FOTM

Firetail Wolly Bugger
By Chad Mason

fotm septembet 2017

Translated by CARL WUEBBEN

In an ideal world, fish would always be active. Getting them to strike would be a matter of imitating their favored food. Now, welcome back to the world we live in. some days fish put their bellies on the bottom, or hang lazily suspended, seeming to vegetate like hungover fraternity pledges. What then? It’s time to stop thinking temptation and start thinking provocation. Trout, panfish, and bass are sometimes a bit lethargic. At such times, you can almost bounce a non-descript imitative fly off their noses, and they won’t budge. Then we must reach deeper into those pea brains (theirs, not ours) and provoke a deeper instinct. Certain visual cues seem to awaken a predatory, territorial, self-defensive or other striking impulse in fish. Incorporate fluorescent colors into your favorite streamer pattern, the wolly bugger with accents of chartreuse, hot pink, fluorescent orange, or purple, the firetail wolly bugger is designed to provoke strikes from reluctant biters.

PATTERN

HOOK – 2x long, heavy wire, size #6 or #8
THREAD – black 6/0 (140 denier)
TAIL – black marabou over chartreuse marabou or any other fluorescent color
BODY – medium chartreuse chenille (or the color you used for the tail) followed by medium black chenille
HACKLE – wide, webby, black saddle hackle
COLLAR – black hen-back (saddle) feather
NOTE – Fluorescent orange, hot pink and purple are other good colors for the bright part or the tail and the rear section of the body.

HOW TO TIE

  1. Debarb hook-mount in vise – start thread in at about mid shank and tie in your chartreuse marabou for the tail – about 1 ½ the hook size hanging out from just before the hook bend and you can tie down the rest of the feather onto the hook shank to form a thicker body if you want to. Then tie in the same amount of black marabou on top of it to complete the tail. Clip off the tag ends with enough space in front for a collar and the head. Bring your thread back to the hook bend and tie in a black saddle hackle by the tip. Just leave it be for now you will use it latter.
  2. Now grab your medium chartreuse chenille and tie it in right before the bend of the hook – clip your tag end off then make two close wraps and tie it off and clip off the tag end. Tie in your medium black chenille and clip you tag end off and bring your thread forward to the eyelet then wrap your black chenille closely forward and tie off at about one eyelet space from the eye (remember you still have to put in a collar and a small head so don’t crowd the head) clip of the tag end.
  3. Spiral wrap the black hackle at the back of the hook forward and tie off by the head- clip the tag end off (as you wrap the feather stroke the fibers rearward).
  4. Tie in a black hen-back (saddle) feather where you ended your black chenille by the tip and clip off the tag end. Now take two or three close wraps of the feather forward stroking the fibers rearward with each wrap then tie off and clip the tag end off. Take a few tread wraps over the base of the front part of the feather collar to lock them in a slight rearward position- make a small head – whip finish and clip you thread off – add a little head cement and you’re done.

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

 

The Slumpbuster

By Chris Hunt
Originally by John Barr

fotm july 2017

Translated by CARL WUEBBEN

 

The slumpbuster is a john Barr creation, and its intent is exactly as the name implies. It’s big .Its heavy. It pushes water; it’s the “LOOK AT ME!” fly that we all search for when things are slow; the action suddenly ceases or under high water when finding fish might be a bit of a challenge. You can also tie in smaller sizes. While it certainly works in big sizes, on smaller freestone streams, the smaller profile seems to more representative of small baitfish. Tied in olive and on a size 10 hook, it’s a great imitation of swimming damselfly or dragonfly nymph on small lakes. The fish literally eat it up. And it’s an easy tie at the vise.

PATTERN
HOOK – Dai-riki #700 #8 or equivalent
CONEHEAD – Nickel cone head (large) can use gold also your choice
WEIGHT – Lead free wire (.020)
THREAD – UTC 140 denier (6/0) brown olive
RIB – UTC ultra-wire brassie in chartreuse or color of your choice
BODY- Sparkle braid in silver or gold
WING & COLLAR - Pine squirrel zonker strip in chartreuse or color of your choice ( the photo looks like olive but use what you want)
OTHER THINGS - Fly tyers z-ment or your favorite glue like zap a gap


HOW TO TIE

  1. Debarb hook – put cone head on the hook small hole first then add some .020 lead free wire to the hook shank starting just in front of the bend of the hook and put about 20 wraps on then helicopter the wire to break it off. Apply some z-ment (or zap a gap) to the wrappings before sliding it up against the cone head – this will help hold the cone against the hook eye. 
  2. Start your thread in right behind the wire weight and clip off your tag end. Take thread wraps forward to further secure the wire wraps (back and forth wraps to cover the weight) then build a thread ramp from the wire weight to the hook shank. 
  3. Now tie in your brassie wire right where you thread is now (back of wire weight) and tie it down to the hook shank and down to the bend of the hook (on the top of the shank). Then bring your thread forward to just behind the wire weight again. 
  4. Clip a 5 to 5 inch piece of sparkle braid from the card and tie it in right where your thread is now and wrap back to the bend (on top of shank) like you did with the brassie wire then wrap your thread forward again to the rear of the cone head. Put a little z-ment on the thread wraps for durability. 
  5. Take the sparkle braid and wrap forward with slightly overlapping wraps and ending at the back of the cone head – tie off and clip the tag end then put a couple more good strong wraps down to secure the braid well.
  6. Clip off a strip of pine squirrel from the hide – grab ahold of the butt end of the strip (part that was attached to the hide – hair going downward) and pull off a small section of the hair to leave a bare hide. Now push the bare hide into the cone head and on the top and tie in with tight wraps and then wrap backward a little. Tug on the back of the strip to stretch it a little then wet your fingers and pet the fur forward to get the moisture in it so it’s more manageable then preen the fur upward. 
  7. Part the fur right above the ribbing wire and start making wraps between clumps of fur to secure the strip all the way up the shank (spiral wrapping) then take several wraps of wire to secure it in place then put several thread wraps down to secure the wire even more. Now helicopter the wire to remove the tag end. Clip the tail the length about a ½ hook length long.
  8. Now using the remaining pine squirrel strip from the tail section pull off a small piece of fur just like you did in the tail piece and tie in right behind the cone head and wrap the thread rearward over the strip just a little then bring your thread forward and up against the cone head. Now start wrapping the hide forward with close wraps and petting the fur rearward as you go (this is your collar). Pack it in tight to the cone head then tie it off. Clip off the tag end of the strip then make 5 or 6 more tight wraps to make sure it’s well seated. Whip finish then clip you thread off and you’re done.

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

 

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)

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)

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

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)