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Casual Dress SBS

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Poking around my flyboxes I came across some stuff from the mid 90's, including a bunch of Casual Dress nymphs. Brought back memories of fishing Rock Creek for the first time - catching some nice 'bows/browns, losing a boatload of nymphs, and taking a fall up above Norton CG that eventually required reconstructive knee surgery. Always thought they were cool flies although I haven't tied any in a long time; grabbed some muskrat and ostrich herl, my copy of Tying & Fishing the Fuzzy Nymphs (bless you Polly Rosborough for such a great pattern) and took a trip in the Wayback Machine.



hook - Mustad 9671 #8

thread - Danville 6/0 black

tail - Muskrat

body - Muskrat

collar - Muskrat

head - Ostrich herl



Mash the barb and tie in thread






cut a clump of muskrat (I prefer keeping it on the skin until I need it) with guard hairs (comb out a bit of the underfur)






cut out some more fur and mix it up (this went into the coffee grinder)






take the fur between your palms and roll it into a tapered noodle






create a dubbing loop at the tail tie-in






tie in the fur noodle by the tip






trap it in the loop and spin it until it's nice and tight






wrap the body up to the 75% mark (looks like I could have wound it a little tighter to get better defined segmentation)






tie down and trim excess






grab one more clump for the collar (gives me a chance to use one of those Pettijean clips I got years ago); you want the guard hairs






spin bobbin to take out the twist in your thread (why I used the Danville and not Uni) and split






you can use a loop like I did for the body, but for this application, I much prefer the split-thread method







spin the bobbin to trap the fur






moisten fingers, stroke fur back towards the rear and wrap







completed collar







tie in some ostrich herl (got this off a grocery store feather duster; love the color)






twist herl together, wrap forward, tie off, apply Sally






Polly roughed his up with a hacksaw blade; I don't have that kind of confidence in my tying so I use a velcro brush





The body could probably stand to be beefed up a bit, proportions are off, but it was fun just goofing around with an old friend again.





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Excellent SBS Scott, very nicely done. This is a great simple pattern that is a good producer in my area.



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A real good looking nymph. I take a trip every winter to fish with a friend of mine in the Tampa Bay area (salt water) We fly fish for Atlantic Spadefish with fresh water nymph patterns and this tie looks like it will do the job nicely. By the way I think we are the only two fools that catch Spadefish this way.

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Wonderful! I bought one of these right off the great man's vice when Polly was giving a demo at the Caddis Fly Angling Shop in Eugene, Ore., in the late 1970s. Needless to say, that fly has never seen the water.

Great step-by-step! :)

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Great SBS and a fine lookin' fly....I need to get some of that muskrat, the color is killer!


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