Isonychia Emerger from Matt Grobert  via Tightline Productions

Isonychia… cool name.

torn somewhere between the desire to go fish these critters in their home waters and lavishly repeating that word in some lovely redhead’s ear, i guess for today we’ll (well, i’ll… ) have to just enjoy this creature and tying video from afar.

Primarily an East coast, Midwest (US) insect, this rather handsome emerging ‘Slate Drake’ pattern is simply awesome by it’s simplicity, sturdiness and general profile. in a sense, a mayfly is a mayfly is a mayfly and as such, by changing colors and sizes, the basic pattern will make an all-over all-around great emerger for any waters.

as always, the Mat Grobert/Tim Flagler team make an excellent tutorial displaying excellent technique and know-how well worth paying special attention to.

 ” Their nymphs are among of the fastest-swimming mayflies in the world. They can power their way through fast riffles with ease, and their imitations should be fished with fast twitches.

They are unique among mayflies in that they have extra tuft-shaped gills at the base of their fore legs, a structure normally found in stoneflies. ”

images and nymph quote from be sure to click either pic for more info on this sexy bug. enjoy !

Fly Tying- Wet and All Purpose

wet and all purpose fly fish food

half-full Clark/Cheech says its a “hybrid of a hybrid” and this half-empty guy says its a “variant of a variant” but !

this isn’t a personality contest, its a friggin’ awesome fly.

why ? the intangible explanation says this thing has fish-magnet written all over it and a maybe more reasonable reason is this pattern kinda looks like several different fish foods and all at the same time and that can only be a good thing for both the angler and the fish.

for us that means we should be able to catch more of our slimy friends in varying situations instead of worrying about fly selection and for the fish, that means they don’t have to divert the attention span of their microscopic brains with any kind of selective choice and it can resume its function to whatever its function is. i digress…

back to the fish-magnet aspect:

with claret thread and rib this would do wonders in Scottish lochs.

with pink thread and rib it would make an awesome seatrout fly in Scandinavia.

with grey/brown/black/transparent/whatevercoloured thread and rib this is bound to do the do wherever you are for a lot of different fish species and that’s spot-on.

as always keep the same design concept by varying those two colour elements and make them big or small to fill your All Purpose needs, you just can’t go wrong. enjoy ! and be sure to go check out what the two WonderBoys are up to regularly. these guys are good and funny. i specially like that last part.

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 !

Trout Fly Design: The Avon Special step by step

you may remember this little Avon Special beauty from a while back: one of Roy Christie’s signature upside-down, reversed mayfly emerger patterns.
avonspecialat the time we where treated to a lovely article based on this fly’s particular design and even though i still have a few that Roy had personally tied and offered me, what was sorely missing was a step-by-step but it turns out that there is one so, here goes my friends.
note that this emerger pattern sits on the surface film by only the hackle, the wing is used as a sighter for the fisher while the rest of the body is submerged, hook shank and eye angled down at a 45° angle. as such, apply floatant only to the hackle and wing and wet the abdomen to help it go subsurface on the first presentation. don’t forget to degrease the tippet !

avon14click either image for the complete sbs on FlyAnglers Online. enjoy !

a little love

‘Harrop-style cripple on a TMC 101 #18 by David Stenström

sure, we see very small and much smaller flies all the time but it’s not every day we get to see one that has all the very same elements and proportions as a much bigger fly so successfully condensed to this size. i can’t think of a trout water on earth where this little cutie wouldn’t do wonders…

a little love

for more of David’s super-sweet treats be sure to click the pic.

What is a Flymph ?

Skues Medium-Olive-Nymph-if nothing else it sounds pretty cool but let’s dig a bit more.

“Vernon S. “Pete” Hidy coined the term flymph. What is a flymph? A flymph is a hatching insect be it mayfly, caddisfly, midge, or stonefly that according to Pete Hidy is in the stage of metamorphosis “changing from wingless nymphs to flies with wings”. These flies are historically fished with a across and downstream technique that allows the current to naturally swing and raise the fly up to the surface in front of a rising or holding fish in a manner that activates the soft hackle collar and body materials effectively imitating life in the ascending artificial fly. The attraction of these flies is that not only do they look natural but they behave natural as well. They have movement; they have the appearance of life.”

now, the last part to me is probably the key element when considering constructing these flies: “the appearance of life’ (even though the real bugs could be stillborns or spents, their leg/body/wing parts would still move throughout the drift downstream)

“Traditionally flymphs are tied with natural body materials that will undulate in the currents. These body materials include hare’s mask, peacock, muskrat, mole, squirrel, and other natural fur with guard hairs. Shaggy body materials like rabbit, hare, and squirrel hold water well, sink quickly and also capture small air bubbles when they penetrate the surface film. These air bubbles create shimmer and sheen and look particularly similar to caddis pupa which uses internal gases to propel them to the surface or egg-laying caddis that dive underwater to lay eggs and carry with them oxygen bubbles for respiration. The hackle collars of flymphs are chosen with color and movement in mind to match the emerging wings, antennae, and legs of the ascending nymph. Soft, webby feathers such as hen, partridge, grouse, starling, woodcock, or quail are choice. These feathers absorb water and each has it own unique action underwater.”

such invaluable insights, want tons more ? click either pick for the full, well-worth-the-read article or The Royal Order of Water Buffalos  ooops ! i meant the TIBOTF logo here.

and since it’s the first fly you’ll see when you get there: the all-time classic inevitable must-have super-sleek Partridge & Orange spider,
partridge & orange HWhere’s a hot-off-the-press video tutorial on how to tie it by Hans Weilenmann. enjoy !

related articles


what’ll probably be a nice all-round something-or-other emerger for the soon to be river season.

'honey 10-2-13made with-


hook- Maruto C47 bl size 18
thread- Veevus 16/0 black
abdomen- honey peacock quill
thorax- hare & seal’s fur, honey and black mixed
wing- EP international fibers, black & off-white mixed

Little Boxes

beyond actual assembly methods, preserving the intended proportions of a fly is one of the finer skills a tier can acquire.
there are numerous ‘hands on’ methods such as using the bodkin needle or other tool or even a ruler or drawing compass to compare lengths, widths and heights but in my mind the best tool is the mind’s eye.
“to see things with the mind”, to envision proportions by superimposing little boxes, triangles circles or ovals as in the image below frees us from the boundaries of gadgets and superfluous tools leading to a more intuitive approach to tying and fly design.

CDC loop emerger dave wiltshire
if there was only one adage to adopt in our craft the better one would probably be:
Less is More…
give it a try sometime. as in all things regarding adapting the way we see and think about the things around us, it may take a little patience and persistence but it’s a fun and rewarding challenge.

these thoughts where inspired by Dave Wiltshire’s fantastic CDC Loop Emerger pictured above.

“Tied in a range of styles and with different materials, this fly has a hugely buggy appearance and suggests that struggling and vulnerable stage as a fly makes the change from nymph to dun.I like to tie the tips long and allow them to project over the eye, giving an even busier profile. In conjunction with the wing, this makes a fantastic footprint.”

to access the step by step for this pattern and its variations click the pic and while you’re there be sure to check out a whole slew of other fluffy goodies at Dave’s River Fly Box.  enjoy !



Emerging Debra

Debra was a girl i went to school with when i was a kid. having recently found class photos at my parents place, i discovered that she and i where in the same class for ten years and usually side by side both in class and on the class shots. we where always together doing what kids do. i loved her then and even though i have no idea what she has become, that love is still there. she was a redhead, a tomboy but a cautious tomboy. she always stayed right beneath the surface while i floated high and took the blame for the both of us.
cdc ptn emerger foam head

Dave’s cdc shuttlecock emerger

by David Wiltshire

a fantabulous pattern for streams, rivers and lakes, this one’s got all the right mojo:
slim, trim, dead sexy and easy to tie . what’s not to like ?
check out the step by step for a super-nice tip on securing the cdc feathers and be sure to tie these up in different sizes and colors/tones !

” I can remember tying this CDC emerger as a ‘trial’ fly. I had used CDC loops to great effect (and still do!) and the simple CDC Shuttlecock. However, I had been keen to develop a more slim-line fly where there was very little CDC actually tied to the hook. The problem came in the durability of the fly as CDC can just slip out from the usual thread wraps if you’re not careful.

However, the solution was simple (read on!) and now this is a major part of my CDC fly box. I love the way the body pierces the surface the CDC really suggests an emerging wing. The butts that remain, I am sure, suggest the wing buds bursting during eclosion. “

WoW, the “ buds bursting during eclosion ” bit got me all excited ! :mrgreen:
click HERE for the full step by step on Dave’s site, enjoy !

Sparkle Dun variant

by Hans Weilenmann

it’s hard not to like this one. the deer hair will keep it afloat in fast waters and it’s smaller sunken body and shuck will get a lot of attention in calmer currents. relatively easy to tie and chock full of key emerger elements, this low sitting fly is just the ticket for any salmonid. vary sizes and colors to suit your water. enjoy !

Cloudy Emerging

by Tightline Productions

nice, nice, nice and nice !
a cloud, a wisp, a veil or two. shape, silhouette, ‘hanging position’, it’s all there.
all the key emerger elements all wrapped up in this very tasty little Cloud Emerger bug from Matt Grobert. be sure to pay particular attention to the ‘tent wing-case’s construction. what an ingenious, realistic and fantastic looking element. enjoy !