Posts Tagged ‘fly tying’

(Little Inyo Win. Stone)…#16-#18…

Or, one of those obscure little bugs that I pursue –  often overlooked by the Fly Fisherman…but, never by the Trout…these little guys were first observed in 1987, about a mile and a half above where my two favorite Bozos are standing…

Ally and Michael in the creek – studies and observation group (SOG)…

Their range..USGS Map…Inyo Snowfly

These little stone flies were discovered down here…


HOOK: Tiemco 2302, # 16-#18
THREAD: Tiemco 16/0 Brown
TAIL: MFC speckled centipede legs – Mini- Brown
UNDER ABDOMEN: Krystal Flash, Rusty Brown
OVER ABDOMEN: D- Rib, Small, Brown
THORAX: 50/50 Mix, Chopped Hare-Tron, Dark Brown / AZ Simi Seal #.19, Canadian Brown
CARPACE: Thin Skin, Mottled Oak
HACKLE: MFC Henry’s Fork Hackle, Brown (CDC)
LEGS: Same as Tail
BEAD: Tung. Copper 5/64 or 1/16 for # 18


These Stone Flies live deep in the stream bed until they are ready to emerge as adults. They move to the margins of the stream, crawl out of the water and escape as adults. The Trout feed on the nymphs and adults…a number of them will always be present in the late winter and spring depending on water temperature and elevation…I carry these in Brown and Black…The Black are tied down to size # 20 on a TMC 200R hook…

It pays dividends to have some in the fly box…

Location, location, location…

NEXT: Some larger soft hackles…to imitate Stone Flies and some other stream side bugs..


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A little trip out beyond the “ORANGE CURTAIN” to pick up some materials to complete the Caddis series I am currently working on… and, I came across some interesting hooks that will be showing up here soon…

Intended for Midges…however, I see other applications…

I like this “slow curve” hook style for Caddis larvae and pupae (especially for double beading)…The TMC 2302 is only sized to # 16…

This hook design intrigues me…let’s see how it holds Mr. TROUT…Gamakatsu makes some of the sharpest hooks that have ever punctured my fingers…
On to completing the Caddis….

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The following patterns, for the most part, represent Caddis Larva that I encounter on waters here in California and some other Western locations visited with my crew…The first three are simple larva that were designed by Dave Hughes. They are easy to tie and function for the novice or old FF geezer ( like myself)…Much of Dave’s research on these net spinning caddis, was done on this river that my son Michael is standing in…

Michael on the Boulder River, MT…above McCloud, MT…home of the ROAD KILL CAFE…

Hughes notes that the largest of the net spinners are found in the headwaters of mountain stream and that the species, in general, become smaller as elevation decreases…the smallest in size are found where the boundary for Trout survival ends…He suggests tying these patterns in sizes #8-#18…

Green Net Spinning larva…

HOOK: TMC 2457, Daiichi 1120, Mustad CO 68, Dai Riki 135 #8-#18

BEAD: Gold , sized to hook

WEIGHT: 4-6 turns lead or lead sub., wire the diameter of hook shank

THREAD: Brown or Black 6/0 or 8/0

ABDOMEN: Apple Green Antron yarn, twisted ( the BOOKMAILER is the ONLY place to find this Antron yarn)

THORAX: Fox or Pine Squirrel fur , with guard hairs ( I use spiky hare’s ear too)

Tan (or Cream-ish) Net Spinning Larva…

HOOK: TMC 2457, Daiichi 1120, Mustad CO 68, Dai Riki 135 #8-#18

BEAD: Gold , sized to hook

WEIGHT: 4-6 turns lead or lead sub., wire the diameter of hook shank

THREAD: Brown or Black 6/0 or 8/0

ABDOMEN: Tan or Cream-ish Antron Yarn, twisted

THORAX: Fox or Pine Squirrel fur , with guard hairs ( I use spiky hare’s ear too)

Olive Net Spinner…

HOOK: TMC 2457, Daiichi 1120, Mustad CO 68, Dai Riki 135 #8-#18

BEAD: Gold , sized to hook

WEIGHT: 4-6 turns lead or lead sub., wire the diameter of hook shank

THREAD: Brown or Black 6/0 or 8/0

ABDOMEN: Olive Antron Yarn, twisted

THORAX: Fox or Pine Squirrel fur , with guard hairs ( I use spiky hare’s ear too)

Ally, below Raynold’s Pass Bridge, on the Madison River, MT...”Which Caddis pattern do I use. DAD ???”


THREAD: Gordon Griffith’s 14/0 green, brown or UNI 8/0 olive dun

HOOK: TMC 2457 or DIIACHI 1120, # 16 – 18

ABDOMEN: Olive Beaver or Tan Beaver

RIB: Red 3/0 thread, Brown 3/0 for Tan

WINGPAD: White closed cell foam

I read about the success of this fly on the Delaware River in FF Mag. several years ago. I decided to tie some up and give them a shot. The particular way the foam is tied in, gives the fly a distinct, undulating motion that triggers Trout ( and probably fishermen too). I can assure this fly works. I have used it on both the Lower “O” and the East Walker with outstanding results…I first posted this pattern in July 2008, since then, I have tied them up in Tan as well, using Brown thread for the ribbing…they work…

Chewee Skin Green McKenzie Soft Hackle…

HOOK: TMC 3761, Daiichi 1560, # 8- #16

THREAD: Wapsi Ultra, Black 140 or 70 denier

BODY: UV Caddis Green Chewee Skin

THORAX: UV Ice Dub, Black

HACKLE: Natural Brown Partridge

This pattern come out of the Caddis Fly Shop in Eugene, OR. I have visited here a number of times on visits to Eugene. It was developed for the large Caddis that hatch on the McKenzie River in spring . I have scaled it down a bit for Eastern Sierra waters. The material, UV Chewee Skin, takes some getting used to. Stretch the cut off section gently and cut on an angle before tying it in on the hook. Use flattened thread and Softex, Aquaflex or Epoxy with this material…it melts with most head cements…It is squishy, slips somewhat but makes a really nice soft body…I shall hence refer to it as the TROUT GUMMI material !!!

An instructional video for tying the pattern may be found on the CADDIS FLY BLOG HERE:


HOOK: TMC 2488H, #12-#16

THREAD: Wapsi, Ultra, Olive 70 denier…use up to thorax

RIB: Wapsi, Ultra, Black, 6″ section

ABDOMEN: UV Chewee Skin, Caddis Green

THORAX: Natural Gray Ostrich Herl, use Ultra 70 denier to tie off and for rest of tie

WINGS/LEGS: Natural Brown Partridge

I wanted a pupa pattern with this Chewee Skin material…this design is based on John Barr’s Graphic Caddis, with a distinct hump of thread at the rear of the abdomen tapering to the thorax…Ostrich herl and partridge brings subtle motion to the fly…

My favorite CADDIS water on the Madison River, MT…


The stuff…sans a gold brass or tung bead…


HOOK: TMC 3761 or Daiichi 1560, #12-#16

THREAD: Waspsi, Ultra, 70 denier, Olive or Uni 8/0 Light Olive…FLATTENED

WEIGHT: Lead or lead sub. if using a brass bead

SHELLBACK: UV Chewee Skin, Caddis Green, pull gently over abdomen and bead

ABDOMEN: UV Ice Dub, Light Olive

BEAD: Black Brass or Tung

Another one of the “machines” out of Blue Ribbon Flies in West Yellowstone…Bucky says it may be used as a scud too…the video for tying this pattern is here:

A young Michael works a R.A.M CADDIS under the willows on the East Walker River, Bridgeport, CA…before the evening hatch…


HOOK: TMC 2488H, #12-#16

THREAD: For Abdomen, Wapsi Fl. Chartreuse, 70 denier…taper body (fat to thin)

TAG: Sm. Holographic Tinsel, Silver

OVER ABDOMEN: Glitter D RIB Medium or Small

THORAX: Switch to Wapsi Ultra, 70 denier Black, tie in Black Ostrich herl

OVER THORAX: Brown Scud Back 1/8″…tie in before herl

A little something to imitate the ever present Rhyacophila…my research associates (below) will report on the effectiveness of the pattern…

Ally and Michael… before the evening Caddisfest on the Madison River at $3.00 Bridge…


HOOK: TMC 2457, Daiichi 1120, Mustad CO68, Dai Riki 135, #12-#18

THREAD: Lagartun, 74 denier, for abdomen, build up rear

TAG: Gold Holographic Tinsel Medium or Small

OVER ABDOMEN: Small or Medium Glitter D Rib, Amber

THORAX: First tie in Gordon Griffith 14/0 or uni 8/0, Black, dub with Fox Squirrel

BEAD: Black brass (4-6 wraps of lead or lead sub.) or Black Tung

Something in Amber with pronounced ribbing for instances when Amber Hydropsyche are encountered…like here, where Ally is sittng…

Ally…telling her Dad that all the rocks in there have a copper-brown cast…Amber thingees work well in this RIVER…The Stillwater…

Caddis Pupa and Emergers that will be featured soon…

LaFontaine Deep Sparkle Pupa and Sparkle Emergers that are tied “old school” which will also show up with formulas for the bodies and veils…

But first, me and Ally have an appointment to go up here and explore some other activities…

…to be continued…


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So I have completed seven additions to the Spring BWO/BAETIS arsenal for the Eastern Sierras and beyond. Most of the bugs I encounter in the Baetis complex, this time of year, run to lighter earth tone colors including: tan, light olive, grey and light brown. Most are in the #16 -# 20 size range. As I have previously stated, in my outings on Eastern Sierra waters, I have come across one or more colors in different sections of the same rivers that I fly fish. Hence, I probably carry way too many boxes containing these variations…or not…

These are some of the boxes that may be found in my vest or pack when I am on the H2O with these critters in mind:

12 compartment Myran boxes

18 compartment Myran Fly Boxes…

I like these Myran boxes because I can readily see what is inside of them, they have great hinges, not crushing the flies and most of all, because they readily allow air to circulate after I have take my usual dunkin’ in the river…

First, I am including this pattern, which I first put up in April 2008. It is a good one, easy to tie, a bit different and it works


Hook: Diiachi 1130, TMC 2487, # 16-#22

Thread: Gordon Griffiths grey or olive
Tail/shuck: Olive brown ice dub
Abdomen: Stalcup’s BWO goose biot
Rib: Lagartun fine gold wire
Thorax: Arizona Peacock hares ear
Wing: White Sparkle Emerger Yarn or Grey Sparkle Emerger Yarn

The Owens Emerger is a good surface film pattern used as a trailer or with a small BB size tuft of yarn 6 inches above the fly. I use Enrico Puglisi “ Powerfull” tippet material for fishing dries and film emergers. I have recently been using Stroft GTM which my son Michael brought home from a trip to Paris, with excellent results. For fishing deep, my flurocarbon is always Seaguar.

5 BRIDGES BAETIS NYMPH (Tan)…tilted view

HOOK: TMC 2488 # 18- #22
THREAD: Lagartun 74D, Rusty Brown
TAIL: Lemon Wood Duck fibers
ABDOMEN: Nature’s Spirit # 26 Goose Biots, Callibaetis, fringed
RIB: Lagartun copper wire, x-fine
THORAX: Ice Dub Olive/Brown or UV Brown
UNDER WING CASE: Med. Holo Tinsel, Gold
WING CASE: Brown Scud Back, 1/8″
LEGS: Brown Partridge, V Notched
OPTIONAL: 4-6 wraps .010 lead

5 BRIDGES BAETIS NYMPH (Tan)…side view
One of my favorites places to pursue Trout is in the 5 bridges section of the Lower Owens River. Michael, Ally and I have done a load of exploring in these parts and there are some surprising fish in this area if one approaches them properly and provides the proper presentation at the right depth…this fella’ will find a spot in the deep slots and undercuts prior to actual emergence…The Holo Tinsel in Gold beneath the wing case provides a spice of glint I look for in nymphs…
The Lower Owens River in the 5 Bridges area…
HOOK: TMC 2487, Daiichi 1130, Mustad c49s, # 16-#22
THREAD: Gordon Griffith 14/0 Sheer Dun
SHUCK/TAIL: Lt. Dun, Crinkly Zelon
ABDOMEN: Premo Goose Biot, Hareline, BWO
WING: Medium Dun CDC
THORAX: Superfine (SFD 171) Callibaetis
HACKLE: Grizzly Dun
This is an excellent Shane Stalcup pattern.I have tweaked the colors just a bit for waters I fish. He suggests using saddle hackle or hen necks for the hackle. The hackle is twisted around finely dubbed thread, 2-3 turns,pulled around the thorax, then tied off before the wing is added. The hackle fibers are pulled to the sides…any that are uncooperative may be snipped off…I am quite surprised that I do not see more people tying and using Shane’s patterns…they are some of the best I have come across…This pattern is meant to be fished in the surface film, dead drift…
HOOK: TMC 2487. Daiichi 1130, Mustad c49s, #16-#22
THREAD: Gordon Griffith 14/0, Sheer, Ginger
TAIL: Lemon Wood Duck fibers
ABDOMEN: 2 Strands Tan UV, KF, 1 Strand Olive KF
WING: CDC Oiler Puff, Dun
THORAX: Brown / OLive Ice Dub
WING CASE: Black Thin Skin or Scud Back
BEAD: Black Tung, sized to hook
I decided to name this fly after putting a second degree burn on part of my left hand and thumb from a cook pot full of hot vegetable oil gone awry…actually, I have been putting CDC oiler puffs on many of my emerger patterns since tying up a lot of different Rs2’s a long time ago… this is meant to represent an emerger that has popped below the surface…that is why it has a tungsten bead on it…dead drift and swing…
HOOK: TMC 5262, #16-#18
THREAD: Wapsi, Ultra 70 Denier, Tan
TAIL: Brown Partridge fibers
ABDOMEN: Tan Micro Tubing
THORAX: 1/3 Brown/ Olive SLF Prism, 2/3 Dk. Tan Beaver
WING CASE: Black Medallion Sheeting
LEGS: Brown Partridge, V-Notched
WEIGHT: Lead wire .010 or Sub.

This is another Shane Stalcup pattern that is tied without a V-Notch in the rear of the Medallion Sheeting. The tie ends up behind the wing case if one prefers to use that method. I have used micro tubing in many of my fly patterns and find it to be a material I enjoy using which also adds to the segmentation and translucense of the pattern’s abdomen…long and thin also has it’s place in BWO/ Baetis recipes…
HOOK: TMC 2457, Daiichi 1120 #14-#20
THREAD: Wapsi, Ultra, 70 Denier, Olive
BEAD: Green Lucent Tung or Green Glass
TAIL: Mallard Flank or Lemon Wood Duck
BODY/ABDOMEN: Green Tinsel
WING: Medium Dun CDC
WING CASE: Black Scud Back or Thin Skin
THORAX: Ice Dub, Peacock
A nifty little flashy pattern that comes out of the Big R Fly Shop in Great Falls, MT. I like flasy and different…The instructional video for this fly is here:
HOOK:Dai Riki 135, TMC 2487, Daiichi 1130, Mustad c49s #16-#22
THREAD: Wapsi, Ultra, 70 Denier, Fl. Chartreuse
BEAD: Gold Tung, sized to hook
TAIL: Brown Partridge
RIB: Uni. 6/0 Thread, White, new piece cut for each fly
ABDOMEN: Tan Ultra Thread, Wapsi, 70 denier
THORAX: Ice Dub, UV Dun
WING CASE: Black Thin Skin or Scud Back
My take on the Lance Egan pattern for Spring. UV Dun Ice Dubbing, used in a number of fly patterns, can produce some interesting results… The original version is tied in colors for Fall – here:
TAN IRON LOTUS …frontal view…

HOOK: TMC 2488, # 16-#22
THREAD: Gordon Griffith 14/0 Sheer, Dun
TAIL: Lemon Wood Duck fibers
RIB: Copper/ Brown Ultra Wire, SM
ABDOMEN: Natural Goose Biot
HACKLE: Partridge , Grey
I LOVE soft hackles and wanted some in this color combination. I also like tying them on this TMC 2488 hook !!!
Ally, waiting on the Madison River, MT for what comes next…


Caddis patterns…

Not enough BAETIS/ BWO’s ???…TRY HERE (follow links at bottom of article)


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I would not find myself catching very many of thesePT, on Reverse Creek, June Lake loop, CA…1954…

If I did not, in due course, invest some time in reading and learning what some of the great tiers are up to. Skip Morris is one of my favorites. His new book, which came out in late 2009, caught my eye the other day, as I was browsing my local Fly Shop. I would highly recommend his most current read to anyone that is interested ,in what he, and a batch of other talented tiers (new and old) have offered up. A two hour tying DVD rounds out the book package…

“TROUT FLIES FOR RIVERS”, Skip and Carol Ann Morris…

One may peruse the book HERE:

Now, I gotta’ get back to playing with the bugs…

Stirring things up in Reverse Creek with my brother, Greg…


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I do not frequently use dubbing wax, but when I do…

This is the best dubbing wax I have ever come across. All one has to do, is lightly wax the thread and pass it over a pile of dubbing. The dubbing…leaps on the thread. It was first introduced around 1975 and I wisely picked some up when I first started tying. It was discontinued back in the early 80’s and I have heard reports that it has been offered on ebay for as much as $25.00 for a single tube!!! There was some talk of this product being put out on the market again, by David Overton, the son of Glenn Overton who created “Wonder Wax”. To my knowledge, that has not happened..

The BOOKMAILER has a product -BT’s Dubbing Wax – that they tout as a replacement for this great wax…I dunno. This tube (above) is still 80% full and I may still have another tube or two around…

Wax lightly, my friend…


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OK, I’m going to give this a shot. I have not done this before, but…if it works, maybe SOME MORE...???

SLOPE CADDIS tying tutorial…

Basic info:

HOOK: Gamakatsu C-16B. #16-#18





THREAD: Gordon Griffiths 14/0 Sheer Tan and White

ABDOMEN: Gordon Griffiths 14/0, Sheer White, ( built with a pronounced “hump” at the bend)

TAG: Holo Tinsel, Gold

OVER ABDOMEN: Stalcup’s Micro Midge Tubing, Tan, Grey, Olive Chart. or Brown

THORAX: SLF Prism, Tan, Lt. Grey, Brown/Olive, Olive, Peacock or Chocolate Brown

OUTRIGGERS: Thin strands of Snowshoe Rabbit’s Foot, Light Dun, Medium Dun or Dark Dun

UNDER WING: Three strands of Krystal Flash, Root beer, UV Tan, Olive, Rust, Pearl or UV Gray

WING: Coastal Deer Hair, Tan, Natural or Darker Mottled Shades, tied “bullet “style


Place hook in vise. Tie in with Gordon Griffiths 14/0 Sheer, white:

Tie in gold Holo tinsel (Flashabou) then tie in Stalcup’s Micro Tubing, tan. Advance thread to just over 1/2 down hook bend. Cut off excess tinsel and tubing…

Create pronounced hump at bend of hook and half hitch thread at 1/3 length of hook…

Wrap gold Holo tinsel counter clockwise and tie off at 1/3rd. point. Cut off excess tinsel.Advance thread tapering abdomen, half hitch at first bend…

Wrap Micro Tubing forward (clockwise,away from tier) to abdomen, Start with tubing stretched tight and reduce tension while moving towards thorax.Tie off micro tubing and cut excess…

Wet thread with moist fingertips, add a small amount of SLF Prism, tan to form compact dubbing ball at rear of thorax. Cover last two wraps of Micro Tubing and into first bend of hook. Half hitch…

Completed dubbing ball. (BELOW)…

Cut a small section of light dun Snowshoe rabbit’s fur from the heel section, comb out the underfur and carefully split the section into two equal parts with a dubbing needle…

Attach 1st. section to near side of hook, tight against the front of the dubbing ball, with 4 turns of thread( two soft, and two additional tight wraps). Pull directly upwards to tighten the thread.Repeat for the far side of the hook. It should look like this from above…

Cut a small section of Coastal Deer hair, comb out the underfur and stack. Extend over the front of the hook eye 2X the shank length. Bind and clip excess…

Add 3 strands of Root beer Krystal Flash and bind down.Half hitch 14/0 white thread and tie in 14/0 tan thread.Half hitch. I add a drop of head cement here.

Dub a thick thorax with SLF Prism,tan from the abdomen to the hook eye, then back…

Draw the Krystal Flash and deer hair directly backward and secure with several wraps (not too tight or the hair will be cut) and whip finish. I use a small drop of head cement on the thread, on top…

The finished FLY…

This, is what the Trout sees…

In places like this:

Lower Owens River…up along that far bank…

Anywhere in here about 7;30PM till after dark…

Michael’s already got one in there!!!

And I got one in here…East Walker River…

Hot Creek, on the RANCH…long before I knew I’d be doing this….


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Andy Baird ties small flies, something that is just not within my limited capabilities….

This is a #32 spinner…

For his creations, please visit:

Small Fly Funk

PT/TB thumbsup

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I noticed that Davy Wotton will be conducting some tying classes – over at The Mountain River Journal. If one is in that area, attending might be considered. He is a true creative genius in tying, FF techniques and innovative materials.

These are some new midge patterns Davy has come up with…

Davy Wotton Master Midges

Davy Wotton Master Midges click for larger

Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year!!!


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In the next couple of weeks, I will put up some streamer patterns and leech patterns. That will be followed by a bunch of Midge patterns including JuJuBees, Virals, Poison Tungs and some easy and really neat soft hackles using starling feathers, wire and Krystal Flash. Look for additional stories on the Owens Valley and the East Walker River….long before the “movie” put mas people and far too many guides(?) on it… This guy being one of the great exceptions…Just watching this old guy fish a brace of wet flies was one of life’s sweetest pleasures…




“It was many moons ago when my good friend and fishing companion Steve Cooper and I drove across Los Angeles to the sleepy burg of Montrose to buy our first fly gear. Maybe it’s only fond memory at work, but I recall that the air was unusually clear and crisp that day as we headed to Ned Gray’s fly shop on Honolulu Avenue. Ned, long since passed away, was one the grand old men of fly fishing and certainly a legend in his time. Steve and I were lucky to have this day with him. So here we were, two 30ish year old, half-broke yahoos anxious to dive into this sport of fly-fishing. I reckon Ned could see that we didn’t fit into the wealthy industrialist/fly fisherman category. A lusty, warm-hearted man, he regaled us with stories of growing up and fishing in Mammoth Lakes.”

From: ” Confessions of a Dude Ranch Fisherman”

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