Friday Fly By…Mike Schmidt

The great thing about big streamers is that, because of their bulk, it doesn’t take too long to fill up an average sized fly box. The tough thing about streamers is that it’s easy to lose a bunch over the course of the day. Here’s the Junk Yard Dog to help deal with the loss.

Junk Yard Dog Recipe:

Thread: UTC140 denier, brown

Back Hook: Gamakatsu SP11 3L3H size 1

Front Hook: Gamakatsu B10S size 2/0

Tail: Marabou, tan

Body 1: Polar Chenille, UV Copper

Body 2: Marabou, tan

Body 3: Arctic fox tail, rusty brown

Body 4: Arctic fox tail, dark tan

Head: Senyo Laser Dub, dark tan

Eyes: 8mm Clear Cure Dumbbell eyes, steel

Connector: Beadalon, 19 strand .018″

 

STEP ONE:  With the back hook in the vise, start the thread and wrap it to about mid-shank. Secure a single marabou feather, leaving it hanging off the back of the hook approximately one shank-length.  Clip the excess about an eighth of an inch behind the eye and bind the feather to the top of the hook shank.  Finish with your thread at the rear of the shank. Then tie in the Polar Chenille opposite a spot between the hook point and the barb, and wrap your thread forward nearly to the eye.  Palmer the Polar Chenille forward, taking care not to bind any of the pieces to the shank.  Once behind the eye secure the material with a few tight wraps of thread, then clip the excess.

STEP TWO:  Make a marabou veil over the back hook.   Prepare the marabou feather by coming down from the tip and trimming  out the top by clipping the center stem at the point where the fibers are long enough to reach past the Polar Chenille once wrapped. To form the veil, hold the marabou on top of the hook shank and use the thread tension to spin the marabou, similar to the way you spin deer hair.  Once the marabou is all the way around the hook shank, carefully trim the butt pieces behind the eye and make a few wraps over them, advancing your thread to just behind the eye of the hook.

STEP THREE: Take a pinch of Arctic fox tail and tie it in with the tips hanging out over the eye of the back hook. Use your thumb to reverse the Arctic fox tail back over the rear hook and then bind it down on top of the shank with a half dozen wraps, creating a tidy bullet-shape.  Whip finish over those wraps and the back hook is complete.

STEP FOUR:  To connect the rear hook to the front hook, use a four-inch piece of 19-strand, .018″ Beadalon, with a few beads to close the gap.  Place the front hook in the vise and secure it with crossing wraps up and down the shank of the hook.  Make sure that the loop is vertical in the back once bound down so the rear hook will have unimpeded movement.

STEP FIVE:  Wrap the thread forward about one third of the hook shank and then add the marabou for the mid-body section.  Take two fluffy marabou feathers and hold them on top of the hook shank, then use the thread tension to help spin them to encircle the shank (similar to the way you formed the veil on the rear hook).  Once the marabou is spun around the shank make a few security wraps before trimming the excess, then wrap over the butt sections.  Figure-eight a set of dumbell eyes on the underside of the hook shank.  The front edge of the eyes should be just back of the eye of the hook.

STEP SIX:  To give the front hook bulk, hollow-tie a fox tail collar.  At about mid-shank take a clump of lighter coloured Arctic fox tail and spin it around the hook shank, with the tips out over the eyes.  Once spun in place work your thread through and make a few wraps at the base of the hair, then advance your thread about to the rear of the dumbbell eyes.  Just behind the eyes spin in a second, darker clump of Arctic fox tail, hollow-tied as you did with the first clump.

STEP SEVEN:  To create the head of the fly, clump-tie in four stacks of dark tan Senyo Laser Dub.  Tie in one stack on top of the hook shank just behind the eyes, then one on the bottom of the shank.  Then tie in a stack on the bottom of the shank in front of the eyes and finish with one more stack on top of the shank in front of the eyes.  Pull all the Laser Dub back out of the way and whip finish right at the eye of the hook.

STEP EIGHT:  To finish the head of the fly, make two cuts.  Hold the Laser Dub vertical and make one cut from the eye of the hook on a downward angle just below the dumbbell eyes, and then make the final cut from the eye of the hook on an upward angle just above those eyes.  The result is a wide wedge-cut head that pushes water and makes the fly move well when retrieved.

Friday Fly by…Skip Morris

Every fly angler who’s ever cast to a persnickety trout knows you can never have too many mayfly patterns, so here’s a proven performer just in case you find yourself at your bench this weekend.

Morris May Light Recipe (by Skip Morris)

HOOK: Light wire standard length to 1X long, sizes 20 to 10.

THREAD: Tan 8/0.

TAIL-SHUCK: Tan Anton yarn (or any shiny yarn).

ABDOMEN: Buoyant tan dubbing (Superfine Dry Fly, Fly-Rite poly dubbing…).

WING: Gray poly yarn.

HACKLE: One, ginger or barred ginger.

THORAX: The same dubbing as in the abdomen.

Tying Instructions:

  1. Start the thread about three quarters up the shank. Bind a thin section of shuck-yarn atop the shank; bind the yarn down the shank to the bend. Trim off the front stub-end of the yarn. (Or make split hackle-fiber tails around a tight ball of thread-turns at the bend.)
  2. Dub a slim, slightly tapered abdomen from the bend to slightly past halfway up the shank.
  3. Double a thin section of poly yarn over the thread, slide the loop of yarn down atop the shank directly in front of the abdomen, and bind it tightly with a few tight turns of thread.
  4. Draw the ends of the yarn up and work a few turns of thread around the base of the yarn to gather the ends together. Give the yarn a hard push at its base to angle the yarn back.
  5. Use your hackle gauge to find a hackle of proper size for your hook. Strip the soft and overlong fibers from the base of the stem. Bind the hackle, by its bare stem, in front of the wing. Trim off the butt of the stem.
  6. Dub a rough, full thorax to just short of the hook’s eye.
  7. Spiral the hackle in four to six turns over the dubbed thorax to the eye. Build a tapered thread head, whip finish and cut the thread.
  8. Draw back the wing yarn, and then snip it to a squared end to a bit longer than the length of the shank. Trim the shuck-yarn. Trim the hackle fibres off beneath the thorax, either to flat or to angle down in a shallow “V.” Add head cement.

Friday Fly By…Richard Pulaski

One of the deepest philosophical questions in fly fishing: Can a fly-angler’s box contain too many Chernobyl patterns. Just in case you fall on the “it’s not possible” side of the debate, here’s the recipe for the juicy looking Beavertail Chernobyl.

Beavertail Chernobyl Recipe:

Hook:Dai-Riki 730, #8

Thread: Uni-Thread, 6/0 yellow

Adhesive: Liquid Krazy Glue, applied to thread base

Underbody: Beavertail Chernobyl tan (River Road Creations cutter)

Underbody: Large black Krystal flash chenille tied only under the middle body segment

Overbody: Beavertail Chernobyl tan (River Road Creations cutter)

Legs: Montana Fly Company Centipede Legs, orange/black

Posts: White polypropylene

The Zoo Cougar: A Slick Minnow Pattern

Jake Ruthven is a talented young tier out of Colorado and has developed a creative take on the Zoo Cougar.  If you’re looking to stock up your streamer box this winter in preparation for estuary fishing for sea-run trout in the spring, be sure to give this innovative pattern a try.

Zoo Cougar Recipe:

Hook: TMC 9395

Thread: UTC Gel Spun

Tail: Marabou

Body: Flat Diamond Braid

Underwing: Faux Bucktail

Overwing: Mallard flank feather

Collar: Faux bucktail

Head: Chocklett’s body tubing

Eyes: Flymen Living Eyes

Tying Steps

  1. Start your thread and trim the tag end, then move it to the rear of the hook. Tie in a single piece of marabou as long as the shank of the hook. Trim the excess.
  2. Return the thread to the rear of the hook and tie in the flat Diamond Braid at the base of the tail. Wrap it forward in touching turns to approximately the 60% point on the shank. Tie off and trim excess.
  3. Trim a thick clump of Faux Bucktail from the package. Use a hair stacker to even the tips, and tie it in on top of the shank, directly above where the diamond braid ends. Trim the ends at a 45-degree angle to assist with building a taper.
  4. Tie in a single mallard flank feather on top of the bucktail so it extends to the end of the tail. Trim excess.
  5. Trim off a piece of Chocklett’s body tubing about an inch long. Singe the ends with a lighter. Slide one end over the eye, and secure it.
  6. Fold the free end of the material back over itself so that it covers the body of the fly.
  7. Pull it forward, and secure the other end in the same spot as the first end. This will form a small cone. Now, tie in a small clump of Faux Bucktail so it extends one-third the length of the mallard flank. Whip finish.
  8. Fold the cone rearwards to form the bullet head. Add eyes using your favourite epoxy.

Celebrate Halloween Masked Bandit Style

Not much for dressing up and heading out on the town? You might want to consider celebrating Halloween night by hunkering down in your den and tying Reece’s Masked Bandit. It’s a small steamer that’s super attractive to big trout. Check out the tying video here.

Recipe:

Hook: Gamakatsu octopus #4
Thread: 6/0 matched to zonker
Flash: Ripple Ice Fiber (Hareline)
Tail: Pine squirrel zonker
Collar: Pine squirrel zonker
Head: Flymen Fish Mask w/ Living Eyes – Earth

The Royal Vulture

The Royal Vulture, originally featured in volume 9 issue 4 of Fly Fusion. Tied by our good friend Colin Callbeck.

Royal Vulture Recipe

Hook: Partridge 3/0 Bartlet blind eye
Eye: silk gut
Thread: black silk
Tag: purple metallic tinsel, blue floss, silver oval tinsel, purple floss, silver metallic tinsel, yellow floss, blue floss with silver metallic over yellow and blue floss
Tail: king fisher wing feather
Butt: purple ostrich
Body: blue floss, silver metallic tinsel, pink floss, silver metallic tinsel over blue floss, pink floss, silver metallic tinsel, blue floss, silver flat tinsel, black floss, silver flat tinsel
Throat: vulture guinea fowl back feather under blue vulture guinea fowl back feather
Wing: vulture guinea fowl back feather under spotted vulture guinea fowl feather
Cheek: king fisher wing feather
Topping: wild golden pheasant crest
Horns: blue eared pheasant
Head: purple ostrich feather

Steelhead Candy: Tying the Micro GP

by Dana Sturn (photo Aaron Goodis)

When it comes to fly tying, I’m pretty lazy, and get bored quickly. A good tying session might yield three or four flies; rarely do I tie a half-dozen at one sitting. So my version of the Micro GP is an exercise in economy: What’s the minimum in materials and steps to get the job done but still produce the most effective fly?

I tie this on a ¼-inch to ½-inch tube cut from lengths of 1/8-inch outside diameter air brake line. When fishing, I insert a Daiichi 2451 #6 or #8 hook into the back of the tube. Using the air brake line eliminates the need for a hook holder on the tube, so that saves a step. Tubes also allow me to use one fly with multiple hooks—if a hook gets dull or damaged, I just replace it. So ½ dozen Micro GPs can easily get me through a week of fishing. I’ve also eliminated the ribbing by using sparkle dubbing. The fly is small, so it only needs one tying station for the wing. The Krystal Flash is optional. I like it because it seems to work really well if used in moderation, but I’ve also had success without it, so eliminating it would save another few steps. The two-tone wing is something I’ve kept from the original RaginG Prawn, but you could get away with just using one colour – again, saving a step.

 

Micro GP Recipe

Thread: Hot orange or red 6/0

Tail: A few strands of hot orange polar bear or bucktail mixed with a few strands of pearlescent Krystal Flash

Feelers: Black and white barred peccary extending well away from the hook bend. If you can’t find peccary, try black and white barred rubber legs

Eyes: Golden pheasant tippet. Rather than cut a notch out of a section of tippet, I snip a few of the black-tipped fibers and tie them in on each side. For the Micro GP this material would be optional.

Body: Hot orange sparkle dubbing

Wing: Fire orange Woolly Bugger marabou over fluorescent orange Woolly Bugger marabou. I also mix in a few strands of pearlescent Krystal Flash. I layer this wing with one colour on top of the other but you could mix them together and tie them in as one mixed piece as well.

Hackle: A sparse turn or two of pheasant or brown saddle at the head.

Friday Fly By Jeremy Davies

The Catatonic Leech

Regular contributor and innovative tier Jeremy Davies says, “This might be the easiest fly I have ever tied except for the San Juan Wire Worm, and on lakes it is one of the most effective flies to fish. The standard Catatonic Leech is tied almost entirely of marabou (my preference is Wapsi Woolly Bugger Marabou, as it is fluffier and more lifelike than standard blood quill marabou), with a few wraps of lead and an optional glass bead. I tie this fly with olive marabou about 90% of the time, and use black, brown, wine, or white on occasion. The hook is a 3X long streamer hook in #6 to #12 with a glass or brass bead behind the eye. Four or five wraps of .020 or .025 lead wire immediately behind the bead help the fly flutter lightly as it sinks to the bottom. The tail should be about three quarters as long as the hook shank. Tails that are too long cost you hook-ups because the trout grab the tail but miss the hook. Tying the body out of marabou is easy. Strip the marabou off the main quill and dub it to the thread like regular dubbing.”

Recipe

Hook: Streamer hook, size 8-14

Weight: Four or five wraps of lead wire

Thread: 8/0 Uni-Thread (olive, black, or brown)

Bead: Glass (colour to match body)

Body: Dubbed marabou (olive, black, or brown)

Tail: Marabou (olive, black, or brown)

Adding to the Fly Arsenal: The High and Dry Caddis

Regular Fly Fusion contributor and innovative tier, Jeremy Davies, is always searching for ways to develop new patterns using synthetic materials. He says, “One style of fly that I use to mimic both standard and October caddis is Jeremy’s High & Dry Caddis, which has an antron wing, foam body, grizzly or brown hackle, and is tied on a light wire scud hook. The standard variety is tied with a tan foam body and a light brown antron wing. The October version is tied on a larger hook (sizes 8 to 12), with an orange foam body, a light brown antron wing and either grizzly or brown hackle. I also tie one to imitate the travelling sedge that we sometimes see in lakes in the spring. It is tied on a 3X-long dry-fly hook in sizes 6 to 10, and unlike other caddis patterns, has three sets of antron wings.”

Jeremy’s High and Dry Caddis by Jeremy Davies

Hook: Light wire scud hook, #10-16

Thread: Black or olive Uni-Thread, 8/0

Body: Cut and tapered foam

Wing: Antron yarn (typically tan or brown)

Hackle: Grizzly or brown

Tail: Black antron yarn (optional)

Adding to the Fly Arsenal: The Floating Evil Weevil

Looking for a versatile dry-fly pattern to tie during the colder months? The Floating Evil Weevil is a fly that imitates a number of insects trout love to snack on. Jeremy Davies, frequent Fly Fusion contributor says, “One of my favourite parachute patterns is the Floating Evil Weevil because it can be kept high and dry with floatant to represent a mayfly dun or it can be fished on a greased leader to pass as an emerger. It is tied on a light wire scud hook which gives it good hooking power and it can generally mimic any adult mayfly or even other adult insects such as caddis, midges or small stoneflies.”

Floating Evil Weevil by Jeremy Davies

 Hook: Light wire scud hook, #10-18

Thread: Olive Uni-thread, 8/0

Body: Light peacock Arizona Dubbing

Thorax: Natural peacock Arizona Dubbing

Post: White foam

Hackle: Grizzly

Legs: Brown goose biots

Tail: Pheasant tail or black antron yarn

Rib: Black Uni-Thread, 8/0