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Fly Tying For Beginners - January 2019
February, Fancy Spade

Hook - Salmon Hook, Up Eye, Heavy Wire, Forged, Black Finish, #8, Barb pinched
Thread - Danville 6/0 red
Tail - Deer hair
Abdomen - Peacock herl
Thorax - Ostrich herl red
Hackle - hen grizzly

Fancy_Spade_fly_pattern.jpg January 2019 - 08:24 AM
Fly Tying For Beginners - December 2018
December Deer Fly

President Eisenhower so loved fly fishing for trout that he would have the stream that flowed through Camp David stocked so that each time he was there for a respite he could simply amble down to the stream, cast and catch a few trout. The locals also figured it out and would wait a day or two and fish below Camp David to catch the left over trout as they moved downstream.

This pattern, while familar in style, is unusual in color. It is tied much like a Royal Coachman Dry Fly except the floss is bright yellow as is the bright yellow hackle.

Thread: Black, 6/0
Tail: Golden Pheasant Tippets:
Abdomen: Peacock herl, Yellow floss, Peacock Herl
Wing: Duck Quill sections
Hackle: Bright Yellow
Head: Black Thread


       Wet Fly Version from England
Fly Tying For Beginners - October 2018
October Caddis

This is a superhatch in the West. Gary LaFontaine had a self-proclaimed obsession with Dicosmoecus, and he devotes several pages of Caddisflies to stressing the importance of its larvae, pupae, and adults. He wrote:

The question for fly fishermen seeking big trout is: "Which insects provide the best opportunity for catching such fish?" My list would be: Giant Orange Sedge (Dicosmoecus sp.), Salmon Fly (Pteronarcys californica, a stonefly), and the Michigan Mayfly (Hexagenia limbata). Dicosmoecus is the most important -- and the contest is not even close.

for more about October Caddisclick here

Hook: 2x Long size 10 to 14, Barbless dry fly Hook
Thread: Black, 8/0
Hackle: Honey Badger Body: Orange possum or antron
Wing: Deer Hair, stacked

Fly Tying an October Caddis with Jim Misiura
Fly Tying For Beginners - September 2018

The Martinez Black Nymph was designed by Don Martinez back in the 1940s. It was without a doubt the dominate nymph of the era. Mr. Martinez ran a fly shop in the West Yellowstone area. Pat Barnes worked for Don Martinez after he graduated from college and according to Pat, Don upgraded his skills considerably. Pat had this to say about the Martinez Black Nymph.

"Fishing and fly tying became my hobbies throughout my school days, including college. Like others of that time and place, I primarily tied and fished with standard wet fly patterns: Grey Hackles, Black Gnats, Royal Coachmen, or various streamers. But after watching a fisherman catch twelve fish in quick succession on a Martinez Nymph, I became a nymph tier. The Martinez Nymph, named after an accomplished fly tier, friend, and West Yellowstone tackle dealer of the late 1930s, is still one of my favorite nymphs."

The Martinez Black Nymph inspired Pat to design his own effective nymph pattern.

Hook: Mustad 3906B size 12 (between 8-14 will work)
Thread:Black 8/0
Tail: Guinea - natural
Rib: copper wire
Thorax: black chenille
Wingcase:Swiss Straw - insect green
Body: black dubbing - original was black seal fur
Hackle: Hungariun Partridge - natural

      Link to Tying Video
Fly Tying For Beginners - June 2018
Squirrel Tail Caddis (Squirt)

Hook: 2x lg dry-fly hook - size 14
Thread: brown 6/0.v Body: reddish brown poly dubbing palmered with Coachman brown Hackle
Ribbing: Optional
Tail: Optional
Wing: Red Squirrel Tail, stacked
Hackle: Coachman brown

Squirt Caddis
Fly Tying For Beginners - May 2018
Birds Nest named after Cal Bird

Hook: #12 - 2XL medium wire hook Thread: Benecchi 12/0, tobacco or tan
Rib: Copper wire, bright
Tail: Lemon woodduck
Abdomen: Australian possum
Hackle: Lemon woodduck
Thorax: Australian possum - in split thread or dubbing loop

(When Cal Bird demo'd this pattern at California Anglers in San Jose, Calif, he used his Cal Bird Dubbing Tool.)

The Bird's Nest is an attractor nymph - a living, edible insect. Usually fished dead drift.

Hans Weilenmann
Published on May 22, 2013
Fly Tying For Beginners - April, 2018
Quill Gordon

Hook: Std Dry #12 - #14
Thread: Cream Tail: Blue Dun Hackle
Body: Stripped Peacock Herl
Wing: Grey CDC/Wood Duck Flank
Hackle: Grey CDC

*CDC-cul de canard (more)
with Jim Misiura
Fly Tying For Beginners - March, 2018
Black Ant

Thread: Black 6/0
Hook: Dry fly hook, #14 thru #20, 2x lg (barbess preferred)
Body: Black Dubbing, thorax and head, in two clumps
Hackle: Mid-section, few turns black or grizzly
Head: whip finish.

Ant patterns are fishes wet or dry and are effective in black and cinnamon color predominantly. Most of the time they are fished dry. All fishermen should have a supply of both colors in the fly box.

Fly Tying For Beginners -
January, 2018

Orvis Early Black Stonefly Nymph
Hook: 2X or 3X-long nymph hook size 14-20.
Thread:   Black, 8/0 or 70 denier.
Antennae/Legs:     Black Centipede Legs, mini.
Abdomen:   Black Stretch Tubing, micro.
Wingcase:   6-8 natural pheasant-tail fibers.
Thorax:   Dark hare's mask.
Adhesive:    Head cement.

Note: Pick out the dubbing of the thorax with some Velcro.

Fly Tying For Beginners -
December, 2017

Gold-Ribbed Hare's Ear Nymph

    Hook: Sproat Bend, 1X Long nymph hook sizes 12-16.
    Thread: Olive
    Rib:Gold Wire
    Tail: pheasant-tail or face hairs
    Abdomen & thorax: Hair's mask and rabbit-fur dubbing

Magnus Angus, Fly Fishing & Fly Tying magazine's judge for the Fly Tying League 2013-14 competition, shows how to tie a basic version of the Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear.

The Hare's Ear a nymph whose "bugginess" entices fish into striking. Yet, it's also a nymph that imitates almost any natural nymph. The course hairs of the mask give a buggy-shaggy appearance which catches air in the form of bubbles giving the nymph a realistic translucsence.

Click to enlarge
Fly Tying For Beginners - Griffith's Gnat Dry Fly
November, 2017

Beginner wonder if a big fish might be caught using such small fly? Created by George Griffith , co-founder of Trout Unlimited, this pattern imitates midges, midge emergers, midge clusters, even tiny mayflies. It is a simple but very effective pattern. The Griffith's Gnat is one of those tiny dry flies that experienced anglers never forget to carry in their boxes. It is tied in hook sizes ranging from #16 to #28 and fished using extremely light tippets; this is why a soft tip rod is the best tool you can choose to avoid losing both fish and fly.It is a really easy-to-tie fly, it only takes two materials to do it.

Hook: size 14~24
Thread: Black, 6-0 or smaller
Body: One or two peacock herl
Hackle: Grizzly, tied palmered

Fly Tying For Beginners - Mayfly Isonychia bicolor (Mahogany Dun)
October, 2017

This is by far the most important species of Isonychia. Many angling books once split its credit with the species Isonychia sadleri and Isonychia harperi, but entomologists have since discovered that those are just variations of this abundant species.

The duns have pale off-white fore tarsi, which they often hold up on the air when they're resting. This feature has given them both the scientific name bicolor and one of their common names, the "White-Gloved Howdy."

Hook: 2XL Dry, size 12.
Thread:Brown, 6/0.
Tail: Dark Dun Hackle
Body: Dubing mix of 2/3 grey and 1/3 claret
Wing:Slate grey hackle
Hackle: Dark Dun and Honey Badger Hackle (bicolor)
Head:brown thread
Fly Tying for Beginners an Isonychia Dun with Jim Misiura
Fly Tying For Beginners - Blue Winged Olive Dry Fly pattern - Genus Baetis
September, 2017

This is one of the most prolific genera of mayflies in North American trout streams. Their small size permits the growth of up to three generations per year, and they are good dry-fly insects because they often hatch in impressive numbers and the duns ride the water for a long time before taking flight.

The genus Baetis and its species are probably the most misidentified mayflies in angling. Many who see mayflies too small to imitate with a size 16 Adams call them Baetis, especially if they're olive in coloration. In reality, Baetis (though the most prominent) is only one of several very similar and abundant genera in the family Baetidae. It seems species in the family are perpetually being reclassified, and identifying any of them, even to genus level is difficult. The angler who wants to describe what is seen streamside usually has only four choices:

Some Baetis species are often the first major hatches in the spring and the last in the fall, and on especially stable spring creeks they may emerge throughout the winter. The genus is common nationwide.

Hook: Dry, 14-20
Tail: Blue Dun hackle
Body: Olive dubing
Rib: yellow thread
Hackle: Ostrich herl
Wing: Duck quill segments
Thread: 8/0 black
    This tying method uses Ostrich herl but traditional hackle is more often used for rougher waters.


When fishing this pattern it is more important to match the size of the hatch than have an exact color. In NC, the hatch occurs all month in Late AM to Mid. PM

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) 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: Steve Salkow -     Search these pages    Where we meet - Leonard Center