Thursday, December 27, 2012

Got some tying in

I have been wanting to tie sz20 nymphs since I had a couple work great on the South Holston.  My buddy lent me a few and all they were was a tungsten bead and black thread.  I decided to try tying the same thing then I noticed if I just added silver wire I'd have a Zebra Midge.  Working with the small flies was challenging and fun at the same time.  It's a little difficult to wrap and not hit the hook tip because the gape is so small.  I usually ended up putting the hook and barb in the vise so it was less of a problem.  I'm pretty happy with how the flies turned out.  I decided to try a few different styles.  Zebras with a collar and even attempted a Brassie and something I haven't seen before but I'm sure has a name. 
I was thinking about a Griffith's Gnat pattern.  I decided to tie that with a tungsten bead so it would sink.  I put a little extra peacock hurl along the body to give it more flash.  You can't really see it in the picture.

One fly I have been meaning to tackle is a bead head soft hackle.  They are supposed to be basic flies.  What you'll find when first tying them is the hackle will look severely different depending on the quality of feather you are using and what part of the feather is being tied in.  I was using partridge feathers and I wished I bought an actual partridge bird piece.  I tried go cheap and buy a "bag" of partridge feathers.  I realize now these are odds and ends and many of the feathers are not even usable.  You get what you pay for.  If I tied low on the feather near the blood feathers I received very spindly looking legs.  They didn't look like they'd flow very well in the water.  If I tied up near the top of the feather I'd get more fluffy legs. I think these are more of what I'm looking for.  I have an example of both.

The fly at the top has the spindly looking legs and the one one the bottom has a more fluffy style.  I think both flies will work it was just interesting learning how to get each style of legs.   There were even more variations depending on the quality and size of the partridge feather.  I really didn't know what I was getting sometimes until I started twisting the feather. 
While looking for inspiration on other patterns to tie I ran across a hares ear pattern using ice dubbing.  The ice dubbing really gives the fly a busy appearance.  What I mean by that is I do think in the water the colors and consistency of the material give the fly a life like looks.   It just looks like something is going on.  I tied a few hares ear type variants and used the ice dubbing as the body.  I like pink and I think these will work well for the hatchery streams.  I called these flies Trout Candy.
 I've been wrong many times before but I can see these flies really working well. I have also been working on another pattern that looked easy but it's been giving me grief. It is a bead head hares ear style fly only the bead goes behind the hackle and not in front. It's a little hard to explain and I'll try posting pictures of the fly later. I'm finding it difficult to get the bead, hackle and pheasant tail all together with out crowding the eyed of the hook. On a sz18 there isn't much real estate.  I'll post the results. I'm actually starting to enjoy tying. The bad part is having so many different things I want to tie. I'm stumbling upon patterns looking for other things and I just want to tie some flies because they look cool. Here's what I'm talking about.


  1. Nice sculpin. I like those bead nymphs. Tempting. Might make a few with bright bead heads.

  2. Kevin
    You can't got wrong with the beadheads and the Zebra Midge; the rest of the patterns are outstanding. I use the size 18 a lot but if I can't get any takes then I go with the 20 more and to my surprise I get more takes on it as opposed to the 18 expecially on up in the day. Thanks for sharing some great patterns