Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Paul's June 2022 Fly of the Month

Craft Fur Sand Eel 

Hook:  Mustad 34007 Size #2 hook (or Size #1 Short Shank Salt Water Hook). 

Thread:  Uni-Thread White.

Belly:  White Craft Fur.

Wing:  Chartreuse Craft Fur (I recommend also tying it in olive).

Flash/Lateral Line:  2 Strands of Pearl Flash-a-bou over which is 2 Strands of Silver Flash-a-bou. 

Body:  Small Pearl Mylar Tubing.

Eyes:  3 D eyes or molded eyes.

Body Finish:  Epoxy, or UV Resin, or 2 coats of Finger Nail Polish.


This fly has landed me a lot of fish, especially when fished in tandem with a heavier anchor fly.  It’s also evolved somewhat.  Years ago, the quality of Craft Fur was poor to fair.  Today there are many ‘Extra Select’ craft fur materials on the market.  It’s far superior to what was previously available.  This is a fly you ‘must’ have when you fish the salt in New England.  I tie them in Chartreuses & White and Olive & White.  I also tie it in Tan & White with Root beer flash – It makes a great Albi Fly!


To tie this fly start your thread a little behind the eye.  Take 6-8 wraps back toward the bend and cut off the tag end.  Next, clip a 1” square of White Craft Fur from the backing.  Pull out all the ‘underfur’ and trim the butt end off square.  Place the butt ends on top of the hook shank above your tying thread.  Take a few tight wraps, then push the Craft Fur down with your finger nail to make sure it surrounds the hook shank.  Take some more wraps to lock the Fur in place. 


You are now going to repeat this procedure by clipping a 1” square of Chartreuse Craft Fur from the backing.  Pull out the ‘underfur’.   Measure it against the White Craft Fur Belly.  You want it to be the same length.  Cut the butt ends to length and tie it on top of the White Belly.  Take tight wraps to bind down the White Belly and Chartreuse Wing.  Even out your tie in points, then make a 3 or 4 turn ‘whip finish’. 


To add some flash to the fly, use 2 strands of Pearl Flash-a-bou.  Find the mid-point of the strands and bind them down at your tying thread.  Take wraps to secure it so that you have 2 strands on each side of the fly.  They should be the length of your fly.  Now take 2 strands of Silver Flash-a-bou and repeat the process. 


 Now cut a little more than an inch of mylar tubing for your body.  Some mylar tubing comes with a corded material in the center.  Remove it.  Slip the tubing over the hook shank.  It will begin to fray a little bit at the rear of the fly.  This is perfectly fine.  Take your tying thread while pulling back on the tubing with your finger to expose the hook shank behind the eye.  Secure your thread to the hook shank.  Snip off the tag.  Squeeze and bring the tubing forward a little bit and capture it with your tying thread.  Secure it to the hook shank.  Make secure wraps to make sure all the mylar strands are pinned down.  Make a 4 or 5 turn ‘whip’ finish then snip off your tying thread.


You are now going to affix your eyes.  Apply a drop of Zap-a-gap gel (or favorite adhesive) to each side of the hook shank right behind your thread wraps.  Apply the eyes.  You are now going to apply your body finish of choice.  You can use a variety of finishes.  UV resin, Epoxy, or a couple of applications of nail polish.  I’m a little bit old school and use Epoxy for my finish.


Postfly has 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 .

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Paul's May 2022 Bonus Fly of the Month

 Sweet Meat Caddis

Bead:  Slotted Tungsten Gold Bead, 3mm for Size #14.

Hook:  Hanak 450 BL in Size #14 & #16. 

Thread:  Brown 6/0 Danville.

Abdomen:  Small Golden Olive UTC Wire.

Collar:  UV Brown Ice Dub.  

Wing:  Natural Dun CDC

Antenna:  Natural Mallard Flank Fibers.

Head:  Peacock Ice Dub.


This fly was developed by Boulder Colorado native Garrison Doctor.  He is also famous for designing ‘Rep Your Water’ hats and Tees.  What I love about the SMC Caddis is it gets down fast with it’s wire body & tungsten bead.  Because it’s tied on a hook, more times than not, trout are safely hooked in the upper lip.  Different than other caddis pupa patterns, it’s a great attractor pattern on the Housatonic & Farmington Rivers.


To tie this fly, place your bead on the hook, then place the hook in your vice.  Start the thread behind the bead and create a thread dam behind it.  Make a nice even thread base along the hook shank.  It’s important to have a smooth underbody when you have a wire overbody.  Next tie in your UTC Wire, starting behind the bead and wrapping back to the hook bend.  Now build a tapered body with your thread.  Leave your thread approximately and eye gap length behind the bead.  Using tight touching wraps, carefully wrap your wire forward.  Tie the wire off with a few turns and ‘helecopter’ the butt end of the wire off.


You are now going to dub a slight collar of UV Brown Ice Dub.  A small pinch is all you’ll need.  2-3 Wraps around the hook shank is all you will need.  Next, using 2 Natural Dun CDC feathers, align the tips of both.  Clip the tips at the center stem of the feathers.  Now, stroke the fibers forward, clumping and bundling them with your fingers.  Next, tie them in at the underside of the hook creating a ‘beard like’ wing.  It should extend about the length of the hook shank.  Trim off the butt ends of the CDC.  On the sides of the hook, tie in 4-6 Mallard Fibers to be used as the Antennae of the Fly.  You want 2 clumps, one on each side, that are a hook shank in length. 


You are now going to finish the collar of the fly.  Dub a collar of Peacock Ice Dub behind the bead.  You are going to brush this dubbing out after you apply it, so make sure there is enough on your collar to do that.  3-4 Wraps around the hook shank should do it.  Whip finish and tie your thread off behind the bead.  With a piece of Velcro, dubbing brush, sweep that dubbing back towards the rear of the fly.  You want to give it a ‘buggy’ look and create a veil around the fly.  Some of the dubbing may come off the fly when you do this.  Don’t worry as long as you have initially applied enough dubbing.  Good luck and tight lines.


FlyFishermanMagazine has 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, email me at

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Paul's May 2022 Fly of the Month

 Lead Wing Coachman

Hook:   Rip Lips DE,2XH Sproat Bend , Mustad 3096B or S82-3906B, Sabre 7030, Daichi 1560, Tiemco 3761,  Dai-Riki 060, size 20 to size 8

Tag: Gold tinsel to match hook size

Body: Peacock herl

Rib: Fine gold wire

Thread: Black 6/0 to 14/0 sized to hook size

Hackle: Brown hen or brown partridge

Wing: Sections of mallard wing quill


This pattern was submitted by my friend Bill Goeben.  Bill teaches the HFFA fresh water tying class.  I’ve taken tying lessons from many well-known tyers. The  experience and tying techniques I obtained by taking Bill’s class far surpassed those of the other instructors.  Furthermore, the flies you learn in his class will put you in the top 1/3 of all fly fishers who fish the Housatonic.


To tie this fly:  Wind thread to bend of hook. Cut a taper in the end of the tinsel and catch the end of the taper with a couple of thread wraps. Wrap down the bend a couple of turns and back up to the flat of the shanks and tie off the tinsel with a couple of wraps. Put a drop of head cement on the tag. To avoid a bump in the body, lay the rib on the hook almost to the eye and wrap up and back over it, ending back at the bend. Tie in 1 to 5 peacock hurl fibers according to hook size. Make a dubbing loop at the bend and take a couple of wraps over it and wind the thread almost back to the eye. Cut one leg of the dubbing loop close to the hook and then twist it with the herls to make a rope, then wrap almost to the eye and tie it off. Counter wrap the rib almost up to the eye and tie it off. Rock the wire back and forth to break it off instead of cutting it. Putting the drop of head cement on the tag, and counter winding the rib will make your fly much more durable. This fly really works and trout teeth will quickly destroy it. Next tie in the hackle by the tip and take two wraps of the hackle and tie it off. Cut 2 segments of mallard quill and place the far wing against the hook high on the far side with the tip just barely past the end of the hook. Place the nearside wing   against the hook. Pinch the wings together and take 2 soft wraps, tilt the wings toward you a couple of degrees and tighten the thread wraps. The thread torque will stand the wings up and compress the fibers down onto the hook. Release the wings and adjust them. Secure them with a few more tight wraps. Trim the butts at an angle and wrap a neat head. Whip finish and cut the thread. Add a couple of coats of head cement making sure that you don’t fill the eye with cement.  

There is a great instructional video on how to tie the Lead Wing Coachman by Tightlinevideo below: 

If you have any questions about this fly or would like to submit a Fly of The Month I can be reached at .


Thursday, March 31, 2022

Paul's April 2022 Bonus Fly of the Month

 Modified Hornberg

Hook:  Diachi 2220 Size #10 4X long streamer hook or similar.    

Thread:  Black. 

Under Body:  Lead wire.       Body:  Gold mylar braided tubing.

Wing:  Yellow dyed mallard.  

Hackle:  Grizzly hen.

Head:   Black thread.


This is someone’s super secret fly that I’ve had in my box and used for at least 25 years now.  I never listed it as a “Fly of the Month” out of thanks and respect to the individual that turned me onto it.  But I think it’s time now.   This particular variation is used a lot on trout streams in Massachusetts.  Traditionally, hornbergs are tied so that they can be fished either as a dry fly or fished as a streamer.   This modified design is for use as a streamer.   And boy is it effective, especially for rainbows.  I’ve caught a ton of browns on it too.   


Begin by applying a thread base across the hook shank.   Wrap the mid section with lead wire.  Cover with thread and lacquer.  Tie off and cut off thread.   Cut a piece of the mylar gold tubing to hook shank length.   Remove center cord and slip tubing over the hook shank.   Tie the tubing to the hook shank where the rear of the hook shank meets the bend.  Whip finish and cut off thread.  I usually use clear mono to do this but you can use any color thread. You can ‘ruffle’ out the trailing mylar strands.  Re-apply thread approximately ¼ of the hook shank length from the hook eye.  Tie in wing of yellow dyed mallard.  Tie in grizzly hen hackle.   Wrap hackle forward 4-5 turns.  Form head and tie off fly.   When fishing this fly dead drift it, twitch it, wet fly swing it, and strip it fast and furious.   It all works.  DEFINITELY USE IT IF THERE ARE RAINBOWS IN THE WATER!


If you have any questions about this fly or would like to submit a Fly of the Month, e-mail me at .  

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Paul's April 2022 Fly of the Month

 The Katterman

Hook:  Mustad 94840 or 94833 Sizes #12 to #18. 

Thread:  Pearsalls gossamer white or Cream 6/0.

Tail:  Brown Hackle Fibers.  

Body:  Peacock Herl.

Hackle:  Brown Hackle Rib, palmered through the body. and fronted by White ‘Face’ Hackle.


This fly was designed and developed by famous Catskill Fly Tyer, Walt Dette.  It combines features several flies such as the Bivisable, the Renegade,and the Griffiths Gnat.  I’ve caught fish with it on all the CT rivers and it was one of my top dry flies that I used in Montana. 


To tie this fly start your thread behind the eye of the hook.  Wrap your thread down the hook shank to the bend.  Next, tie in 6-8 Brown Hackle Fibers.  The tail should be about the length of the hook shank.  Tie in your Brown Hackle Rib Feather by the butt.  I’ve seen this fly tied a couple different ways.  Sometimes the Brown and White Hackles are the same size.  Sometimes the Brown Hackle is undersized.  It’s really your preference.  I usually use a Brown Hackle that is slightly undersized for the hook I’m using.  Next, tie in 2-3 Peacock Herl Fibers.  Wrap the Peacock Herl forward to the ‘throat’ position leaving enough room for your White Hackle.  Palmer your Brown Hackle forward and tie it off at the throat.  Tie in your White ‘Face’ Hackle.  The hackle should be slightly longer than the Brown Hackle.  Make 4-5 wraps of the Hackle.  Tie it off, whip finish, and apply head cement. 

If you have any questions about this fly or would like to submit a Fly of the Month, e-mail me at .

Friday, March 4, 2022

Paul's March 2022 Bonus Fly of the Month

 Deb's Green Haze Caddis

Bead (Optional):  Size to match fly and color of choice.

Hook:  Fire Hole 718  or 317 Curved Caddis Hook Size #12 & #14. 

Thread:  12/0 Black Waxed or Orange.

Tail (Optional):  Pheasant Tail Fibers.

Rib:  Florescent Green Sempre Fli Flouro Bright, or Nylon Strech, or Florescent Green Wire.

Body:  8-10 Pheasant Tail Fibers.  

Thorax:  Peacock Herl.

Hackle:  Brown Hen or Grouse Hackle Fibers.


This is another fly great producing fly that can mimic a variety of hatches.  Although it’s name includes the term “nymph”, it’s more of a wet fly. It was originally designed for lake fishing but produces just as well in rivers and streams.   An easy tie that you have to carry with you.  This fly is really a killer variation of a Pheasant Tail Nymph.


You have a number of options when you tie this fly.  I tie some with beads, some without, almost all with tails.  Also, I find that using Florescent Green Sempre Fli Flouro, or Nylon Strech for a rib, gives a more visible segmentation.  Using green wire, however, results in a much more durable fly.  That’s the ribbing choice your faced with.


To tie this fly place your hook in the vice, start your thread and wrap it the length of the body down to the bend.  Bring your thread back up behind the eye.  Tie in your Florescent Green rib and wrap it down by bringing your thread back to the bend.  Next, prepare 8-10 Pheasant Tail Fibers for the Body.  Trim off the butt ends of the fibers to make sure they are flush.  Tie them in by the tips so that you can wrap them forward from the bend of the hook.  Wrap the body forward approximately 2/3rds of the hook shank.  You need to leave room for your Thorax and Hackle.  Tie off the Pheasant Tail Fibers and trim the butt ends.  Next, counter wrap your Green Rib along the length of the body.  Tie it off and trim off the butt end.  Take 2-4 fibers of Peacock Herl and tie them in at the front of the body.  Take 5-6 wraps forward leaving enough room (about an eye length) for your hackle.  Tie it off and trim off the butt end.  If I’m tying this fly on a size #12 hook I’ll use Grouse for the hackle.  If I’m tying it on a size #14 hook I’ll use Brown Hen.  Tie the hackle feather in by the base of the feather.  Take 2-3 wraps of the hackle feather, stroking the fibers towards the rear of the fly as you do that.  Tie it off and trim the excess feather.  Finally, create a tapered head with your thread, tie/whip finish it off and apply a finish of your choice.


A great instructional video by Deb Paskall can be found 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 e-mail me at .

Sunday, February 20, 2022

Paul's March 2022 Fly of the Month

 LBW Striper Fly

Hook:  Gamakatsu SC15  Size #3/0 

Thread:  12/0 White Waxed.

Tail:  Pearl Flash-a-bou twice the length of the hook Shank.  On each side of the hook shank is tied in two (2) 5” to 7” Saddle hackles.   

Back Body:  A pencil thick clump of White Deer hair extending ¾ length of the tail.

Front Body:  A pencil thick clump of White Deer hair, pressed with your finger nail to surround the hook shank.  Repeat the Deer hair application 2-3 more times to create a tapered body.

Gill Plate:  3 turns of a Red 2.5” EP Dubbing Brush.

Head: 3 turns of a Chartreuse 3” EP Foxy Brush.

Eyes:  (Optional)  Dome or Living eyes.


This fly has a really nice ‘big’ profile.  Flies like this ‘catch’ big stripers.  It’s really a variation of a ‘Lefty’s Deceiver’, just tied with a few more modern materials and a couple of different tying techniques.  Don’t be afraid to change the colors of this fly to suit your need.  Also there are a variety of products out there that you can substitute for those I’ve listed. 


To tie this fly, begin by crushing your barb and placing the hook in the vice.  Start your thread behind the eye and wrap back to the bend of the hook.  Tie in a hefty clump of Pearl Flash-a-bou.  It should be approximately 2 times the length of the hook shank.  When you tie it in, do so at the mid-point of the material, then bend back your butt ends rearward to double your flash tail.  Prepare two (2) saddle hackles by stripping the ‘fluff’ portion of the feather off the stem.  Affix one feather on each side of the hook shank.  They should extend back along your tail of Flash-a-bou.   Once bound down, clip off the stems of your feathers. 


Next, take a pencil thick clump of White Deer hair.  It should extend approximately ¾ of the length of the tail.  Measure it on the hook shank and trim off any excess material on the ‘butt’ end.  When you tie it in, make two loose wraps, then use your finger nail to surround the hook shank with the Bucktail.  After you do that bind it down with tighter wraps.  Use your thread to ‘clean’ up the butt sections of the Bucktail.  Advance your thread forward and repeat the process with another clump of Bucktail.  Repeat this process a third time.  You want to leave a ‘eye’ length space behind the hook eye.  Now tie in your red EP Dubbing Brush.  Take 3 turns around the hook shank, stroking all the fibers back as you do so.  Tie it off and clip off the butt end.  Tie in your Chartreuse 3” EP Foxy Brush.  Take approximately 3 turns around the hook shank.  Tie it off and clip off the butt end.   Whip finish your fly and apply your preferred adhesive to the wraps.  Finally, if so desired, glue eyes onto your fly.  I glue them on with Zap-a-gap Gel, then cover them with epoxy for extra durability.


Lost Coast Outfitters has a great 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 e-mail me at .