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

Posts tagged “spinning

The Bee’s Knees!

L1010960

The feather benders home grown and hand crafted fly tyers wax scull’s.

It’s not that long ago that pre-waxed tying thread was not readily available, and tyers, especially of the more classic stile patterns resorted to various types of wax to make tying more easy and the natural threads such as cotton and silk more durable. Because the majority of tying threads available today are pre-waxed, the practice of waxing your own tying thread has been somewhat neglected or almost forgotten for most fly tyers.

Apart from the obvious advantages as mentioned above, waxing your own thread makes easy work of applying and attaching materials to the hook, creating better friction between thread and material and anchoring them in place with only a couple of wraps of thread. Its also extremely useful when dubbing, if a little is applied to the thread before spinning your dubbing it will render the thread ‘Tacky’ and make the adhering of the dubbing material easier.

L1010965

After recently starting keeping bees, primarily for honey production, I have also a surplus of natural bee’s wax which when mixed with three other totally natural ingredients is the recipe for my own exclusive tyers wax. A limited amount of sculls will be available for next to no cost, so if you are interested in obtaining one of these hand made tyers waxes, please contact me on, barrycl@online.no


Making a fur hackle and dubbing tutorial

Once again this is a request I have had from several fellow bloggers for the fur hackle spinning technique. Although similar too the spinning deer hair article, there are a few pointers you should be aware of when mastering this technique.

_E6D0009

Just about all natural and synthetic furs, feathers and hairs can be used as one form of dubbing or another. Before you start its worth considering what type of hair or material is suitable for the type of fly you are tying. There are several factors regarding the choice of natural materials.

1. Dry fly, nymph, wet.

2. Sinking, floating.

3. Ridged or pulsating.

4. Neat or scruffy.

When you are using natural materials you should consider what kind of animal, lifestyle, and climate it derives from. If choosing a dubbing for a small dry fly the  under fur from otter, beaver and coypu have, because of their aquatic lifestyle a super fine under fur which is impregnated with natural water repellant oils, rather like the fur equivalent of CdC. On the other hand if you would like a long pulsating, sinking hackle choose a soft finer hair from an opossum or a rabbit that will absorb water but remain mobile and lively when fished. For nymphs there is of course the classic spiky hares ear dubbing. So to achieve optimal function and design of the the pattern you intend to tie, consider the above before starting.

_E6D0011

1. Here I am using an old fashioned bull dog paper clip to hold the fur but for perfect dubbing spinning I can recommend the Marc Petitjean Magic tool. Marc’s magic tool is made from transparent plastic, the advantage with this is that you have much more visual control over the length and lie of the material being used. The above material is a regular hare zonker strip. Place this in the clip so the fibers are 90 degrees to the clip and at this stage you also determine the length of the hackle required.

_E6D0012

2. Now with long straight scissors cut off the base and hide from the strip leaving only 2 or 3 mm of fur out from the clips jaws.

_E6D0013

3. The finished loaded clip. You should now take care not to apply pressure to the clip and open it before needed. Otherwise all the material will shift or fall out.

_E6D0016

4. Make a dubbing loop. If the material you are using is dense ( thick guard hairs and under fur) you will need to make a loop of double tying thread as above. But if the material is fine, a finer loop of split tying thread is sufficient. Also its important that where the two sides of the loop meet the hook shaft that they are touching. If you have them open, one strand of thread on each side of the hook shank the loop will not close correctly, and the material spun will loosen and fall out.

_E6D0018

5. Move your bobbin forward towards the hook eye and attach your dubbing spinner.

_E6D0019

6. If you are using Dyneema or another thread that is un-waxed, you will need to apply a little dubbing wax to the thread to gain ultimate traction.

_E6D0020

7. Once you have placed the material in the loop carefully remove the clip in one smooth movement while keeping tension on the spinner to hold the dubbing loop tight and closed.

_E6D0021

8. While keeping tension, spin the dubbing loop clockwise until all the material is secured and flares like a regular hackle.

_E6D0025

9. You can now wind on your fur dubbing loop in a traditional hackle style. Taking care to brush back the fibers of each turn before making the next.

_E6D0027

10. With this technique you can make as many turns of fur hackle as required. If you make only two turns you have a perfect fur hackle collar or you can cover the whole of the hook shank. If you would like a very spiky dubbed body for a nymph you can cover the whole hook shank and then trim it all down to the body shape you would like.

002

11. For a buggy nymph dubbing you would need a material that will sink and command a little more volume that a fine dry fly body. This is hares ear. Pull some stiff short fibers from the ears of the hare and some softer more dense hair and fur from the mask.

If you would like to use a fine material make use of a dubbing rake.  When pulled through the fur on a skin, this will collect only the finer under fur.  If you don’t have a dubbing rake you can also just pluck out the fibers with your fingers.

003

12. Now place the under fur  in the palm of your hand and with the finger of your other hand rub the dubbing around in a clockwise motion.  This will blend the dubbing evenly, making it easier to work with.

004

13. Select a small amount of dubbing and place it between your index finger and the tying thread as shown.  When I am teaching people to tie flies one of the most frequently asked questions is – how much dubbing shall I use ?  Most fly tyers apply way too much dubbing to the tying thread at one go, so I say, take what you think you should use, half it, and then half it again, and normally you arrive at a usable amount.

005

14. Now its time to roll the dubbing material onto the tying thread.  With the tying thread and dubbing resting on your index finger place the tip of your thumb on top of this so as to trap the material and the thread between your finger and thumb.

006

Still trapping the thread and material between your finger and thumb push the tip of your thumb towards the tip of your finger, clockwise, thus rolling the material around the thread. You must do this several times up and down the thread to attach the material, forming a kind of dubbing rope.  You should also remember one of the most common mistakes with attaching dubbing is that the fly tyer will roll the dubbing firstly clockwise and then anti clockwise when replacing the thumb back into the beginning of the rolling stage, this unwinds the dubbing.  Also don’t try and make more than a few cms of dubbing rope at one time, this will also unwind as you wind it onto the hook shank.

007

15. Once your dubbing rope is ready you can now begin to wind it onto the hook shank to form the body.  When you have wound on the first length of dubbing, repeat the process until the desired size of body is achieved.  If you would like to taper the body, as in most nymphs begin with a thin dubbing rope, and the apply more dubbing each time making a thicker rope.

008

16. Once the nymph body is finished tie off behind the hook eye.

009

17. If you would like an even more buggy effect use a brush ( I use an old tooth brush ) to pull out the fibers to make a buggy body.

10

18. The brushing gives a soft and mobile, yet spiky nymph body.

0020

19. But if you would like a fine slim body without too many fibers you can trim these off with a fine pair of scissors.

0022

20. The finished trimmed cigar shaped body. Good luck! If you have any questions regarding dubbing dont be shy.


Making a fur hackle and dubbing tutorial

Once again this is a request I have had from several fellow bloggers for the fur hackle spinning technique. Although similar too the spinning deer hair article, there are a few pointers you should be aware of when mastering this technique.

_E6D0009

Just about all natural and synthetic furs, feathers and hairs can be used as one form of dubbing or another. Before you start its worth considering what type of hair or material is suitable for the type of fly you are tying. There are several factors regarding the choice of natural materials.

1. Dry fly, nymph, wet.

2. Sinking, floating.

3. Ridged or pulsating.

4. Neat or scruffy.

When you are using natural materials you should consider what kind of animal, lifestyle, and climate it derives from. If choosing a dubbing for a small dry fly the  under fur from otter, beaver and coypu have, because of their aquatic lifestyle a super fine under fur which is impregnated with natural water repellant oils, rather like the fur equivalent of CdC. On the other hand if you would like a long pulsating, sinking hackle choose a soft finer hair from an opossum or a rabbit that will absorb water but remain mobile and lively when fished. For nymphs there is of course the classic spiky hares ear dubbing. So to achieve optimal function and design of the the pattern you intend to tie, consider the above before starting.

_E6D0011

1. Here I am using an old fashioned bull dog paper clip to hold the fur but for perfect dubbing spinning I can recommend the Marc Petitjean Magic tool. Marc’s magic tool is made from transparent plastic, the advantage with this is that you have much more visual control over the length and lie of the material being used. The above material is a regular hare zonker strip. Place this in the clip so the fibers are 90 degrees to the clip and at this stage you also determine the length of the hackle required.

_E6D0012

2. Now with long straight scissors cut off the base and hide from the strip leaving only 2 or 3 mm of fur out from the clips jaws.

_E6D0013

3. The finished loaded clip. You should now take care not to apply pressure to the clip and open it before needed. Otherwise all the material will shift or fall out.

_E6D0016

4. Make a dubbing loop. If the material you are using is dense ( thick guard hairs and under fur) you will need to make a loop of double tying thread as above. But if the material is fine, a finer loop of split tying thread is sufficient. Also its important that where the two sides of the loop meet the hook shaft that they are touching. If you have them open, one strand of thread on each side of the hook shank the loop will not close correctly, and the material spun will loosen and fall out.

_E6D0018

5. Move your bobbin forward towards the hook eye and attach your dubbing spinner.

_E6D0019

6. If you are using Dyneema or another thread that is un-waxed, you will need to apply a little dubbing wax to the thread to gain ultimate traction.

_E6D0020

7. Once you have placed the material in the loop carefully remove the clip in one smooth movement while keeping tension on the spinner to hold the dubbing loop tight and closed.

_E6D0021

8. While keeping tension, spin the dubbing loop clockwise until all the material is secured and flares like a regular hackle.

_E6D0025

9. You can now wind on your fur dubbing loop in a traditional hackle style. Taking care to brush back the fibers of each turn before making the next.

_E6D0027

10. With this technique you can make as many turns of fur hackle as required. If you make only two turns you have a perfect fur hackle collar or you can cover the whole of the hook shank. If you would like a very spiky dubbed body for a nymph you can cover the whole hook shank and then trim it all down to the body shape you would like.

002

11. For a buggy nymph dubbing you would need a material that will sink and command a little more volume that a fine dry fly body. This is hares ear. Pull some stiff short fibers from the ears of the hare and some softer more dense hair and fur from the mask.

If you would like to use a fine material make use of a dubbing rake.  When pulled through the fur on a skin, this will collect only the finer under fur.  If you don’t have a dubbing rake you can also just pluck out the fibers with your fingers.

003

12. Now place the under fur  in the palm of your hand and with the finger of your other hand rub the dubbing around in a clockwise motion.  This will blend the dubbing evenly, making it easier to work with.

004

13. Select a small amount of dubbing and place it between your index finger and the tying thread as shown.  When I am teaching people to tie flies one of the most frequently asked questions is – how much dubbing shall I use ?  Most fly tyers apply way too much dubbing to the tying thread at one go, so I say, take what you think you should use, half it, and then half it again, and normally you arrive at a usable amount.

005

14. Now its time to roll the dubbing material onto the tying thread.  With the tying thread and dubbing resting on your index finger place the tip of your thumb on top of this so as to trap the material and the thread between your finger and thumb.

006

Still trapping the thread and material between your finger and thumb push the tip of your thumb towards the tip of your finger, clockwise, thus rolling the material around the thread. You must do this several times up and down the thread to attach the material, forming a kind of dubbing rope.  You should also remember one of the most common mistakes with attaching dubbing is that the fly tyer will roll the dubbing firstly clockwise and then anti clockwise when replacing the thumb back into the beginning of the rolling stage, this unwinds the dubbing.  Also don’t try and make more than a few cms of dubbing rope at one time, this will also unwind as you wind it onto the hook shank.

007

15. Once your dubbing rope is ready you can now begin to wind it onto the hook shank to form the body.  When you have wound on the first length of dubbing, repeat the process until the desired size of body is achieved.  If you would like to taper the body, as in most nymphs begin with a thin dubbing rope, and the apply more dubbing each time making a thicker rope.

008

16. Once the nymph body is finished tie off behind the hook eye.

009

17. If you would like an even more buggy effect use a brush ( I use an old tooth brush ) to pull out the fibers to make a buggy body.

10

18. The brushing gives a soft and mobile, yet spiky nymph body.

0020

19. But if you would like a fine slim body without too many fibers you can trim these off with a fine pair of scissors.

0022

20. The finished trimmed cigar shaped body. Good luck! If you have any questions regarding dubbing dont be shy.


Tying with deer hair part 3. Spinning ultra tight bodies with deer hair.

Here are a couple more quick techniques, for making cork like bodies from deer hair and a deer hair guard.

14This is another technique if you would like a very tight spun body. As you cover  the hook shank with spun deer hair using a finger and thumb at the rear of the hair and at the front push and twist your right hand to pack the hair tight together.


If you would like a very tight spun body. As you cover the hook shank with spun deer hair using a finger and thumb at the rear of the hair and at the front push and twist your right hand to pack the hair tight together. Repeat this after every bunch of hair is tied in.

15Once the body is finished brush out all the fibers with an old tooth brush before you start trimming. This is very important!


Once the body is finished brush out all the fibers with an old tooth brush before you start trimming. This is very important!

16Trim your body roughly to the correct size.


Trim your body roughly to the correct size. You can be as detailed as you like at this stage.

17Now using a gas lighter, petrol lighters and candels give off too much soot. Carefully burn the surface of the hair body. Taking care not to set it on fire!


Now using a gas lighter, petrol lighters and candles give off too much soot. Carefully burn the surface of the hair body. Taking care not to set it on fire!

18The singeing of the hair will tighten the packing and coaterize the tips making it tight and even. Brush off the soot with a tooth brush.


The singeing of the hair will tighten the packing and cauterize the tips making it tight and even. Brush off the soot with a tooth brush.

19The result is a almost cork like body of perfect spun deer hair with a smooth even finish. That also floats like a cork!


The result is an almost cork like body of perfect spun deer hair with a smooth even finish. That also floats like a cork!

This is another trick for whip finishing large deer hair flies. If you have problems getting in to the hook eye to whip finish, before starting tying cut the end off a rubber washing up glove and make a hole in the finger tip with a dubbing needle. Place the glove finger tip over the bobbin as shown.

This is another trick for whip finishing large deer hair flies. If you have problems getting in to the hook eye to whip finish, before starting tying cut the end off a rubber washing up glove and make a hole in the finger tip with a dubbing needle. Place the glove finger tip over the bobbin as shown.

Once you have finished your fly the bobbin and finger tip are as shown.

Once you have finished your fly the bobbin and finger tip are as shown.

Now for a easy trouble free whip finish just slide the finger tip over the hook and deer hair. Remove the tip after you have whip finished and removed your tying thread.

Now for a easy trouble free whip finish just slide the finger tip over the hook and deer hair. Remove the tip after you have whip finished and removed your tying thread.


Techniques for tying with deer hair part 2 Spinning and burning.

Anglo – Swedish caddis:

IMG_5219

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. 

IMG_5185

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.

IMG_5186

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 left in the trimmed end!

IMG_5210

Using a tooth brush, brush out the loose hairs and under fur from the clip.

IMG_5182

Place a terrestrial hook in the vice.

IMG_5184

Cover the hook shaft with a foundation of tying thread. I use only Dyneema gel spun thread for tying with deer hair, if you haven’t tried it I recommend you do!

IMG_5191

Make a dubbing loop at the rear of the hook, make sure that the two ends of the loop closest too the hook shank are touching each other! If they are not the loop will remain open and will not grip the deer hair.  Wind your tying thread forward out of the way toward the hook eye.

IMG_5193

Un treated deer hair is quite fatty, If you wax your thread it has a much better purchase on the hair and reduces the chances of it slipping in the loop.

IMG_5195

Place the loaded magic tool clip in the dubbing loop and trap the deer hair centrally in the loop.

IMG_5196

Start to spin your deer hair in the dubbing loop. You can see in this image that the loop is not fully spun as you can still see the core of tying thread.

IMG_5197

You must continue spinning the loop until the core is no longer visible and the hair is evenly spun.

IMG_5198

You can now start wrapping the deer hair dubbing brush as you would a traditional palmer hackle along the whole hook shank.

IMG_5200

Make sure that you brush the deer hair fibers back with each turn so as not to trap them with the next turn!

IMG_5203

Once you have wound the whole dubbing brush tie it off and give it a good brushing with a tooth brush in every direction. This will free any fibers the have become trapped and give a better result when trimmed.

IMG_5204

With a pair of serrated straight scissors trim the hair from the rear of the hook.

IMG_5205

Once fully trimmed you should have a Goddard caddis type body.

IMG_5206

For the wing you will need a generous bunch of deer hair. Remove ALL the under fur, if you dont, the hair will not spin fully.

IMG_5207

Once cleaned stack the hair in a hair stacker. Measure the wing on the hook.

IMG_5208

While holding the hair in place at the correct length on the body make two loose turns with tying thread around the bunch of deer hair and then tighten.

IMG_5209

Make a few tight turns of tying thread through the remaining deer hair towards the hook eye to secure it and whip finish.

IMG_5211

Remove your tying thread and once again give the flared deer har head a good brushing.

IMG_5212

Now, while resting your scissors on the hook eye trim the head all the way round.

IMG_5214

The under side of the head should be trimmed level with the body and cone shaped.

IMG_5216

Take a lighter and singe the trimmed deer hair head. Take care not to set the whole fly on fire!

IMG_5219

Once the head is singed give it another brush with the tooth brush to remove the soot. And there you have it , the Anglo Swedish caddis.


Making a fur hackle and dubbing tutorial

Once again this is a request I have had from several fellow bloggers for the fur hackle spinning technique. Although similar too the spinning deer hair article, there are a few pointers you should be aware of when mastering this technique.

_E6D0009

Just about all natural and synthetic furs, feathers and hairs can be used as one form of dubbing or another. Before you start its worth considering what type of hair or material is suitable for the type of fly you are tying. There are several factors regarding the choice of natural materials.

1. Dry fly, nymph, wet.

2. Sinking, floating.

3. Ridged or pulsating.

4. Neat or scruffy.

When you are using natural materials you should consider what kind of animal, lifestyle, and climate it derives from. If choosing a dubbing for a small dry fly the  under fur from otter, beaver and coypu have, because of their aquatic lifestyle a super fine under fur which is impregnated with natural water repellant oils, rather like the fur equivalent of CdC. On the other hand if you would like a long pulsating, sinking hackle choose a soft finer hair from an opossum or a rabbit that will absorb water but remain mobile and lively when fished. For nymphs there is of course the classic spiky hares ear dubbing. So to achieve optimal function and design of the the pattern you intend to tie, consider the above before starting.

_E6D0011

1. Here I am using an old fashioned bull dog paper clip to hold the fur but for perfect dubbing spinning I can recommend the Marc Petitjean Magic tool. Marc’s magic tool is made from transparent plastic, the advantage with this is that you have much more visual control over the length and lie of the material being used. The above material is a regular hare zonker strip. Place this in the clip so the fibers are 90 degrees to the clip and at this stage you also determine the length of the hackle required.

_E6D0012

2. Now with long straight scissors cut off the base and hide from the strip leaving only 2 or 3 mm of fur out from the clips jaws.

 

_E6D0013

 

3. The finished loaded clip. You should now take care not to apply pressure to the clip and open it before needed. Otherwise all the material will shift or fall out.

_E6D0016

 

4. Make a dubbing loop. If the material you are using is dense ( thick guard hairs and under fur) you will need to make a loop of double tying thread as above. But if the material is fine, a finer loop of split tying thread is sufficient. Also its important that where the two sides of the loop meet the hook shaft that they are touching. If you have them open, one strand of thread on each side of the hook shank the loop will not close correctly, and the material spun will loosen and fall out.

_E6D0018

5. Move your bobbin forward towards the hook eye and attach your dubbing spinner.

 

_E6D0019

 

6. If you are using Dyneema or another thread that is un-waxed, you will need to apply a little dubbing wax to the thread to gain ultimate traction.

_E6D0020

 

7. Once you have placed the material in the loop carefully remove the clip in one smooth movement while keeping tension on the spinner to hold the dubbing loop tight and closed.

_E6D0021

 

8. While keeping tension, spin the dubbing loop clockwise until all the material is secured and flares like a regular hackle.

 

 

_E6D0025

 

9. You can now wind on your fur dubbing loop in a traditional hackle style. Taking care to brush back the fibers of each turn before making the next.

_E6D0027

 

10. With this technique you can make as many turns of fur hackle as required. If you make only two turns you have a perfect fur hackle collar or you can cover the whole of the hook shank. If you would like a very spiky dubbed body for a nymph you can cover the whole hook shank and then trim it all down to the body shape you would like.

 

 

 

002

 

11. For a buggy nymph dubbing you would need a material that will sink and command a little more volume that a fine dry fly body. This is hares ear. Pull some stiff short fibers from the ears of the hare and some softer more dense hair and fur from the mask.

If you would like to use a fine material make use of a dubbing rake.  When pulled through the fur on a skin, this will collect only the finer under fur.  If you don’t have a dubbing rake you can also just pluck out the fibers with your fingers.

003

 

12. Now place the under fur  in the palm of your hand and with the finger of your other hand rub the dubbing around in a clockwise motion.  This will blend the dubbing evenly, making it easier to work with.

004

13. Select a small amount of dubbing and place it between your index finger and the tying thread as shown.  When I am teaching people to tie flies one of the most frequently asked questions is – how much dubbing shall I use ?  Most fly tyers apply way too much dubbing to the tying thread at one go, so I say, take what you think you should use, half it, and then half it again, and normally you arrive at a usable amount.

005

 

14. Now its time to roll the dubbing material onto the tying thread.  With the tying thread and dubbing resting on your index finger place the tip of your thumb on top of this so as to trap the material and the thread between your finger and thumb.

006

Still trapping the thread and material between your finger and thumb push the tip of your thumb towards the tip of your finger, clockwise, thus rolling the material around the thread. You must do this several times up and down the thread to attach the material, forming a kind of dubbing rope.  You should also remember one of the most common mistakes with attaching dubbing is that the fly tyer will roll the dubbing firstly clockwise and then anti clockwise when replacing the thumb back into the beginning of the rolling stage, this unwinds the dubbing.  Also don’t try and make more than a few cms of dubbing rope at one time, this will also unwind as you wind it onto the hook shank.

007

15. Once your dubbing rope is ready you can now begin to wind it onto the hook shank to form the body.  When you have wound on the first length of dubbing, repeat the process until the desired size of body is achieved.  If you would like to taper the body, as in most nymphs begin with a thin dubbing rope, and the apply more dubbing each time making a thicker rope.

008

16. Once the nymph body is finished tie off behind the hook eye.

009

 

17. If you would like an even more buggy effect use a brush ( I use an old tooth brush ) to pull out the fibers to make a buggy body.

10

18. The brushing gives a soft and mobile, yet spiky nymph body.

0020

 

19. But if you would like a fine slim body without too many fibers you can trim these off with a fine pair of scissors.

0022

20. The finished trimmed cigar shaped body. Good luck! If you have any questions regarding dubbing dont be shy.

 

 


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.

1The material used here is deer hair, select your material and prepare it so that all the fibres are straight. Attach your paper clip to the tips of the fibres.  You determin the length of the fibre you would like at this stage.

1
The material used here is deer hair, select your material and prepare it so that all the fibers are straight. Attach your paper clip to the tips of the fibers. You determine the length of the fibre you would like at this stage.

2Carefully cut along the edge of the clip leaving only a couple of mm in front of the jaws.  If you have more than this you will find that the spinning will be difficult and the material will fall out when used.

2
Carefully cut along the edge of the clip leaving only a couple of mm in front of the jaws. If you have more than this you will find that the spinning will be difficult and the material will fall out when used.

3Make a loop of tying thread at the rear of the area to be dubbed.  Be sure that the two strands of thread closest to the hook shank are tight together, ( Not open or the material placed between them will fall out ) this can be done by taking a turn or two of tying thread around the loop base pulling them together.

3
Make a loop of tying thread at the rear of the area to be dubbed. Be sure that the two strands of thread closest to the hook shank are tight together, ( Not open or the material placed between them will fall out ) this can be done by taking a turn or two of tying thread around the loop base pulling them together.

"4Hang

5Place the cut end of the material in between the two strands of the loop.

5
Place the cut end of the material in between the two strands of the loop.

6Now carefully open the jaws of the paper clip and remove it, letting the weight of the dubbing spinner hold the strands together trapping the material, and stopping it from falling out. Now you can carefully adjust the hair by sliding it up or down to distribute it evenly within the loop.

6
Now carefully open the jaws of the paper clip and remove it, letting the weight of the dubbing spinner hold the strands together trapping the material, and stopping it from falling out. Now you can carefully adjust the hair by sliding it up or down to distribute it evenly within the loop.

8You can now begin to wind the dubbing onto the hook shank just like a conventional feather hackle, combing the fibres back with each turn.

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.
8Repeat the process until the body is completed.

9
Repeat the process until the body is completed.

10For trimming the spun deer hair body, I find it best to use long straight serrated scissors for a more even finish.

10
For trimming the spun deer hair body, I find it best to use long straight serrated scissors for a more even finish.

11Start to trim the body on top of the hook shank from the rear and try and make each cut go the whole length of the body.

11
Start to trim the body on top of the hook shank from the rear and try and make each cut go the whole length of the body.

12The more even and singular  each cut, the more even the body!

12
The more even and singular each cut, the more even the body!

13Continue trimming around the whole body of the fly until the requiered resuls are achieved.

13
Continue trimming around the whole body of the fly until the required results are achieved.

14This is another technique if you would like a very tight spun body. As you cover  the hook shank with spun deer hair using a finger and thumb at the rear of the hair and at the front push and twist your right hand to pack the hair tight together.

14
This is another technique if you would like a very tight spun body. As you cover the hook shank with spun deer hair using a finger and thumb at the rear of the hair and at the front push and twist your right hand to pack the hair tight together.

15Once the body is finished brush out all the fibers with an old tooth brush before you start trimming. This is very important!

15
Once the body is finished brush out all the fibers with an old tooth brush before you start trimming. This is very important!

16Trim your body roughly to the correct size.

16
Trim your body roughly to the correct size.

17Now using a gas lighter, petrol lighters and candels give off too much soot. Carefully burn the surface of the hair body. Taking care not to set it on fire!

17
Now using a gas lighter, petrol lighters and candles give off too much soot. Carefully burn the surface of the hair body. Taking care not to set it on fire!

18The singeing of the hair will tighten the packing and coaterize the tips making it tight and even. Brush off the soot with a tooth brush.

18
The singeing of the hair will tighten the packing and cauterize the tips making it tight and even. Brush off the soot with a tooth brush.

19The result is a almost cork like body of perfect spun deer hair with a smooth even finish. That also floats like a cork!

19
The result is a almost cork like body of perfect spun deer hair with a smooth even finish. That also floats like a cork!

This is another trick for whip finishing large deer hair flies. If you have problems getting in to the hook eye to whip finish, before starting tying cut the end off a rubber washing up glove and make a hole in the finger tip with a dubbing needle. Place the glove finger tip over the bobbin as shown.

This is another trick for whip finishing large deer hair flies. If you have problems getting in to the hook eye to whip finish, before starting tying cut the end off a rubber washing up glove and make a hole in the finger tip with a dubbing needle. Place the glove finger tip over the bobbin as shown.

Once you have finished your fly the bobbin and finger tip are as shown.

Once you have finished your fly the bobbin and finger tip are as shown.

Now for a easy trouble free whip finish just slide the finger tip over the hook and deer hair. Remove the tip after you have whip finished and removed your tying thread.

Now for a easy trouble free whip finish just slide the finger tip over the hook and deer hair. Remove the tip after you have whip finished and removed your tying thread.


Tying the fur crab

1
Place your Mustad circle hook in the vice.

This is a quick and easy salt water crab pattern that I haven’t done any text for, other than the step by step. Enjoy.

Hook     Mustad circle streamer

Tying thread    Dyneema

Beard    Siberian squirrel & Grizzle hen hackle

Eyes    EP crab eyes

Claws    Red fox zonker

Body    Muskrat crosscut zonker

2
Tie in a good bunch of Siberian squirrel tail hair for the crabs beard.

3
Trim off the excess squirrel hair and tie down, Turn your fly up-side down in the vice.

4
Tie in a grizzle hen hackle at the base of the crabs beard.

5
Wind on a a trditional wet fly hackle over the base of the beard.

6
Now tie in the EP crab eyes one each side of the hook shank.

7
Cut two red fox zonker strips for the crabs claws. You can use rabbit zonkers if red fox is not available.

8
Tie in the red fox zonkers one each side of the hook shank tight into the beard base.

9
Take a short length of muskrat crosscut fur for spinning.

10
Make a dubbing loop and spin the muskrat fur into a dubbing brush.

11
Wind on the dubbing brush, taking care to brush down the fibers each turn. Tie off.

12
Brush out the fibers with an old tooth brush and whip finish. Varnish.

13
With curved scissors trim the body shape of the crab.

14
The finished crab.

15
Only just realised that the crab when viewed this way will double as a long eared owl!


The fly for Autumn Pike…

Pike Steamer, a sure attractor 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 this pattern is to work on all the pikes predatory instincts, and make the victim (the fly) as attractive and irresistible as possible. I do this through fly design and presentation.  When designing predatory patterns there are several things to consider and a few key elements that all patterns should have. If you want a general pattern that you could use just about anywhere for anything, then you should choose to imitate a natural food that is widely available – like small bait fish. Then you have to consider the four most important attractor factors:

Movement… colour… eyes… and sound.

The movement in this pattern is achieved through a combination of materials. Both the marabou and Icelandic sheep hair are extremely mobile in water, but their effect is enhanced by the weight of the Epoxy head. Predators find this swimming action, irresistible.

The eyes, which are always an attack point, are oversized for additional predator impact.

If you keep all these factors in mind when designing predatory patterns you won’t go wrong.

During a three week fly fishing tip to the Amazon, home of more fresh water predatory fish than anywhere else on the planet, I developed a technique using surface splashing to stimulate feeding and awareness of my streamer, which works just as well for our own pike. Maybe you’d like to add this technique to your own armoury of tactics.

It requires though a specific leader set-up to work at it’s best, especially when fishing large flies. And it’s simplicity in itself – take around 1.5m of 30lb mono, and connect the fly to the mono with a Rapala knot. This will give a better swimming action on the stiff mono. (By the way, I have never encountered a leader shy pike, and seldom use a wire trace.)

This short, stiff leader will not only give bigger flies better turn-over when casting, but also better control and precision in presentation, and (touch wood), I have never had a break-off. The following technique is only possible with such a leader.

Firstly, find a likely spot on the water, where there’s maybe a pike lying in wait, or resting after a hunt. Before casting, make sure that your streamer is well-soaked and all air removed. This will not only make it sink quicker but also make it more aerodynamic and so easier to cast. Then with a short, hard and direct cast, shoot your streamer into the water as hard as you can – then repeat this three or four times in the same area of water. Splash that fly and heavy leader as loud as you like, it will surely attract the immediate attention of any pike within spitting distance.

Make one last cast and this time let your streamer sink… and then retrieve as normal. If there’s a pike in the vicinity it will come to the fly, the rest, as they say, is up to you…

Hook: Mustad S71SNP-ZS # 3/0-5/0

Thread: Dyneema

Wing: Icelandic sheep hair

Flash: Holographic tinsel

Over wing: Light Brite

Collar: Spun rabbit

Cheeks: 2 Grizzle hackles

Wing topping: Five strands of long natural peacock herl

Hackle: Spun Marabou Yellow

Eyes: Large mobile eyes coated with resin

1
Place hook in vice as shown and attach tying thread at the rear of the hook shank.
Tie in a long length of fine tapered Icelandic sheep hair or synthetic sub. If you choose a synthetic substitute make sure that its not so stiff it doesn’t pulsate in the water, and that its not so soft it lacks body.

2
Now taking the wing material in your left hand, back comb the sheep hair. This means run the comb the opposite way you would normally, like girls did the the early eighties to get more body for bigger hair. This will accumulate the shorter hair fibers at the base of the tail and create the illusion of more body volume, with out adding extra weight to the pattern.

3
Tie-in on top of the wing approximately 10 long strands of holographic tinsel, or another chosen flash material of your choice. Place a few drops of glue or varnish on the whippings to make the fly stronger and more durable.

4
On top of the wing tie in a bunch of pearl light brite to add a little more volume and attractor flash to the wing and body.

5
Cut a short length of cross-cut rabbit strip and place the rabbit strip in a dubbing loop and spin to make a nice dense dubbing brush.
NB. If spinning a thick-dense rabbit fur, with under wool, you will need an extremely strong tying thread to make the dubbing loop. If you use a standard thread it will most likely break before the loop is spun enough to hold the fur securely. It also helps to use a heavier dubbing spinner rather than a lighter one.

6
Wind in the spun rabbit hair making sure you comb back the fibers with each turn when winding inn to form the collar as shown.

7
Select 2 broad grizzle hackles and colour on both sides of the hackle with a waterproof felt pen.

8
Tie in the grizzle hackles one each side of the collar.

9
For the wing topping tie in 5 long strands of peacock herl. The strongest herl is found just below the peacock eye on the tail feather. If you are having problems getting the herl to curve over the wing correctly, run them one at a time, carefully over the blunt side of a pair of scissors, between your finger and thumb, just like you would with a ribbon when wrapping a gift.

10
Make another dubbing brush as in steps 5 & 6 but this time with long fine tapered marabou.

11
Wind the dubbing brush on to make the front hackle. Finish off with a couple of whip finishes.

12
Glue on 2 large mobile dolls eyes. Make sure that these are evenly balanced on the hook shank. Or if you wish to give your steamer a injured affect, glue on the eyes unevenly or even, two different eyes, one much larger than the other, and the fly will fish off center.

13
Give the eyes and head a coat of Bug Bond or Epoxy resin, making sure that you coat both eyes in a “glass ball” of resin.

14
Once the Bug Bon is applied you give it a quick blast with the UV light to cure. Or if you have used Epoxy place it on a rotary dryer if you have one until set.

15
Your finished and fish ready Pike steamer.


Just thought I would re-publish my most popular post. Bee Cee Caddis Pupa

Caddis Pupa

Bee Cee Caddis Pupa

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 bears are sleeping, Lofsdalen is a Mecca for ski and snowboard enthusiasts and becomes a throbbing white metropolis of snow scooters, snow cats and ski lifts. But at the time of our annual trip, the first week of July, most of the snow, and all of the winter turists have long gone, and the bears along with the vast amounts of mosquitoes awake hungry from their long winter sleep.

The timing of our trip is not coincidental,  with the help of the internet and telephone, 14 days before our trip we start a network of weather information between us. Sending web cam links weather forcasts and any other related info as to the conditions in Lofsdalen. Beacause each year around the first week of July ephemera vulgata can start hatching in fantastic numbers on these mountain lakes, and the big brown trout that have also spent a long winter, under the ice, are also hungry.

Yes, I know what you might be thinking, ephemera vulgata is a mayfly and this is a piece about caddis pupa ? well the past two years we havent managed to get our timing right, because of freak weather conditions, Lofsdalen is from 600 -1200m above sea level, and is subsiquently, subject to dramatic weather changes.

The back up plan, if you like, for not getting our mayfly timming right is the hatches of aeuropes largest caddis fly Phygania Grandis or great red sedge.  These first hatches are not as proliphic as the vulagta hatches and no where near as challanging for the fly fisherman, but a emerging pupa fished correctly, just under the surface can result in fantastic sport.

A good  caddis pupa  pattern can make the difference between no fish and fish !

When the caddis fly hatches into the adult insect the species are more or less, divided into two. The ones that hatch at the surface in open water and the those that make there way to the shore, where they climb out on plants or any other structure that is available.  When this occurs and caddis pupa are on the move  this pattern fishes extremely well.

When fishing this pattern, I like to dress only the head and collar with a good floatant ie: cdc oil, this also creates a perfect air bubble around the head just like the natural, and only when the pattern has soaked a little water does it begin to fish correctly.  When the porus leather and dubbed underbody have taken on water and the head is dressed with floatant, this pattern sinks so slowly that it almost “hangs” just under the surface.  I like to let it sink for 10-12 seconds or so, but you should keep alert during this “free fall” period, as criusing fish will also pick this pattern up “on the drop”. After the pupa has had time to sink I carefully mend the slack out of my fly lineand then lift the tip of my rod so that the pupa rushes towards the surface, this is when the take normally comes.

Decpite the multitude of families, sub families and species of caddis flies, the only thing you have to change is the colour and size, the pattern can remain the same.


Winter coat: The dense buoyant hair from the winter coat of the European Roe.

Image


Caddis Pupa

Caddis Pupa

Bee Cee Caddis Pupa

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 bears are sleeping, Lofsdalen is a Mecca for ski and snowboard enthusiasts and becomes a throbbing white metropolis of snow scooters, snow cats and ski lifts. But at the time of our annual trip, the first week of July, most of the snow, and all of the winter turists have long gone, and the bears along with the vast amounts of mosquitoes awake hungry from their long winter sleep.

The timing of our trip is not coincidental,  with the help of the internet and telephone, 14 days before our trip we start a network of weather information between us. Sending web cam links weather forcasts and any other related info as to the conditions in Lofsdalen. Beacause each year around the first week of July ephemera vulgata can start hatching in fantastic numbers on these mountain lakes, and the big brown trout that have also spent a long winter, under the ice, are also hungry.

Yes, I know what you might be thinking, ephemera vulgata is a mayfly and this is a piece about caddis pupa ? well the past two years we havent managed to get our timing right, because of freak weather conditions, Lofsdalen is from 600 -1200m above sea level, and is subsiquently, subject to dramatic weather changes.

The back up plan, if you like, for not getting our mayfly timming right is the hatches of aeuropes largest caddis fly Phygania Grandis or great red sedge.  These first hatches are not as proliphic as the vulagta hatches and no where near as challanging for the fly fisherman, but a emerging pupa fished correctly, just under the surface can result in fantastic sport.

A good  caddis pupa  pattern can make the difference between no fish and fish !

When the caddis fly hatches into the adult insect the species are more or less, divided into two. The ones that hatch at the surface in open water and the those that make there way to the shore, where they climb out on plants or any other structure that is available.  When this occurs and caddis pupa are on the move  this pattern fishes extremely well.

When fishing this pattern, I like to dress only the head and collar with a good floatant ie: cdc oil, this also creates a perfect air bubble around the head just like the natural, and only when the pattern has soaked a little water does it begin to fish correctly.  When the porus leather and dubbed underbody have taken on water and the head is dressed with floatant, this pattern sinks so slowly that it almost “hangs” just under the surface.  I like to let it sink for 10-12 seconds or so, but you should keep alert during this “free fall” period, as criusing fish will also pick this pattern up “on the drop”. After the pupa has had time to sink I carefully mend the slack out of my fly lineand then lift the tip of my rod so that the pupa rushes towards the surface, this is when the take normally comes.

Decpite the multitude of families, sub families and species of caddis flies, the only thing you have to change is the colour and size, the pattern can remain the same.