This variation of the Clouser Swimming Nymph includes bead chain eyes to make it ride upside-down. This is an excellent stillwater pattern in both cold water (trout) and warmwater (bass, crappie, and panfish) settings. It is especially evocative of damselfly nymphs, though it possesses crossover appeal as a leech, small crayfish, or large mayfly. You can fish it deep on a sink-tip or twitched shallow over the weed-tops on a floating line.
Hook: Dai-Riki #285 or other curved-shank 3xl nymph hook, #8-14, particularly #12.
Weight: A few turns of .010 to .25 lead or lead-free wire at the center of the hook shank.
Thread: 8/0 to match the fly body color. Here, olive-dun. Other good color variants are black, rust, and tan.
Eyes: Black or gold bead-chain. Adjust eye size to change the sink rate.
Tail: Olive-dyed grizzly chickabou or standard marabou.
Rib: Copper wire, color to match or contrast body. Here, brassie copper Ultra-Wire is used.
Abdomen: Olive Hare’s Ear Dubbing, thin.
Wing Case: Several strands of peacock herl.
Thorax: Same as abdomen, full.
Legs: Olive-dyed or natural brown India Hen back or similar buggy, webby feather, tied in vee-style.
Barry Reynolds’ Pike Bunny is a straightforward, simple pike (and bass) bunny streamer that derives its durability from strategically finishing the fly well behind the hook eye and from lots of adhesives. This is a small one, but they can be tied with magnum rabbit strips as large as 3/0 or 4/0.
Fish the pattern on a floating line in shallow water or on a sink-tip deep.
Hook: Standard bass/pike, #4/0 to 4.
Thread: 3/0 or 6/0 to match the front rabbit strip.
Eyes: Clear Cure Eyes or similar weightless dumbbells, or use doll-style eyes secured at the end of the tying process.
Flash: Sea green Polarflash, but any flash to match or contrast the rear rabbit strip will do.
Tail: Standard rabbit strip on sizes #1-6, magnum rabbit strip on larger sizes. Good colors are yellow, chartreuse, white, black, or barred combinations of the above. Here I’ve used barred chartreuse over yellow.
Body: Standard rabbit strip wrapped forward. Use the same color strip as the rear, or contrast. Red is a good alternate front color.
Gills/Blood: Red flash, here Kreinik Flash, but again any flash will do.
Head: Several coats of Thin or Thick UV resin topped with head cement to remove any tackiness.
This jig-style version of the Sculp Snack streamer is representative of drab, impressionistic streamers (often Woolly Buggers tied to ride upside-down) Walter uses on Yellowstone River float trips in the summer. This take on the Sculp Snack uses an exciting new hook, the Firehole Sticks #523, which as far as we know is the first “tactical” or “jig-style” 3xl long nymph or streamer hook on the market. This hook will make tying stonefly nymphs, streamer, leeches, and similar patterns that ride upside-down MUCH less time-consuming.
Hook: Firehole #523, sizes 4-10.
Bead: 3/16 to 5/32 slotted tungsten, here gold.
Weight (optional): .035 to .020 lead or non-toxic wire.
Thread: 6/0 sculpin-tone, here olive-dun Uni.
Tail: Two plumes of marabou or chickabou, here olive chickabou.
Flash: Any crinkled flash to match bead color, here gold Kreinik, two strands.
Body: Polar Chenille or similar “eyelash yarn.” Here, medium UV Olive Polar Chenille.
Legs: Two strands of silicone to either side. Here, metallic green pumpkin Sili Legs.
Head: Two colors of Senyo’s Lazer Yarn, here light olive and olive.
The Gray CDC Emerging Dun is a biot-bodied CDC and synthetic-winged mayfly emerger originally developed as a spring creek fly to imitate Blue-winged Olives. Parks’ Fly Shop ordered it in much larger sizes than standard as an emerger for the various species of Green Drakes present in the Lamar drainage. It is most useful in this purpose in sizes 12-16.
Hook: #12-20 1xl or standard-length dry fly or light nymph hook (nymph hook used here).
The Gartside Soft Hackle Streamer is a classic marabou and soft hackle streamer developed by Jack Gartside. This version is made using chickabou feathers, which allows for the pattern to be tied in much smaller sizes.
The same tying procedure used here also works on the large Alaskabou series and similar marabou steelhead and coho salmon flies. Just use large (#2/0 to #2) steelhead hooks, swap the chickabou for much larger marabou plumes, and add more flash.
Hook: 2xl nymph, #10.
Thread: Black 6/0.
Body Material: Olive-dyed chickabou (3 plumes total).
Flash: Rootbeer Krystal Flash.
Hackle: Brown-dyed grizzly hen.
Fly Tying Vid – Garris’ Yellowstone Nymph, Plus a Coronavirus Appeal
Josh Garris’ Yellowstone Nymph is a simple, buggy fly similar in most respects to a Walt’s Worm or Sexy Walt (no relation, just ask my wife) that works well in fast, bouldery water in Yellowstone Park as a caddis pupa as well as sowbug or caddis on the Land of Giants stretch of the Missouri River.
After the tying video, I’d appreciate it if you keep watching for an update on how Yellowstone Country Fly Fishing and Parks’ Fly Shop are handling the coronavirus and how you can help us get through it.
Hook: Standard scud, #12-18.
Bead: Black brass or tungsten to match hook size.
Thread: 6/0 rusty brown. Use 8/0 on #16-18.
Tail #1: Tag end of tying thread.
Tail #2 and Rib: Pearl Krystal Flash (#12-14) or Midge Flash (#16-18).
Body: Spirit River (now Hareline) Buggy Nymph Blend in Hare’s Ear, or similar tan/brown/gray coarse dubbing.
The Buttcrack Baetis by Duane Redford is a small, rather unusual mayfly/midge attractor nymph popular these days on Colorado’s West Slope but worth fishing on any clear, heavily-pressured water where the fish eat small, slender bugs.
Hook: Standard scud, #16-22.
Bead: Copper or gold brass or tungsten to match wire color and hook size. Here, the #18 hook is matched with a 5/64″ bead. The bead is optional.
Thread: 8/0 or 10/0 in preferred body color. Here, brown. Purple and shades of olive are also good.
Tail: Coq-de-Leon or similar speckled game bird or chicken feather fiber.
Rib: Copper or gold wire, small to extra small.
Abdomen: Tying thread.
Wing Case: Split strip of .5mm or 1mm foam, usually white.
Flash: Mini flat braid or similar braided mylar in pearl or root beer colors.
Thorax: Ice Dub. Here rusty brown. Change color to match overall colorway of the fly.
This is my version of the Floss San Juan Worm (Sexi Worm, Flexi Worm, Flexi Floss Worm, etc.). This is an excellent pattern for low, clear water. In my neck of the woods, it works well on the Paradise Valley spring creeks in late winter and early spring.
Hook: #14-18 scud.
Bead: Gold brass to match hook size.
Thread: 8/0 red or to match body color. Other good colors are pink, worm brown, and red/black/brown.
Head: Red Flexi-Floss or similar spandex “leg” material, tied in front of the bead.
Tail: Same as head, tied in behind the bead and wrapped down the shank.
Body: Micro Tubing to match body color. Use “midge” tubing on #14.
It’s pink season here in Montana. We tend to fish pink/rainbow scud and sowbug patterns in late winter and spring, not least because such patterns have a lot of crossover with eggs and in any case are a big mouthful for trout putting the feedbags on after a long winter. This one is a variation on the popular Arkansas sowbug pattern, the Trout Crack.
Hook: #14-18 scud.
Thread #1: Fluorescent fire orange 8/0.
Thread #2 (Rib): Fine mono thread (or old 5X-6X tippet).
Body: Dubbing blend of a couple colors of pink Ice Dub, perhaps some pink acrylic, and rainbow Wapsi Sow-Scud. The precise material isn’t important. Simply make a blend of rainbow Sow-Scud with some reflective/flashy pink dubbing.
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.