FOTM

Charlie Boy Hopper
By Charlie Craven

fotm august 2018

Translated by Carl Wuebben

 

Charlie developed this pattern after a day with his clients as they went thru a lot of Dave’s hoppers and he figured there had to be a better option. While Dave’s fly works fine, it becomes waterlogged after a couple fish and is a pain to tie. The Charlie boy hopper (named after his son) meets all of the requirements in a hopper pattern: active rubber legs, incredible durability, realistic silhouette, good visibility, and great floatation. The best part is it is especially easy to tie. The standard tan color seems to be the most common color of the naturals, as well as in yellow, green, olive and even blue/green. The blue/green (with red rubber legs) matches the hoppers found in the mountain streams in Colorado. The Charlie boy hopper also works great as an indicator dry with a dropper. Its high visibility and superior floatation make it a natural for this application.

PATTERN

HOOK – Tiemco 100sp-bl #8 -#10 or TMC 5212 or TMC 5262 #4 - #8. He uses the 2XL TMC 5212 & 5262 for larger sized hoppers and has recently switched the smaller Charlie boy hoppers over to the standard length, wide gaped TMC 100sp-bl to improve the hook gap while still making a smaller sized hopper. The normal length of the size #8 100sp-bl is the same as the 5212 in a size #12, but with a much bigger hook gape. In smaller sizes the narrower gap of the 5212 is filled in by the foam body, where the 100sp-bl leaves plenty of bite.
THREAD – Tan 3/0 monocord (great for the binder strip) 
BODY – 2mm X 2mm piece of foam body (tan or your choice of color)
LEGS – Brown medium round rubber legs
UNDERWING – (optional) mottled tan web wing
WING – Natural deer hair 
OTHER THINGS NEEDED - ZAP-A-GAP and a double edge razor blade

HOW TO TIE

  1. Mount hook in vice, begin by cutting a strip of 2mm foam so it is as wide as the gap of the hook. I use a cutting board, metal straight edge and a razor blade to cut it, as scissors make it much harder to get a clean straight cut. The strip of foam should be at least three inches long.
  2. Remove the hook from the vise and poke the hook point through the foam about ¾ of an inch from the end of the strip. Make sure the hook point is centered in the foam. Now place the hook back in the vise and the smaller end of the foam rearward and centered in the middle of the hook point
  3. Start the 3/0 monocord thread at the eye of the hook and wrap to the bend then back to the hook eye.
  4. Cut another strip of foam from the sheet. This should be about 2mm X 2mm. Tie this thinner “binder” strip of foam to the hook shank immediately behind the hook eye. Spirals wrap back over the foam strip to the bend of the hook and then break off the excess. Run the thread up the hook shank over the binder strip and back again to the bend, compressing the foam to the shank. This binder strip is going to give us some shank diameter and texture to glue to later, so it need not be pretty. Leave the tying thread hanging at the bend of the hook.
  5. Lift the wide strip of foam up under the hook and pull it up to the peak of the hook bend so it touches the back of the binder strip. Note that the foam will tilt slightly upward. If yours doesn’t do this, your binder strip is not bound down far enough back. Pull the foam strip taut under the hook shank and measure where the hook eye lines up with the foam. Poke a hole through the foam from both the top and bottom where the eye lines up you can use a bodkin to do this. Push the foam over the hook eye so the eye protrudes through the front side of the foam.
  6. Put a thin coat of ZAP-A-GAP CA glue on the entire upper surface of the foam, including the hook shank/binder strip. Smear a bit more glue along the foam that extends out past the bend of the hook too. Keep in mind, with CA glue, too little is better than too much.
  7. Quickly, before the glue starts to dry, fold the front end of the foam back over the top of the shank, pinching it together all the way back off the bend of the hook. Try to get the edges of the foam to line up together along the sides of the shank. The top portion of the foam should mirror the original angle of the foam sticking up from the bend of the hook. That is, the foam should be slightly elevated at the rear of the hook, not coming straight out from the bend. Also note that the tying thread is still hanging at the bend of the hook.
  8. Make three tight wraps over the foam right at the bend of the hook. These turns of thread should compress the foam right down to the hook shank. Try to make these wraps as upright as possible and right on top of each other. Cross the thread lightly across the top of the foam body about one fourth of the way forward. Make another upright segment one fourth of the way forward on the hook shank with three more tight turns of thread. Continue forward by crossing on the top of the shank and make two more evenly spaced segments for a total of four bands of thread and three crosses.
  9. You should now have a fly with all the crosses on the top of the fly, and the bottom of the fly will only show a nicely segmented body. Make sure the foam part hanging off the bend of the hook is bent slightly upright …. Otherwise ya gotta start over!
  10. Use a double edge razor blade to make a straight cut through the extended foam (behind the bend)by keeping the blade level with the body , make one straight cut through the foam without sawing back and forth. The double edge blades are sharp and thin and will slice right through the foam with only light pressure. The cut should come straight off the top of the body.
  11. Now, we have the extended portion of the body to clean up a bit. The back end of the fly is now a bit wider than the rest of the fly… so we are going to cut a bit from each side of the fly forming a tapered end to the fly. Don’t try to cut the body to a point, but merely taper it a bit toward the back end. Now as we look at the fly from the top we see the last segment near the hook eye is also a bit wider than the rest of the fly. We are going to use the same razor blade to cut a sliver of foam from each side of the head squaring the head off a bit so it is the same width as the rest of the fly.
  12. Now, your thread should be hanging in the last segment behind the head of the fly now and we are ready for the legs. Take a single two-inch long strand of round rubber leg and tie it in place along the side of the fly in the last segment with a single turn of thread then cross the thread back along the top of the fly into the second segment back. Catch the rubber once again along the side of the hook in this segment with another single turn of thread. Make sure that the rubber leg is centered from top to bottom along the side of the foam body.
  13. For the legs on the far side, we are going to take another single two-inch strand of rubber and attach it in the reverse order of the first one. Lay the rubber along the far side of the shank and catch it with one turn of thread in the second segment. Cross the thread forward on top of the hook back into the first segment. Catch the front end of the far leg with another single turn of thread on the far side of the hook in the joint behind the head. You can see now why a single turn is all that is necessary for each point, as the wraps become cumulative as you go and any more would create unneeded bulk. Trim the back legs so they extend to the end of the foam body. The front legs are cut just slightly shorter than the back legs.
  14. WING TIME – if you’re going to put in a underwing this is the time to do it if not than lets continue cut, clean and stack a generous bunch of deer hair. Measure this clump of hair against the shank so it is equal to about a shank length long. Place the tips of the measured hair into your material hand and cut the butt ends as straight across as you can. You should now have a cut-to-length clump of hair in your material hand with the butt ends sticking out just a bit. Place the clump of hair flat on top of the hook with the butt ends just slightly in front of the thread at the head joint. Place two soft turns of thread over the hair in the head segment. Pull down on the thread slightly to compress and crimp the hair a bit. This will ensure the thread wraps lie right on top of each other.
  15. Place the index finger of your thread hand along the far side of the hook right up against the hair to keep it from rolling. With your finger in place, pull straight down on the thread with your material hand to flare the hair in place. make one smooth pull on the thread and the hair should flare up nicely.
  16. Make a three turn whip finish right through the butt ends of the hair. Cinch the thread down tightly after tying the knot and clip the thread close. No head cement is needed as the CA glue will leach onto the thread from the crease in the foam. Happy accident.
  17. Now, I know eyes on flies like this are just for the fisherman, but when they are this easy, how can you refuse? use a black sharpie marker to make an elongated oval on each side of the head, hoppers eyes are taller than they are wide so don’t just dot them In place.

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

Trout Crack
By John Wilson

fotm july 2018

Translated by Carl Wuebben

 

Freshwater shrimp (AKA scuds) thrive in many types of water, limestone streams and spring creeks, etc. They provide trout with a year-round food source. Scuds are also an important food source in major tailwater rivers. For many years I read about fly fishers using orange colored patterns to imitate dead or spawning scuds. Whether a trout knows an orange scud represents an easy lifeless meal to pick off or that it contains a belly full of extra protein in the form of eggs is anyone’s guess. Both are workable theories. What we know is that trout see orange scuds on a regular basis, especially in specific locations. Scuds are killed when they flush through the dam turbines. They turn orange and their corpses float through the upper reaches of many tailwaters. Bring a small section of orange scuds with you next time you fish near a dam release or any scud kill zone. You may find yourself with a few additional trout to net. The methods of adding orange to scud patterns are endless. Some tyers use all orange, a hint of orange through the entire pattern, orange hot spots in specific locations, or an orange beadhead. The trout crack was created by John Wilson and is called “a guide-style fly”, which means it takes only a couple minutes to tie. Not pretty to look at, but very effective.

PATTERN

HOOK – Tiemco 2457, or similar sizes #14 to #20
THREAD – UTC clear Mono 0.004, optional 12/0 tan
BODY – Tan or olive Antron or Haretron dubbing
SHELL – The original used orange V-rib but can use tan or brown UTC vinyl rib (small) or liquid lace (midge size)
RIBBING – Clear Mono 0.004 or wire. Thread is optional (in tan)
HEAD – Orange thread – gives the impression of a dead or pregnant scud

HOW TO TIE

  1. Debarb hook (optional) - Mount hook in vice, start thread in a little bit behind the eyelet and wrap rearward to just before the bend of the hook. If using wire this is the time to tie it in, if not continue just a little bit into the bend of the hook.
  2. Now tie in the orange V-rib shell with the end facing rearward, then pull the front half backward and advance your thread in front of it. Bring your thread forward to about two eyelets from the eye and dub a small noodle with your fingers or a dubbing twister tool. Then wind the noodle rearward with close wraps but not a thick body and stop up against the shell. Pull off any extra dubbing on the thread.
  3. Pull the shell forward over the top of the body and using the mono thread form the segmentation as you wrap over the top of the V-rib until you get to the front of the dubbing. Then tie off the shell and whip finish and clip the mono off.
  4. On each end of the shell, clip the ends off but leave a small tag-end on each end.
  5. Tie on the orange thread behind the eye and form a small head or hot spot (whatever you want to

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

TF’s Hares Ear Clinger Nymph
By Ted Fauceglia

fotm june 2018

Translated by Carl Wuebben

 

There is some sporadic mayfly activity that needs to be addressed. Lesser members of the heptageniidae family of mayflies hatch throughout the summer and while the adults (light Cahill look- alikes) hatch sporadically, their hatches are sparse and have rarely induced more than an occasional “rise”. There are however, enough heptageniidae nymphs present to warrant a nymph pattern that has annually worked for me as a “searching “fly. Heptageniidae nymphs are known as clingers. Measuring from 12 to 16 millimeters long they have flattened bodies with broad, blunt heads and muscular, spiderlike legs. Their strong legs and three long tails enable them to freely navigate in fast water where they live and flourish. Their colors range from a light to dark mottled tannish red-brown. The hare’s ear nymph is a staple in my nymph collection and easily one of the most productive all-purpose go-to nymphs that I fish. But just in case the trout get a bit selective and fickle, alter the fly just a little and tie up a couple TF’s hares ear clinger nymphs.


PATTERN

HOOK - Tiemco 5262, sizes #12 to #16
THREAD - Camel 8/0 (70 denier) uni-thread
TAILS - Lemon wood duck Brest feather
ABDOMEN - A mixture that’s three parts #4 hareline hare’s ear plus dub and one part rusty brown wapsi SLF (synthetic living fiber) squirrel dubbing
WINGCASE - dark brown wild turkey quill
LEGS - Picked out dubbing on each side of the wing case
HEAD - Camel 8/0 (70 denier) uni thread
TIP - Treat the turkey feather with softtex or other feather treatment before you start tying and let it dry overnight

HOW TO TIE

  1. Debarb hook - Mount hook in vice, start thread in at about mid shank then grab a small bunch of lemon wood duck breast feather fibers (about 12 or so fibers) and tie on top of the hook shank hanging out from the bend of the hook (about ¾ of the hook shank long) just make sure it stays on top by pinching the fibers down on the hook shank as you wrap your thread down to hold it in place
  2. Take your three parts #4 hareline hares ear plus dub and one part rusty brown wapsi SLF (synthetic living fibers) squirrel dubbing and mix together by pulling and putting back together then doing the same till it looks well blended.
  3. Now either twist a dubbing noodle onto the thread or use a dubbing loop with a dubbing loop tool but not too much you can add more as needed then wrap a tapered abdomen small to the rear and fatter at the middle then thin to the front thorax area (old cigar shape). But stop at mid shank first so you can do the next step (you may need to remove any extra dubbing at this time)
  4. Now grab a hunk of dark brown turkey quill (see tip in pattern part) about the width of the thickest part of the dubbed body then remove a few fibers and you should have a wing case just a little bit smaller than halfway over the side. Now with the shiny side facing down (top of feather) and the tips facing to the bend of the hook, tie down the fibers on the bare hook shank then bring your thread back to the mid shank area where you stopped your dubbing and now dub another noodle and wrap it forward toward the eye of the hook ( start the wraps tight up against the rear half of the body so you have no gaps between the two sections) but leaving a space to tie down the turkey fibers and make a head.
  5. Now using your bodkin to help you fold over the turkey fibers (be gentle you don’t want to have the fibers separate from each other) fold it forward and tie off behind the eye of the hook but don’t forget to leave a space for the head. Clip the tag end of the turkey fibers.
  6. Form a small head then whip finish and clip your thread, apply a small dab of head cement to the head then on each side and with your bodkin pick out a few fibers from the dubbing but only on the thorax sides. This will be the legs but be careful to not ruin the wing case or pull out too much.

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

 

Anorexic Zebra
By Aaron Jasper

fotm febraruy 2018

Translated by CARL WUEBBEN

This fly is perfect for a dry fly – dropper style of fishing. Attach a large dry fly to the end of your leader, tie another length of tippet to the hook bend of the floating fly, then add an anorexic zebra or a nymph. Streams with high angling pressure are generally well suited for a dry – dropper technique. In many of these streams, the trout are very wary of people. Because of these factors successful anglers present fly’s from a distance. Suspending your fly under dry flies is the best way to do this and not spook the fish. When fishing with the correct leader system, dry flies and small flies or nymphs can increase your catch rates even under some surprisingly tough conditions. Dry – dropper combinations works especially well during mayfly and caddisfly hatches. Many nymphs and pupae are vulnerable near the surface, and trout frequently feed right under the surface. Also try tying the second fly to the eye of the dry fly for less drag and better floatation of the dry.

PATTERN

HOOK – Tiemco TMC 2487, size 18 or 16
HEAD – Black tungsten, matched to hook size
THREAD – Black 8/0 (70 denier)
BODY – Tying thread
RIB – Hot orange copper wire

HOW TO TIE

  1. Debarb hook. Put the bead onto the hook, small hole first and mount in vise. Start thread in right behind the beadhead which is pushed up against the eyelet and then grab a hunk of wire and tie it in behind the beadhead and keeping the wire on top of the hook shank by using your thread to secure it and making a thread base using the wire to keep close wraps, then continue to wrap to just a little bit into the bend of the hook then put the wire into your material clip to keep it out of the way for a little bit.
  2. With your thread wrap forward to the beadhead with very close wraps to create the body, then when you are at the beadhead wrap backward again and make a taper the size of the beadhead long and end your thread back at the beadhead.
  3. Now with the copper wire spiral wrap forward clockwise and tie off just before the beadhead (tapered part before bead) and helicopter the tag end of wire off. Whip finish –clip off the thread tag end then put some head cement or U.V. glue on the entire fly less the beadhead.

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

 

Mini Sulphur Hi-Vis Comparadun
By Ted Fauceglia

fotm march 2018

Translated by CARL WUEBBEN

 

For the seasoned fly fisher, preparing to meet most mayfly hatches is a relatively easy task – it’s simply a matter of reviewing last year’s log and correcting any problems associated with the previous year’s hatch. If there are none, it’s no big deal; just restock your supply of your best patterns. For fly fishers without a backlog of knowledge, it’s a little more complicated. Tying a selection of patterns for any hatch obviously requires us to choose the correct size and colors for each pattern, but it’s equally important to choose the right style of pattern that suits a particular hatch. Where on the water the hatch happens also has a direct influence on the style of pattern selected. If duns emerge in fast – flowing riffles, you’d imitate them with buoyant, hackled, high-floating patterns that remain high on the water whereas, if the duns surface in calm water or side pools, a more realistic, flush-floating pattern is appropriate because the trout will get an up close view as it drifts downstream. In addition to where the hatch occurs, the timing of the hatch raises further concerns (time of year). I have found that the simpler the pattern I use, the better. I’m a big fan of parachute patterns, but parachutes don’t lend themselves well to small dun patterns (sizes 18 and smaller). The materials overcrowd the pattern, and there simply isn’t enough definition to my satisfaction. I prefer the Comparadun style for my mini-sulphur imitations, besides matching the size and color of the natural; Comparaduns match a naturals profile and duplicate a naturals imprint on the water, which is crucial in low water conditions. As an added bonus Comparaduns are easy to tie.

PATTERN

HOOK – Tiemco 100 BL, size 18 to 20
THREAD – Light Cahill 8/0 Uni-thread (70 denier)
WING- Sulphur Hi-Vis Antron
TAIL – Stiff cream colored hackle barbs
BODY – Pale morning dun Orvis Spectrablend dry fly dubbing or ?
HEAD – Light Cahill 8/0 Uni-thread (color it red with a Copic marker or other permanent marker)

HOW TO TIE

  1. If using a barbed hook debarb it and mount in the vice. Start your thread in about at the mid-shank point and wrap rearward to just a little before the bend of the hook.
  2. Tie in the hackle for the tail (about the same size as the hook or just a bit larger). About 5 or 6 barbs should do, coming straight off the hook shank.
  3. Bring your thread forward to a little bit past the halfway mark on the shank and tie in your Hi-Vis Antron for the wing by laying the Antron on the top of the shank with what will be the wing part going about a hook length long (hook shank upward), and tie it down on the shank with the tips facing forward. Lay a few wraps down then clip the tag ends off (butt section). Pull the front part of the wing upward and bring your thread forward in front of the wing, then lay some wraps in front of it to keep it upward. Then fan your wing out with your fingers to get the wing to spread out from side to side like a fan. Bring your thread rearward and end it just before the bend.
  4. Make a dubbing loop by pulling about 2 inches of thread downward, then put a dubbing twister (tool) on the thread and then bring your thread back up to where your thread comes off the shank and tie both pieces of thread on the shank. Bring your thread forward and stop by the eyelet, then place a small amount of dubbing in between the thread loop and using your dubbing twister, spin it into a noodle or just your index finger and thumb to twist the dubbing onto the single piece of thread coming off the shank. You can use dubbing wax to help. Use small chunks, if you need more you can add more on.
  5. Wrap the noodle forward; when you get to the wing base do a figure 8 around the front and rear of the base to cover the bottom side below the wing and keep close to the front of the wing to help keep it upward also. Wrap all the way toward the eyelet but leave a space for the head of the fly. Tie off and clip off the tag end of the noodle.
  6. Take a red permanent marker and run it up and down about a 2 inch section of your thread then wrap a small head behind the hook eye. Whip finish and clip your thread, then add a very small dab of head cement.

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

 

Nosepicker Blue Winged Olive
By Kevin Price

fotm septembet 2017

Translated by CARL WUEBBEN

When it comes to flies that imitate small Mayfly nymphs, many fly tiers routinely turn to the trusty pheasant tail nymph and its’ derivatives. It’s a fly that is easy to tie and tends to get the job done. It’s such an effective mayfly nymph imitation that creative fly dressers are hard pressed to arrive at anything better. The challenge was to find a fly that lasted more than two or three fish. That’s the one problem with the P.T. nymph: it is made from inherently brittle materials- namely peacock herl and pheasant tail fibers. The answer is a pattern dubbed the Nosepicker, designed to be a true guide’s fly: a fly that not only fools trout, but also stands up to a beating. Moreover, the pattern is easy to tie. Its’ colors and size are easily adapted to match a variety of mayflies. Depending on the bead color, thread, hook size and wire, the Nosepicker can imitate Blue-winged Olives, Pale Morning Duns, Green Drakes, and March Browns. Emu herl is used for the tail and legs because not only does it look buggy and lifelike, and holds its shape in the water, but it’s also amazingly durable. A small strip of pearl flashabou run through a piece of hollow ultra-lace tubing adds just the right amount of flash and creates a nice bulletproof wing case that resembles epoxy, but without the mess of working with epoxy, and it remains intact for the life of the fly. The wire thorax, virtually indestructible, allows for a consistent-sized upper body while also enabling the fly to sink fast. The Nosepicker is as tough as they come. You’ll lose it to a big tippet-busting trout before it’ll fall apart.


PATTERN

HOOK - TMC 2488 heavy, sizes #16-#20
HEAD - Gold bead, matched to hook size
THREAD – Olive-Dun UNI thread, size 8/0
TAIL – Olive Emu
RIB – Small olive Ultra wire
SHUCK – Olive CDC
WING CASE – Tan Ultra lace tubing with a strand of pearl Flashabou inside
ABDOMEN – Brassie-size black Uni-wire
LEGS – Olive Emu
NOTE – photo is a pale mourning dun colors but pattern is the same

HOW TO TIE


  1. Debarb hook. Put gold bead onto hook, small hole first and mount in vise. Start thread in right behind beadhead and create a thread base on the hook shank then tie in 3 strands of the Emu fibers for the tail, about ½ to ¾ the hook shank long. Wrap thread back to the beadhead.
  2. Tie in a length of small olive wire behind beadhead and wrap it down with the thread to the base of the tail with close wraps, keeping it in a straight as possible on top of the shank. Then bring your thread back up to the beadhead (close wraps again). Now make four spiral wraps of the wire and tie off. Helicopter the tag end off. Your thread should be about mid-shank now. Tie in a small clump of olive CDC for the shuck in at the mid-shank area facing rearward. (Tie it a bit long so it’s easy to handle, and then trim to length – about the length of your beadhead.)
  3. Insert a single strand of pearl Flashabou into a length of tan Ultra lace, and tie it in starting up against the beadhead. With the thread, wrap rearward and on top of the larva lace and stop in front of the shuck (olive CDC), leave it facing rearward. We will use it later for the wing case.
  4. Tie in a strand of black Ultra wire at the base of the shuck and make about six wraps (very close) to form the abdomen. It should end very close to the beadhead. Tie it off and helicopter the tag end off.
  5. Tie in three strands of olive Emu on each side of the abdomen (black wire) to form the legs. They should extend to about midway of the shuck and tilted slightly upward. One or two thread wraps rearward will keep them facing rearward. Cut off tag ends of Emu.
  6. Pull the Ultra lace tubing forward, splitting the Emu legs more to the side, and tie off right behind the beadhead. With tight wraps to hold it down well. Clip off the end of tubing and whip finish. Add a small amount of Zap-a-gap to secure the thread.

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