FOTM
Stewarts Black Spider
fotm november 2022 2     fotm november 2022

Translated by Carl Wuebben
W.C Stewart – Originator
Dave Hughes Version

One of the first deliberately minimalist wet flies was William c. Stewart’s Black Spider. He was a Scottish lawyer and soft hackle aficionado. He published a book in 1857 called the practical angler, or, the art of trout fishing. Stewart had little interest in making flies pretty for his own enjoyment. His interest was catching fish, and he knew that a simple fly, properly presented, would do the trick. This fly is so simple, it’s probably hard to tie one wrong. Although this pattern calls for brown thread you can also use black as in one of the photos.

PATTERN
HOOK – #12 - #16 Daiichi 1550 or any standard wet fly hook.
THREAD – Brown 70 denier (8/0). You can use black also
HACKLE – Starling


HOW TO TIE
  1. Debarb hook - mount in vise then start your thread in one eyelet space behind the eye and wrap close thread wraps to mid-shank and back to the starting point.
  2. Strip the fuzz from a starling feather; lay it on the hook shank with the concave side facing up. Tie it in by the butt with the tip extending past the hook eye. Bind it down with close touching turns and snip the excess stem. Return the thread to the mid-shank area.
  3. Grab your hackle pliers and grab ahold of the starling feather (by the stem butt) but be gentle – starling stems are fragile. Now take three to five wraps of the feather backward toward mid-shank. Tie off the tip with the thread and snip off the excess.
  4. Carefully wind the thread forward through the hackle, back to the eye, zig – zagging it to avoid binding down any feather barbs. Make a small head and tie off with a whip finish. Clip your thread and you’re done.


TIE UP A DOZEN OR TWO – AND GO FISHING*** But remember to practice C.P.R. (CATCH – PICTURE – RELEASE)
Harts Dark Lord
Ron Hart / FLYFISHINGTHESIERRA.COM

fotm october 2022

Translated by Carl Wuebben

This nymph, a variation of the Prince nymph, was created by a MT. Shasta guide, Ron Hart in 1986. It became quite popular within the northern sierra during the mid-1990’s and the popularity of this nymph seems to be growing as yet. The Dark Lord tries to imitate the natural nymphs by utilizing darker colors yet still retains the contrast of the wings to the body – the same character that makes the Prince Nymph quite effective as an attractor nymph. The wings are a ginger color which imitates the naturals and contrasts well against the black body. The gold wire ribbing offers a segmented appearance. The black hen hackle fibers are tied in small bundles downward on each side of the thorax to give the appearance of legs. Ron’s original pattern uses stiffer neck hackle fiber extending to the base of the tail for the legs. Some variations of this pattern will apply the legs by wrapping a neck hackle twice, trimming off the upper fibers.


PATTERN
HOOK –
TMC 3761 or equivalent in sizes #12 - #16
THREAD – Danville black 6/0 or equivalent
BEAD – Gold bead
WEIGHT –
Lead or non – lead (diameter of hook shank)
TAIL – Brown goose biots
RIB – Gold wire
BODY – Black rabbit dubbing
COLLAR – Black rabbit dubbing
LEGS – Black hen cape hackle fibers
WING – Amber goose biots


HOW TO TIE

  1. Debarb hook – slide the gold bead onto the hook with the small hole first then move it up against the eyelet and mount in the vise. Attach three wraps of lead or non lead wire on the hook shank and slide it up into the bead hole.
  2. Start your thread in behind the bead and lay down a thread base to just above the hook barb area. Make a small dubbing noodle by twisting some black rabbit dubbing between your thumb and index finger (just a little) and wrap the noodle to form a small butt to help split the tail biots (this keeps the tail spread out).
  3. Select two brown biots and tie them in tips rearward just in front of the butt dubbing by doing one at a time and crossing over the shank top and in the front of the butt dubbing to give you a “X”. The tail should be about half the hook shank out the rear. Now clip off the butt ends of the biots and wrap forward to about midshank.
  4. Grab a hunk of gold wire for the ribbing and tie it in on the side near of you and with your thread wrap the wire down rearward to the dubbing butt. If any of the wire tag ends you can’t wrap over just clip it off. Leave the wire hanging rearward for now.
  5. Make another dubbing noodle (but larger) with the black rabbit dubbing and wrap it forward making a tapered body almost to the bead leaving a small space for anchoring the wings and legs.
  6. Wrap the ribbing forward about 4 – 5 wraps and secure it just behind the bead. Clip the wire tag end off.
  7. Pull two bundles of hen hackle fibers from a feather and attach to one side of the fly behind the bead. Now do the same for the other side. The fibers should not extend beyond the bend of the hook and should sweep rearwards in a downward position by putting some thread wraps over the fibers to help brush them rearward. Clip any tag ends off.
  8. Attach each ginger biot behind the bead criss crossing like the tail and with a downward curve and the split angle being about the same as the tail. Clip the wing biot tag ends off and put some wraps on to secure the wings.
  9. Make another small dubbing noodle with the black rabbit dubbing and wrap a collar behind the bead then 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)

Klod Hopper

Paul Stimpson

6 grand hopper taped feather

Translated by Carl Wuebben

Its hopper season again and grasshoppers and crickets often fall or are blown into the water by summer winds and are taken with enough regularity that trout become eager for their imitations. On hot days, a hopper or cricket dressing fished on a meadow stream or near the shoreline of a big river can cause an instant detonation, even when just a few naturals are around. Hoppers and crickets have approximately the same body build. A dressing style that works for one can be tied in a different color to match the other. The KLOD HOPPER is tied in a tan color not your traditional yellow or olive. The red grizzly legs seem to be the key to this fly’s success. So try this one for yourself on selective fish, I’m sure you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

PATTERN

HOOK – Dry fly, 2x long, size #12 - #6
THREAD – Brown 6/0, Flat waxed nylon
BODY – Tan, closed-cell foam (1/8 inch – 3mm)
OVERBODY –
Brown dubbing (I used super fine)WING – Elk hair or fine white tail deer hair
HACKLE – Brown dry fly saddle
THORAX – Tan, closed –cell foam (1/8 inch -3mm)
LEGS –
Red, grizzly legs


HOW TO TIE

  1. Debarb hook – mount in vise – start your thread in at the rear of the hook (just before the bend of the hook) – cut a piece of 1/8 inch (3mm) tan closed – cell foam into a strip about 2 inches long and as wide as the gape of the hook. Trim one end to a point. Lay down a thread base to the front. Tie in the strip of foam just behind the eye on top of the hook (this is the front of your thorax) and the pointed end coming off the bend of the hook and hanging just a little bit longer than a hook gape from the bend of the hook. Leave a ½ inch or more extending over the eye. Pull the foam forward and bring your thread behind the foam and wrap a few wraps rearward (about 5or6 eyelets from the eye) then bring the foam back down onto the top of the hook shank and secure the foam again (this is the back of your thorax). Now with evenly spaced spiral wraps, move the thread over the foam to the back of the hook (loosely). Now go forward to the spot you started the spiral wrapping again evenly spaced and not too tight. Even though we are going to cover this part of the fly with dubbing in a following step, do not wrap the foam down with any more turns of thread, we want the foam to retain as much of its shape to help the fly float. Now cross over the entire bottom of the fly to the rear of the hook shank where you started your thread.  Put a little ZAP-A-GAP on the bottom thread wraps and let it seep some onto the foam, this will keep things from moving but let it dry before the next step.      
  2. Prepare and measure a rooster hackle with the barbs length the same as the width of the gape of the hook. Tie in at the rear of the hook (where your thread is now). Dub the body by placing a small piece of dubbing (I used super fine) up against the thread ( you can use dubbing wax if you want) and twisting it between your thumb and index finger in a clockwise direction, then wrap it onto the body and add more and wrap as needed and end it behind the thorax.  
  3. Palmer (spiral wrap) the hackle forward and tie off behind the thorax. Clip your tag end off (extra hackle stem). 
  4. Clean a stack of elk hair with a hair brush about the thickness of a large wooden match stick then put them in a hair stacker (tips first) and tap the stacker bottom on the table 2 or 3 times to even up the tips and then remove them by the tips. Now tie them in on top of the hook shank by the butts right behind the thorax with the length just a little bit smaller than the rear body (don’t go past the rear pointed foam end). Make a thick thread wrap right behind the thorax to secure the wing and give it a spot to secure the legs.  Clip off the tag ends of the elk hair (The butts).   
  5. Secure one leg on each side by the rear of the thorax and make a couple wraps to hold them in place and spread your front leg forward and your rear leg backward. The rear legs should be longer.     
  6. Pull the front foam back over the front part of the fly to form a bulky, hopper head then clip off the extra foam. Now whip finish it and trim the legs to size and you’re done.      
  7.  

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


Prince Nymph

Douge Prince – Skip Morris – Steve Mathewson

     
6 grand hopper taped feather

Translated by Carl Wuebben

This fly is not named for the flamboyant musician of “purple rain” fame rather the fly is named after its creator Doug Prince of Monterey, California, developed it in the late 1930’s or early 1940’s. His original Prince nymph had a black body, black soft hackle, and a black tail. A modification of his pattern, which he called the “Brown Forked Tail,” became the well-known Prince Nymph. It works in all seasons and in all kinds of water conditions. Doug Prince designed this as a stonefly imitation for fast water. Try adding a gold bead also to get down faster. The pattern is the same except the gold bead.

PATTERN

HOOK – Standard nymph in sizes #10 - #16
WEIGHT – 8 to 15 turns of non-lead or lead wire the diameter of the hook shank
THREAD – Black 8/0 (70 denier) or 6/0 (140 denier)
TAILS – Brown turkey biots or goose biots
RIB – Fine oval gold tinsel or silver
BODY – Peacock herl
HACKLE – Brown hen-neck (one and a half the hook gap size)
WINGS – White goose biots
FILLER – any type of dubbing and any color, it will not be seen.
TIP Biots are brittle so try using a damp paper towel to slightly moisten them and this will make them easier to work with. Don’t soak them, just a little moisture.


HOW TO TIE

  1. Debarb hook – ( if using a bead put it on the hook before mounting) -  mount in vise – start your thread in behind the eye and wrap a smooth thread base rearward to just before the hook bend using your thread tag end to make close wraps then clip your thread tad end off.
  2.  
    Grab your non-lead or lead wire and wrap some on the middle third of the shank 8 to 10 wraps should do but more or less is ok also. Helicopter the wire to remove and push down on the ends with your fingernail or a tool to flatten it against the shank. Now with your thread build a small dam up against the rear of the lead then spiral wrap the thread forward over the lead in wide spirals and build a second thread dam up against the front of the lead. The dams keep the lead in place and help to build a better looking body. Bring your thread back to the bend of the hook.
  3. Grab two brown turkey or goose biots and doing one side at a time and the tail length should be equal to one half to two thirds the length of the hook shank. Hold the biot against the shank on your side of the hook and flat against the side of the hook, with the tip facing rearward and the butt forward. Line up the length of the tail with the bend of the hook and in line with the shank. Biots have a slight curve so you want the biot curving towards you, so the tails will spread apart. Use your fingers to hold it in place then put a couple loose wraps on the pull them tight before removing your finger grip, wrap over the butt all the way up against the rear thread dam and cut off the extra butt end then do the same on the other side. Bring your thread to the hook bend.
  4.  
    Tie in your tinsel where your thread is now (hook bend) long end rearward for the ribbing, bind down securely and bring your thread back to the rear thread dam.   
     
  5. Grab about six peacock herls and align the tips then trim them back a little at the tips. Tie them in by the tips where the thread is now (rear thread dam) and with the bulk of the herl facing rearward use thread wraps to wrap down to the hook bend. Trim any stray herl by the lead. Bring your thread to the hook bend.
     
  6. Use any type of dubbing and any color to make a dubbing noodle by twisting the dubbing onto the thread with your thumb and index finger then wrap onto the hook from the bend to the rear dam (this helps make the body smoother) then with bare thread spiral wrap over the lead and then make another noodle and wrap it on in the front dam and leaving 1/8 inch behind the eye. Bring your thread to the hook bend.
     
  7. Now bring the herls and thread together and gently twist the herls around the thread (be careful the peacock breaks easily) this will reinforce the herl body. Hold the herl ends and thread then wrap it up the shank and lead with close turns to about 1/8 inch behind the eye, keep a hold of the herl ends and separate them from the thread and with the thread tie them down then clip off any herl tag ends.
     
  8. Spiral wrap the tinsel evenly forward about six to nine ribs. Tie off the tinsel in front of the herl body. Trim off tinsel tag end.
     
  9. Bring your thread forward to about halfway between the front of the herl body and the rear of the eye. Grab your brown hackle for the collar and strip off the fluff to bare the stem. Tie it in by the stripped butt to the shank at this halfway point with the tip facing forward over the eyelet and the concave (cupped) side of the hackle should face away from you. Wrap it down to the front of the body and clip the stem tag end off. Thread now by the body. Grab your hackle pliers or just use your fingers to wind the hackle rearward to the body with three or four turns, each turn up against the last. With the thread put a couple wraps on the hackle to secure it then spiral wrap the thread forward thru the hackle trying not to push down the hackle fibers (wiggle thread back and forth as you wrap) trim the hackle tip off.
     
  10. Using your thumb and index finger stroke back the hackle fibers and put a couple wraps just in front and slightly over the base of the hackle to hold it in place rearward.
     
  11. Grab two white biots then take one of them and hold it up to the hook to measure where to tie it in (full length of the hook). Hold the biot with this measured point just behind the eye, set it flat atop the hook, its butt forward and its tip back, its point angled away from you slightly. The slight curve should be up. Use light turns to secure it then three or four more tight thread turns to secure it. Do the same for the other biot but it should angle out to the same degree as the first one but towards you. Trim off the butt ends closely.
     
  12. Cover the cut ends of the biots with tight thread wraps, build a tapered thread head, whip finish and clip your thread then add 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)


Prince Nymph

WWW.AVIDMAX.COM

     
6 grand hopper taped feather

Translated by Carl Wuebben

Aptly named the Bowtie Midge is a killer pupating midge pattern. This little bug may make your day on your next Stillwater excursion. It is an excellent midge pattern that also translates nicely to imitate their larger chironomid cousins. The foam splitting the emerger wing not only looks good but helps with presentation. This fly is deadly when fished on a sinking line that gets the fly down to depth. Once the line maxes out the fly will lift back up in the column perfectly mimicking the naturals that are on the move. Fish love to strike during these hatch occurrences. The Bowtie Midge will help you maximize your chances when the bugs are on the move.

PATTERN

HOOK – Tiemco 200R #16
THREAD – 30d (18/0) Semperfli nano silk or 12/0 thread (50 denier) in black
RIB – Red brassie UTC ultra-wire
ABDOMEN – Black Hareline Superfine dubbing
WINGS – White Mcflylon or antron yarn
WING BUD – 1mm white Razor foam cut in a strip about the size of the hook gap


HOW TO TIE

  1. Debarb hook – mount in vise – start thread in about one eyelet space from the eye and lay a nice close thread base to just a little bit into the bend of the hook. Clip your thread tag end off and wrap back to the tie in point.      
  2. Grab your red brassie wire for the ribbing and pull off about four inches (this will do for a couple flies) and tie it in on the nearside of the hook shank (your side) with the long part to the rear and secure it on the hook and end a little bit into the hook bend.  
  3. Grab your black superfine dubbing and dub a thin noodle and not to long just enough to barely cover the thread.  Now wrap the noodle forward to just In front of the center of the front half of the hook shank if you come up short on the dubbing just add more on. To make a dubbing noodle just twist the dubbing onto the thread between your thumb and index finger, you may want to try using dubbing wax on the thread or on your fingers if you want.
  4. Spiral wrap the red wire forward and tie off where your thread is now.
  5. Grab your white 1mm foam and measure a strip about the same size as the hook gap (a long strip will go for many flies) cut the strip and on one end cut each corner to form a point then tie that pointy end on where the thread is now (front of abdomen) with just a very small part facing forward and the longer piece rearward (not too tight of wraps or it will cut thru the foam)snug it down securely and clean up with thread wraps between the eye and rear of wing bud. Bring your thread up against the rear of the wing bud.
  6. Grab your white Mcflylon or antron yarn and clip off a hunk, about two inches will do, now tie it onto the hook with figure eight wraps to get it hanging off to each side.  Snug it down so it won’t slip around the hook, if you have problems with the yarn just trim it a little bit but not too much as it may be too much and it won’t look good when finished but don’t worry we will fine tune it later. Bring your thread to the rear part of the wing bud.
  7. Dub another thin noodle, just enough to cover the thorax area. Wrap it onto the hook and behind the wings and figure eight it around the base of the wings and just a little forward. Leave enough room to tie off the foam wing bud. Your thread should be about two eyelets space from the eye now.
  8. Slightly pull the foam forward and tie off where your thread is now while checking that you don’t crowd the head (don’t cover the eye) then pull the foam rearward and whip finish it and clip the thread. Clip off the foam tag end leaving about the same amount of foam as the wing bud (the part pulled forward). Trim the wings to your liking while trying to give them a very small roundness to the tip area.

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


Grand Hopper

Rainy Riding & Jeff Hostetler
www.rainysflies.com

fotm june 2022     fotm june 2022 2
6 grand hopper taped feather
Translated by Carl Wuebben

Grasshoppers inhabit the banks of many rivers from the east to the west coasts during late summer and early autumn, and imitations of these important terrestrials populate the fly boxes of many anglers during this time of the season. Many popular grasshopper patterns are tied using only hair and feathers, but they eventually become waterlogged and sink. With the acceptance of closed-cell foam as a fly tying material, it is possible to create a grasshopper, and other patterns, that float forever. Rainy’s Grand Hopper is ideal for fishing wherever trout feed on hapless grasshoppers that fall or fly onto the water. Change body colors to create imitations of any grasshopper you find along the river. Also try a small hunk of foam on top to create an indicator for you to see the fly better. Get creative it’s your fly.

PATTERN

HOOK – 2x long dry fly hook  #14 to #4 popular sizes are #8 and #6. Dai-Riki 270 or Tiemco 200r
THREAD – Tan 6/0 (140 denier)
BODY – Closed-cell foam ¼ inch thick (about 6mm)
UNDERWING – Pearl Krystal Flash
WING - Tan feather or pheasant church window feather placed on clear packing tape and clipped to shape. Add spots using a permanent marker.
LEGS – Tan rubber legs.
COLLAR – Tan dubbing (superfine will work).
EYES – Black marker – black pinheads or equivalent.
OTHER THINGS – Black or brown fine tipped permanent marker - clear packing tape – Zap-a-gap or super glue.


HOW TO TIE

  1. Hook in vise – start your thread in just in front of the bend of the hook and wrap a nice tight thread base going forward and stopping approximately ¼ the length of the hook shank from the eye. Do this twice and end by the eye where your thread base ends. This helps the foam stay put on the shank.
  2. From your sheet of foam, cut a strip that is ¼ inch wide and about 1/5 longer than the shank of the hook.  (1/4 x 1/4 x 1/5 long). 
  3. Cut a wedge shape in the rear of the foam using a razor or sharp scissors; make an incision down ¾ of the middle of the underside of the foam.  Now apply a good coat of Zap-A-Gap to the thread wrapped on the hook shank, then slip the foam body over the shank and give it a slight squeeze and it will bond to the thread on the shank (wedge facing rearward).  
  4. Where your thread is now slowly put a couple loose wraps over the foam, then some tighter ones but not to firm as it could cut thru the foam and you will need to start over. As you tighten the thread the front foam which will be the head should rise slightly, forming a buoyant and distinct head and body. The rest of the parts of the fly will be tied here also.  
  5. Take a clump of 10 to 15 strands of Pearl Krystal Flash and tie it on top so it extends slightly past the wedge shape on the rear of the fly. Trim off the tag ends.
  6. Now for the wing you can use lots of different things like Thin Skin, plastic sheet or whatever you prefer. We will be using a feather and clear packing tape today. Take a tan feather or pheasant church window feather and if you want to put some dots on it with a permanent marker this is the time to do so, then stick the top of the feather to the clear packing tape. Cut it to the wing shape you want (start with a large triangle and trim it a little at a time) it should end up looking like a heart at the rear and a small straight side in front. The length will be where your thread is now to just a little over the ends of the Krystal Flash. Fold wing in half lengthwise (front to back) and with the taped side facing upward tie it in behind the head (wing should be a little bit on the side of the foam also).   
  7. For the legs, use three or four strands of rubber legs. The main objective is to have a thick thigh portion that comes off the thorax, a knee, and then one strand that will wiggle and protrude into the water. To achieve this, take a long group of legs and tie an overhand knot in the middle (make two of them) this will become the knee. Securely tie the legs to the fly on each side, clip off the tag ends. Then trim the section behind the knee so that only one strand is pointing downward. Tie in one rubber leg on each side on the lower part of each side and trim to size (not very long). You should have a leg facing forward and one rearward and your jointed leg facing all the way to the back.
  8. Make a dubbing noodle with the tan dubbing by twisting the dubbing onto the thread with your index finger and your thumb then take a few wraps over the head/thorax area to cover all the thread wraps and add to the look of the fly. Whip finish, clip your thread and add a small dab of Zap-A-Gap to the thread with your bodkin.
  9. With a black or brown fine tipped permanent marker make bars on the rubber legs and small spots on the foam underside which gives it some superficial texture. You can also add eyes to it with the marker also. Try adding orange or red marker to the rear for a hot spot. 

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