FOTM

 

THE FOAM MINNOW

fotm-march-2014
PHIL ROWLEY Translated by CARL WUEBBEN

Predatory trout accustomed to supplementing their diet with minnows, fry or other baitfish often herd and chase their prey into shallow areas or drive them to the surface where they ambush them from below. In order to be successful using minnow or fry patterns it is important to keep your fly high in the water. Line choice helps but having a buoyant pattern is a definite asset. This is very easy and fun to tie – you can get very creative in the colors also 

PATTERN

HOOK – mustad R74-9672, #6 - #10
THREAD – GSP, white – 6/0 white works also
TAIL – UV2 grizzly soft hackle, olive or brown. Regular marabou and fur clumps can also be used. The barred markings of a dyed grizzly feather suggest the banded markings common to trout or salmon fry and many small minnows.
UNDERBODY – 2 mm sheet of white foam cut into strips the size of the hook gape
OVERBODY – Mylar piping, pearlescent or pearlescent dyed olive.
EYES – Stick on eyes – bend the eye in half to better form to the body.
GLUE – Gel zap-a-gap or gel superglue and thin UV glue and a curing light for it.

TYING NOTES

  1. Use permanent marker to color and mark the body to match your local baitfish or fry.
  2. You can put the markings on the underbody or the overbody but I have found that if you do it on the underbody (foam) first it worked better as long as you put one color on then a thin coat of thin UV glue and a quick curing with the light then the next color and a curing and so on with each color then bring the Mylar piping over the underbody.
  3. After curing the last coat of UV glue take a little bit of hand sanitizer and lightly rub it on the fly body to remove the tacky feeling that the glue gives off then put a coat of Sally Hansen’s hard as nails (Head cement) on it and let it dry fully.

 

HOW TO TIE

  1. Debarb hook only if you want to on this one – take the 2mm white foam and cut into strips the size of the hook gape. Now hold the strip up to the hook shank and measure out a piece the length of the shank (behind the eye to just in front of the hook bend) then double it and cut it. Now take the doubled over foam and put the hook point thru the center of the foam in the bent over part – then bring it forward to the eyelet.
  2. Use some gel superglue or zap-a-gap gel and put it on the shank of the hook and a little on one of the inner sides of one side of the foam. This glue helps things stay in position and not run all over the place. Now bring the two sides together along the side of the hook shank and make sure it is centered then press firmly on the body to hold the foam together and onto the hook shank. Make sure it all stays together and remove any glue that may have squished out. Leave about two eyelets space from the eyelet so you can tie in the piping.
  3. Shape the foam underbody so it tapers at each end resembling the basic shape of a baitfish. Don’t worry if it’s a little squared off on the corner because the piping will cover them and give it the nice rounded shape. Just shape carefully because with each cut you are removing floatation and you can’t glue it back on.
  4. (See tying notes #1 and #2 for an option at this point). Attach the thread behind the eye then grab your Mylar piping and tie it on in front of the foam and wrap your thread up close to the eyelet (but not so close as to crowd the head) then loosely spiral wrap over your body to get to the back of the foam – then strip a small clump of soft feather from the base of a dyed olive or brown grizzly hackle (can use regular or grizzly marabou as I did) and tie in the hackle tuft at the rear of the shank. The tail should be no more than half the shank length. The barred markings of the feather suggest the banded markings common to trout or salmon fry and many small minnows.
  5. Darken the back of the foam (top) dark olive using a permanent marker – let it dry a few minutes then coat it with a little thin UV glue and cure it with the UV light – then using your thumb and forefinger, stroke and pull the Mylar piping back over itself along the shank. Pull the Mylar piping tight at the rear of the hook. Now using a bodkin pick thru the fibers in the Mylar where the hook bend is so you can tie in the piping. Put a few thread wraps down to hold the piping in place. You now either clip out the piping filaments in the tail or leave a few or clip them out altogether. Don’t worry about the blunt nose this method creates it better mimics the look of many minnows or fry. Color the thread holding the tail parts together with the marker (same color as the back). Whip finish the fly at the tail area -clip off the thread –apply a small dab of superglue or zap-a-gap at the rear tie off point for added security.
  6. Now using the permanent markers apply the body markings like a dark olive back you already have on, red gill slashes and black vertical bars along both sides of the body. Now wait for it to dry. But I like to apply one color then some thin UV glue with a UV light curing then another color then more thin UV glue and a curing and so on. This keeps the colors from bleeding so much.
  7. With a bodkin, apply the stick on eyes to each side – fold the eye a little bit in half while it’s still on the paper so it fits the rounded body profile better.
  8. Coat the entire fly (accept the tail and eyelet) including the eyes with 2 to 3 coats of thin UV glue and a curing after each coat- do small sections at a time so it won’t run and leave bumps- thin coats ensure a smooth even build up. Now see tying tip #3 and you’re done.

 

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

 

 

SPLIT-TOP EMERGER (OLIVE AND GRAY)

fotm-february-2014

SCOTT SANCHEZ
Translated by CARL WUEBBEN

Multipurpose emerger patterns have a permanent home in my fly box. By multipurpose, I mean patterns that match characteristics common to various species of emergers. These patterns help me combat a variety of difficult situations, including fishing unfamiliar waters of facing multiple hatches that are occurring at the same time. Tying the split-top emerger in olive and gray covers a wide range of insects and the pattern is effective in a variety of ways. It imitates not only more than one species but also an emerger that is vulnerable, and it appeals to a trout’s sense of safety.  Some emergers become stuck in the shuck or take too much time escaping the meniscus of the water and air. This is the stage the split-top emerger imitates, and it is bad for the bug, but good for the fish. Most aquatic insects in the state of emergence look more alike than different caddis, mayfly, midge, and small stones all blend together one way or another. Dull orange or pink polypropylene is a good compromise of visibility without being gaudy. Also try using CDC for the indicator.

PATTERN
HOOK – Dai-Riki 125 curved emerger hook, or Tiemco 2488 sizes #12 thru #20
THREAD – Olive 8/0
SHUCK – Olive brown Antron
ABDOMEN – Stripped grizzly hackle stem
WING CASE – Gray 1.5 mm or 2mm foam
HACKLE – 1 ½ gap grizzly
INDICATOR – Orange poly.
THORAX – Callibaetis UV2 dubbing
GLUE – Zap-A-Gap

HOW TO TIE

  1. Debarb hook – secure in the vise- start your thread about 3 eyelets space from the eyelet then secure the shuck (olive brown Antron) on the top of the hook shank and wrap your thread back toward the bend of the hook while binding down the Antron on top of the hook shank and stopping a little bit into the bend.(This keeps from getting lumps in the abdomen later.) Don’t cut the tag end yet we will do that last so you get the proportion right.
  2. Grab a not so good quality of grizzly hackle and strip the fibers off the stem by pulling them downward toward the butt of the feather. (Save the good feathers).     
  3. Tie the hackle stem in by the tip along the top of the hook shank at the shuck. Put a small amount of ZAP-A-GAP on the hook shank and wrap the hackle stem up to mid-shank. (This will reinforce the stem).
  4. Cut a foam strip for the wing case as wide as about ½ to ¾ of the hook gap. Tie the foam strip in at mid-shank.
  5. Now tie on the better hackle (1 ½ the gap size) at the base of the foam and wrap counterclockwise just a few wraps 2 or 3 ( keep it sparse) around the foam base and tie off in front of the foam – pull back the wrapped hackles on the foam so you can tie off the hackle easier. If you feel it puts too much hackle on you can use a smaller fiber feather or strip one side of the feather off and wrap it on – again 2 or 3 wraps.
  6. Bring your thread forward and tie in your indicator (Orange poly) in the center of the thorax (In the middle between the foam base and the rear of the eyelet) tips facing forward. Clip off the tag ends and post it by lifting the poly upward and putting a small dam of thread in front of it to keep it standing upward, then bring your thread right up to the front of the base of the poly and going counterclockwise and keeping very close wraps at the base lay down a small bunch of very close wraps (But soft ones) then going up the poly, not to far up though –then back down with a little tighter wraps. You will have to hold the foam and hackle back out of the way to get the posting done without binding down some of the hackle.
  7. Bring your thread to the base of the foam. Grab your UV2 dubbing and dub a very thin noodle (You can add more if needed) from the foam base to the indicator base and then crisscross under the indicator and just a very small section right in front of the indicator. You will need the space to tie off the foam wing case.
  8. Take the foam wing case and with a pair of scissors split it down the center and stop just before the base of the foam. Be careful not to clip the hackle. You can also cut the foam before tying it in.
  9. Pull the two wing case sections (Split foam) around the indicator and over the thorax, and tie off right about in front of the indicator and this should give you enough space so you don’t crowd the head. If the hackle does not end up toward the rear (Like wings) and out the sides (Like legs) you can try putting a little pressure on them as you pull them back and or down or If you have enough hackle out the back and sides (Just a little) then you can clip out what you don’t need. Pull the foam strip a little (One side at a time) tight and clip off close to the base then do the other side the same way.   Whip-finish and put a very small amount of ZAP-A-GAP on the thread then clip your shuck (A gap) and you’re done.

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

 

DOUBLE PARACHUTE MIDGE

 fotm-january-2014

JEREMY DAVIS


 This parachute style dry sits in the film like a hatching insect. The advantage of a double midge pattern is that adult midges often cluster together in groups of two or more. Midges can be as tiny as size 28 and feeding trout often target these clusters in order to get enough to eat.

PATTERN
HOOK – 2 XL dry fly hook #8 - #12.
THREAD –   Black 8/0 uni-thread.
TAIIL – Black antron yarn.
BODY – Natural peacock Arizona dubbing.
POSTS – White antron yarn.
HACKLE – Grizzly.


HOW TO TIE

  1. Debarb hook – secure in the vise- start your thread about mid shank and wrap back to the bend of the hook and tie in your black antron for the tail   ( Just a little shorter than the shank length).
  2. Now tie in a thick piece (doubled over) of white antron yarn for the first post starting at the base of the tail and wrapping forward (This will build up the body a little) to just a little bit before the middle of the hook shank. Then post it by holding the top of the white antron with your left hand and keeping real close to the base of the post and hook shank wrap your thread up the antron yarn to form the post – use light wraps going up then a little tighter going down. Now grab the grizzly hackles with the barbs on it about the size of the hook gap then pluck out the fuzz on it and tie it on in front of the post with the bare shank of the feather going up the post. Now wrap the thread up the post one more time with close wraps then back down (This reinforces the post). Don’t wrap the hackle yet.  
  3. Advance your thread a little bit in front of your first post then tie in some more white antron for the second post and stop just about two or three eyelet’s from the eye and post it and tie in the hackle like in step two.  
  4. Spiral wrap your thread back to the tail and dub the first body right up to the first post. Now wrap the hackle feather down the post then tie off in front of the post base- clip the tag end off and put some more dubbing on the thread and wrap forward to the second post then do the same as the first post and tie off the hackle in front of the post and dub some more but don’t crowd the head. Whip finish and clip the thread and you’re done.

TIP – Gently pull back the fibers on the parachute to dub and to whip finish the fly.

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

 

DRYEMERGER (BLACK)

fotm-september-2013
JAMES FERRIN

 


The dryemerger is a very unusual pattern. It’s similar to the parasol emerger. It’s a very effective pattern and a lot of people say they’re catching fish with it. The post is just white antron wrapped with thread and a hackle; that rests on the surface of the water. The pupa, which is pretty standard, hangs slightly underneath the surface.  The dryemerger is very interesting and shows what you can do with midge patterns.                                                   

PATTERN
HOOK – Mustad C49S – Tiemco 2457 – Daiichi 1120 sizes 22 to 16.
THREAD –   Black 6/0 (140 denier)
POST – White Antron
HACKLE – Black
BODY- Tying thread
RIB- Small copper Ultra wire
WING BUDS – White Antron yarn
THORAX – Peacock herl

HOW TO TIE

  1. Debarb hook – Mount the hook in the vise - start the thread about three eyelets from the eye then tie in your copper wire ribbing, keeping real close wraps (using the wire to keep it close) wrap back to just a little bit into the hooks bend. Bring your thread back to your starting point keeping close wraps again for a smooth body (no taper in this one). Then spiral wrap the wire forward and tie off at the starting point.    
  2. Take a large hunk of white Antron yarn about 2 to 3 inches’ long. Tie it in with about 3 eyelets (1/2 inch) hanging toward the bend of the hook for the wing bud (more is better cause you can trim later), where you ended your thread and wire abdomen.
  3. Using the thread, wrap forward toward the eye and stop about 2 eyelets from the eye. Then bring your thread back where you started tying in the yarn and tie in a couple strands of peacock herl. Then make a rope with the peacock by twisting it around the thread, and wrap it forward to cover the Antron yarn and stop where the yarn starts upward, tie off the herl then clip your tag end off. Now with the thread, start wrapping up the Antron yarn only while holding it with your other hand, keeping close tight wraps (like posting a wing) as you go up to form the post. (Post should be about 1 ¼ the hook length) Leave a small amount of Antron yarn for the top of the fly.  
  4. Chose a hackle about 1 ½ the size of the hook gap, tie it in toward the top of the post then wrap it upward (About 3 or 4 close wraps), hold back the hackle fiber and tie off the hackle and clip your tag end, whip finish, clip your thread, clip the Antron yarn post to size and trim the wing bud if needed.

NOTE: If you have trouble tying the post use a piece of 50lb to 80lb monofilament. Place it in the vice and tie the Antron onto the monofilament, making the black post by going from one side outward. Keep tight wraps. If you end up with a few white spots, a black sharpie pen will cover up that problem. Tie on and wrap your hackle. Clip tag end and whip finish. Now remove from vise and clip any extra pieces of monofilament that is not needed and tie in on the hook like in step #2.
 
Quite an unusual fly to tie, but fairly easy. Tie up a bunch for the closer next month
  

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

 

JR X HOPPER (OLIVE)

fotm-0ctober-2013

SCOTT SANCHEZ


Trout anglers love hopper season. The fishing can be really good, and seeing trout crush big surface patterns is a genuine thrill. Big hoppers, however, are not always the best option. In reality, not all natural grasshoppers are big, and circumstances often prohibit the bigger varieties from reaching maximum size. Further, pressured fish that see a lot of large hopper flies seem to respond better to the abbreviated patterns. Sizes range from minute quarter-inch specimens to enormous three-inchers, and their sizes are the result of multiple factors. Foremost their sizes depend on their species. The length of the growing season is the most important secondary influence. The longer they have to grow, the bigger they become. But adverse spring latitude can contribute to short growing seasons and a preponderance of diminutive hoppers. It pays to keep small hoppers in your fly box, especially in areas of short growing seasons. The JR X HOPPER’s material list is short and readily available, and the technique simple. The pattern floats well and is easy to track.


PATTERN
HOOK – Dai-Riki 320. Standard dry fly, sizes # 10 - # 16.
THREAD – Light olive, 8/0 (or 70 Denier).
UNDER BODY – Light olive antron dubbing.
BODY AND HEAD – Olive 2-millimeter foam.
WING- Dark elk hair.
OVER WING- Chartreuse polypropylene
LEGS – medium black- barred chartreuse rubber legs on sizes # 10 and #12, small on sizes # 14 and # 16. Glue a joint for the hind leg.


NOTE – This hopper can be tied in many colors. Tan, Cream, Brown, Chartreuse, and Rust are all good options as well as a black cricket. To further simplify leave out the rear leg joint.


HOW TO TIE

  1. Debarb hook – Mount the hook in the vise - start the thread a couple of eyelets from the eye. Then coat the hook with some ZAP-A-GAP or super glue and make a thread base all the way back to just before the bend of the hook. (This helps the foam from twisting). Make a dubbing loop with the thread, and secure it at the rear of the hook shank. Place the loop to the rear of the hook in a material clip and we will use this later on.
  2. Put some Antron Dubbing onto your thread then wrap forward and tie it  off where you started your thread , then spiral wrap your thread back to the rear of the hook shank.
  3. Round the back of a gap-wide strip of foam, and secure it to the hook shank just above the barb of the hook. The foam butt should extend past the bend of the hook just a little.   
  4. Put some more dubbing onto the thread then pull the foam back and dub in front of the foam strip up to two eyelets from the eye (don’t crowd the head). Pull the foam strip forward and secure it to the front quarter of the hook shank, this will be your thorax. Leave the front end of the foam for the head.                                                                                                                                      
  5. Use the dubbing loop from step 1 to rib over the foam body and dubbing underbody, but not too tight, just a little tension will do. This will take only two or three wraps on small flies. Secure the rib with the thread and clip the tag end off.
  6. Clean and stack a bundle of dark elk hair and tie it in on top of the foam to make the wing. The tips should extend about a hook gap length past the round foam end and not hang over the sides of the foam. Clip off butt ends.
  7. Tie in a bundle of polypropylene fibers over the elk, the tips should be even with the elk hair. Clip the tag ends off. If you need to you can fluff the poly fiber with your hair comb.
  8. Bring your thread forward to two eyelets from the eye then lightly dub over the butts of the wing with a slight taper toward the eye. Now with your thread at just in front of the tie in point of the wing, pull the foam back to make a bullet head and secure with just a couple wraps. Clip off any excess foam (Straight cut).
  9. Tie in a rubber leg on both sides of the head (Where your thread is now) to make a set of X-shaped legs. Whip-finish, clip thread and cement.

*Glue a rear rubber leg joint to the rear legs. Cut two small pieces of rubber leg material and use some ZAP-A-GAP to glue it to each end of the rear legs at an angle (down and rearward) on the outer part of the leg. Trim the joint clean when dry.                                                                                              


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

 

STRYMPH
Harry W. Murray

Here’s an equation every fly fisher should know:

STReamer + nYMPH = more fish. This fly can be fished both as a streamer and a nymph – hence the name STRYMPH. It will take trout and smallmouth almost anywhere you fish it. To match a broader variety of food forms tie the same pattern in olive or cream in addition to the original black.

 

FlyInsectBait
Black Strymph Hellgrammite Sculpin 
 - Dark Stonefly Mad tom
 - Dragon fly Tadpole
 -   leech
Olive Strymph Damselfly Sculpin 
 - Dragonfly Shiner
 - Caddis larva  
Cream Strymph Crane fly larva Chub
 - Mayfly nymph Silverside
 - Caddis larva Shad
 -   Shiner

 


For trout streams tie them in sizes 6 and 10 for smallmouths use sizes 4 through 10. I encourage you to experiment because STRYMPHs are exceptionally versatile. One of them often takes a good fish when other flies let you down.
                                           

PATTERN
HOOK - 3x-long nymph or streamer hook, sizes #2 through #10
THREAD -   3/0 prewaxed monocord, color to match body.
WEIGHT - Lead wire (The thickness of the hook shank) wrapped over three fourths of the hook shank.
TAILS - Ostrich herl, color to match body. On a larger Strymph, use up to 20 strands of herl: a smaller fly need fewer strands, select herl that has full, thick side filaments.
BODY - Black, cream, or olive rabbit fur.
COLLAR - Brown speckled Indian hen saddle.


HOW TO TIE

  1. Debarb hook – Mount the hook in the vise - start the thread about three eyelets from the eye and using the tag end of the thread lay a thread base all the way back to just before the hook bend then clip off your tag end. Now wrap your lead on three fourths of the hook shank then with your thread put a small dam of thread in front and behind the lead so you don’t have a step when wrapping your body later. Also a few spiral wraps of thread over the lead will help keep things together. Now coat the whole thing with head cement and let it dry (This keeps things from spinning on the hook shank).
  2. Tie in the tails(about a whole hooks length) by the butt ends of the herl and along the length of the hook shank (up and over the lead to just in front of the lead wire) clip off tag end of herl and work your thread back to the base of your tail.
  3. Make a dubbing loop at the rear of the hook with a dubbing twister of some sort inside the loop. (You can make one with a metal coat hanger or a paper clip).Advance the working thread not the loop part way up the shank.
  4. Clip a hunk or strip of rabbit fur and put it crosswise inside the loop. (Clip off the hide). Carefully spread out the material, keeping it centered within the loop. Remember to leave some bare thread below the fur
  5. Twist the loop to make a fur chenille, twist it a lot; you want to trap the fur securely.  
  6. Wrap the fur chenille up the hook, stroking the fibers rearward every half turn. (If you poke your finger on the hook point take a #2 pencil and remove the eraser and put it on the hook point). Tie down the bare thread at the end of the twisted loop to secure the fur chenille.      
  7. Make another dubbing loop, fill it with fur, and twist it. (A large hook might require the loops to fill the shank).
  8. Wrap the second fur chenille up the hook shank and tie it off. Be sure to leave enough room to attach and wind a hackle. Whip finish and clip the thread.
  9. With a small comb, brush the fur to remove any tangles and to make all the fibers stand up. Trim the body to shape (Cigar shape, thinner in the back fat in the front).
  10. Reattach the thread at the front of the hook. Prepare and tie in a speckled hen back feather.
  11. Make several wraps of hackle (on a larger fly, up to four) to form a wet fly collar, petting the hackle backward with each wrap.
  12. Tie off the hackle feather, form a tapered head, whip finish and apply at least one coat of head cement.

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