FOTM

CRACKLEBACK

By Tim Flagler
Originally by Ed Story

fotm june 2017

Translated by CARL WUEBBEN

While we all love spending time at the vise, were always looking for ways to cut down on the number of patterns we tie regularly. ED STORY’s crackleback fits that style of fishing perfectly; part dry fly, part wet fly and part micro-bugger. This easy to tie pattern mimics naturals on the surface, emerging caddis and just looks buggy. It’s a perfect prospecting fly, but match the size to the naturals and you can easily fool actively feeding fish. Use this fly to cover water quickly, fishing it dry until the end of the drift and then swinging it back down below me. Skitter it across the surface like a caddis or give it a slight tug to pop it under the surface and swing it like a soft hackle.

PATTERN

HOOK – Dai-riki #300 #6 or equivalent
THREAD – UTC 70 denier (8/0) rusty brown
BACK – Peacock herl (natural)
HACKLE – Neck furnace hackle was the original but a brown hackle will work
BODY – Cream rabbit fur dubbing


HOW TO TIE

  1. Debarb hook – mount in vise – start your thread in one eyelet from the eye and go rearward three or four wraps and clip off the tag end of the thread.
  2. Now select two peacock herls and tie them in by the tips right in front where your thread is and continue wrapping rearward to the start of the bend, now clip your tag ends of the peacock herl that are at the front of the hook by the eye.
  3. Select a hackle feather but before plucking it out measure it to the hook size with a hackle gauge then pluck it from the neck. Strip off the fuzzy stuff and clip the shank leaving about an eighth of an inch of bare stem. Now take the feather in your hand with the dull or backside is facing you. Now with the feather facing rearward tie the feather in where your thread is now leaving a small amount of bare stem between the thread and peacock fibers . Lay the stem on near side of the hook and take firm thread wraps to hold it in place. Continue wrapping over the stem forward to hold it in place.
  4. Now dub the body with the cream rabbit fur but just a small thin noodle will do about two inches long. Now start wrapping the noodle starting at the hook bend and going forward leave a bit of space to tie in the rest of the materials.
  5. Bring the peacock herl forward and tie off (straight down the middle of the back) clip off the herl tag ends.
  6. Grab your hackle with some hackle plyers and start spiral wrapping forward about five or six turns (the fibers will be facing forward) tie off and clip the tag end of the feather. Form a small thread head – whip finish and clip your thread.


TIE UP A DOZEN OR TWO – AND GO FISHING*** But remember to practice C.P.R. (CATCH – PICTURE – RELEASE)

Biot Emerger - Dun or Black

 

by Charlie Craven

fotm may 2017

Translated by Carl Wuebben

The biot emerger was originally intended as a midge emerger pattern, a slim, handsomely segmented turkey biot body with a few dangling filaments of soft hackle at the front to imitate the midge’s legs and sprouting wings. However, it also excels as an imitation for baetis and other smallish mayflies, and you can also tie them up in a size 16 in yellow tones to imitate pale morning duns. Because of this versatility, tying this pattern provides a quick, easy way to fill your fly box needs, while at the same time honing your skills in working with both biots and soft hen hackles.

 

PATTERN

HOOK – #16 - #22 TMC 101 or equivalent
THREAD – Black 8/0 (70 denier) uni
ABDOMEN – Black turkey biot
THORAX – Black superfine 
HACKLE – For black emerger use black hen neck hackle for dun emerger use medium dun hen neck hackle 



HOW TO TIE

  1. Debarb hook – mount in vise – start your thread in about one eyelet from the eye and make a thread base to just before the bend of the hook then tie in a black turkey biot by its tip with the raised edge facing down so that it will be the following edge on each wrap.
  2.  Grab the end of the biot with your fingers or hackle pliers and make the first turn around the bend of the hook. Look closely at this first turn the stand-up edge of the feather which will be the rib should be on the back edge toward the bend, following the wrap rather than leading it. If yours isn’t, untie it and turn it over,
  3. Continue spiraling the biot forward, overlapping the wraps slightly to create the ribbed body and stopping a little bit past the half-way mark on the hook shank and clip off the tag end of the biot. Do a whip finished to cinch it down well.
  4. Dub a small noodle of black dubbing and wrap a small ball up against the biot body and go forward with it. Just leave about an eyelet’s space between the ball and the eyelet.
  5.  Make a thread base from the ball to the eyelet, then back to the base to make a hackle tie-in. Now select a hen feather that has barbs equal to about 1 ½ to 2 hook gaps. Clip; don’t pull off the fluff from the bottom of the feather (this helps the feather grip onto the thread better). Trim the barbs short on each side.
  6.  Tie the hackle feather in by its butt at the back edge of the hook eye and wrap back over it to the base of the thorax (dubbing ball). Make sure the inside (concave) side of the feather is facing the hook shank. Now bring your thread forward to just behind the hook eye, and then with the hackle fibers fold them rearward to one side. You don’t need to fold the whole feather because you will only take about two turns. Now make those two turns of hackle one in front the other up to the hook eye and tie it off and clip the tag end of the feather off.
  7.  With the thumb and forefinger of your free hand, squeeze the hackle down around the hook shank to help them lean rearward. Now while holding them in place, and taking care to evenly distribute the fibers around the hook shank, make a few turns of thread over the front edge of the wrapped hackle to make it slope back and hold it in place. Make the wrap smooth and slightly tapered as this is also the thread head. Whip finish and clip the thread.

TIE UP A DOZEN OR TWO – AND GO FISHING*** But remember to practice C.P.R. (CATCH – PICTURE – RELEASE)

BLUE-WINGED OLIVE FLOATING NYMPH

fotm april 2017

by ED ENGLE

Translated by CARL WUEBBEN

This method was first introduced by Doug swisher and Carl Richards in their book (Tying the swisher/Richards’s flies), they introduced a split – tail, dubbed body pattern that had what they call a “stacked “wing case of fur or polypropylene. The ball of dubbing keeps the nymph afloat on the surface or in the film. Since first introduced in 1970 their floating nymph has undergone several variations by several others like Fred Arbonna JR., Gary Borger among others. Try tying it with and without the hackle along with a pheasant tail version.

PATTERN

HOOK – standard dry fly, sizes 18 to 24
THREAD – olive, size 8/0 or finer
TAIL– medium dun hackle barbs
BODY – fine olive dubbing (super fine will do)
DUBBING BALL – grey polypropylene
HACKLE – medium dun, one size smaller than normal, tied parachute style

OTHER THINGS NEEDED 

  • dubbing wax

HOW TO TIE

  1. Debarb hook – mount in vise – start your thread at about two eyelets space from the eye and lay a thread base back to just before the hook bend then tie in several hackle barbs from a medium dun feather, it should be about a gape and a half long.
  2. Now using some fine olive dubbing (super fine will do ) dub a tapered body small to the back larger to the front by putting some dubbing wax on the thread (optional) then by twisting the dubbing between your thumb and index finger very tightly but just a small noodle (piece)you can add more if needed. Now wrap the noodle forward forming a small tapered body (thin at the rear and thick at the front) and stop at the spot you started your thread and tie off.
  3. Apply some dubbing wax to the thread and apply a small clump of grey polypropylene dubbing using the same dubbing method used in step #2.
  4. Compress the dubbing between your fingers to create a tight ball. Leave some bare thread between the ball and the hook; this will be used to tie in the hackle if used.
  5. Grab a hackle feather about a hook gape wide and strip off the fluffy stuff on the butt side then Use the bare thread to attach the hackle with the shiny side up and facing rearward toward the hook bend and the feather laying on the top and the bare shank of the feather toward the front facing you .
  6. Slide the dubbing ball into place on top of the hook shank and make a couple of thread wraps on each side of the ball and a few wraps around its base to help secure it in place then your thread should be in front of the ball. Now grab the hackle with your fingers or a pair of hackle plyers and wind the hackle around the base of the dubbing ball then tie it off where your thread is now and clip off the tag end of the hackle.
  7. Now with your non tying hand pull back the hackle and form a small tapered head (large to rear small to front) then whip finish –clip the thread – put a small dab of head cement on (optional). You can fluff up the hackle after you are done .

TIE UP A DOZEN OR TWO – AND GO FISHING*** But remember to practice C.P.R. (CATCH – PICTURE – RELEASE)

Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear Nymph
Translated by CARL WUEBBEN

A few fur nymphs form the core of any successful sunk-fly collection. I would be hard to imagine venturing out to any trout water without gold ribbed hare’s ear nymphs lined up in rows in your fly box. Like any of the best searching flies, they work so well because they are roughly the shape and colors of a wide variety of natural food forms. This is one of the greatest searching flies of all. Try tying it in olive also and with a bead head.

PATTERN

HOOK – Standard nymph sizes 10 – 16.
WEIGHT – 10 to 15 turns of lead wire (can use non lead instead) or a beadhead instead.
THREAD – Black 6/0 (140 denier) or 8/0 (70 denier).
TAIL – Hare’s mask guard hair –can use pheasant tail fibers.
RIB – Oval gold tinsel
ABDOMEN – Tan hare’s mask fur (can use light prepackaged rabbit dubbing).
WING CASE /SHELLBACK – Treated (see note below) mottled turkey feather section – omit on sizes 16 and smaller.
THORAX – Dark hare’s mask fur, with guard hair (can use prepackaged dark rabbit dubbing).

NOTES

  • Can use a bead head instead of the lead.
  • May want to buy a complete mask.
  • May also use dubbing wax for dubbing material.
  • Prep the turkey feather with some soft-tex (spread on) or feather tuff (spray on) the day before you’re going to tie (should be dry) this keeps the feather from splitting.

HOW TO TIE

  1. Debarb hook – if using a beadhead put this on first then mount in the vise – exclude lead if using a beadhead or wrap ten to fifteen turns of lead wire around the shank, center it between the eye and the beginning of the bend of the hook. Standard weighting calls for lead wire the diameter of the shank (can underweight one size) start your thread behind the eye and wrap a small tapered dam in front of the lead then jump your thread over to the rear of the lead by loosely wrapping rearward then form a small tapered dam to lock it in at the rear of the lead also. You can put some zap-a-gap on the thread dams if you feel a need to.
  2. Clip a small amount of hare’s mask fur from the cheek. Remove most of the underfur from the longer guard hairs. The tail should be rough so leave some underfur. Tie it in at the bend of the hook one-half or two – thirds the length of the hook shank. Layer the thread over the tail butts to the back of the lead wire, and clip the excess there. Tie in two or three inches of oval tinsel behind the lead wire then wrap the thread rearward over the tinsel to the base of the tail (this will be your ribbing later).
  3. Clip fur from various parts of the hare’s mask (lighter color), remove most of the guard hair’s, and mix it in a blender , or you can buy it premixed in a package then dub a noodle of dubbing (thinner and add another noodle as needed) onto the thread by taking a little bit of dubbing and twisting it onto the thread fairly tight between your thumb and index finger – some people like to use dubbing wax on the thread before putting the dubbing on as it helps the dubbing to stay on while you wrap it on the hook. Wrap the dubbing noodle from the base of the tail to just past the midpoint of the hook shank (tapered from the tail (thinner) to midpoint (thicker) let the fibers stick out don’t clip them off you want it rough. Now take the ribbing that you tied in on step two and take three to five evenly spaced turns over the fur but with reverse wraps (counterclockwise) to hold the fur in place and tie off at the front of the fur then remove the tag end by putting your thumbnail from one hand at the base of the wire and with the other hand grab a hold of the wire and give a tug while wiggling the wire from side to side.
  4. Clip a section of your treated turkey feather (see note on how to treat) about one hook gap wide. Tie the thicker or butt end of the feather in just in front of the abdomen and wrap back up against it with the shiny side or marking side facing down and later we will bring it forward and the shiny side or marked side will be on top. Wrap it close to the abdomen so you won’t have a gap between the thorax and the abdomen (the fur segments). Now clip off any excess butts of the turkey feather
  5. The thorax should be darker, fatter, and have loose fibers sticking out to represent the legs of the insect, blend a mix of hares mask fur that that includes more darker underfur than the mix for the abdomen, leave in most of the guard hairs or use the prepackaged darker rabbit fur. Dub a loose and fibrous section of this fur onto your thread but not too much on the noodle as you can just dub another noodle till you get the amount you want on the hook. Now wrap your noodle forward and start by making sure your thorax is up close to the abdomen (Abdomen = back of body & Thorax = front of body) going forward and with a tapper toward the eye – fat in the rear of the thorax (middle of the hook) and thinner to the front (behind the eye of the hook) stop about one eyelets space behind the eye to leave space to tie in the wing case and build a thread head.
  6. While gently using your fingers or bodkin to push up the wing case (turkey feather) at the base of the feather, slide it forward and along the sides, go slow so it won’t split and tie it in behind the eye of the hook-clip off the tag end – now form a nice slightly tapered (thin in the front and fatter to the rear) thread head-whip finish-clip your thread off then apply some head cement to the head. If the fibers of the thorax are not loose and spiky at this point, use your bodkin to tease out the fur to the sides and bottom, like legs on a natural insect. You can also tie it in an olive color too.

TIE UP A DOZEN OR TWO – AND GO FISHING*** But remember to practice C.P.R. (CATCH – PICTURE – RELEASE)

BLUE-WINGED OLIVE

fotm february 2017

DAVE HUGHES

Translated by CARL WUEBBEN

We tie this fly in memory of my very good friend and fishing buddy of mine BOB YANTA who loved to fish a Blue winged olive.

Traditional dry flies have hackle fiber tails, slender bodies, upright paired wings, and collars wound from the best rooster hackle. The shape is based on the form of the natural mayfly dun. The hackle represents legs and wings and it also floats the fly on fairly rough water. The tail, body, and hackle have the same footprint on the water and give the same light impressions as the natural. That’s often more important than an exact imitation of an insect, especially on riffles and runs where a trout doesn’t get a long look at a fly and must make a quick decision to take it or leave it for their neighbors to have. The Blue Winged Olive represents the widest array of hatches all across the continent. This is one of the traditional “Catskill” styles of dry flies.

PATTERN

HOOK – Standard dry fly sizes 12 – 20
THREAD – Olive 6/0 (140 denier) or 8/0 (70 denier).
WINGS – Blue dun hen hackle tips.
TAIL – Blue dun hackle fibers.
BODY – Olive fur or synthetic dubbing - can use Superfine.
HACKLE – Blue dun – rooster neck.

NOTES

  • May also use dubbing wax for dubbing material.

HOW TO TIE

  1. Debarb hook – mount in vise – start your thread in about one eyelet from the eye and wrap rearward to just about the halfway mark (make a thread base). Now chose two blue dun hen hackle tips and pair them up to the length of the hook and pull off the excess fibers from the lower half of the feather. Now using a soft loop and a few good turns going forward to tie the wings in one-fourth the shank behind the eye (tips rearward butts forward). With your fingers prop the feathers upward and use a few thread turns behind the wing to prop them up and use your bodkin to separate the feathers then a figure eight of thread between them to keep them separated. Clip off the excess wing stems (butts).
  2. Now using your thread wrap back to the bend of the hook making a close thread base. Even up the tips of five to ten long blue dun hackle fibers and peel or clip them from the stem then measure them the length of the hook and while using a soft loop, a few turns of thread going forward to tie the tails in at the bend of the hook and keeping the tail straight out from the hook shank while wrapping the butts down and going forward to about the midpoint of the shank, then clip off the excess tail fibers (butts).
  3. Bring your thread back to the tail area close to the bend of the hook (put dubbing wax on thread if you want to now) then grab some olive fur or synthetic dubbing and make a tapered dubbing noodle about 1 ½ to 2 inches long (thinner by the hook the fatter downward) – this is done by twisting the dubbing tightly between your thumb and forefinger (in one direction only). Now wrap the body noodle forward from the base of the tail to the wing – it should be slender and tapered but leave a gap between the end of the dubbing noodle and the wings about one turn will do – this will help you tie in the hackle.
  4. Select a blue dun rooster neck hackle feather with fibers the length of two hook gaps. The hackle should be just a little shorter than the wing tips when wound. Strip off the webby fibers from the base of the feather and tie it in by the butts with the concave side facing you and with the stem between the wings then take two turns of thread behind the wings then pinch the wings together and tug them upward and take five to six turns of thread in front of the wings. Clip off the excess stem.
  5. Grasp the tip of the hackle with your hackle pliers then take two or three turns (of the feather) behind the wings then three or four more in front of the wings (close wraps) leaving enough room for the head – tie off the hackle with three or four wraps of thread and clip off the excess feather tip. Gather all the hackle fibers back from the eye with your other hand and take a few wraps of thread up against the hackle to hold the hackle back and to form an even base for the head. Whip finish and clip the thread then apply some head cement to the head.

TIE UP A DOZEN OR TWO – AND GO FISHING*** But remember to practice C.P.R. (CATCH – PICTURE – RELEASE)

Peacock Doctor

fotm october 2015

Originator is unknown but first tied around the 1920’s 

Edited by CARL WUEBBEN

 

The origin of this streamer is vague, but it appears to have been created in the early 1920’s or late 1910’s. Pat Barnes relates on a plate of his favorite flies, now owned by his son Charles that he “fished this fly extensively in prohibition days.” One of his favorite places to use it was Ennis Lake, known in those days as Meadow Lake. In prohibition days, Barnes, who began fly fishing at the age of twelve and as a teen-ager like Most Montana fly fishers favored presenting wet flies in the 1920’s. Pat was no exception.

PATTERN

 

HOOK – Mustad 79580, or equivalent, size #4 - #8
THREAD – Black 6/0
BODY – Flat silver tinsel
UNDERWING – Red bucktail under medium blue bucktail or calf tail
OVERWING  Six or eight peacock sword herl (Don’t use regular peacock herl

 

HOW TO TIE

 

  1. Debarb hook – mount in the vise – start your thread in just a little bit behind the eye of the hook then tie in your silver tinsel on top of the shank and with very close wraps so you make a smooth underbody and using the tinsel to help you – wrap back to the bend of the hook with the thread and the tinsel then again with very close wraps bring just your thread forward and stop just about 4 of 5 eyelets from the eye.
  2. Wrap the tinsel forward keeping each edge real tight to the other (touch wraps) and stop where your thread is now and tie off and clip the tag end of the tinsel off.
  3. Now grab some red bucktail about the thickness of two hook shanks and one hook gape longer than the entire hook shank and tie in where your thread is now (4 or 5 eyelets from the eye) and on top of the shank (tips facing rearward) – this will be the bottom part of the of your underwing, clip off your tag ends of the bucktail at an angle so you will have a nice tapered head.
  4. Grab some medium blue bucktail about the thickness of one hook shank and the length of the hook shank then tie it in on top of the red bucktail (tips facing rearward) – clip at an angle again for that smooth tapered head.
  5. Tie in six or eight peacock sword herls (pull off of sword feather – don’t use regular peacock herls cause it’s not as vibrant and full) on top of the blue bucktail with the tips facing rearward and extending one gape length past the red bucktail – tie off then clip off your tag ends.
  6. Using the thread build up a tapered head to cover all the material tips and make a nice looking head – it should be about four or five eyelets space from the eyelet. Whip finish – clip off your thread then put some head cement on the head.

 

TIE UP A DOZEN OR TWO – AND GO FISHING*** But remember to practice C.P.R. (CATCH – PICTURE – RELEASE)