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January 2012

Biot CDC
Blue Wing Olive

Chris Wasta

Hook: Standard dry fly hook, size 18
Tail: Dun hackle fibers
Abdomen: Olive goose biot
Wing: Two dun CDC feathers
Thorax: Olive dubbing
Hackle: Dun or grizzly

                                            Tying and fishing notes:
I tend to fish this fly mainly in size 18. I prefer a cut wing fly in size 16 and in sizes smaller than 18 I fish my version of Jeff's thread wrap. The Biot CDC Blue Wing Olive in size 18 was consistently productive this fall. The fly has a delicate profile and is particularly effective in calmer waters.

February 2012

Prince Nymph

Steve Matter

Prince Nymph 
Hook: Standard BARBLESS nymph hook, #8—#18, with #14 & #16 most commonly used. Beaded or not.
Tail: Brown goose biots
Body: 2 or 3 strands of peacock herl
Hackle: One or two wraps of soft hackle
Ribbing: fine copper or gold wire
Wing: White goose biots
                                               Tying and fishing notes:
--Attach two end sections of brown goose biots for tail, one at a time, and wind thread between them to keep separated.

--Attach fine copper or gold wire along shank, and leave hanging.

--Attach 2 or 3 strands of peacock herl along shank wrap thread forward and back to tail. Wind herl by hand all the way to bead or a little behind the eye. Counter-wrap the wire and fasten down.

--Attach two sections of white goose biot for wing, making an "X" figure with the points facing backward to about the hook point. There is a natural bend to a biot, and I fasten them with the concave side up. Snip the ends sticking over the bead or eye.

--Attach a soft hackle feather and make one wind, not wanting to overdress.

--Whip finish. Don't bother with cement. As with any fly, you will either lose it or it will get ruined by use before it falls apart.

--This is a very handsome fly, easy to make, and probably has produced more trout than any other. Peacock herl is magical and the iridescence really appeals to the trout.


March 2012

Rabbit Leech

Ethan Roffman

 Rabbit Leech  
Hook: #6-10 2xl
Thread:6/0 black (or color to match)
Head: Gold bead or cone
Weight: .020 lead wire or non-lead subsitute
Tail: Rabbit zonker strip
Body: Rabbit crosscut strip
                                                                Tying and fishing notes:
1. Slip bead or cone onto hook
2. Start thread behind bead wrap back to hook bend to form base for lead wire
3. Wrap 4-8 turns of lead wire and wrap in with thread
4. Tie in zonker strip near hook bend. Zonker strip length should be equal to hook length
5. Tie in crosscut rabbit strip with hairs laying back to hook bend and wrap strip forward towards hook eye stopping short of bead or cone
6. Form up and secure head with whip finish just behind bead

This fly is normally tied with black rabbit strips. Different color combinations can be used to match conditions. They can be doctored up with flash or rubber legs.

I normally use it dead drifted behind a nymph or egg pattern or swing it as a streamer or slow retrieved through deeper pools. It has worked for me on both cold and warm water species. A simple and effective fly to use. Good luck.

April 2012

Sam's Crawdad

Sam Fox

 Sam's Crayfish 
Hook: Streamer or nymph hook, size 6 – 10
Claws:Brown or black marabou, approximately the length of the hook
Eyes: Chain beads
Body: Dubbed marabou (same color as claws), wrapped over about a dozen turns of lead wire
Hackle:Grizzly hackle
Overbody After taking several wraps of hackle,
tie remainder of feather over body, extending beyond the eye
                                                                        Tying and fishing notes:
I came up with this design when I thought about how a crawdad travels through the water when he's in his escape mode. It's tied backwards because that's how the crawdad travels. It's a simple fly using marabou and hackle.

Start with two links from a chain to form the eyes, tying them on the back of the hook roughly even with the hook point. Tie a strip of marabou behind the eyes about as long as the hook. Extend the marabou up and over the eyes, taking a few extra turns of thread behind the eyes. Add about a dozen turns of lead wire for weight. Tie more marabou from the eyes to the front of the hook by dubbing the marabou on the thread and making it thicker in front of the lead wraps. Tie in a hackle feather on the leaded section, leaving a length of feather a little longer than the length of the hook. After tying in the hackle feather behind the lead, wrap the feather flat on top of the hook down to the eye, extending it beyond the eye. Wrap off the fly at the eye and trim the excess feather off flat. This forms the tail of the fly. I have tied this pattern in both black and brown colors and both work well. You can use grizzly hackle with either color.

Fish the pattern deep with short strips and pauses.

May 2012

North NAR Special

Kent Kleckner

 North NAR Special 
North NAR Special

Hook: Straight hook, #14 or 16
Body: Tan Thread
Rib:Thin/small copper wire


Bead Head North NAR Special

 Bead Head Northnar Bead Head North NAR Special

Same Pattern as North NAR Special, with addition of bead head, color of choice, size as appropriate for hook size


NARly Midge

 NARly Midge NARly Midge

Hook: Scud hook, #16
Body: Light Cahill Thread
Wing: Tan or light yellow dubbing
Rib: Thin/small copper wire

                                Tying Instructions and Pattern History:
The first fly is the North NAR Special. It's the original midge that I started tying for North Bear after a few tummy pumps in my early days on North Bear. (See the photos of some of the insects below.) The second is no more effective, but less boring (you could never call a midge exciting, only less boring) and I refer to it as the NARly Midge. Over half of my winter nymph fish were caught on one of these flies dropped a foot below a Pheasant Tail or a Copper John.

I originally called these the "North Bear Special," but I no longer refer to either one by that name any more, as Steve Matter informed me that I had to come up with a better one. After turning down his initial suggestion, I opted for the 'NAR' line up of flies, as in my early days before fly fishing, I was referred to a time or two as KleckNAR instead of Kleckner. The Driftless TU group can look forward to more flies next year already named, in production, and catching fish… The StiNARilator and The StoNARfly Nymph.

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Hyatt's Caddis

Marv Slind

 Hyatt's Caddis-Yellow
"Hyatt's Caddis" with Yellow Body
(Little Yellow Stonefly)

Hyatt's Caddis-Peacock Herl Body
"Hyatt's Caddis" with Peacock Herl Body
Hook: Dry fly hook (Mustad 94840, etc.), sizes 6 through 16
or long-shank hook (Mustad 9672), sizes 8 through 12
Thread: 6/0 black (or as appropriate for body color)
Body: Color and material of your choice
Wing: Fine deer or elk hair sections
Hackle: Brown or Grizzly, or mix of those two colors
Tying Instructions and Pattern History:
This fly was developed by LeRoy Hyatt, of Lewiston, Idaho. LeRoy is well-known in the Pacific Northwest not only as a professional fly tyer, but also as someone who has taught the craft to hundreds of people in the Lewiston/Clarkston area. For many years, he had a regular column in the Lewiston Morning Tribune, which featured a variety of fly patterns. He is also the tyer featured in the PBS series, "Fly Tying: The Angler's Art."

LeRoy developed this pattern to be a good, all-around caddis pattern. He originally called it the "All-purpose caddis fly," but in the Pacific Northwest, it quickly became known as "Hyatt's Caddis." It floats well, and can be very effective when you want to use a "skittering" presentation.

By varying the hook size and body color, it can be used not only for a wide range of caddis, but also for stoneflies, and in really large sizes, even as a steelhead pattern. When fishing in the Bitterroot Mountains in Northern Idaho, I have found the yellow-bodied version to be a very effective imitation of the "Little Yellow Sally" stonefly.

The wing is tied differently than on most caddis patterns. Instead of a single clump of elk or deer hair, it is tied on in layers. Start by tying a small amount of dubbing at the bend of the hook. This serves as a base for the first clump of hair. Even the tips of a small, relatively short clump of hair, and tie it on the top of the hook, with the tips extending to the bend. Be careful not to let the hair spin around the hook. Wrap another section of body material to cover the butt section of the hair tied down in the first step, and then add another clump of hair, tied so the tips are the same length as the first clump. Repeat these steps up the shank of the hook until you have reached the area where you will wrap the hackle.

On smaller hooks, you'll probably use only two clumps of hair for the wing. On larger hooks, you may end up using three or four clumps.

Click here to see the segment from "Fly Tying: The Angler's Art," in which LeRoy Hyatt demonstrates how to tie the fly.


Pheasant Tail Nymph

David Smith

 Hyatt's Caddis-Yellow 
Hook: Tiemco 100 or 3761, sizes 16 through 20
Thread: Brown Uni-Thread 8/0
Rib: Ultra Wire Small Copper
Tail: Pheasant tail fibers
Body: Pheasant tail fibers
Thorax: Peacock Herl
Wing case and legs: Pheasant tail fibers
Tying Instructions and Pattern History:
  1. Attach the thread at the 75 percent point on the hook and tie in the copper wire on the near side of the hook. Tie the wire back the bend of the hook.
  2. Attach four Pheasant tail fibers to the top of the hook with two turns of thread keeping the fibers flat and not separated. Take care not to make the turns too tight or you may cut one or more of the fibers.
  3. Lift the Pheasant tail fibers with the material hand and advance the thread forward to the 75 percent point where the thread was tied on and building a slight thread body.
  4. Keeping the Pheasant tail fibers separated, wind them forward to the 75 percent point and tie them off on the top of the hook with two or three turns of thread.
  5. Take the copper wire and bring it under the tail fibers. As the wire is drawn under the tail fibers apply sufficient pressure to raise the fibers slightly and separate them. Then bring the wire straight down and then up to the near side. Make four to six turns of wire to the 75 percent point and tie off on the bottom of the hook. Make turns of wire to break it off.
  6. Take the Pheasant tail fibers with the material hand and keeping them flat and together fold them back. Secure them at the 60 percent point. Bring the thread forward to one eye length shaping a base for the thorax.
  7. Return the thread to the 60 percent point. Take four to six fine Peacock herls from near the center of the eye of the feather. Keeping them flat and separate to avoid bulk, tie on top of the hook at the 60 percent point and wind them forward to form the thorax. Tie them down at the base of the thorax with two turns of thread leaving space for the head of the fly.
  8. Take the four Pheasant tail fibers and keeping them flat and separate fold them forward and tie them off with two turns of thread forming the wing case.
  9. On the far side of the hook, take one Pheasant tail fiber and with two turns of thread tie it to the side of the thorax. On the near side of the hook take one fiber and tie it to the side of the hook with two turns of thread.
  10. Shape a small neat head and break off the two remaining Pheasant tail fibers.
  11. Trim the two Pheasant tail fibers representing the legs to a point very slightly longer than the thorax. If a rotating vise is used it may be helpful to reverse the vise.
  12. Admire the fly.
Note: These directions are adapted from Charlie Craven's Basic Fly Tying. It is not unusual for directions for tying a Pheasant tail nymph to involve six to nine steps. However, one of the great virtues of Charlie's book is that he goes into much greater detail and deals with subtleties that others do not include or address. His directions for tying the Pheasant Tail Nymph include 31 steps.
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