Fly Tying- Jasper’s Carrot

if we take a quick look at the fly below we’ll see a really nice looking pattern but we also might think ‘nice but old hat’. now, if we take a look at the video and pay close attention to how it was made we’ll notice two super-duper easy-peasy tricks to get it just right and gorgeous and the second easy-peasy part just might bring some tiers over to the winged wet world where they might have been put off by the more traditional fuss and muss of having to pair left and right feather wing slips.

first up, the use of a two-toned Pearsall’s Gossimer thread
wound in touching turns down the hook shank then back up and that’s it. all the colour separation segmentation trigger points a fly and its tier could ever want or need in one simple step.
using the very same abdomen technique for standard non-winged wets, nymphs, emergers or dries instantly comes to mind. should you need a bulkier or asymmetric body simply create a base with standard thread and cover over with the silk. simples.

secondly- this is where this tutorial is absolutely brilliant !
construction of the wing itself using a single covert feather that’s tied on in one piece without having to deal with slips. put simply, you can’t go wrong and that’s a real bonus for those who like it sweet and simple and don’t have the patience for a possible wrong. i have no idea if Davie came up with the idea himself but i and i’m sure many others will be grateful he shared this great tip once they’ve checked out the vid and tried it out for themselves. enjoy !

Fly Tying- a CDC Yellow May Dun

by Davie McPhail

Big-bird-NEW

the Yellow May or, Heptagenia sulphurea is the Big Bird of the aquatic insect world. not so much i guess in the big sense, but it has weird globular eyes, its yellow all over, can be seen from kilometres away, is undoubtedly the easiest ephemeroptera species to recognise and everyone loves it, specially hungry trouts !

here’s how to make a really nice one so you too can be in the Cool-Yellow crowd , enjoy !

the Infernal Triangle of the Nymph World

first of all, the Sanford and Son episode that inspired these magical nymphs-

ok, that was to a) get you throught the “Oh, No ! Not Another PT Tutorial !!!” feeling you probably had when you opened this page and b) a little Sanford and Son rerun every ten or twenty years doesn’t hurt.
so, now that we have the historical background and ermm feelings covered, let’s have a look at this lovely trio of nymphs through yet another awesome video from Davie McPhail.

all three are based on the very same Pheasant Tail nymph design. one’s a straight-up PT and the other two are variants.
these two variants, in my mind, aren’t really necessary because as we all know, no other nymph will outfish a PT but they’re there to remind us that if we keep the same concept and proportions as the OGPT, we can play around and customize and make ourselves feel good and feel special and still end up with an equally succesful, inexpensive and dead-easy to tie nymph.
on a more practicle note, while the variants will necessitate more than just two materials, these materials are also stronger than pheasant tail fibres making for flies that will resist a little better to tiny teeth, forceps, angler clumsiness, underwater rocks abrasion, etc.
a lot of tiers will have an iffy feeling about tying a complete fly with wire instead of the classic thread but trying is believing. keep in mind that the wire’s weight actually weighs the fly down quite a bit or at least a heck of a lot more than it might seem at first. that weight is also distributed throughout the fly’s body instead of the usual just-behind-the-head of the typical beadhead nymph and results in a more realistic movement through the water. for even heavier versions, lay a lead wire base in the thorax region before attaching the tying wire and and skip the wire build-up sequence.

here you go, you’ll find the materials list below, enjoy !

materials used in the video- (feel more than free to improvise)
Hook, Kamasan B175 (something barbless is of course better)
Thread, Extra Small Copper Wire (thinner is better, specially if you want more weight. the smaller spaces between wraps means filling in those spaces with wire instead of air)
Tail, Pheasant Tail Fibres
Body, Pheasant Tail, Natural Dubbing and Killer Bug Yarn (this one’s hard to get but there are several equally effective substitutes available)
Thorax Cover, Pheasant Tail and Natural Dubbing

Fly Tying- the John Storey

hot out Davie McPhail’s vise is a pattern that’s a billion years old an old English classic. apparently this little creature started its life as a wet fly but somehow dried out through time and started to float. at first glance we’ll notice that it doesn’t look like anything in the least bit like any one single bug and even less like an ‘upright’ or, any of the mayfly family at the just-hatched, drying-its-wings-off-and-riding-the-surface-current-before-flying-away stage but, well… game fish aren’t particularly bright and we lovem’ that way.

suffice to say, this is one of those gems on a hook that has stood up proudly to the test of time, to me it’s got fish-catcher written all over it.

john storey dry

“John Storey was a river keeper on the river Rye in North Yorkshire. He devised an artificial fly that has remained popular in this part of North Yorkshire since he first invented it in the 1900’s. It is such a popular fly in Ryedale that it is simply known as “The John Storey”

John made the body of his fly from peacock herl. Herl is the name given by fly dressers to feathers fibres. These particular fibres are found around the “eye” feathers in the spectacular plumage of a peacock’s tail. If you happen to have a peacock to hand, you will see that these fibres have a particularly interesting iridescence; they appear as either a green or bronze colour. Viewed in natural light, they have a real “insecty” kind of hue about them. If you happen not to have a peacock, fear not, many shops now sell peacock feathers as decoration; you could pop into the nearest furnishings department and have a sly look. You may prefer simply to take our word for it.

The use of peacock herl for the bodies of artificial flies was common at the time when our July fly first adorned the waters of the Rye. I would like to think that John Storey obtained his peacock feathers from the nearby Castle Howard Estate.

Spending so much time by the river gave John the opportunity to observe the behaviour of lots of different flies in the process of hatching. He particularly watched a family of flies called the “upwings”. He noticed that they had the habit of floating down the river, wings held aloft, a convincing imitation of a small sailboat. He also noticed that the trout and grayling population of the river ate these newly hatched morsels with great enthusiasm. So, Mr. Storey added a pretend wing to the herl body; he chose to use the tip of a feather taken from the breast of a mallard duck. This species of duck is very common on the rivers on North Yorkshire. It is not difficult to imagine our river keeper picking up moulted feathers and seeing their potential for dressing his trout flies. The first wings were sloped back over the body of the fly. Later on, however, in 1935 John’s grandson modified the wing so that it was made to slope forward over the front of the fly. This is the version that is almost universally used today and Steve has produced it here. To finish his creation, our hero wound around the front of his fly, the feather from the neck of a Rhode Island Red cock. This is called the hackle and helps the fly to float. Some of the angling elders of Ryedale will tell you that the John Storey will not catch fish unless it sports a genuine Rhode Island Red hackle. Well, I’m not so sure about that, but it’s a good story (sorry!).

The John Storey is a dry fly; it is smeared with oil to make it float. When it is cast upon the waters and when it bobs along the surface, the most obvious feature is that little wing. On a sunny day, that spoon shaped appendage also reflects the sunlight and becomes even more prominent. If the fish are looking for a wing to announce the arrival of lunch, that is exactly what they see first. This forward facing wing may well be what makes this fly so effective. Whatever it is, it features very regularly in the successful fly list of many Yorkshire rivers. It has also had a few trips down to the hallowed chalkstreams of Hampshire. I just wish that John Storey were alive today so that I could tell him that it fooled those trout hand over fist too.”

nuff’ said, here’s how to tie your own. enjoy !

quote and image source: Fishing With Style

note: the wing in the image is very different than the wing on Davie’s video. i’d go for the latter as the former is completely wrong on several levels; it’s in the wrong position, is too voluminous and will twist the fly whilst casting. looks pretty though…

Fly Tying- Making an Easy flat Lead Tape substitute

“If you can’t find Lead Tape/Foil then why don’t you make your own using a Seam Roller….. ?”

Davie McPhail‘s question/suggestion says it all. first of all, flat lead tape, whether sticky-back or not isn’t always easy to find and it’s more expensive than it should be. on the other hand, round profiled lead wire is easily abundant and quite cheap, specially when bought in larger spools.
secondly, unless we’re going for a bulky build-up of the fly’s profile, flat lead has several advantages the round stuff can’t do. flattening round wire doesn’t change it’s weight which means that for the same amount/weight of wire we can get either get a slimmer profile and not end up with a small, short, squat obese nymph… or, add approximately twice the weight of round wire with subsequent layers of the flat stuff without getting a fatter profile than a single wrap of round. (i hope that makes sense… 😆 )

finally, the flat stuff lets us be more creative and specific as to how much weight we add to the fly while easily controlling the profile that we want: its all good.

tip- although a seam roller works best and is worth the purchase in the long run, any burnishing-type tool, an old Bic pen or even a hammer will work great in a pinch. lead is soft and takes little pressure to deform.

Davie’s on a how-to/tying tips and tricks roll these days so, here’s a first for us to eat up, enjoy !

ps- don’t forget that lead is poisonous. don’t go picking your nose, scratching your eyes, eating fried chicken while having sex and licking your fingers after without washing your hands first, Ok ?

Fly Tying- a Blae and Black/Black Pennell two-in-one wet fly

blae
[bley, blee]
Origin
adjective, Scotland and North England
1. bluish-black; blue-gray.

“Ye must be fair starving, Paul,” quoth she softly with her hand on my arm, and I daresay my face was blae with cold and chagrin.
‘The Shoes of Fortune’, Neil Munroblae and black McPhail

now, what’s interesting in this fly’s name is that it doesn’t have any blue components.

ok, black materials almost always have either a blueish or reddish highlight reflection when/if the light hits it just right but it doesn’t matter a single bit because i’m rambling about something irrelevant instead of getting to the point which is: this a f’n awesome fish catching and beautiful fly.

as for the two-in-one and noted in the vid, this pattern is a Black Pennell with a wing. the Black Pennell wet designed by Mr H. Cholmondley (pronounced Chumley) Pennell is a classic that shouldn’t need any introduction to anyone born since 1870.

“Quoting from Fly Patterns and Their Origins by Harold Hinsdill Smedly; “H. Cholmondeley Pennel, 1837-1913, English poet-sportsman and author of The Angler Naturalist 1864; Modern Practical Angler, 1873; The Sporting Fish of Great Britain, Modern Improvements in Fishing Tackle, and Salmon & Trout , 1885, of which he was also an editor, was the originator of that type of hackle fly known as the “Pennell Hackle.” He also originated the turned down eyed and tapered hook which carry his name.
His choice and recommendation of that particular type of hackle fly was in three colors: brown, yellow and green. The body, instead of being bushy or soft, was hard, silk wrapped and thin. The hackle, tied very sparsely, was a little longer than usual.
Although he probably did not realize it when he recommended these patterns of thin bodies and lightly dressed hackles, he started something, for many tiers now recommend and say “dress sparsely,” but he was the first to realize that a lightly dressed fly was oftentimes better than one too heavily dressed.” *

history aside, whether this pattern needs a wing or not to be effective is most probably anyone’s guess and not the fish’s. what it will obviously do however is give the fly a bigger profile and make it look like a bigger somethingoranother instead of a smaller somethingoranother. the good thing about including a wing is it can always be trimmed off waterside with our nippers when big(ger) isn’t on the day’s menu.

enough talk, here’s how to tie the beast. enjoy !

since we’re Pennelling today and variety being the spice of life and all that, here’s an anorexic version of the standard BP tied by superman-tier Hans Weilenmann. following Han’s method you’ll be hard-pressed fitting a wing in there but we all know this fly doesn’t need a wing…

* quote source: Fly Anglers Online

Fly Tying Tutorials- the Silver Invicta

The Invicta was originally known as The Pride of Devon, The Silver Invicta is a variation of the original Invicta fly pattern. The Invicta Caddis wet fly pattern was first mentioned in James Ogden’s book “Ogden on fly tying” which was published in 1879.

that’s 136 years of being a classic fly that not only greatly appeals to fly fishing and tying history buffs but more importantly, to fish. designed to imitate a drowned caddis with its long wing and hackles that imitates legs and a yellow tail to probably imitate eggs, this pattern also works very well as a small bait imitation. primarily designed with still waters in mind used with various retrieves or ‘dead-drifted’ across a wind-swept feeding lane, i’ve had great success with this fly in rivers fished either across with little steady pulls of the line or with the standard ‘down-and-across’ swing.
sure to raise a few hackles from the purists and spurred from the at-the-time reluctance/apprehension i had to try to include matched wing slips to my flies, i’ve had great success by replacing said wing with marabou, fox hair, fine deer hair, swiss straw or simply taking a bunch of fibres from a feather that ‘looks about right’, folding them once or twice and tying the lot on top. although matched wing slips are beautiful at the vise or in the box and are a great way to get a lot of Facebook likes… i’m personally convinced they offer no ‘fishable’ advantage as they’ll just get matted and out of that lovely shape once wet and specially after a fish or two have nibbled on it for a bit.

as always with Davie McPhail’s tutorials, today’s treat not only shows how to tie this lovely Invicta properly but there’s also several tying tips and tricks that transfer over to many-many other patterns. enjoy !

 

the Transformer Midge

hot off of Davie McPhail‘s video editor is one the most interesting fly design concepts i’ve seen in a looooong time: the Transformer monicker sets the theme.

tied as is and with all its strong and fine trigger points, this fly looks like it’ll do the trick just about anywhere whether it be on flowing or still waters anytime a floating or in-the-surface-film or sub-surface aquatic or terrestrial fly is called for.
– need something that looks more caddisy ? just trim back the extended body with your nippers.
– want a stonefly ? nip off the legs and maybe trim the chenille abdomen.
– small grass-hopper hatch ? trim back the abdomen a little and leave it blunt instead of tapered.
– want it to sit in the film ? trim the bottom part of the hackle with either your nippers or scissors.
– want it just below the surface to fish it Loch-Style ? rub it underwater with your fingers till it’s waterlogged and it’ll break the surface tension right away.
– sound good ? no, great  !

since i exclusively use factory barbless hooks, i’m certain a wide gape curved-shank ‘scud’ type hook will work very nicely. different sizes from size 10 to 18 in black, olive and brown should do the trick year ’round.
heck, i’m seeing so much potential in this little bug that i think i’ll tie up a little box full of these and fish them exclusively…

here’s the tying tutorial, enjoy !

Fly Tying- the Double-Decker

no, not this goofy thing,
doubledecker
this one !
DDecker McPhail

nice and nifty and what i like best: lotsa fishing friendly, fish attracting profile with a highly non-bug-species-specific generic aspect.

take special note of Davie’s method of breaking away the wing’s waste hairs by increasing thread tension at the tie in point while tearing the fibres with the other hand. this is a brilliant, fast and tool-less solution for getting a great tapered body without having to cut away and ending up with an unsightly abrupt bump.
why the double wings ? the same amount of deer hair over a larger surface stabilises the fly on the surface, specially in faster flows or choppier water and is more translucent, something that’s gotta be more realistic or at least, less put-offish to the fish below than some dense lump. the larger surface will also help the angler track the fly without having to resort to adding some gaudy fluo pink shit to the fly…

lastly, this winging method of course reminds us of Bob Wyatt’s infamous* Deer Hair Emerger and i can’t help but think that a double-wing version added to it would be the bee’s knees, once again, specially in the faster waters or when it might be a little hard to see the fly or even as a ‘stronger floating’ indicator fly with a nymph or wet hanging below it. good stuff huh ?

thanks again Davie for giving us another great tutorial. enjoy folks !

* yeah, yeah, i know. once a kid always a kid…

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.

Davie’s Black Cricket

Davie McPhail’s been recently upgrading a lot of his youtube tying videos to HD and as we say here in the south of France:
‘zat’s f’n great’ !!!
so, to celebrate this high definition, on today’s menu we have a lovely and quite crunchy-munchy Black Cricket
Black Cricket

note that “It’s Bill Skilton’s Stretchy Foam that I used and not Thin Foam as I said in the video, sorry….” and as you’ll see in the video and even if it might not be the easiest thing to find, this particular foam is absolutely perfect for this type of patter. something worth hunting down.
otherwise here’s the recipe to make this too-cool bug.

Hook, size 10 dry fly
Thread, Uni 8/0 black
Tail, Dyed Black Turkey or Goose Biots
Body, Bill Skilton’s Stretchy Foam and Black Dubbing
Back, Bill Skilton’s Stretchy Foam
Legs, Dyed Black Turkey Biots and a Dyed Black Cock Hackle
Thorax Cover, Black Foam
Head, Black Dubbing
Horns, Dyed Black Pheasant Tail

and here’s the beast. enjoy !

on a personal note, the tier can certainly go and finish the fly just like Davie’s doing but apart from some long-stranded dubbing to tidy up the head at 8:40, i’d probably stop adding materials, whip finish and pull out the strands a bit to imitate the short front legs of the crunchy black beauty. either way its all good.

chironomid pupae detached

by Davie McPhail
there’s about fifteen gazillion midge/buzzer/chironomid patterns out there and just about all of them severely lack what’s probably in my opinion the most important trigger that might attract fish to an emerging midge: movement of the fly’s body itself.
as we easily see in this video midges continuously wiggle-squiggle in the same manner that squirmy spermies squiggle when they’re homing in !

even if most buzzer patterns are tied on a curve hook shank that shank is rigid. basically, they look like dead and stiff bugs. that in itself isn’t so bad because fish love to eat stillborn or spent bugs but it seems pretty obvious that anything moving is going to attract more attention than something being still.

so, as you’ve guessed, the micro-chenille extended body is what’s going to make this pattern more lively than others as this material gets all limp and wimpy when wet just as the marabou breathers will. Limp is good !!!
this limp goodness should be specially good when the fly is fished either static or with a very slow retrieve but then, the originals squirm no mater what kind of water they’re in.
i’m not sure how the coloured tag of Davie’s pattern fits in with the natural (it doesn’t) so, even though it may add yet another exciter-trigger its probably a good idea to skip this step on some flies and have a mix of both versions in the box ready to go.
note that as explained in the video, the junglecock gills can be replaced by biots, a strip of flash or whatever else that looks like a bump. enjoy !

the CDC Bubble Sedge

cdc bubble sedge d. mcphail
here’s a fine example of a must-have trout fly. just like Frank Sawyer’s Pheasant Tail Nymph, in the sense that the basic design is just about the only style of nymph one would ever need, the CDC Bubble Sedge has everything an adult caddis imitation should have: shape, colour, proportions, a sense of transparency, buoyant in just the right way and lively, life-resembling materials all with the added bonus of being simple to tie.
just like the PTN, tie these in different sizes and eventually in different colour tones with maybe a touch of green or orange at the butt to imitate the female’s egg sack to match the local bugs and you can’t go wrong. enjoy !

Lady Compara

a low-in-the surface egg laying Adams Comparadun by Davie McPhail

some most excellent and inspiring craftsmanship in this just-out tying tutorial. i particularly liked the details of the wing and tail and going back through the wing fibres with the dubbing body to splay out the deer hair.
this one’s a real gem, enjoy !

Winged Wets- Two contrasted versions

both classics, both at the extremes of fly profile volume yet both equally effective.

to start off, a lovely paired waterhen winged Iron Blue Dun from Davie McPhail for when the fishes want something big(ish).

and a beautiful and very sparse Clyde-style Teal and Black from Peter McCallum via Magnus Angus / Fly Fishing and Fly Tying for when they’re into eating the smaller/thinner delicate morsels.

for more wet flies previously posted on TLC click here. enjoy !

Tying up the Nagli

a Spey-style variant of the classic Islandic Nagli Atlantic salmon fly by Davie McPhail.

outside of yet another fantabulous tying tutorial with Davie’s impeccable techniques and explanations, those of us that don’t get the opportunity to chase Atlantic salmon very often might be inspired by this pattern’s basic design to adapt it to river trout use, particularly rainbows. tied as is, i can’t help but think this one would be a doozy on steelhead as well. enjoy !

a Clyde Style Fly Magpie & Silver

by Davie McPhail

clyde style - 2 centuries of soft-hackled flies

well, Davie’s magpie wing hardly fits in with the description above but it hardly matters because many other references to this style of fly have the same big-winged generosity. thing is,  it’s hard to find any universally accepted definition to the Clyde style fly as most authors tend to have their own vision of it but i believe we can basically break down its most distinctive feature of it being: a spider with a wing sitting pretty on top.

if you’ve been visiting here for a while you’ll most certainly be pretty familiar with the North Country Spider style. this North Country happens to be in the north of England and the Clyde style originated on river Clyde, close to southern Scotland. what connects the two is a line on a map and seeing that fish don’t care about boundaries and it’s the same part of the world, and that even way back then people travelled and drank beer and whisky, it’s all too easy for me at least, to see how fly style mixes occur and people being what they are and proud of their place and country of origin and somehow what happens after all this beer and whisky is a a whole new fly is given birth.
my point here isn’t to propose that someone copied another and even less to take sides (although i tend to like Scots, specially the ladies. must be their accents… ) but, i felt like introducing Davie’s great tying tutorial (that doesn’t really need one after all) in a somewhat grumpily manner as an attempt to get over my recent three-days out and three days blanking.., that for some reason keeps on nagging me to the point that i’m not even really enjoying all this xmas chocolate that’s laying about the house.
since i’m sure that last part has amused you at least a bit, i feel better.

i hope you’ll enjoy the video, it’s a really nice fly.

Clyde style intro excerpt from Nemes’softhackledfliesselling at around 200$ and therefore out of most people’s financial reach,
we can still get a pretty good preview of it by clicking the image of the book.

brainwashem’ young- Davie’s Mini-Me

in what’s a wonderful mix of weird trippy and woW  !  young David Strawhorn’s explanations are up there with the best.
some say that imitation is the highest form of flattery and i’ll certainly agree in this case. one thing’s for sure is this lad’s been studying and studying well, leaving no stones unturned.
being able to properly explain what we’re doing means that each step has been thought out and analysed and all the pieces of the puzzle have been put together correctly at the end: one of the better ways to learn for anyone of any age but maybe David’s example of this is a reminder for some of us oldun’s that in a day and age where kids are often seen as incapable of doing anything other than gaming or text messaging, there’s a lot more to them than we might think. be sure to  share this with your kids. enjoy !

’round and round with Davie

in a wonderful example that a fly tier can have ADHD (or be drunk and confused) and still manage to make a wonderful fly, Davie’s two-versioned tutorial of the same generalised imitation where wings and thorax get interchanged shows us some fine, yet-so-easy fly tuning that simple rearrangements can produce. more than just a groovy example of mixing and matching, this fly thing  seems to be just the ticket as a really good searching pattern or when there’s several types of bugs on the water. mayflies, caddis, hawthorn, crickets and you name it. it looks buggy as bug and’ll leave a lot for the fish to see below, in the surface film and above the water. that’s a lot of good points for a fly to have.  enjoy !

Frank Sawyer’s Killer Bug

a while back we’d seen an intro by Oliver Edwards where both of Sawyer’s most famous nymphs: the Pheasant Tail and Killer Bug where featured, tied and fished but i thought a refresher on this seminal Bug was a little overdue, this time with a bit more info (i know there’s a lot more in print but not in my collection…) and a close rendition of how Sawyer tied it by Davie McPhail.
not only a historical pattern but one that shines as much now as when created. a must have for the river fisher. i hope you’ll enjoy.

“Sawyer is probably best remembered for the development of the ‘sunken nymph’ and the associated nymphing technique sometimes called the Netheravon Style. Sawyer’s nymphs were innovative in that they were tied with fine copper wire instead of silk or thread. This allowed the nymphs to sink and also gave them a translucent colouring when under water. Sawyer advocated the ‘sink and draw’ method of nymphing where the nymph was allowed to sink and then made to ‘swim’ towards the surface by drawing in the line or slowly lifting the rod tip. This was coupled with the ‘Induced take’ where the nymph was made to swim up in front of a fish thereby inducing the fish to take.

via Hans Weilenmann's Flytier's Page
Killer Bug ~ Hans Weilenmann’s Flytier’s Page

Sawyer developed the Killer Bug as a means of controlling grayling numbers on the River Avon where at the time it was considered vermin. The Killer Bug is designed to imitate the freshwater shrimp but also looks similar to a hatching sedge. The Killer Bug was named by Sawyer’s friend Lee Wulff. It is tied with large amounts of copper wire and light beige wool. Originally the Killer Bug was tied with a wool called Chadwick’s 477. When production of this wool ceased in 1965 Sawyer switched to a specially produced copy. In fly fishing circles the original Chadwick’s 477 wool is considered to have mythical fish-catching properties with lengths of the wool selling for hundreds of pounds.”
Chadwick's 477

indeed, seen dry, the bug and yarn don’t seem so special and we’ll probably wonder why in the world it would be worth the trouble and money to hunt down this wool but the real magic happens and doubts disappear when we see it wet. the fish most certainly think it’s special.

the Minnie Mouse No Hackle dry fly

by Davie McPhail

ok, Davie doesn’t mention anything about Ms. Mouse (as well as anyone else as far as i can tell… ) but, this style of fly always brings up images of her sexy bow-tie shaped head gear, something i’m sure  the trout are fond of in an equal manner. (that’s one of those  things i can’t explain but just is)

MinervaMouse2 if only she had a hook…

anyway, leaving aside the cutesy parts, what i mostly like about this fly is apart from the tail, it doesn’t look at all like a natural bug and yet we know it fools fish easily and it fools them a lot.
tying-tip-wise, were shown a really nice way to tie in and tame micro-fibbets and although we’ve seen it several times, Davie’s method of tying in and adjusting paired wing slips is always worthy of close attention. enjoy !

the Sunburst Spey

a steelhead/salmon fly tying tutorial by Davie McPhail

D MP sunburst spey (fly)

once in a while a fly comes along that has a special certain ‘oh my, that’s really yummy – slurp !’ effect and this little number does just that. whether it’s the color scheme, proportions, tying neatness or this or that or whatever it is; it’s hitting that special spot that says ‘any fish would be daft to refuse this’. enjoy !

D MP sunburst spey materials

Grey Flagging

hot off the vice and extra-yumm, this lovely caddis imitation is well, simply lovely.
if a fish doesn’t want this, it doesn’ deserve to be caught…  *

* – i’m not sure what that last part means but i’m sure you got the point. enjoy !

more leg-knotting

we’d already seen different methods of knotting different materials with the goal of giving them the characteristic bent shape that just about every bug’s joints have:
– Knotting your legs by hand
 bend Ze legs and keep Zem bent
sexy legs simply

in this new how-to video, Davie McPhail shows us yet another method, this time using tweezers making it easier to make multiple knots on the same fiber(s) while leaving them on the feather’s quill. nice and handy for storage and easier later on to select the right size when at the tying bench. towards the end of the clip we’ll notice how he uses the same method but with mallard feathers instead of the usual pheasant tail.  hopefully this will inspire the creative tier to experiment with other materials. enjoy !

long-leggings

a Crane Fly/Daddy Long-Legs detached body tutorial by Davie McPhail

daddy long legs mcphail

after what seemed like an endless break from the tying video scene, it sure is nice to see Davie back again with this new juicy treat full of yum trigger points for the fish to key on. this fly’s particularly big because it fits in with the naturals in his area and the tier will adapt both size and color to match their own. aside from all the usual goodies and tips and tricks we can take away from Davie’s vids, i particularly liked the melting and resultant cute little burned-butt effect at the tip of the extended foam body.
nice, simple, neat. enjoy !