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

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

Tying The Humpy

This popular western pattern comes in many variants of colour, wing and tail materials, hackle and single and double hump.  The Humpy is also tied in two styles, short and fat and the long and slim version I am tying here.  Although made to imitate nothing in particular, except a juicy mouth full, this has a reputation of being a difficult fly to tie, but as I have mentioned in earlier step by step posts, follow the procedures and proportions and you will soon be banging them out by the dozen.  Hook: Mustad R50 # 10-16 Tying Thread: Dyneema Tail: … Continue reading Tying The Humpy

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

How to tie The Matuka streamer

This is one of my own patterns for sea trout fishing, The Matuka Tobis. All types of hackle can be used for the wings, so experiment. The Matuka style streamer originated from New Zealand and unlike traditional feather wing streamers where the wing is allowed to flow freely, the wing on the Matuka is attached to the body with the rib. The dimensions of this pattern can be played with and adjusted to your own taste. You can use larger hackles and make the tail longer or use hen hackles and make the pattern higher in the wing, you can … Continue reading How to tie The Matuka streamer

Fly tying kit for the new beginner

Fly tying, in most cases, begins with a fly tying kit.  Unfortunately most fly tying kits can result in the same frustration as starting to tie too difficult patterns. When you open a fly tying kit for the very first time, the first thing you notice is the over powering perfume of paradichlorobenzene or moth balls. This is used to keep feather and fur eating insects at bay, and from making a smorgasbord of your materials. Beyond the moth ball vapors, your newly purchased kit, is filled with what looks like, at first glance, a fantastic array of shiny tools … Continue reading Fly tying kit for the new beginner

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 # 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

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

How to prepare Dry fly hackle

This is just to show you the correct way to prepare and mount a traditional dry fly hackle. Firstly a little about hackles.  Dont forget! If you have any questions please dont hesitate to ask. Just post your question at the foot of this page. If you would like to receive a message when the next stage of the course is published, just add your e mail address at the top right of this page. Thanks, The feather bender. Fly tying course # 6 Dry fly hackle prepare and traditional dry fly Generally speaking the more money you spend on … Continue reading How to prepare Dry fly hackle

Step by step tutorial for the Ammonite nymph

My apologies to everyone doing the fly tying course, but the last few days have been busy making step by steps for magazines, but now I’m all done and ready to post a patterns for the the tyer that is a little more advanced, but of course you can always give this one a go even if you are a beginner.  The original Ammonite nymph, if I am not mistaken, comes from the vice of UK tyer and photographer Steve Thonrton. Getting this great looking nymph right is all about proportions! So if you are going to give this a … Continue reading Step by step tutorial for the Ammonite nymph

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!

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…

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…

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

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

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