Forget your Stimulator flies just tie up a bunch of clown shoe caddis flies the D-rib abdomen is indestructible. The bright Mcfly foam post makes it noticeable from space, but not too crazy from the fish-eye-view.  The way the hook drops off away from the butt of the elk hair/middle of the fly makes it a workhorse dry fly that can suspend heavy droppers. Because of Jay’s purposeful design, the Clown Shoe Caddis lends itself well to broken water and dry-dropper rigs as well as fishing from a drift boat or raft. The heavy hackle and colorful post make the fly both buoyant and visible in the roughest water, and that D-rib body is pretty darn buggy looking also.




HOOK – TIEMCO (TMC) #2487 in #12 - #18
THREAD – 8/0 (70 denier) Olive dun UNI-THREAD
BODY – Small clear D-rib
WING – Yearling elk, natural or dyed dun
HACKLE – Grizzly saddle
INDICATOR – Mcfly foam in your choice of bright colors
THORAX - Black Superfine dubbing



  1. Debarb hook- place hook in vise – start thread in a little bit into the bend of the hook and wrap a thread base halfway up the hook shank (mid shank). Now tie in your D-rib with the flat side facing up.  While slightly stretching the D-rib keep the D-rib on top of the shank and wrap your thread back over it to the bend of the hook (close wraps), creating a smooth thread underbody as you go. Now bring your thread forward to the mid shank where you tied in the D-rib (close wraps).   
  2. Wrap the D-rib forward over the underbody keeping close wraps and tie off where your thread is now (mid shank). Clip off the tag end. 
  3. Build a thread base up to the hook eye and back again to the front of the abdomen      (d-rib).       
  4.  Cut, clean out the underfur and stack a clump of elk hair as long as the hook and as thick as about the diameter of the abdomen (D-rib). Tie it in place on top of the last turn of D-rib with the tips toward the back of the hook. Now make a narrow band of thread over the flared butts to lock them in place, and then trim off the butts of hair at an angle (45 degree). Lift the tips of the wing and make a single turn of thread around the back of the elk hair to group the hair together in a tight bunch.
  5. Wrap forward over the butt ends of the hair to the hook eye, creating a smooth base. Prepare and tie in an appropriately sized grizzly saddle feather (gap long fibers) at the base of the wing (strip off a small section of the feathers fibers at the butt side to tie on).  
  6. Separate a small bunch of Mcfly foam (any color) from the main clump and tie it down on top of the hook at the center of its length. Make the anchoring wraps one on top of the other at the center of the thorax area (the smooth base covering the elk hair butts). Lift the Mcfly foam up together and put a few wraps of thread at the base of the foam like posting it but not going up as far just about four or five wraps should coral it so you can do the next step easier. Bring your thread up to the eye of the kook.  
  7. Dub the thorax starting just behind the hook eye and continue back to the base of the wing. (twist your dubbing onto the thread by putting a little dubbing wax on the thread then using little pieces of dubbing at a time, twist the dubbing onto the thread between you thumb and index finger in a clockwise direction to make a small and slender noodle ( you can add more if needed ). Return the dubbing back to the hook eye, forming a robust thorax. If the foam gets in the way pull it back out of the way.
  8. Spiral wrap the hackle forward over the dubbed thorax with close wraps and tie it off at the hook eye. Clip the excess feather off and build a small thread head and whip finish.
  9. Stretch the Mcfly foam slightly upward and clip it just beyond the hackle length. Trim the hackle on the bottom of the thorax flush with the dubbing (bottom only).

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

The Western Coachman

fotm-march-2015BUZ BUSZEK Translated by CARL WUEBBEN

The Western Coachman is without a question a very productive fly pattern it has produced bream and black bass; five species of trout; black crappie; and even golden shiners; chain pickerel and bowfins. The Western Coachman was designed by fly shop owner BUZ BUSZEK (The gentleman the IFFF award was named for) of Visalia, California in either 1939 or 1940, originally as a local pattern for taking Sierra rainbow and brown trout in the Kings River. He patterned the Western Coachman after the wet version of the Orvis Company’s royal coachman, which was designed in 1878. The various Coachman designs, including the Royal Wulff, Royal Stimulator and others, are all ancestors of the earlier original Coachman that was designed in the 1830’s by the driver or coachman for the royal family of England.


HOOK – Mustad 3906, Tiemco 3769, Daiichi 1550 size #10 - #16.
THREAD – Black Danville’s 6/0 or Gudebrod 8/0
TAIL – Golden pheasant tippet
RIB– fine gold wire
BODY – Peacock herl with the fine gold wire rib
WING – White deer hair 
HACKLE – Coachman brown rooster neck or hen saddle feather
HEAD – Black thread



  1. Debarb hook – mount in vise – start your thread about one eyelet from the eye and with nice close wraps make a thread base to about the middle of the hook shank- clip off tag end of thread then tie in the gold wire on the bottom of the shank and while using the wire to continue wrapping the thread base to just a little before the hook bend (This will be your ribbing).
  2. Now with the thread at the rear of the hook shank tie on a tail of golden pheasant tippets that is as long as the hook shank and about12 to 15 fibers. Now at the end of the shank wrap one turn of thread under and behind the tail to tilt it up slightly.
  3. Tie in several peacock herls (By the tips) on the bottom side of the shank at the rear of the tail (Were your thread is now). Then pull your thread down next to the herl and using good hackle pliers, clip the herl and thread together near the herl stems (Butts). Now take your thread back up and secure it to the hook and wrap it forward to approximately the 75 percent point (About 3 to 4 eyelets from the eye) on the shank. Next, twist the hackle plier’s counter- clockwise until you have a nice looking peacock chenille rope then wrap the peacock rope forward to meet the thread, tie off and trim off the peacock tag ends.  Wrap the gold wire ribbing forward using five turns (Winding in the same direction as the herl was wrapped); tie off and trim the excess wire to finish the body. Wrap the thread forward to the 25 percent point (2eyelets) and leave it there for the next step.
  4. Now strip the fluffy fibers from the base of a saddle hackle that is a gap and a half to two gaps long on the fibers and tie in the butt side at a 45 degree angle (curve side facing away from you) right in front of the peacock then wrap several close turns of the hackle, tie off and trim the tag end off. Be sure to leave room for the wing. 
  5. Put some white deer in your hair stacker (Not too much but not too thin) and with a few taps on the table you will have your wing tips nicely stacked and ready to tie to the shank in front of the hackle wraps, the wing should be long enough to reach the end of the hook bend. Trim the waste ends, then bind them in place with several thread turns.
  6. Wrap a tapered thread head, whip finish and trim the thread. Put a coat of head cement to finish the fly.

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

Pregnant Scud

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Translated by CARL WUEBBEN

According to ANDREW PULS who earned his master’s degree as a fisheries biologist, there are sound reasons for tying the pregnant scud. Scientific research has demonstrated that orange segmented scuds suffer increased predation from trout, probably due to the crustacean’s increased visibility in the water. The orange bead in the middle of the body of the pregnant scud mimics a scud that is either full of eggs or has become infected by a parasite. The pregnant scud works especially well when you need a pattern containing a dash of flash or when fishing heavily pressured water. The fly has a unique, realistic look that most other anglers overlook.




HOOK – Mustad C49S, Tiemco 2457 – 2487 – 2488 or any bent shank scud hook sizes #14 - #12
THREAD – Olive 8/0 (70denier)
BEAD – Orange glass bead (10/0 seed beads work from JO-ANNS)
BODY – Light – olive sow-scud dubbing
SHELLBACK – A strip clipped from a plastic freezer bag. 
RIB – 5X clear monofilament



  1. Debarb hook- put bead on the hook – mount in the vise and start thread in at the rear of the hook (push bead to the eyelet). Now tie in your 5X ribbing.  
  2. Cut a piece of clear plastic freezer bag about a gape width (or side center to side center) then clip one end to a point and tie it in with the point forward and the rest hanging to the rear (slightly into the bend of the hook).
  3. Now dub the rear body one of two ways,

By hand = Pull a small length of thread out from the bobbin (about 3 inches) and put some dubbing wax on it, then twist on your dubbing with your fingers in either a clockwise or counterclockwise direction between your thumb and index finger just pick one or the other direction and stick with it.


With dubbing loop tool = bring about three inches of thread downward and put your dubbing tool on the thread then keep a hold on the tool with your left hand (for right handers) and bring your thread back up to the hook shank where your thread was started and put a few wraps back over the back part of what now is your dubbing loop. Put some dubbing in the entire loop and twist it till it’s tight. Bring your thread to the center of the hook shank. Now with either method wrap you dubbing forward to just before the halfway mark and tie and clip the end of the loop off then bring your bead up against your rear dubbed body and bring your thread over the top of the bead to the front of it and make a small dam in front of it to keep it in place better or you can whip finish the rear body –clip the thread- then push your bead up against the rear body and restart your thread then a thread dam in front of the bead.   

  1. Put some more dubbing on your thread like in part #3 and dub the front body but keep it close to the bead and wrap it forward to about 1 ½ eyelets space from the eye and tie off the dubbing thread or loop if you used it then use a dubbing rake or bodkin to pull out the fibers and pull them downward to the side.
  2. Bring your plastic shellback over the top of the fly and try to get as much fibers from the dubbing to go down each side then stretch it a little and tie of in front where your thread is now. Clip off any excess plastic.
  3. Now counter wrap your ribbing forward and tie off in front where your thread is now. You should space it out to have 3 sections behind the bead and 2 sections in front of it with a total of 6 with the bead. Build a small tapered head – whip finish it then add a little head cement or UV glue.
  4. With your bodkin or a dubbing rake pick out some of the hair on the bottom of the fly so it looks more buggy.


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

Hook-Up Crayfish


 Numerous studies have shown that in many waters, crayfish are the number one prey of smallmouth bass, and in some waters they are a predominant prey of trout. Not only are there many species (more than 300 In North America), but they all live and grow for several years. That means there are probably crayfish of various sizes almost anywhere we fish. Like all animals with exoskeletons, crayfish must periodically molt their shell and wait until new ones form. That “soft - shell “stage of development inevitably raises the question: Do fish like soft – shell crayfish more than one with a hard shell? If given a choice, they will eat soft – shell crayfish before their hard – shell cousins but during the molt, crayfish retreat into hiding places until their new shells harden. This makes it harder for fish to get at them. So even though the fish may prefer the soft-shells, the hard-shell crayfish, which are out and about on the river or lake bed, are easier to catch and eat. The HOOK-UP CRAYFISH is a hard-shell imitation and it is very effective. Make the claws fairly thin and equal to no more than half the length of the body. The larger fly in the photo was made on a 2/0 hook and I used tan craft fur and UV glue to make the claws and a saddle hackle for the legs plus I used orange chenille for the body all the rest is the same. 



HOOK – Tiemco. TMC 200R, Dai-Riki 270, or a similar 3x – long curved shank hook, size #6 or #4
THREAD – Brown 3/0 monocord
ANTENNAE – Two pheasant tail fibers
WEIGHT– .035 – inch lead free wire
CARAPACE – Natural oak mottled thin skin
THORAX – Dubbing, color to match the local crayfish
CLAWS – Brown rabbit fur
LEGS – Grizzly hackle dyed brown
ABDOMEN – Same dubbing as the thorax
RIB – Brown monocord thread or brown medium ultra-wire.  (Wire best)




  1. Debarb hook – mount in the vise – Start the thread about two eye-widths from the eye of the hook. Secure a piece of .035- inch lead free wire to each side of the hook shank one at a time ( The length of the shank from where you started your thread to just before the bend of the hook.) By using light tension to get it in place then putting more tension on as it is held in the place you want it (On the hook shank side.) Put some cement on them and let it dry. Tie on two pheasant tail fibers for the antennae at the rear of the shank – the length of the hook shank.  
  2. Turn the hook upside down in the vise. Tie on a long strip of thin skin: the width of about half the width of the hook gap. At the point you have your thread now (Back of hook shank.)
  3. Spin a pinch of dubbing on the thread by twisting it on in a clockwise direction on the thread between your index finger and your thumb but just a little you can add more if needed (Just a one inch noodle is fine) then wrap the noodle of dubbing onto the shank on the rear and covering where you tied on the thin skin.
  4. Tie in two small bunches of brown rabbit fur for the claws (clip from a hide or strip) on each side of the hook right up against the dubbing ball, make them fairly thin and equal to no more than half the length of the body. Too dense and it can actually deter a fish from eating it (It looks like a crayfish in a defensive position.)
  5. Spin more dubbing on the thread and begin wrapping the thorax. Just a little bit bigger than the first ball of dubbing. Now tie on a grizzly hackle dyed brown by the butt section (Don’t wrap yet) and spin more dubbing on the thread and wrap about one-third of the body (About halfway up the hook shank.) Spiral wrap the hackle over the thorax two or three times, and tie off and clip the tag end off (Excess hackle.)
  6. Trim the hackle on the top and bottom of the fly; the hackle fiber legs extend from the sides of the pattern. Next, pull the thin skin over the thorax with just a little stretch and tie it down but do not cut the excess off. We still need the rest of it.
  7. Pull the thin skin backward and put a few wraps over it to give it more of a separation, and then tie on a 6-inch length of brown monocord thread or medium brown ultra-wire for the rib.
  8. Spin more dubbing on the thread and wrap the abdomen up to the hook eye (Small noodles.) pull the thin skin over the abdomen with light stretching and tie it down near the eye. Next spiral-wrap the rib of the fly (Clockwise direction) tie off the ribbing material. 
  9. Cut the surplus piece of rib material. Lift the thin skin and bring your thread in front of it and behind the eye of the hook then whip-finish the thread behind the hook eye. Trim the thin skin, leaving an appropriately sized tail (About one and a half eyelets space from the eyelet.) Clip your thread off and apply some head cement to the thread wraps.    

But remember to practice C.P.R. (CATCH – PICTURE – RELEASE).

             HALEY’S COMET

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fotm-4-feb-2015 fotm-5-feb-2015

This is a simple but a little tricky to tie up – but very effective for catching fish feeding on other fish’s eggs when they are spawning. I call this a cheating fly because it seems like I’m bait fishing but it works so give it a try and see how you feel about it. Fish it on the bottom of your favorite stream. Try tying it in other colors like pink – red – orange – white and try it with a small dot on the side also and you can use the same tail or change the color on that also. Try tying on a piece of non-lead wire for weight on top of the hook shank it helps to sink the fly a little faster or leave it out and wait for it to soak up some water then sink (A split shot will work also). Just tie it in before you put the Mcfly foam on.   



HOOK – Tiemco. TMC #2499 SPBL, or similar sizes #14 to #8 (I used Mustad # 3366 for the photos ) or try Mustad #C49 or Tiemco TMC #2488 hooks.
THREAD – 3/0 but can use 6/0 if you are careful, color to match the egg.
TAIL – White marabou
EGG – Mcfly foam in color of your choice
OTHER THINGS – Regular soda straw or milkshake straw that’s thicker (but the thinner the straw the less dense and smaller the egg).  A thin piece of stout wire to make a tool.



  1. Debarb hook – mount in vise – start thread in just before the bend of the hook and tie in the white marabou. About the length of the hook itself. (just the fibers not the shank of the feather)
  2. Move the thread forward to about mid shank and tie in the Mcfly foam by using a piece of straw. Cut about a three inch piece of straw and then cut a six inch piece of thin stout wire and bend one end about one inch in a very close u shape, just enough to hold the thickness of Mcfly foam your using for that fly (You can try using your bobbin threader but when I did it the darn thing broke). Now put the Mcfly foam into the u shape of your new homemade  threader then pull it thru the straw and out the other end but just a small section, just enough to get a good hold onto it later to pull up on. The thicker the straw the more Mcfly foam you will need and the bigger the egg – just make sure you get a whole bunch into the straw real tight so it will come out real dense without any bald spots.
  3. Lay the straw with the foam in it up against the hook shank in the center where your thread should be and put a wrap over the straw loosely then bring it down and around to the front side of the foam then proceed to do two or three tight figure eight wraps – from where your thread is now (In front of the foam). Bring the thread under the hook shank then up from the back side then cross over the front side of the foam to the back of the foam (side facing you) and bring your thread over and under the back of the foam and back up the hook shank and your thread should be hanging right below the rear of the foam and on the side facing away from you. Now bring your thread across the front side of the foam and over the top of the hook shank and you will be right back where you started from - now do this once or twice more - then with your fingers on one hand pull up on the upper part and the other hand pulls down on the part with the straw to stretch the foam out so you can put more tighter wraps on. Now put some wraps on the foam to get the fibers closer together in the center by doing a posting type of wrap (Just a couple tight wraps) just go in a clockwise direction over the top part of the foam and very close to the hook shank and with every ¼ turn of thread pull it as tight as you feel you can without breaking the thread – this will coral the fibers and help hold it in place. Once you feel it’s secure bring your thread forward of the foam by using your fingers to move the fibers around the thread till you get it in front of the foam then whip finish and clip off the thread.       
  4. Now grab the top part of the foam and pull up real tight but don’t twist it or you’ll get uneven parts and with a good sharp pair of scissors make a dome shape cut (Top of egg). Then pull out a little more foam from the straw and do the same for the bottom just pull down not up. Keep your cuts close to the shank or you will have too big of an egg and you will have to do a lot of trimming. 
  5. Move the fibers around a little to get them to fill in the thinner areas and then clip anything that’s out of place or if it’s too big start trimming off just a little at a time so you don’t overdo it.    

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

Wee Willy Wiggler




Simple to make – simple to use as you will see, the Wee Willy Wiggler is one of the simplest flies you will ever make.  Tie the fly on a jig hook weighted with a small bead head or a jig hook with the weight attached to it already, either way it makes it fall and hang horizontally in the water column much like something alive. The only thing that has changed from the original is it started with saddle hackle, switched to Cul De Canard during the hackle shortage a couple of years ago, and finally settled on Antron Trilobal hackle. The Wee Willy Wiggler is also easy to repair, just keep some superglue handy and you can fix a loose tail or even glue an entire new one. Cast and strip it like a streamer, or dead drift it like a nymph, use a indicator to keep the fly in the strike zone as long as possible without getting hung up or leaving the strike zone. Fish the fly very slowly, twitch it slightly once in a while if you don’t get a strike and vary your depth. Fish rarely spit out this soft- rubber pattern. The Wee Willy Wiggler works on almost every warm water species that get in its way. Bass, Bluegills, Crappies, Carp.  




HOOK – Sohumi 103 or your favorite 90-degree jig hook, size 8. (I used Bass Pro Shop jig head ball style 1 /64th #JHNO64 #8 with the weight already on it)
THREAD – 8/0 (70 denier) color to match the body or just white will do.
WEIGHT – 1/8 – inch brass or copper bead (exclude if your hook has it built into it)
UNDERBODY–   Krystal flash. (Color to match the body).
BODY – A spine clipped from a giant puffer ball or googly ball from a toy or craft store.
HACKLE – Trilobal Hackle with ¾- Inch fibers (color to match body or white) (I used UV Polar Chenille or palmer chenille or minnow body wrap (bass pro shop) and clipped it some after I was done with the fly).
OTHER - *Lighter (to heat up the bodkin).
              *Cup of cool water (To cool the body off).
              *Zap-A-Gap or superglue




  1. Debarb hook – put the bead on (small hole first) then mount in the vise. Push the beadhead forward up against the hook shank bend by the eyelet- start your thread behind the beadhead and build a thread dam behind the bead. Place a drop of Zap-A-Gap or superglue on the dam, and twist the bead until it adheres to the thread.      
  2. Cut two strands of Krystal Flash in half; fold the four strands in half, making a loop containing eight strands of flash. Cut the ends even and tie them to the hook shank behind the bead. Now with the thread wrap the Krystal flash down the hook shank until it’s opposite the hook barb.
  3. Make a dubbing loop by pulling out about 3 or 4 inches of thread downward and then put your dubbing twister on the thread, then bring your thread upward to the hook shank and starting about one or two eyelets from where you started your loop and wrap backward over your other piece of thread for the loop then forward and stop at the bead head.
  4. Place the Krystal Flash between the two pieces of thread for the loop and spin the dubbing tool to tighten the Krystal Flash and thread together forming a rope. Wrap the Krystal Flash rope up the hook shank staying close to each wrap and going forward toward the bead head and leaving a 1/8 inch gap behind the bead. Tie off and clip off the tag end.
  5. Clip a 1-inch –long spine from the toy ball. Place the spine flat on the edge of your bench. Using a lighter heat up an old bodkin then melt a 3/8-inch-long groove in the toy ball spine (about the same length as your Krystal Flash underbody that is on the shank now)the depth of the groove equals the thickness of the bodkin needle. Dip the warm spine and bodkin in the bowl of water to cool it then remove the spine body from the bodkin.
  6. Apply a bead of Zap-A-Gap or superglue to the Krystal Flash underbody (on the top) and with your rotary vise rotate the hook so that the glued edge is facing down, if you don’t have a rotary vise just pull the hook out of the vise and turn it over so the glued edge is facing down then remount the hook into the vise (upside down).
  7. Place the body on your index finger underneath the hook. Align the groove with the Krystal Flash underbody then quickly press the body into place. Allow the glue to dry fully before going onward.
  8. Tie the end of the hackle tight against the front of the body of the fly (the spine).
  9. Make three wraps of hackle between the body and the bead head of the fly and tie off and clip the tag end off then a half hitch if needed then whip-finish it and clip off the thread. A little head cement on the thread wraps can’t hurt.


*** But remember to practice C.P.R. (CATCH – PICTURE – RELEASE).