their make-up, probably the most famous is the red tag, but here are a few more, older patterns that still get the job done. Bradshaw’s Fancy Hook: Mustad Thread: Veevus Red 12/0 Tag: Red floss silk … Continue reading Grayling patterns my absolute favourites

Killer Bug and Chadwick’s 477

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 … Continue reading Killer Bug and Chadwick’s 477

Tying the willow fly

Giving em the Needle One of the late autumns highlights is great hatches of needle flies Leuctra, especially here on the big grayling rivers of mid Norway. Although the hatches begin as early as June and run until November the climax is in august- september. These small stoneflies can be difficult to see on the best of days, especially amongst the autumns fall of floating foliage, and remember they crawl onto land to hatch, so you will always find more on the bank, than on the water. Because they hatch and mate on land its the females that are of … Continue reading Tying the willow fly

The Black Pennell wet fly

Black Pennell & Family…   One of the classic ‘Black’ flies that has survived the test of time.  Classified as a fancy wet or loch style pattern the Black Pennell came from the tying bench of Mr H. Cholmondeley Pennell a wealthy Edwardian english gentleman, who loved fishing in Northern Europe. There are several styles in tying this pattern, some with a fine slim body of only one layer of tying thread, the tapered body, as shown here and one with seals fur or black wool. Although some listings say that the hackle should be of a black hen tied … Continue reading The Black Pennell wet fly

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 Long Flies-streamer

Blue Devil Custom This is one of the many patterns from the legendary Rangeley fly tyer Carrie G Stevens. Most of her patterns where tied on 6 X long – 10 X long shank hooks although she did use some that where even 12 X long, these super long shank hooks is what gives these flies their unique profile and silhouette. In 1924 Carrie G Stevens caught a 6lb 13oz brook trout on a prototype streamer she had made herself. She entered her catch into the fishing competition in the well known American magazine “Field and Stream” shortly after her … Continue reading How to tie Long Flies-streamer

How to tie a Wooly Bugger tutorial

but as I have mentioned many times before, its all about proportions! Spending time getting this right from the beginning will produce great looking flies only after you have tied a few. I am not saying that scruffy buggers won’t catch fish, quite the opposite, but there is more to fly tying than catching fish! What fly tyer doesn’t want his flies to look great? Continue reading How to tie a Wooly Bugger tutorial

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.

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.    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 … Continue reading Fly Tying course # 18 Flying Mutantz

Fly Tying Course # 17 Chernobyl Ant

  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. 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 … Continue reading Fly Tying Course # 17 Chernobyl Ant

The mother of all daddy’s

The mother of all Daddy’s   Many daddy patterns are somewhat delicate and easily damaged, be it by fish, or even prolonged casting, and general ware and tare.  Here are a couple of patterns that show you how to make your daddy’s not only more resilient, 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 40 mm long.  … Continue reading The mother of all daddy’s

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.

Fly Tying Course # 20 The Stimulator Dry Fly

Stimulator-“Something that causes and encourages a given response” 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 … Continue reading Fly Tying Course # 20 The Stimulator Dry Fly

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.

Fly tying course # 16 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 Fly tying course # 16 The model Nymph

Marc Petitjean – CdC deer hair caddis

It’s been a while, but I am back, and posting more patterns after a busy season photographing and fishing, where I have been testing new patterns and materials that I will be writing about later.  I have also visited some new destinations that I am sure, will blow your socks off! I will reveal more later.  On arriving back from my travels, there is a mountain of new materials, tools and books waiting for me to review so keep tuned as I will be going through the best of these as and when I get time. Marc also extends the … Continue reading Marc Petitjean – CdC deer hair caddis

Proppen-most productive sea trout fly

This is my variant of one of the best salmon flies in recent years. It is, without doubt my most productive fly for salt water sea trout fishing.  There is something about this pattern that sea trout just can’t resist. On many occasions when there are sea trout feeding or on the move, and they just follow the fly and won’t take, this small fly works most of the time.  Fished on a long fine leader and floating line just under the surface with a very slow figure of eight retrieve, the takes are savage and powerful, driving the tiny … Continue reading Proppen-most productive sea trout fly

Tying the Detatched body mayfly

This is a simple but but effective mayfly pattern that fly tyers of any level can tie with a little practice. Once you have masterd this technique all you have to do is change the size and colour to match most mayfly hatches. The chioce of colours and sizes of fly to be used when tying this pattern is determined by what mayfly you intend to imitate and under what conditions.  In still water fishing, trout can be extremly sellective when feeding on mayflies, they have good time to check them out before sucking them in. Body form: Upholsterers needle … Continue reading Tying the Detatched body mayfly

muddler minnow streamer

Fly tying course Muddler Minnow – how to tie

  Unquestionably the most famous of all streamers, and the model for many others. 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  A … Continue reading Fly tying course Muddler Minnow – how to tie

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.

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

Porcupine guard hairs

I just received some fantastic Porcupine Guard Hairs from Virtual Nymph http://www.virtual-nymph.com/ I have played around a little already with them and this is some of the best ribbing material I have come across. I will be posting some patterns using these and some other innovative VN products later this week. Check out their website, loads of great materials: http://www.virtual-nymph.com/ Continue reading Porcupine guard hairs

Dyna King Ultimate Indexer review

The Dyna King fly tying vise review: It all started with the thought of purchasing a new vise for the photography of salt water flies for my new book. I needed one that had full rotation in all directions, horizontally, vertically, up and down and in and out. But I also needed a vice that would look the business with a salt water hook in it in front of the camera. After much research and the exchanging of e mails with fellow tyers around the world, with, I must say mixed responses! I ordered the Dyna King Ultimate Indexer. Dyna … Continue reading Dyna King Ultimate Indexer review

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…

All in one… a three minute dun mayfly pattern.

To find a simpler dun mayfly imitation  will be difficult.  All you need in the way of materials is one long fibered CdC feather and a short foam cylinder and a hook. I named the fly “All In One” as the whole fly is tied with the same one CdC feather. You need to practice a little if the techniques I us are unfamiliar too you, but with a little practice or after you have tied a half dozen or so, it only takes about two minutes to tie this simple but effective pattern.  All in one floats fantastic as … Continue reading All in one… a three minute dun mayfly pattern.

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

Elasticaddis in the house!

House building caddis larva are available in most waters all year round, and are an important segment of the diet of trout and grayling.  There are many techniques that have been developed over the years from fly tying benches all over the world to imitate the house of the caddis larva, but this technique really gives the right impression.  This is a pattern I believe was developed in the US, but other than that I cant find any other information about it.  The great thing about this pattern is if you trim the rubber legs close to the body you … Continue reading Elasticaddis in the house!

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…

Bee Cee Caddis Pupa

Bee Cee Caddis Pupa  video tutorial Hook Mustad  C49S curved caddis # 6 -14 Thread Dyneema Gills Ostrich herl Body Fine leather strip (chamois) Under body Dubbing / Lead free wire if required Legs Partridge hackle & CDC Collar/Head Hares ear dubbing & CDC Dubbing Each summer a few fishing freinds and I make the annual fishing trip from our home town Skien in southern Norway to Lofsdalen in Sweden. A journey that under normal circumstances will take six hours driving, from door to door. Lofsdalen is acctually known for two things, skiing and bears. During the winter, when the … Continue reading Bee Cee Caddis Pupa

Contre-jour Fine art photographic prints

The 32 images in this coming exhibition endorse Barry’s love and passion for the sport as a fly fisherman, photographer and artist.  The viewer is taken on a journey into the world of fly fishing that is rarely seen. On first encountering these beautiful images, they are sufficiently recognizable as images of fish and fishing, but as you approach and view them at close range, they transform into a graphic and sometimes abstract, overlapping of organic patterns and colour. All images are for sale, signed and numbered by the artist. Barry is also making a series of limited photographs with … Continue reading Contre-jour Fine art photographic prints

Fly Photography…

Fly Photography service: When you have spent several hours or even days, tying a fly for a competition or commissioned sale, its a real shame to have no record of it! Now is your chance to correct that! Being a professional photographer and fly tyer I know exactly what’s needed when it comes to fly photography. I offer a service for simple fly archive photography on white background or artistic fly photography for framing. Prices: Archive photography (white background) Euro 30 per fly. Artistic fly photography (still life) Euro 150 per fly. Step by step tying photography  Euro 200 per … Continue reading Fly Photography…

The feather bender

The feather bender is a blog focusing on fly tying & materials for fly-tyers by fly-tyers. Fly tying for many is a hobby,  for others it´s a means of filling their fly box with fine tuned and well tested patterns, that would be otherwise unavailable. For many of us who read this blog it´s more of a passion, and for some, even a way of life… The aim of the feather bender is to connect fly-tyers all over the world, to share, techniques, patterns, information and knowledge. To help the new beginner, to our craft, exchange frustration for inspiration, and … Continue reading The feather bender