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 !

Jack’s Sparrow

Jack as in Gartside and Sparrow as in this lovely universal, multi-purpose, no frill or bling streamer expertly tied by Tim Flagler.

in a contemporary world where most flies seem to look more like decorated christmas trees than anything else, this classic is a nice reminder that drab is good and often gooder than bling.
its not like i have any problems with blingy flies: if they work, they work and that’s a great thing. on the other hand, in the vast majority of areas i fish in Europe, drab, or rather ‘natural-coloured’ flies outfish bling maybe at an eighty or more percent ratio.
concretely, this means that the blings are at the back of the box, in much lower numbers and are used as a last resort or when waters are very murky. (but even then, black flies always seem to get more attention… )
of course, this is a regional thing and even if you live in a bling part of the world, having a few of these in different sizes stashed away might just save the day when your fish aren’t in a psychedelic mood.

as always and whatever he’s tying, Tim’s tutorials are chock full of obvious and not so obvious tying tricks that also transfer to a myriad of other fly patterns making us better tiers whatever style of fly we tie. as such i’d recommend paying attention to all the finer details.  enjoy !

TightLine Nymphs

a little foray today into the world of competition-type nymphs from the U.S.
as in most comp-style flies we’ll notice a great lack of realism and a strong tendency for generalised shapes, profiles, colours and size: essential triggers.
triggers that work in catching more fish and not more fisherman. they’re also easy, fast and relatively inexpensive to tie, something of importance when deepwater dredging means leaving quite a few on the bottom.

first off the Tungsten Torpedo created by Kevin Compton tied by Mat Grobert. i don’t know if Kevin is still tying for the US team as we haven’t spoken in a while but i’ve been using several of his patterns over the years and if they’re still present in my boxes its because they’re go-getters.
sure, there’s a need for big fatty nymphs as in today’s second set but generally speaking, a lot of mayfly nymph bodies are just too darn plump and maybe more importantly, too dense and light blocking. the TT counters this trend by having a very skinny body and having the dubbing ‘hackle’ settle back along the body during the drift creating a moving, lively, translucent veil. good stuff indeed.

now on to the fatty ! Walt’s Worm and it’s flashier variant created by Walt Young tied by Tim Flagler.
why this thing would be called a worm is beyond me but ! the result is a classic and very simple to tie and expendable caddis or cased caddis or other bottom-tumbling big-profiled bug thing imitation tied on a jig hook to ride point up during the drift and (hopefully) catch a little less on stream bottom structure. personally, and in the alpine-type streams i regularly fish, i find that yes, point-up flies tend to hook up less by the hook point itself but then the bead often gets wedged in between rocks resulting in just a little less flies left in the water. basically, they seem to hang up just the same but if its a ‘wedge’ the fly will usually pop out by doing a roll cast upstream provided there’s fly line outside of the rod tip, not very common when ‘Euro-Numphing’ but hell, nothing’s perfect…

at first glance these flies aren’t all that unique, fancy or impressive but after a closer look they’re the fruit of a lot experience and a heck of a lot of fish. effective fly design at its best. enjoy !

Catskill style flies- the Red Quill

by Tightline Productions tied by Matt Grobert

Art Flick’s old standard just doesn’t get old. it’s elegant, as effective as ever, straightforward to tie (just be sure to get the proportions right !), comprised solely of feathers and as an interesting-quirky feature, was devised to represent the Ephemerella subvaria (Hendrickson) male.
the TroutNut link tells us: “There are significant differences between the males and females in both size and color, and anglers should be prepared to match either one” but unfortunately doesn’t tell us what those differences are… however, once in the imago stage, these mayflies tend to drift for quite a long time before flying off and that’s what makes this ‘old-style high-riding’ fly interesting, specially for those of us who tend to favour emerging imitations over the completed imago.
nuff said, this as-ever great video by Tim Flagler shows in great detail how to get this fly just right. i hope you’ll enjoy.

foam candy

in yet another great tying tutorial by Tim Flagler at Tightline Productions, here’s a simple, quick, inexpensive, visible, great silhouetted and very adaptable to suit your needs by varying colors and sizes grasshopper imitation: an all-gooder for sure.

personal note: i know they are very effective and there is absolutely nothing wrong with Tim’s super bug but i can’t help thinking how nice this pattern would look with some pretty darn-nice Hopper Legs  instead of those weird Rubber-Alien appendages… 😉

Sulfur Emerging with Matt

by Matt Grobert  via Tightline Productions

Dorothea, oh Dorothea !
(or otherwise, Pale Evening Dun (but in this case it’s not really a Dun so let’s stick to plain old Dorothy))
watch out folks, she’s a redhead and she means business !

” These insects are actually too perfect for dry fly fishing, which makes matching their hatches difficult.

The nymphs may drift for a while just below the surface before trying to break through. When they do, it takes them a long time to crawl out of their shucks. After that, they ride the water for an exceptionally long time to dry their wings, and low-floating patterns like the Comparaduns are preferred. And as if that weren’t enough, they are also one of the most cripple-prone of all mayfly species, and trout may feed selectively on their cripples and stillborns. “

exciting ! here’s how to tie her up… 

click on the quote for more redhead info at troutnut.com. enjoy !

Grannomses !

Grannoms- Brachycentrus Caddis fly
often neglected in favor of the various ‘mythic‘ mayfly species, the Grannom is an early season and widely distributed caddis who’s imitation in different sizes and colors is well worth having in your fly box. Grannom hatches can be massive and will usually have the fish in a debilitating frenzy, excluding every other bug that might be around. i’ve been in the middle of one of these hatches on a Scottish river and was literally covered from head to water level and had to quickly pull up my buff to be able to breathe without eating at the same time…

“This prolific genus includes the popular eastern US early-season Apple Caddis and Grannom hatches. Their life cycles are ideal for the fly angler, and every stage is frequent trout prey. This species changes color dramatically after it emerges, and imitations of egg-laying adults should be a different color from imitations of emergers. Emergers have pale blonde, almost off-white wings and bright green bodies, while the egg-laying adults have light brownish gray wings and medium green bodies.”

these two aren’t grannomses, they’re Mark and Terry.
Mark is a super friend, Terry is some guy Mark and i found in the parking lot while we where gearing up for some fishing on a lovely little river in northern England. don’t get the wrong impression, Terry doesn’t just hang out in parking lots, he’s a passionate entomologist and charming man full of stories and a great enthusiasm for sharing his buggy knowledge.

when we all got to the water, Terry did a quick scan of the river-bed rocks, turned towards us and proudly announced:  “That one”.
he quickly waded in, picked up the “That one” rock and showed us a gelatinous mass stuck to it’s bottom. at first i thought it was just some yucky slime hidden under the rock by some alien with a nasty head cold but after further explanation it turned out to be a ‘nest’ of Grannom eggs. weird and geeky entomologists would probably have some way of counting them on a square cm average or something but my little mind quickly realized that i was looking at thousands and thousands of future caddis all under just this one rock. and there where countless rocks everywhere one looked…

every little dot on this out of focus image is an egg. (sorry for the out of focus image, this was an exciting moment)

here’s an adult Grannom courtesy of Jim Williams.
judging by the size of the finger holding it we’ll notice that it’s very small, my guess between a size 16 and 18.
in the two videos below the flies are tied in 16 and 14 and a little research will tell you of the size to expect and tie for your area.



here are two fly variations of the same egg-laying female. as noted in Matt ‘s video, for the male version, tie the same fly but without the eggs !
by their construction and materials they both seem to be great floaters but my experience tells me Matt’s will probably be the better choice in slower waters and Davie’s in faster.

– Egg-Laying Grannom tied by Matt Grovert

– CDC Bubble Grannom by Davie McPhail

a Multi-Feather Flatwing

tied by Joe Cordeiro, courtesy of Tightline Productions

there’s an enormous amount of well thought out and well explained details on the making of this type of fly here, something for all of us to take back to the bench whether we tie these bigguns or not.

“And there you go. One beautiful and extremely effective multi-wing flat-wing fly… “
enjoy !

Matt’s Gnat

i can’t get enough of the wonderful Duff erm… stuff over at Tightline Productions !
this time we’re treated with Matt  Grobert’s awesome alternative to the already awesome must-have, all time favorite fish catcher: the Griffith’s Gnat.
we’ve already seen Andreas Lestander’s great version, here’s another with a twist that looks just as promising.

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 !

CDC and Elk Caddis

yup, another great tying video by Tightlines Productions with a wonderful classic fly designed by Hans Weilenmann.

i know it’s a little weird to say things like this, but if there was to be only one top of the water caddis imitation in my box this would be the one.
the silhouette, trigger points, floatation level, color and ‘simplistic’ material list and tying  are so spot-on that while making and playing around with other patterns might be fun, they’ll rarely outfish this one. as noted in the film, outside of the hook and thread there’s only two materials: CDC and elk or deer hair. give it a try if you aren’t already hooked.

Sucker Spawn

by Tightline Productions

quite interesting because it doesn’t really look like anything at all until it’s wet and passing in front of an egg-eating frenzied trout, this is one of those love it or leave it flies.
i neither love it or hate it but wouldn’t hesitate to use it in the right circumstances.
‘matching the hatch’ isn’t just about insects.

“Just because I’m not a purist doesn’t mean I’m a barbarian”
“I consider myself only a recreational user of Sucker Spawn, so I really don’t have a problem”
nice touch.

creepers creeping and a few fins

from Tightline Productions

it’s such a treat to see all these bugs up close and under water. i was going to start off with my usual: ‘check out the details and behaviour, it’ll help us make better flies and fish them better’ but then, they’re so weird and cool, why not just enjoy them for what they are: weird-cool creatures. happy thursday !

Let The Fur Fly Be !

from Tightline productions

a strong extended body with a flat silhouette and so easy to make. what a nice and nifty idea that’s sure to inspire more than a few of us. i’m waiting on some Bug-Bond UV cured resin to come in to try this out. i’ve got a few ideas of my own on a variation of this fly that i’m sure will do the trick here in Sweden. enjoy !