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A simpler floatier Rusty Spinner?

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3 replies to this topic

#1 LivelyOne



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Posted 13 February 2018 - 04:35 PM

Well the bass poppers, Clousers, crabs, shrimp, and spoon flies are done, and am moving on to trout flies. Next up is Rusty Spinners. I have been tying them with hackle wings, microfibbet tails, and beaver dubbing. Pretty simple and the local stocked trout eat them just fine.. But they float only so-so after a few fish.


Looking around on the Internet you quickly find there are a large number of different recipes for spinners in terms of different wing, dubbing, and tail materials, as well as numerous different ways to tie them.  A lot of those more exotic ones appear to be are aimed at "picky" trout, like those 20" Delaware River browns that have a PhD in entymology. For those fish you don't mind if the fly is only good for a couple of drifts and one fish.


I want the opposite.. A Rusty Spinner that is simple and easy to tie, will fool uneducated fish, and will float like a medium Dunkin coffee cup, even after several fish have had their lips on it.  Does such a fly exist?  I would appreciate suggestions.




#2 Philly


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Posted 13 February 2018 - 10:57 PM

The first time I fished the West Branch in some riffles below what's now the Delaware Club, forget what is was called then.  I used a fly called the Nalle Puh.  It's Finnish fly created by Simo Lumme. It's designed for riffle water but I've caught browns and brookies on it in flat water in Vermont. I caught my only two Delaware River trout on a 16 inch and an 18 inch brown. I also learned it's not a good idea, if you forget your net, to lip a large trout. Here's a picture of the one I tied up.


Attached File  Nalle Puh.jpg   11.51KB   4 downloads


I can't remember what I used for the wing on this one.  If I tied one up today.  I'd use either snowshoe hare or a red-brown CDC for the wing.   The body is an a reddish brown dubbing I mixed up and the hackle is brown. I tied them in size 12 and size 14.  There are U tube videos on how to tie it.  Might be worth tying a couple and give it a try.

"All things considered, I'd rather be in Philadelphia."

#3 spiralspey


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Posted 14 February 2018 - 09:31 PM

I absolutely hate fishing spinner patterns. They're impossible to see on the surface, they will spin when you cast and put twist in your leader, and they often won't float well after a few fish. Luckily the vast majority of fish on the rivers and lakes I fish aren't too picky when it comes to spinners. I can get away with flies that have a good profile from below, but it usually doesn't matter if the wing of the fly is sticking up high or not. So when I see fish sipping spinners I fish comparaduns or thorax patterns with the hackles clipped flat on the bottom, even parachutes will do in a pinch. These flies lie flat on the surfaces and have a good spinner-like profile from below. I usually tie them with biot bodies and thoraxes dubbed with either synthetic dubbing (doesn't absorb water) or snowshoe hare, this will keep my flies floating pretty well even after quite a few fish.

#4 NohackleHS


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Posted 14 February 2018 - 10:12 PM

Years ago when I used to fish a lot of rusty spinners, I took the advice of a California Flyfishing Hall of Fame angler, Hal Jansen.  When he ties a spinner he uses a poly wing as other do.  Most anglers ties the wings in the same plane as the hook shank.  Hal Jansen suggested tying the wings pointed slightly downward (if you view the fly from the side, the wing tips are below the hook shank).  Thus, the fly floats more on the wing tips than a conventional spinner.  Since I've always tied my spinners in this fashion, I can't say that it's more effective than other spinners but I always did have good success with this fly.  I used to fish a lot of spring creeks where the trout were very selective.