a Griffith’s Gnat variant

here’s a seriously interesting emerger offshoot of the infamous G-Gnat.
created by Blue Ribbon Flies and demonstrated by Tim Flagler at MidCurrent, this little bug should do the do and do it well anywhere there’s teeny-tiny midges coming off and dancing about the surface. this one’s in size 20 but the basic idea in various tones and sizes to match your local bugs are sure to raise some trouty interest.
maybe its just me as it took me a little while to figure out the G-Gnat component in this pattern but fly names are fly names and its always good to respectfully attach a variant to its original, and said component happens to be: a very volume-reduced few turns of grizzly hackle over a short peacock herl thorax. those few turns are good enough for me and i’m positive, more than enough for a hungry fish. enjoy !

Fly Tying- Arthur Cove’s Pheasant Tail Nymph

cove's ptn 1we all know that Frank Sawyer was the originator the infamousPTN but perhaps few outside of the UK are familiar with Cove’s version.
where Sawyer’s nymph was originally created as a baetis imitation for chalkstreams, Cove’s version comes out as a chironomid pupae mostly intended for stillwaters but works equally well in flowing waters that have chironomids and most of them do.

 ” An important part of Cove’s claim to fame is told in the story of how he developed his famous pheasant tail nymph. His most successful tyings were slender and lightly-dressed nymphs – not the thick, over-dressed flies too often on sale today – even though they were tied on long-shank size eights and 10s. He then started to use hooks of a normal shank length but took the dressing right round the bend “and much nicer they looked too.”. Full instructions for tying the fly are included in the appendix and Cove recommends that you tie the fly on all sizes and weights of hook, so that you can fish it at different depths. ”  -click the cigarette for more from his book first published in 1986-
cove
apart from the flashback addition the original nymph most probably looked like this slender beauty below and i’m sure it’ll be just as effective as the curved-hook version although my personal preference goes towards the latter for both a closer resemblance of the curvy-squigling shape of the bugs as they’re trying to break through the water’s surface tension and a strong personal preference for grub-style hooks as in Davie’s video that accentuate this curvy shape and also hold fish better as there’s less hook shank to ‘lever off’ during the fight. cove's ptn 2

the tying in itself is very straightforward. always very well explained and demonstrated by Davie McPhail, here’s how to tie it.
the original didn’t have pheasant tail fibre tips as wings. whether you believe the pattern needs them or not is up to you.
be sure to give these a try, you won’t regret it. enjoy !

* sorry, couldn’t help it.

Tim’s Asher

fresh off the vice and video editor comes another great tying tutorial by Tim Flagler.

immediately recognised as being in the Griffith’s Gnat family, this tiny coloured variant is yet another go-to pattern to have in the box. Tim’s tie has an orange body but you can easily use whatever colour that matches your local bugs.
as an example, just yesterday there was a midge hatch here at home that had lovely yellowish lime-green bodies and this pattern would have done the trick more than fine, i’m more than certain.

as simplistic a tie as it may seem, these types of patterns are hardcore fish attractors. enjoy !

the KF (Krystal Flash) Buzzer

by Hans Weilenmann

even though they’re not really transparent, chironomid pupae have this gross, slimy texture and reflectance about them that makes it seems like it and that’s what makes Hans’ KF stand out from the somewhat recent vogue of epoxy/now turned to UV resin yet still opaque buzzer imitations that are branded just about everywhere.
Midge Pupait’s not like i’d say that wrapping the KF body is labor intensive as it just takes a little while but it’s the key element of this fly. allowing the slightly shiny hook to show through gives that ‘airy-lively-sexy (sort of)’ appearance the real bugs have. sure, there are other methods of getting the same visual results but they involve adding unnecessary layers and thickness to a bug that’s usually quite thin.
also, in yet another demonstration of ‘every wrap of thread should contribute to the fly’s construction’ philosophy, Hans’ great trick of combining winding the dubbing while simultaneously whip-finishing the fly is a great one to add to any tier’s repertoire. enjoy !

a winged, quilled, cormorant buzzer

by Davie McPhail

here’s a very good example of what first appears to be non-sensical hybridization and further proof that trying to understand why a fish will take an artificial fly over another is as futile an attempt as well, maybe trying to understand the meaning of life or maybe why i went out with any of my exes…
what we have on today’s tying tutorial menu is your basic, if not more realistic and finer made than most, buzzer, or chironomid/midge pupae imitation with a black, undulating ‘wing’ mounted on it’s back.  bugs in their pupal stage don’t have wings and for the sake of argument, even if they did they most certainly wouldn’t be black and wouldn’t do the sexy wigglings that a marabou wing does.

now for the weird part. i’m getting more and more convinced that it’s this tail and not so much the body of the fly that’s really getting the fish to take.
after doing a lot of experimenting over the last year or so with this basic idea with flies like these that where inspired by the upright-wing Clyde style of wets or other UK reservoir flies.  far from wanting to compare my flies to Davie’s, this winged aspect and purpose however fits in with the Cormorant/Buzzer variant in the video at the bottom of the post.

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anyhow, what remains is, a whole heck of a lot of fish have been brought to the net with these weirdly winged flies. next step will have me trying out flies with just a wing. the idea is the wing acts as an extended body with a nice generalist shape with lots of attractive movement making the traditional body obsolete. of course, the main objective is finding flies that greatly attract fish but it’s also an exercise in minimalist tying. i guess the ultimate goal is to use just one material but that material’s selection and application needs to be just right. it’s a quest !
i’ve several prototypes that haven’t fished yet but judging by the all-important bidet-test, they have that certain-special ‘smell of success’ about them. pics to follow.

i almost forgot ! Davie’s video is as always an understated goldmine of tying tips and overall tying excellence. be sure to take note of the finer points by using the pause and replay buttons. enjoy !