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Fly Tying For Beginners - tying the Elk Hair Caddis
August, 2017

The creation of the elk hair caddis, by Al Troth in 1957 in eastern Pennsylvania provided a prototype which spring boarded into hundreds, possibly even thousands of variations. Without exception, every fisherman I know carries a few hair caddis patterns in his or her fly box. The deer hair dressing was popularized by none other than Jim Schollmeyer, a noted fisherman, tyer, photographer and author.

There is no place in the US that caddis patterns do not figure large for fly fishermen. The hair caddis patterns work everywhere and for all kinds of fish. Elk Hair Caddis is used more west of the Mississippi and the Deer Hair Caddis, east of the Mississippi.

Hook: Mustad #R50NP-BR (R50-94840),Mustad #94833(2x fine) Sizes: 10-20, TDE
Thread: Gray, 6/0
Body: Olive Rabbit Fur
Rib: Blue Dun (or ginger variant) Hackle tied palmered (one size smaller than the gape)
Wings: Natural Dun Deer Hair, tied caddis style.

     Al Troth, inventor of the "Elk-Hair Caddis" commentary
Fly Tying For Beginners - tying the Sulphur Dun
July, 2017

Mayfly Species Ephemerella invaria (Sulphur Dun) is one of the two species frequently known as Sulphurs (the other is Ephemerella dorothea). Good fishing from this hatch usually lasts about two weeks in a particular location.
Sizes 14 to 18
Thread: Yellow
Wings: Yellow Hackle tips
Tail: Ginger Variant
Body: Sulphur dun dubbing
Hackle:Ginger Variant

Fly Tying For Beginners - tying Light Cahill
The classic Cahill fly pattern is a must-have trout fly.
June, 2017

A classic Catskill dry fly originated by Dan Cahill over 100 years ago. A basic imitation of a Pale Morning Dun or a Pale Evening Dun, the Light Cahill fly is a standard that ranks right up there with the Adams. An assortment in all sizes is a must in every fly box. If you are interested in tying your own Light Cahill flies, see our fly pattern recipe below. Color, Light tan.
Both June and July are good Cahill months in NC.

Size: 12, 14, 16, 18.
Hook:Standard dry-fly hook hook, sizes 10-18
Thread:Cream, UTC 70 denier.
Wing:Wood duck flank feather.
Tail:Cream rooster hackle fibers.
Body:Cream superfine dry-fly dubbing.
Hackle:Cream dry-fly hackle. (often tied with ginger-variant)
Head: Thread with Head cement.

Fly Tying For Beginners - tying Art Flick's March Brown Mayfly

May, 2017

This fly in North Carolina, hatches in May , mid morning to mid evening. As a fly pattern, it is characteristic of all mayflies. This is a good fly for May (see other hatches in North Carolina .)

Published on Apr 3, 2016
Hook: 10-14
Thread: tan
Tail: ginger hackle fibers
Wing: woodduck flank, or mallard flank dyed woodduck
Body: tan rabbit dubbing, or any yellowish tan dubbing
Hackle: grizzly and brown

Fly Tying For Beginners - tying a Scotish Cow Dung

April, 2017

The Cowdung, is a very old pattern that is believed to have been created by a fly fisherman who accidentally trod on a cowpat and recognized the flies he had disturbed as being the same that the trout had been feeding on.

It is still a splendid and successful pattern today.

A really easy and deadly fly for use when the dung flies are out and about.
Thanks to Allan Liddle for the pattern. It's a cracker!


Scotsman on a bridge yells down to a streamside fly fisherman busy catching fish:
   "Oie, what ar ya usin?"
   "Cow Dung!" replies the fisherman.
   Scotsman pauses a bit, cocks his head, and yells back:
   "evr try horse shit?"

Fly Tying For Beginners - tying a Zug Bug Nymph

March, 2017

The Zug Bug has been around for 80 years, and yet it appears in every fly shop's offerings and most fly fishermen's collection of nymphs. That is because it catches fish being suggestive of larva's of mayflies and the ubiquious caddis.

  • Hook: 2X-long nymph hook, sizes 12-16.
  • Thread: Black, 6/0.
  • Tails: 3 Peacock swords, length=hook gape
  • Rib: oval silver tinsel
  • Body: Peacock herl.
  • Legs: Hen hackle or Hugarian partridge
  • Wing case: pheasant neck feather
  • Head: Tying thread and head cement

Fly Tying For Beginners - The Mosquito Dry Fly

February, 2017

The Mosquito Dry Fly is one of the most widely used classic dry flies. The Mosquito is a great high alpine and small creek dry fly. Brook Trout and small Cutthroat Trout simply cannot pass up a Mosquito. The Mosquito uses one material in the recipe, Grizzly Hackle. The Mosquito is not necessarily and easy fly to tie, but more simple variations can be tied and they are still effective. The Mosquito can be tied large and small, and also used for bluegill, trout and small bass!

Mosquito Dry Fly Tying

Hook: #12-20 Tiemco 100
Thread: Black UTC 70
Tail: Grizzly
Body: Grizzly Quill, stripped
Wings: Grizzly Hackle Tips
Hackle: Grizzly

How To Tie Tutorial

Youtube Mosquito Dry Fly Tying Instructions

Webmaster's Note: From my experience, there is no place, where the mosquito pattern is not effective. I usually fish a size 16, or if small waters, a smaller size. The concept being small water equals small flies.

Fly Tying For Beginners - The Bivisible

January, 2017

The Bivisible is a pattern that dates back to the 1920's and, if not directly invented by Edward Ringwood Hewitt, it was certainly popularized by him in his 1926 book Telling On The Trout (Amazon). In the book, Hewitt states darker colors are more visible to trout looking up, than light colors, so most of the fly is constructed of palmered brown hackle. From above, however, the brown is difficult for anglers to see, particularly in low light. Thus, a few turns, or as Hewitt puts it 'a small wisp' of white hackle, is added at the head of the fly which makes the pattern more visible.

Here is an excellent video on YouTube on tying the Bivisible.

       Click above Picture for YouTube Video:

Fly Tying For Beginners - The Scud

December, 2016

The scud is an easy to tie pattern. My preference for color is "colorless" or clear. The importance of material choice is promoting attraction to the patterns. A buggy body, silver, gold or copper wire or even silver Mylar give life in the form of flash. I prefer the pattern not be weighted, as the pattern needs a life like sink or rise. This pattern plays well in still waters or lakes. Cast to a likely spot, then let the fly sink, wait a minute or even two minutes, now, raise your rod tip slowly. The fly is hit on the rise.

Here is an excellent video on YouTube on tying the simple scud.

Fly Tying For Beginners Adams with Jim Misiura

August, 2016

Royal Coachman

July, 2016
No fly better represents this freewheeling era [late 19th century] in fly tying than the Royal Coachman, which among the general public may be the world's best-known fly. Its name has the right combination of romance and class to appeal even to people who don't fish, and the fly has such a commanding appearance that few fly fisherman can resist having some permutation of the pattern in their fly boxes, even if they never use it. Most of them don't know it, but the Royal Coachman is the first great American fly pattern...
- Paul Schullery

Probably the most familiar Brook Trout fly pattern there is. Originally designed as a Coachman imitation, the red floss was wrapped around the body to make the fly more durable against the teeth of Maine brook trout. First designed in 1878 by John Hailey and named by L. C. Orvis, the brother of Orvis founder Charles F. Orvis. A true bit of angling history.

As show, this Orvis tying is winged with polypropylene yarn making this fly exceptionally more durable than Duck Quill Wings. This is Steve Salkow's (webmaster assistant) favorite fly.

Fly Tying for Beginners a Royal Coachman with Jim Misiura, Video showing Calf Tail for wing, but polypropylene yarn could be used in a similar fashion.

Pattern Name: Royal Coachman, Dry, Poly Winged
Hook: Standard Dry fly size 10-20, (I prefer Tiemco TMC100BL, is 1XF, and barbless)
Thread: Black 6/0 or 8/0
Body: Peacock herl, red polypropylene yarn**, peacock herl
Tail: Golden pheasant tips
Hackle: Coachman brown
Wing: White polypropylene yarn

The fine red polypropylene yarn is sold by
**This fine poly is excellent for tying very small flies, down to size 28 as the material is elastic and lighter than water. You may substitute floss but floss changes to a darker color when wet and holds water making it harder to float once wet.

NC Truths:

Although trout in western North Carolina streams commonly feed on many species of aquatic and terrestrial insects, the three families of aquatic insects that trout feed upon most often are May Flies, Caddis Flies, and Stone Flies with Midges and Terrestrial insects comprising the the rest of their insect diet. However, be aware that there are several less common species of aquatic insects that trout also feed upon when presented with the opportunity such as Dobson Flies, Damsel Flies, and Crane Flies. In addition, each of these insects with the exception of Terrestrials has an aquatic nymph or aquatic larval stage as well as a terrestrial adult stage and thus, since fly fishing is all about imitation. Stonefly need well oxygenated waters hence tend to fast flowing waters and winter runoffs.

When selecting flies, size is almost the most important. Color is second.

NC Hatches

Water Resources

Web Master: Laura Kennerly - 336-707-7665     Search these pages    Where we meet - Leonard Center