Thursday, April 25, 2019

Paul's May 2019 Fly of the Month

The Moodah Poodah

Hook:  Daiichi 1160 or curved hook of choice (Size #10 to #12 hook.)
Tying thread:   Black 70-denier UTC Ultra Thread. 
Hot Spot:  UV Hot Orange Ice Dub.
Body:  UV Black Ice Dub.
Ribbing:  Pearl Flashabou.
Under Wing:  Black Cow Elk.
Head:  Black 2 mm cross link or fly-tying foam.
Legs:  Speckled Orange MFC Centipede legs or similar material.
Post:  Fluorescent Orange Para Post Wing Material. 

When I first started fishing foam terrestrial patterns they were very small flies, almost all designed to imitate ants.  My thinking then was that large foam patterns like Chernobyl ants and oversized beetles might fool fish out in Montana, but wouldn’t catch the selective fish here in Connecticut on the Farmington & Housatonic.  My thinking about that has changed completely in the last 10 years.  I use a lot of big foam patterns now, some even much larger than the Moodah Poodah.  The Moodah is a really effective fly.  I think it sometimes represents a cricket, or with a change of colors, a hopper.  It’s also just a big floating ‘big Mac’ for trout.  I often use it with a bead head nymph or emerger ‘dropper’.   The butt of the Moodah has an orange ‘hot spot’ and lies in the film below the surface, something other terrestrial patterns do have or do. 

To begin to tie this fly, start your thread half way down the hook shank and and bring it to where you want to dub your ‘hot spot’.  Tie in your Flashabou ribbing and then dub your hot spot with UV Hot Orange Ice Dub.  Next, dub a tapered body of the fly with UV Black Ice Dub.  Leave approximately ¼ of the hook shank for your wing & head of the Moodah.  Now, palmer your Pearl Flashabou rib up the body.  Tie & cut it off.  You are now going to tie in your black Elk wing, very similar to tying it in on an elk hair caddis.  Trim the butt ends and apply some head cement or adhesive of choice for durability.  Cut a rectangle piece of 2 mm foam a little less than a hook gap width, and twice the length of the hook shank.  Take your bodkin and pierce the foam in the middle approximately ¼ length down your piece of foam.  Place the eye of the hook through the foam, keeping the shorter end under the hook shank.  The longer piece should extend over the elk hair wing.  Pinch the doubled over foam with your fingers and clinch it down with a couple wraps of thread.  The tie in point for your foam is the same point on the hook shank that you tied in your elk wing.  After positioning the head with a couple wraps of thread, give it a few more tight wraps to make sure it’s securely bound down.  Trim the ‘under’ part of the head just before the tie in point.  You’re also going to trim the top foam even with the wing.  When you do this notch a V pointing towards the hook eye in the foam.  Next, tie in your rubber legs and wing post.  Both should be trimmed to roughly the same size as the foam wing.  Tie & cut off your tying thread.  Apply some head cement or super glue to the bottom side of your finishing wraps and the fly is completed.

Curtis Fry, a fly fisherman & tier from Utah, has a great website with a lot of fly tying tutorials.  It can be seen at .  

He also has a great video on how to tie the Moodah Poodah below:  

If you have any questions about this fly or would like to submit a Fly of the Month I can be reached at 203 305-3850 or at .  

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Paul's April 2019 Fly of the Month

20 Incher Nymph 

(and variations)

Hook:  TMC 200R #4 to #14 hook or curved nymph hook of choice. 
Tying thread:   6/0  black or brown thread. 
Bead:  (Optional) Brass or Tungsten matched to hook.  I use a Black Nickle colored bead.
Weight:  (Optional)  Non-lead wire.  Wound on half the hook shank and butted up against the bead.
Tail:  Brown Turkey Biots  (I also use Flex-Floss, Life Flex or other rubber like material.  I use the same material to create two antenaes.)
Rib:  Silver oval tinsel or wire (or substitute with Brown/tan floss).
Abdomen:  4-5 strands of Peacock hurl.
Underbody:  (Optional for larger flies) Dark Hare’s Ear or Squirrel Dubbing.
Thorax:  Dark Hare’s Ear or Squirrel Dubbing.
Legs:  Hungarian Partridge Feather (I also use Pheasant Tail Fibers).
Wing Case:  Pheasant Tail or Turkey Tail Fibers.

This is a great Stone Fly imitation.  I would definitely use a bead and add weight to it.  You want to fish it deep.  The fish will usually smack this fly hard.  Not many tippy tap takes here.  You want to make sure the fly is weighted to get it down deep where stone fly nymphs crawl along the bottom. 

To tie this fly begin you want to place 8-10 wraps of ‘lead free’ on the upper half of the hook shank behind the eye.  If you’re using a bead, butt the wraps up right behind the eye.  Start your thread on the hook shank and create a seamless tapper from the bend up to the eye.  Bring your thread back down to the bend of the hook. 
Put a small pinch of dubbing on the hook to be used to separate your biot tail. Tie in your biots so that they splay out from the body.  Wrap the butt ends down onto the hook and cut off the tag end if required.  Next tie in your rib.  You can use silver tinsel or brown/tan floss.  I prefer the dark floss for a darker subsurface profile.  This is a great attractor pattern so the silver tinsel works great too.  Next, tie in 4-5 fibers of Peacock hurl at the rear of the fly. Palmer them forward and cover approximately half of the hook shank.  Now rib the in the opposite direction.  You have half the fly completed.  Next, tie in a piece of turkey tail to be used for your wing case. 

Get a partridge feather with barbs long enough to create the oversized legs of a stone fly.  Remove the fluff at the base of the feather and stoke/preen the fibers towards the heavy stem.  You’re now going to tie the feather in by the tip (dull side facing up) with the heavier stem portion of the feather towards the rear of the fly.  Clip off any of the excess tip.  Next, dub the thorax of the nymph using dark hare’s ear or squirrel dubbing.  Now pull the partridge feather over and bind it down behind the hook eye or bead if you’ve used one.  You should have a nice set of legs on the nymph.  Now pull the turkey fibers forward and tie it off behind the bead or eye.  Tie and clip off the excess.  Dub a short length of thread and wrap it around the back of the bead or eye to finish off your fly. I also like to put a drop of UV resin on the wing case for durability and to give it a nice little sheen. 

‘Into the Riffle’ has a great video on how to tie this pattern below:

If you have any questions about this fly or would like to submit a Fly of the Month I can be reached at 203 305-3850 or at .  

Friday, February 22, 2019

Paul's March 2019 Fly of the Month

Spring's Wiggler
(and variations)

Hook:  TMC 200R #4 to #10 hook. 
Tying thread:   6/0  brown thread. 
Weight:  (Optional)  Non-lead wire.  You want to use wire at a small enough gauge so as not to impact the profile of the fly.
Eyes:  (Optional) Small black beadchain.
Bead:  (Optional)  Color & size of choice.
Tail/shell back:  Squirrel tail in color of choice.  (I also substitute it with peacock herl.)
Body:  Yellow Chenille, antron yarn, dubbing.  (You can make this fly any color you desire.)
Hackle:  Brown saddle hackle.

This is an extremely versatile fly.  It can represent a number of different insects, such as stone flies, hellgrammites, and other large nymphs.  The fly just looks buggy!  It was originally developed as a Steelhead fly in Michigan by a man named Ron Spring.  Also known as the ‘Pan Fish Wiggler’ and 'Michigan Wiggler’, this fly can be used to catch a variety of fish, including steelhead, trout, small mouth bass, and pan fish.  It can imitate whatever you want it to be and is a fairly easy tie.  Tie it from very big sizes to size #10.  My preferred material for the body is yellow chenille, but I have used antron yarn and dubbing.

To tie this fly begin your thread behind the eye of the hook and wrap down to the bend.  Your going to tie in your squirrel tail hairs for a tail.  They should extend about a hook gap length beyond the bend of the hook.  (I also use peacock herl especially when tying stonefly or smaller flies.) Do not cut off the tag end of the squirrel.  This will become your shell back later.  Next, tie in your hackle.  Now tie in your chenille or yarn for the body.  (You can also dub a body of your preferred material.)  End the body behind the eye and tie/cut off your material.  Next, wrap/palmer your hackle forwards and tie it off behind the eye.  Cut off the tag end.  Now bring your squirrel tail forward to create your shell back.  Make sure you hold your shell back down firmly and tie it off.  It has a tendency to loosen up and pull away from the fly body.  It’s important to firmly hold it down as you tie it off.  Cut off the tag end of your squirrel shell back.  Whip finish it off and apply head cement to your wraps.  I also apply some UV resin on the shell back for extra durability.  

No matter what size wiggler you tied, or materials you used, you have a very buggy and productive nymph.  Last year the small mouth fishing on the Housatonic was killer.  Big nymphs seemed to be the most productive way to catch them.  This was a fly that was very productive for me. 

There is a nice video by ‘Panfish on the Fly’ on how to tie one of the variations of this pattern below:

If you have any questions about this fly or would like to submit a Fly of the Month I can be reached at 203 305-3850 or at .  

Monday, January 21, 2019

Paul's February 2019 Fly of the Month

Red Dart

Hook:  Size #14 Jig Hook of choice.
Tying thread:   6/0 red thread.
Bead:  Gold slotted 7/64” tungsten bead.
Weight:  .02 lead free wire.
Tail:  Red Saddle Hackle.
Rib:  Pearl colored sulky silver tinsel.
Body:  3 strands of peacock herl or peacock ice dubbing.
Collar/hackle:  Brown hackle feather 1 size smaller than the fly (size #16).
Secondary collar:  2-3 wraps of pink ice dubbing.
Hotspot:  red tying thread.

This fly was developed by Mr. Lance Egan.  Like most nymphs tied on a jig hook, it sinks fast and gets down deep.  Many anglers love to use this fly when fishing ‘high water’. 

Begin by placing your bead on the hook and place it in your vice.  Behind the bead, take 7-8 wraps of your wire, break off the ends and push it up against the bead.  You may want to further lock everything into place with some super glue or adhesive of choice.  Next, affix your thread to the hook shank and make covering wraps along the hook shank.  Leave your thread at the bend of the hook.  Next, tie in your tail fibers of red saddle hackle.  The length of the tail should be approximately the length of the hook shank.  Now tie in your pearl tinsel rib.  Next, tie in 3 strands of peacock herl.  Wrap the herl forward leaving enough room for your collars & hot spot.  Tie & cut off your excess peacock.  Now, counter wrap the peacock body with your pearl tinsel.  Tie & cut your tinsel off.  Select a brown saddle hackle 1 size smaller than the hook size (size #16).  Tie the hackle in front of the peacock.  Take two full turns of the hackle around the hook.  Preen the hackle fibers rearward as you go.  Tie & cut the excess hackle off.  Next dub a small amount of pink ice dub for your secondary collar.  2-3 wraps of a thin dubbing noodle is all that is needed.  Now take some forward wraps with your thread to create a red ‘hot spot’ adjacent to the bead.  Tie & cut off your thread.  Apply some cement to the hot spot wraps for durability. 

Tim Flagler and tightlinevideo have a great instructional video on how to tie this fly below: 

If you have any questions about this fly or would like to submit a Fly of the Month I can be reached at 203 305-3850 or at .  

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Paul's January 2019 Fly of the Month

Reece's Masked Bandit

Hook:  Size #4 Gamakatsu Octopus hook.
Tying thread:   6/0 to match color of squirrel. 
Flash:  Hairline Gold Ripple Ice Fiber.
Tail/Wing:  Pine Squirrel Zonker (Olive, Black, Orange & Natural).
Collar:  Pine Squirrel Zonker.
Head:  4mm Flymen Fish Mask, 4mm Living Eyes.

In the age of big and gaudy articulated streamers, this pattern is an alternative to try and represent smaller forage fish in rivers & streams.  It was developed by Mr. Bob Reece of Wyoming.  He believes that this pattern is very effective because of its tapered head and large eyes.  These are predominant features of shiners, chubs, & dace.  I love fishing small streamers.  This is one of my go to patterns that I’ve found to be very productive.  You can tie it in a variety of colors.  Olive is my preferred color. 

Begin by laying a base of thread from the hook eye to where it hangs evenly with the hook point.  Add a few drops of adhesive and tie in a clump of Gold Ripple Ice Fiber.  After is it is tied in, cut it to approximately 2 hook shank lengths.  Cut it on a 45 degree diagonal from right to left.  Next, tie in your squirrel zonker strip.  It should be approximately 2 ½ times the length of the hook shank.  It is tied in only by the tip of the strip.  Next, tie in a second strip of squirrel zonker to be used as a collar.  Before you tie it in, clip the tip at a 45 degree angle.  That will provide you with an easier tie in point and make wrapping your collar easier.  Add a few more drops of adhesive and wrap your zonker forward to create your collar.  One or two wraps is all that is needed.  Tie off your zonker collar, whip finish, and clip off your thread.  You are now ready to place your fish mask and eyes onto the fly.  The fly designer recommends gluing and affixing the eyes on the mask prior to putting it on the hook shank.  I use Fusion glue to cement the eyes in place, then use a little light activated resin on them, with a final coat of ‘Tough as Nails’ for added durability.  Add some adhesive on the hook shank behind the eye prior to gluing in the mask.  When you place the mask on the hook shank, leave room in front of it for additional thread wraps to ensure it is held in place.  After you build up wraps in front of the mask, clip and whip finish it off.  Apply additional adhesive to the wraps. 

Bob Reece has an excellent instructional video on how to tie this fly below: 

If you have any questions about this fly or would like to submit a Fly of the Month I can be reached at 203 305-3850 or at .  

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Paul's December 2018 Fly of the Month

The Baymen Universal

Hook:  Eagle Claw 254 SS or Eagle Claw L253 (Size #4 to #2/0 hook.)
Tying thread:   Danville Flat Waxed Nylon, color of choice. 
Wing:  6-8 strands of Peacock Herl over Olive Bucktail over Pearl Krystal Flash over Pink Bucktail.
Belly:  White Bucktail.
Throat/Gill:  Red Bucktail.
Eyes:  3D Living Eyes sized to fly (I like to oversize my eyes).
Finish:  5 Minute Epoxy or UV Resin.

This is an extremely versatile salt water fly.  I’ve tied it on size #4 to #2/0 hook sizes.  What’s important about this fly are the various colors in the pattern recipe.  The pink & olive color combo is a striper magnet.  The fly also includes a flash lateral line, 3 D eyes, and a red ‘throat/gill plate’, all triggers that make this a very productive fly.  A few years ago I was on the Cape and the fish were feeding on very small bait fish.  I had tied up a bunch of Universals on a size #4 hook (I also coated the body along the hook shank with epoxy) and landed fish after fish when others failed to.  This is a very easy and fast tie once you get rollin’.  No feathers to pair or mess with.  One additional comment about tying this fly, sparse is better. 

Begin by laying a base of thread from the hook eye to the bend.  Bring your thread back up to the eye.  Tie in a sparse clump of pink buck tail behind the hook eye.  It should extend beyond the bend at least 2 times the length of the hook shank.  Next, in the same location. tie in a generous amount of Pearl Krystal Flash just slightly longer than the pink buck tail.  For very small flies I’ve substituted silver holographic tinsel for Krystal Flash.  Next, top the flash with a clump of Olive Buck Tail just slightly longer than the rest of the wing.  Now, top it with 6-8 strands of Peacock Herl longer than the length of the entire wing.  Your wing is complete.  Don’t forget to increase the durability of your fly by applying some head cement (or adhesive of choice) as you tie it. 

If you have a rotary vice your going to rotate your fly to tie in your belly.  On the opposite side of the hook where you tied in your wing, your going to tie in a clump of White Buck Tail for the belly.  It should extend to the approximate length of your wing.  Remember not to over dress the fly.  You’re now going to tie in your ‘throat/gill plate’ comprised of Red Buck Tail.  It’s tied in just under the belly and extends approximately a hook shank length under the belly.  Finally, it’s time to tie in your 3 D living eyes.  Some like to use goop or zap-a-gap to affix them.  I prefer to stick them on and then epoxy over them for additional durability.  As always, feel free to experiment with this fly.  Try different flash materials or even colors.  One thing you want to do is tie it in variety of sizes.

Dave Bitters of Baymen Charters has an excellent instructional video on how to tie this fly below:

If you have any questions about this fly or would like to submit a Fly of the Month I can be reached at 203 305-3850 or at .  

Friday, October 19, 2018

Paul's November 2018 Fly of the Month

Carey Special

Hook:  3X long Nymph hook. (Size #6 to #10 hook.)
Tying thread:   Black 6/0 or 140-denier thread. 
Weight (Optional):  6-8 wraps of lead free wire or a brass or tungsten bead.
Collar:  Gold Utra Wire, small  (Or use color of choice.)
Tail:  Speckld Golden Olive Coq de Leon fibers or Pheasant rump feather fibers.
Body:  Brown-olive rabbit-fur dubbing. (or peacock herl or chenille).
Thorax:  Brown-olive SLF dubbing.
Hackle:  Speckled Golden Olive Coq de Leon Feather or Pheasant rump feather fibers.
Head:  Tying Thread.

Kudos to my fly fishing friend Mike Lombardo for reminding me about this fly.  I had tied it many years ago but alas, it’s a forgotten fly in one of my boxes.  So glad he reintroduced it to me again.  This pattern was originally developed in the Canadian West.  It was created by a gentleman by the name of Dr. Loyd A. Day of British Columbia back in 1925.  It’s an old & traditional fly that works both in still water & rivers.  Although it can represent a variety of fish foods, it’s best known as a damselfly & dragon fly imitation.  Numerous material substitutions can be made to tie this pattern.  I’ve offered some of these alternatives in the recipe above.  When tied in bright colors it’s a much used steelhead fly.

Begin by starting your thread behind the eye of the hook.  (If you so desire you can add weight to the hook or slide a brass or tungsten bead behind the eye.)  Wrap it to the bend of the hook.  At the bend of the hook tie in approximately 6-12 Coq de Leon fibers (or use pheasant flank fibers) for your tail.  The length of the tail should equal the length of the hook shank.  Next, tie in your gold ultra wire rib.  You’re now going to dub your body of Brown-Olive rabbit-fur dubbing.  Leave enough room behind the eye for your Thorax and hackle.  Bring and wrap your rib forward to create an even segmented body.   Tie & clip off the wire.  Next, dub your Thorax with Brown-olive SLF dubbing.  Next, select a Coq de Leon feather (or pheasant flank feather) for your hackle.  The fibers of the feather should be at least a hook shank in length.  Strip the bottom of the feather stem before tying it in.  Sweep the fibers of the feather back and make two (2) wraps of the feather.  Tie and cut the excess feather off.  Create a finished bulbous head on the fly.  Cut your thread and apply head cement. 

As previously stated you can make numerous material substitutions with this pattern.  A much used version has a body made of peacock herl (see picture above).  Another alternative is to create the body by wrapping chenille.  The variations & colors are endless.

Tight line has an excellent instructional video on how to tie this fly below:

If you have any questions about this fly or would like to submit a Fly of the Month I can be reached at 203 305-3850 or at .