Finishing Techniques for Fly Tying
One of my more popular YouTube tutorials, I demonstrate effective ways to finish the fly when tying. During this video, the methods I explain include the following:
*Whip Finish by hand
*Whip finish with Thompson-style tool
*Half hitch "tool"
Copper John bead head nymph
One of the most popular flies to fish today, John Barr created a keeper with this pattern. The secret to this fly's success is the fact that the heavy weight allows the Copper John to remain at the bottom of streams and rivers when fished. I recommend having the Copper John in a variety of colors of sizes throughout your nymph box.
Black Woolly Bugger (w/ variations)
Nearly every beginner when learning to tie today is typically started with the Woolly Bugger, and with good reason: They catch fish! In this tutorial, I go over the basic procedure, but also offer a few variations to make your fly different from the others being fished today.
Utah Killer Bug
This is a pattern that continues to grow in popularity, the Utah Killer Bug. Mentioned to me by my buddy Tom, this is a no-nonsense pattern that catches fish. It's a simple tie, and looks extremely buggy when wet. There are also additional colors you can select, which opens up even more possibilities for the Utah Killer Bug.
The Woolly Bugger Fly (Peacock body)
My most popular video for obvious reasons...the Woolly Bugger catches fish! One of Lefty Kreh's most effective flies, this Woolly Bugger is tied with peacock herl for the body instead of chenille. That slight variation makes for an incredible pattern, and one that belongs in everyone's fly box. Fish this pattern with confidence...
Lightning Bug Bead Head Nymph
This Lightning Bug nymph is another fast pattern to tie that I use frequently as an attractor fly. There are many variations for this pattern, and I recommend fishing this as the first fly in a two-fly nymph rig (to possibly get a fish's attention before drifting a more muted pattern as the dropper).
Olive Scud Nymph
Those who fish spring creeks on a regular basis know the impact an effective scud pattern can have. This Olive Scud nymph is a buggy-looking fly that is representational to the natural, all the way down to the burnt monofilament eyes. There is no bead on this pattern, but one can be added if you feel the need to have additional weight.
"Improved" Pheasant Tail
Frank Sawyer's Pheasant Tail nymph is a fly that has caught fish for years, and will be doing so for many more to come. During this video, I offer some slight variations to the original, such as Coq de Leon for the tailing fibers. This version is a very fast one to tie, one that I would classify as a "guide fly."
Irresistible Dry Fly
This classic fly originated by Joe Messinger Sr. is a high-floating pattern that can be used is very rough water. The Irresistible elicits hard strikes, and has performed well for many fly fishermen over the years. This is an intermediate tie, but one that can be accomplished by all with a little practice.
Selecting Saddle Hackle
The entire process or selecting and purchasing saddle hackle is supposed to be fun, though it can be stressful and difficult. I made this video to help with that process, and it includes:
*Overview of saddle hackle
*Differences between saddle hackle and necks/capes
*Purchasing tips for saddles
*Key areas to focus on when selecting saddle hackle
*Suggested colors to include in your fly tying collection
*Recommended websites to purchase saddle hackle from
Holy Grail Nymph
This is a great pattern that I first came across on the Orvis website. The Holy Grail nymph is a fly that can be varied for both caddisflies and mayflies, depending on your need. The colors can also be changed, and I recommend olive, tan, and black for starters. There is a bead on this pattern for weight, and the Holy Grail is a fly I suggest trying when fishing a dry-dropper combo.
Deer Hair Ant
Though also categorized as a terrestrial, this ant was popularized by George Harvey for good reason: It catches fish! The pattern can be fished throughout the summer, plus I recommend placing a high-visibility post on it if you have trouble seeing smaller flies in the water.
Chili Pepper (aka Woolly Bugger)
During this fly tying tutorial, I showcase my friend Tony Spezio's pattern, the Chili Pepper fly. Tony shared a few stories related to this Woolly Bugger-type pattern, thus I take the first few minutes to share those with you. I also have modified a few of the techniques and components of this fly, but wanted to ensure that the integrity of the original was still intact. Thanks, Tony, for sharing this great pattern with me!
The Pheasant Tail Nymph
Frank Sawyer's Pheasant Tail nymph is a fly that has caught fish for years, and will be doing so for many more to come. During this video, I tie the original pattern with an antron wing case and tungsten bead. This is a pattern that does an excellent job at representing many mayfly nymphs in moving water.
Purchasing Dry Fly Materials
Fly fishing with dry flies is one of my favorite aspects of fly fishing, yet selecting the materials to tie those patterns is extremely complicated. This video is intended to help the beginner to intermediate fly tyer select quality materials to build or enhance a fly tying collection. The materials discussed in this video are ones that I find essential to tying dry flies, hence their recommendation to others.
The recommended materials (optional ones listed with an asterisk):
Hackle: Necks of grizzly, cream/ginger, and dun (preference given to barred colors)
CDC: Natural color
Coastal Deer Hair - Natural color
*Snowshoe Rabbit Feet - Dun color
*Coastal Deer Hair - Dyed black
Antron/Zelon Fibers - Dun and Hi-visibility (pink) colors
*Wood Duck Flank Feathers
*Calf Body Hair
Dubbing: Tan, pale yellow, Adams gray, olive, and rusty colors
*Dubbing Pack of multiple colors
*Microfibetts - Light dun, dark dun, Light Cahill, and orange colors
*Coq de Leon
6/0 thread - Light Cahill, tan, and Adams gray colors
Daiichi 1110 Hooks - 50 of sizes 12, 14, & 16 and 25 of sizes 10, 18, & 20