This is a basic soft hackle pattern using a nontraditional material as both thread and body material. While the pattern itself is good, particularly in lakes, the key purposes of this video are: 1.) To demonstrate the method by which I use feather barbs from game bird or large hen hackle feathers to tie soft hackles of any size. 2.) To show the thread discipline required to tie such small flies with such a heavy thread.
Thread/Body: MFC Midge Body Thread, here golden olive. Veevus makes a similar material, and Kreinik (a crafting company) has a material called Blending Filament which is probably the root material for both fly fishing-specific versions.
Hackle: Waterfowl or hen hackle fibers stripped from the feather, tied in facing forward, and spun around the hook shank.
Will Dornan’s Water Walker is a red-hot hopper/stonefly/attractor dry pattern in the Rocky Mountain West, probably the single hottest pattern in this category in the Bozeman and Livingston Montana area in 2019. In many respects, it functions as a “less chubby Chubby Chernobyl” that attracts trout that have seen one too many big fluffy hoppers, yet is still buoyant enough to float a nymph and is visible to anglers fishing from drift boats.
This “Micro Peanut” version worked better than any other for me on guided trips in 2019, and was my second-best or third-best hopper pattern overall. It worked particularly well in the month of August.
Weekly fly tying vid, a variation on the Skidmark Streamer. This is a pattern I just saw on Facebook last week and said “this will work.” I couldn’t find any additional info on it (and had to be really careful about doing image searches on Google for “skid mark fly,”), so I thought I’d do a video to popularize it. This is a simple Zonker-style pattern that ought to work in infinite color combos, using infinite techniques, for all sorts of fish.
The version here is chartreuse and white. It’s intended for crappie and bass in eastern Montana.
Hook: Clouser-style, or really any relatively short, stout hook with a wide gape. Here #6, but depending on the wing and body materials used, could run from #1/0 all the way to #10-12.
Thread: Lime green 6/0 here. Change to match body colors.
Eyes: Brass (or lead) barbell-style. Here MFC gold brass, size small. Change eyes to suit the fly. For most trout flies I suggest using eyes with painted pupils.
Body: UV pearl medium Polar Chenille, trimmed on sides and top. Adjust your trimming to the fly size. You could also sub in Red Heart Scrubby Sparkle yarn, CCT Body Fur, full-size Polar Chenille, or a sparse dubbing brush of Ice Dub, depending on fly size.
Wing: Here, Niceec chartreuse and white faux-fur yarn used like a Zonker strip. Sub in standard rabbit or Finnish raccoon strips on large flies, squirrel on medium-sized flies, or pine squirrel or mink on small flies.
The Pink Warrior is a color variant of Lance Egan’s Rainbow Warrior that works well as an alternative fly to the Pink Lightning Bug on Montana’s Missouri River in “pink fly season,” late November through early May. Fish it as a dropper with something heavier and larger, for example the AMEX Czech Jig I posted several weeks ago.
Hook: 1x short, 1x strong scud hook, #16-18.
Bead: 3/32″ or 5/64″ nickel brass or tungsten.
Thread #1: Hot pink 8/0.
Tail: Pink-dyed mallard flank.
Abdomen: Pearl-pink Flashabou. Either double one strand around the tying thread or use two strands.
Wingcase: Ends of Flashabou.
Thread #2: Fluorescent fire orange 8/0.
Thorax: Blend of pale pink and hot pink acrylic with hot pink UV Ice Dub, or similar multi-tone pink dubbing.
The Slumpbuster is a well-known streamer pattern by John Barr. This version is tied on a jig hook using a new faux fur yarn available under many brand names. I have seen three: Sirdar Alpine, Lion Brand Go for Faux, and Niceec Fur Yarn, but there are probably others.
The main purpose of this video is to show the tying properties of the fur yarn. Three techniques are demonstrated: using the material like a Zonker strip, wrapping it as on a bunny leech, and clipping it from the “hide” for insertion in a dubbing loop.
The Brown Roach is an old pattern from the Missouri Ozarks originally tied on a jighead. Here it’s on a jig hook with a tungsten bead, with a couple other slight tweaks. Sometimes derided as a “pellet fly,” this pattern works just fine on wild or holdover trout that either have never seen a pellet or have long since stopped eating them. I think it suggests a cased caddis or possibly a sowbug. The basic pattern is also good in other colors for various species. Try it in black, white, chartreuse, and yellow for stocked trout and panfish, or in other earth tones for wild and holdover trout.
Hook: Lightning Strike barbless jig, #12-16.
Bead: 5/32″ to 7/64″ matte brown tungsten jig bead.
Thread: 6/0 rusty brown.
Abdomen: Brown Australian possum inserted in a dubbing loop in “noodle” form.
Rib: Brown Flashabou or similar.
“Hackle:” Dark brown pine squirrel inserted crosswise in a dubbing loop, trimmed to length, spun, and wrapped forward.
New fly tying vid: Jigged Soft Hackle Caddis. Use this as an anchor fly in Euro-nymphing situations or when short-leash nymphing. I use the latter technique a lot on the Lower Madison River, which is very shallow and has heavy caddis concentrations. Tie this fly or something similar to your main leader, then rig an unweighted dropper to run about a foot above it. Use the smallest strike indicator you can and rig it only a couple feet above the jigged soft hackle. The heavy tungsten bead is the only weight in this system.
Hook: Umpqua C400BL, #14.
Bead: Black nickel tungsten, 1/8-inch.
Thread 1: Chartreuse 6/0 or 8/0.
Hackle: Speckled brown hen.
Thread 2: Gold-Olive MFC Midge Body or Veevus equivalent.
This video is mostly designed to show a cool material taken from the craft world, King Cole Chunky Tinsel yarn, and to show the technique used to twist up this material sufficiently to create a one-step bushy body. This is a good all-around baitfish pattern for a variety of fish.
Hook: Eagle Claw #630 size-4 (size 1/0 to 4 work).
Bead: 3/16″ copper brass bead.
Weight: .035 lead wire.
Thread: 3/0 brown.
Tail: Brown-grizzly and tan-brown barred marabou.
Flash: 3 strands of rusty brown Krystal Flash.
Body/Hackle: Single strand of King Cole Chunky Tinsel yarn, lopped, twisted, wrapped forward, and trimmed.
The pink AMEX is one of the most popular nymph patterns in winter and early spring on the Missouri River, and a good bet on any tailwater stream. It suggests both eggs and dead/dying scuds, and as such is a good “junk bug” attractor pattern on tailwaters.
While normally tied on a scud hook, I prefer to tie larger versions (#12-14) on jig hooks with tungsten beads, to cut down on hangups.
It’s also worth checking out the “Rainbow Czech,” which is generally similar except with the dubbing colors reversed and a full scud-style shellback. Both patterns bear some similarity to the Pink Squirrel nymph popular in the Driftless region of the upper Midwest.