Jump to content
Fly Tying


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

0 Neutral

About troutracker

  • Rank
    Advanced Member

Previous Fields

  • Favorite Species
  • Security

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

  1. Thanks to all for the encouragement. The hatch chart is an attempt to figure out the caddis drift timing and the times when the fly is has less chance to work -- like when pupation cements that cased caddis species to the bottom for 4-5 weeks. It's become apparent to me that besides 'matching the hatch" we also need to 'catch the drift.'
  2. Many thanks to Joyce Gross who gave me permission to use the most excellent image of a Brachycentrus Larva posted on The Bug Guide-- that is shown in the post above.
  3. Comparison of the Day Drifter Caddis (left) with the natural _____________________________________________________ A video describing the backstory of the fly and how to tie it is posted at: youtu.be/yHywcDlcBu4 _______________________________________________________ Introduction: Most rivers in the West have a Brachycentrus (occidentalis) hatch starting in later April that peaks in May called the Mother's Day hatch. This hatch is increasingly important for daytime fly fishers in that Brachycentrus is now recognized as a cased caddis that drifts during the daylight hours and not just at sunrise & sunset. A Brachycentrus larva looks like a worm with six joined legs. The caddis worm color varies from chartreuse & pastel shades of green that lighten all the way to a cream color in some individuals. Brachycentrus uses the locally available sodden plant debris that are assembled into a stick-built chimney-like case. The debris is held together by a silk-like material the worm itself excretes. The color of cases on the Upper Arkansas River where I fish are very dark brown to almost black. In the video, Brachycentrus cases from other rivers are seen as banded tan & brown stick-built chimney-like tubes. Not widely utilized is the fact that the worm is not fixed in its case & can extract itself out of its case if needed. The often brightly colored larva has been observed sliding in and out its case, so that as it drifts it can signal a flashing color to the trout. The larva also holds its legs well out from its body as it forages for food. It is these natural extensions of the worm body and legs out of the case that the Day Drifter caddis mimics. The peeking caddis pattern was developed by George Anderson circa 1970s to imitate the Brachycentrus of the Mother's Day Caddis hatch on the Yellowstone River (www.swtu.org/2017/10/03/peeking-caddis/ ). Reportedly, Anderson thought the key to a successful cased caddis pattern was it had to convince trout that the case contained a living caddis worm. To represent the worm Anderson tied in a greenish dubbing band just ahead of the brownish case. Hence the name “Peeking Caddis” is used for a fly tied wholly on the hook shank. The style of this fly tied with a caddis worm extending out over the hook bend is called the “Peeping Caddis.” Recipe: Hook: I like to use 2x wide gap hooks with a 1 cm shank length--like the Firehole 633 size 14 to 12-- imitate fully mature cased caddis. I use smaller hooks sizes to imitate less mature ones. Thread: SemperFli brand nano-silk brown 30 denier: Ribbing: UTC Ultrawire amber color in small (about 0.1mm) size. If a darker case is desired, use black wire. Caddis Worm: Take an old chartreuse, pale green or cream, colored fly line and, using pliers, strip off about 5-6 mm of the fly line’s PVC coating to expose the Dacron core. Use a bodkin to tease apart the fibers of the exposed Dacron core. Color the exposed fibers and cut butt end of the PVC fly line dark brown using a permanent marker. The color of the fly line itself can changed using a green marker. Finish the caddis worm by using thin point scissors to cut the middle fibers out to make two groups of about 3 legs each. Cut off the fly line at an angle about 1 cm from the legs and tie 5 mm of that angled piece in on the top of the hook shank so that it projects out like a tail about 4-8mm from the hook bend. The bump of the fly line tied in on top of the hook shank starts to make the thick end of what will be the tapered case after weight is added. Weighting: Optional--no bead or lead wire at all in the lightweight version--use instead a long taper cut piece of fly line to form the underbody for the case. For the heavy version, you can get a 2mm bead on these hooks and it is placed just behind the hook eye. I prefer not to use a bead at all as it really looks out of place at the small end of the case. To compensate, I add quite a bit of weight under the case by lashing three short pieces of 0.015-to-0.020-inch (0.4-0.5mm) lead wire on top of the shank alongside the lashed in piece of fly line. These three lead pieces, along with the underlying hook shank to form a square cross section like that of the natural. The lead pieces are stopped well short of the hook eye and staggered as to where they are tied off at-- so that the micro-fritz body can be tapered down towards the hook eye. Note that the weight on top of the shank acts to invert the fly so that the hook point tends to drift up to reduce fouling. Case: The stick-like debris that Brachycentrus uses for its case are usually shades of tan, brown, dark brown & on up to brownish black. Use a color of SemperFli micro-fritz to match the natural in your river. For the U. Arkansas River where I fish, I use a dark mocha brown fritz. After the weight is lashed in, cut and tie in a 3-inch piece of micro-fritz at the hook bend. Wind the micro-fritz over the caddis worn then side by side on down the taper to the hook eye. Spiral the ribbing wire forward over the micro-fritz body. Whip Finish. __________________________________________ When to fish the day drifter is schematically shown in the chart below that was compiled for the Upper Arkansas River in Colorado. Of course, the timing would vary from river to river and on a given river from the lower reaches where hatch usually starts to its upper reaches where they usually end. When fishing Brachycentrus caddis nymphs consider that there is a 4-5 week pupation period (shown in red) before the hatch of that species--in which there is no drift at all--because the pupae in their case are solidly attached to the bottom of the stream. Many free-living caddis species also build cases and attach themselves to the bottom of the stream making them unavailable in the few weeks before hatching. Perhaps this is why many folks find caddis nymphs more frustrating to fish over mayflies and stoneflies whose nymphs usually become more active and consequently more available in the drift right on up to hatching.
  4. Thanks for the hook suggestion and with some adjustments to how you add materials, probably you could substitute the G lock bass work hook. Like I say in the video, there are keel hooks out there that can be used -- like the Ahrex 378 shown in the video and, of course, the MFC 7055 keel hook that was designed by Kelly to resolve some of the issues with the Mustad 79666 keel hook mostly by adding a somewhat wider gap (and a vertical ring eye). As I see it, the problem with keel hooks in general with the stacked blonde fly is you get three stacks of Bucktail around the downward oriented hook point and that can interfere with your chance of a hookup. So, if you want to go weedless (hook point up), get your hook point out being embedded in bucktail and you fix the hooks position out in the tail of the fly, then the keeled shank and stinger hook is in my opinion the way to go.
  5. A video about making keeled shanks, as well as tying and testing a Shanked Blonde is posted on YouTube: youtu.be/7G1NJ4G8h4g
  6. A video about making keeled shanks, as well as tying and testing a Shanked Blonde is posted on YouTube: https://youtu.be/7G1NJ4G8h4g Introduction This video is about a streamer named the "Shanked Blonde" that is tied on an articulated shank bent into the form of keel hook. The Shanked Blonde name is used here to link the lineage of this latest incarnation of the Blonde series back to Galloup’s Stacked Blonde (Galloup, 1999, 2019)--and then on back to a high-profile variant of the blonde pattern promoted by Al Toth circa 1960’s (Bates, 1979). Toth’s high-profile-wing variant is in turn based on the low-profile-wing Blonde-design originated by Homer Rhodes in the late 1940’s (Bates, 1979). Galloup’s innovation in his Stacked Blonde variant is the inspired use of a keel hook flipped over with its hook point down--that is reversed from its normal point up “weed-free” orientation. This reversed-hook orientation supports a high-profile double wing--one wing of marabou lashed over a wing of bucktail. Both wings lashed to the keel run and routed up and over the body run. The allure of Galloup’s high-profile double wing is that it has an extra spring to it that imparts an enhanced breathing action during a pulsed retrieve. The Shanked Blonde uses a similar wing configuration but in this latest high-profile variant it is lashed onto an articulated shank bent into a keeled form, not a keel hook. The keeled shank in the Shanked Blonde variant also allows the hook point(s) to project out of the bucktail to try and increase the chances of hookup as well as holding on the fish. So why replace the keel hook? While the Mustad 79666 is an improved weedless design that made it easier to fish the “impossible places” (Probst, 1974), keel hooks tend to have a small effective bite that in practice may lose too many fish. To remedy this issue, the point run angle can be bent out to 30 degrees to increase hookup (Bates, 1979)-- but this change may act to decrease fish holding ability as that made the point run angle two-thirds of the way to a definition of hook failure at 45 degrees (Proper, 1982). Finally, Valla (2018) in his review of bucktails discusses how easy it is to overdress a keel hook and thereby interfere with hooking-- seemingly because the bucktail bundles can act to shield the hook point. So, for whatever reason, the Mustad 79666 keel hook became less popular and is no longer made. While there are other keel hook designs now available that may overcome some of the 79666 issues, it seems that a better way to go is to use an articulated shank that has a seemingly superior trailing stinger-hook system. A keeled shank and stinger hook system has several advantages over a fixed-design keel hook: it allows the tier to select the hook orientation, up or down, set the hook style and size, and perhaps most importantly allows the hook point to be placed out of the bucktail bundles as well as out towards the tail of the fly where it should be--somewhat like an intruder fly. The system also makes it possible to go to a two-hook articulated fly by using a hook on the shank ahead of the other hook on a trailing loop. Finally, it's easy to bend up your own keeled shanks in the profile, size, wire strength, and length that you need-at your fly-tying bench and at a reasonable cost. Keeled shanks seem strong enough to take on large salmonids. A keeled shank withstood, without permanent deformation, the pull of a 16 lb. (7.3 kg) 0X fluorocarbon tippet—that was pulled until the tippet broke. See this test starting at the 26:34-minute mark in the video. The Shanked Blonde uses as a starting point the Stacked Blonde dressing (Galloup, 2019) but as shown in the video that dressing had to be adapted to work on a keeled articulated shank, instead of a keel hook. The Shanked Blonde with its keeled shank and trailing stinger-hook system fishes well and seems a good choice as a workaround to using a keel hook. ___________________ Shanked Blonde Recipe Thread: 100d Nanosilk or 240d Ultra-Thread. Color to match bucktail body and marabou wing. The fly is commonly tied using a one-color scheme in white, yellow, chartreuse or black. Shank: Senyo ‘Steelhead and Salmon’ articulated shank, 40 mm size uncoated --or color to match bucktail and marabou color. Stinger hook: Trout-sized version: Owner model # 5377-111 mosquito-hook in Size 1/0 with the barb closed. I use this extra gap hook to help place the hook point up and clear of the bucktail stacks that can interfere with hooking. For trout sized flies, the stinger hook is directly clipped into hook loop on the Senyo Shank. Jumper: In the trout sized version only: a short piece of 17 lb (7.7 kg) test AFW Surflon leader cable is tied onto the stinger hook shank and then is jumped over the hook attachment to be lashed in on the body run of the keeled shank. The jumper in this case is not load bearing and is only intended to position the hook vertical and straight out the rear of the fly. Trailing loop and Stinger option: For a Steelhead/Salmon sized version--add a trailing wire loop made of 26 lb (11.8 kg) test AFW Surflon leader cable that is lashed unto the Senyo shank and extends out to the rear far enough (about 1 ½ of the stinger hook overall length) to allow the hook in the loop to be changed. The trailing loop should be firmly tied on the shank, then doubled over itself and lashed in again. These thread wraps are finished by soaking them with superglue. Tinsel: After the stinger hook is lashed on and superglued, tie in 4 strands of thin pearl flashabou and one strand of silver holographic tinsel lashed in on both sides of the shank and out towards the tail. I trim the strands to a length about equal to the what the first stack of bucktail will be tied in at. I tie the first bucktail bundle in at about 1.5 -2 times the articulated shank length. Ballast: made of a combination of the weighted red eye and lead wire. Wind the thread down to the eye run after tying in the stinger hook and tinsel. Lash in a short piece of 0.030 (0.76mm) or so lead wire tied in behind the hook eye and route it on around either side of the flat portion of the eye run and then cover with thread. The ballast combo balances the weight of the cable and trailer hook hanging out the opposite end of the fly and keep fly upright and level in the water. That said, leaving off the ballast makes the fly tend to turn up on its side in the water-- a presentation that can be effective at times. Note: Weighting using the red eye and(or) lead wire should be done judiciously as Blonde flies are generally tied in a lightweight, easily castable, style that makes the fly sink slowly-- if at all—because of liberal use of buoyant bucktail hairs in the pattern. Red-Eye: A red-eye is specified because one of the prominent features I notice in injured prey fish is that they often appear to have blood in their cornea or aqueous humor that gives the fish a red eye around a black pupil. The weighted eyes are used along with ballast to balance the fly. The red-eye spec, in order of heaviest to lightest weight as needed to balance the fly (all Hareline brands): a red small-size tungsten predator-eye to a brass pseudo-eye to a small aluminum sea eye with red-eye insert of your choice glued in. The red eye is tied in on the upper side of eye run a little off of center towards the keel run. After the red eye is lashed in, superglue it to the thread covered eye run and underlying ballast to lock the assembly in place. Also, consider supergluing the thread wound on across the shank to make a firm foundation for the bucktail bundles that follow. First Bundle: Cut-out a bundle of long bucktail hairs that, after cleaning out the short hairs, yields a bundle about the thickness of two toothpicks. All the bundles are the same color on a given fly. Again, tie in the bucktail bundle at roughly two times the shank length. Recommended: superglue each bundle after they are lashed in—but it can delay further tying until the glue sets. Keep in mind that it is easy to overdress this fly as there are a three more bundles of bucktail coming--so keep each bundle small: To reiterate--after cleaning out the short hairs, the bundle should be about the diameter of two toothpicks. Second Bundle: Tied in at the midpoint of keel run at about the mid-point with the butts continuing out over the red eye towards the hook eye. The bucktail tips are cut at a reverse angle (i.e., cut the hairs shortest closest to the shank) with a length that, when lashed down, tapers towards and lays down just short of the tippet loop. Third Bundle: Forms a wing that supports the marabou wing and holds the wing up at acute angle over the Body run. Tied in on keel run and then the butts are routed out over the red eye. The bucktail tips are then finished like the second stack just behind the tippet loop. Fourth Bundle: Bottom of eye run. As described above, the butts of the hairs are trimmed at an angle and tied down just short of the tippet loop. Fifth Bundle: Depending on the number of longer barbs on the quill, add 1 or 2 marabou blood quill tips that form a second wing tied in on top of third stack. Continue to wind the thread around the head to capture all of the tag ends of the bucktail and to give the head a finished look. Whip finish. Coat thread and bucktail head on the eye run with Superglue. _____________________ References Bates, J. D. 1979, Streamers and Bucktails: Knopf, NY. 395 p. See pp.127-129 about keel hooks & pp.125-126 about blonde flies. Colegrave, B. and Gaunt, J., 1990, Bucktails and Hoochies: Heritage House Publishing Co., Surrey, BC, Canada. 94 pages. See p.15. Galloup, K., 2019, Modern Streamers for Trophy Trout II. Dean Publishing, Cameron, MT. 170 pages. Stacked blonde-- See p.103 and pp.96-97. Galloup, K., 1999, in Linsenman, B. and Galloup, K., 1999, Modern Streamers for Trophy Trout. Countryman Press, Woodstock, VT. 160 pages. See pp.134-135. Probst, D., 1974, Fish the Impossible Places: The Story of the Keel Fly: Freshet Press, NY. 160p. Proper, D. C., 1982, What the Trout Said: Knopf, NY. 273 p. See pp.93-94. Valla, M., 2016, Tying & Fishing Bucktails. Stackpole Books, Lantham, Md. 227p. See pp.22-23.
  7. First of all, I prefer the look of the natural terminations on bucktail streamer. Of course, if you prefer you can cut off the tips-- But-- you need consider what the impact of cutting off the bucktail tips has on what your fly design is trying to accomplish. Folks often tie streamers with bucktail because it adds action in the tail portion of the fly. So, while I don't know what type of fly you are tying or the goal of your fly design is, there may be a downside to cutting off the tips--it's going to make the cutoff hairs thicker and as a result, stiffer. Consequently, it seems to me that, for my use, a streamer tied with cutoff bucktail is not going to be as freely moving or animated as a fly tied with bucktail that still has its natural tips. Correct me if I'm wrong, but to me, in his somewhat fuzzy picture it looks like flytire is advocating stacking the butts in the stacker and cutting off the tips of the bucktail to even up the bundle of hairs. That is my impression after looking at flytire's post and that is the issue that my reply above was addressing. Perhaps flytire could clarify what procedure his post is advocating and help us understand it.
  8. ________________________________________________________________________________________ A video of hair stacking using this technique is posted on YouTube at https://youtu.be/9gv1tyfNylw ________________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Making a Homemade Aluminum Stack Tube for a Large-size Zippy Stacker Aluminum tube used in the video: 5.5-inch, 140mm long; Outside Diameter: 0.75-inch, 19mm. The wall thickness is 0.04-inch, 1mm, leading to an inside diameter of 0.67-inch, 17mm. The outside diameter (OD) of the tube needs to be close to 0.75 inch, 19mm, so the stack tube is loosely held when inserted in a large-size Loon hair-stacker with an internal diameter of 13/16-inch, 21mm and an internal height of 2-inches, 50mm. Keeping the tube loose in the 2-inch high stacker allows it to jiggle, wiggle and roll during the stacking process which promotes getting the hairs detached from each other and settled to the bottom. Note that other than the using a tube with an OD that allows wiggling, within reason, wall thickness and length of the tube can vary to suit the tube you have in house or the hair you intend to stack. The stack tube is easy to make at home with just a ruler, a hacksaw, fine sandpaper, and steel wool. Measure out a 5.5-inch (140mm) length of tube-- a length will handle almost all bucktail hair lengths. Scribe an approximately 20-degree angle at the 5.5-inch mark. This angle cut opens up a port in the tube so that the hairs can be seen in the 1/4-inch (6.3mm) tall observation window of the Zippy stacker. Cut the tube to length while tilting the saw at an approximately 20-degree angle to follow the scribed line. Deburr and polish both ends of the tube using fine sandpaper and then the steel wool...and its ready to use. Optimal Bucktail Specs: The straightest, smoothest hairs that have little or no crinkle in them will give the best result in the stacking process. Stack Tube: Pros 1. The tube is Inexpensive and simple to make. A large Loon Zippy hair stacker is US$27 in 2023. 2. Uses a static-resistant aluminum tube. The possibility of static cling is why an aluminum tube is preferable to a plastic tube. If needed in a pinch, a plastic tube does OK in the dry climate I live in. Results may be worse in a humid climate. 3. Bundles of bucktail hair can be introduced into either end of the stack tube. 4. Theoretically, no limit on length of hair that can be stacked-- you just need to cut longer tube. The open-end design means that theoretically can stack with hair sticking out the top. However, as shown in the video and discussed below, hair can be lost out of the open tube. 5. Large internal diameter of stack tube, at about 0.675 inch (17mm OD), is an advantage in getting the individual bucktail hairs to separate during the stacking process. 6. That the stack tube is loose in the Zippy hair-stacker also promotes settling of the bucktail hairs when the hair stacker/tube assembly is held just off of vertical and jiggled, bounced and rolled along with a dead-blow style of tamping action. 7. Observation window built into the Zippy stacker can be aligned with the angled end of the stack tube so that the progress of stacking can be observed...and the process continued if the result is inadequate. The degree of stacking success-- defined as the proportion of hairs aligned at the bottom of the stack tube can assessed by first making an estimate of the number of hairs put in the tube, say 50 hairs. Then, after completing the dead-blow, jiggling and rolling cycle, look into the observation port and judge the number of hairs number of hairs aligned at the bottom of the stack tube, as you know, as this value approaches 50, the stacking success approaches 100%. Cons: 1. The stack tube is open ended – so it is possible to slide or throw the hair out of the open top. this issue is fixed by using dead blows rather than a swinging motion to settle the hair. 2. The hinged base of Zippy stacker is held closed by magnets and that base can open while tapping or jiggling the assembled tube and Zippy base. This issue is solved by holding assembled stacker base and tube together during use. Notes: a. A successful stack is something like 95%+ of the bucktail aligned on the bottom of the stacker. This level of stacking can be achieved when using optimal bucktail hair, a stack tube and an appropriate dead-blow and jiggling action. b. If a tapered tail is desired on a fly, it's better not to use a tube stacker as having hair end at different points as the end of the bucktail bundle is approached lengths leads to a gradually thinning hair bundle that gradually thins out to a point. _______________ I suggest reading the following article to understand the hair stacking process and strategies to improve your hair stacking results. https://globalflyfisher.com/tie-better-tying-tools/stacking-material
  9. It will be interesting to see if the pattern can cross over to smallies. Bass seem to like flies that have enhanced animation
  10. Photograph 1. A white belly matuka tied with a single reverse-tied wing and belly feather. The fly shown is about 2.25 inches (57 mm) long ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Video of tying a White Belly Matuka is posted on Youtube. A video of why the White Belly matuka was developed and how it is tied is posted on YouTube: youtu.be/nLCGD9ombPQ ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Development of the White Belly Matuka The White-Belly Matuka was developed for fishing the upper Arkansas River in Colorado whose preyfish are mostly baby or fingerling brown trout. The classic Matuka pattern is redesigned for this role by adding a belly feather to fill in the body and increase the motility of the fly. In white belly design, the over-the-top wired-down wing feathers of the classic Matuka are given increased action by tying in one or two reversed-tied olive grizzly marabou feathers, that is, tied in with their quill end towards the rear of the hook. One or two reverse-tied white mini-marabou feather are also tied in under the hook adding a belly to the fly. These reverse tied feathers flow in the water giving the fly an animated look and allowing it to swim much like a prey fish. The Matuka tail is made to be more freely moving by using one or two soft-hackle dyed-olive grizzly-marabou feathers that can impart a swimming action when the fly is fished appropriately. While increasing the movey action of the fly, these changes also act to flesh out the classic matuka’s slender-minnow look into a fuller football shaped body more like that of a brown trout fingerling. Amber-colored barred silicone leg material maybe added to the sides of the fly to suggest lateral lines but also act to impart an additional source of movement. The final touch is adding parr marks on a baby brown trout design. Including parr marks on baby brown trout flies is important on the upper Arkansas River because it is managed as a wild-trout fishery and therefore has all age classes present. Parr marks are associated with young wild-trout because most stocked trout are older and have already lost them when put in a river or lake. Further, stocked trout are usually slimmer and paler in colored markings and more silvery overall, than a comparable wild-bred brown-trout which can be densely spotted and barred as well as brightly colored. While there are many baby brown trout designs out there most do not include parr marks—and are seemingly adapted from the look of a stocked brown-trout. In the White Belly matuka, the 7 to 9 major parr marks on the yellowish sides on wild trout fingerlings are represented by the dark-barring seen on the yellowish field of a golden-olive grizzly feather tied in along both sides of the fly. By Fall, fingerling trout, depending on nutrient availability, genetic factors and so forth, have grown to a several inches in length-- setting a target length of single hook fly pattern of around two inches including the tail or articulating a doubled pattern to make a 2.5 to 3 inch inch fly. Like others, I have found that on smaller rivers, like the Upper Arkansas, the trout often respond well to these smaller, often single hook streamers in the 2-3 inch range but, like frequently observed, there are no rules only generalizations in terms of what trout like. Fishing the White belly Matuka Of course, there are many ways for a trout to approach a fly and strike it. But in my experience there are two general approaches that trout use: the first one is to come up directly behind and attack from the rear of the fish --where all fish have a blind spot (for an example, see youtu.be/DD_p5oC7XpU). From the directly behind point of view, I think its the swimming motion of the fly is key in luring the trout to bite. The second way trout approach prey is a flank or broadside attack where my thinking is that flank shape coloration and markings are increasingly important to making the fish bite. The flank approach is mostly seen in attacking trout that are ambushing the preyfish from, say, an undercut bank, rolling up and over from, say, a river bottom lie, or in the case of the upper Arkansas River, waiting in soft water commonly found near the rip-rapped riverbanks that are commonly found along the river. In the rivers I fish, the flank approach and assault from a near-bank lie is the most common strike that I see. However, to cover both types of approaches you want to fish a motile fly made with the expected flank look over a range of retrieves from dead drift to active-erratic to swing until you find out what is triggering trout that day. In any case, the parr marks are distinctive flank markings on baby brown trout flies that often trigger strikes from the large cannibal trout in the upper Arkansas River. White-Belly Matuka Recipe-- Baby Brown Trout Variant General notes: 1. A rotary vice has an advantage when tying this fly. The rotary action makes it easy to flip the fly back and forth to view and properly place the wing and belly feather on the centerline of the top and bottom of the hook shank, respectively. The rotary action also allows the tier inspect the far side of the fly when the wing and body binding wire is spiraled forward to avoid both rolling the feathers around the fly and tying down too many feather barbs. 2. The white belly matuka is thought of as enhanced animation design-concept whose body form and length as well as coloration should be adapted to the local preyfish in your area. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Hook: Gamakatsu B10 in size 1 or 2: Or other wide gap, streamer length, stinger style hook. In any case, use a wide gap hook to assure the hook point is well clear of the fly body and belly feather(s). Weight: 6mm black Brass cone. The weight is needed to get the buoyant marabou to sink quickly for immediate retrieve. If needed, the weight of the conehead maybe supplemented by using a heavy backer bead Backer bead: a bead placed behind the cone to center the cone and when firmly tied in and glued with UV-setting adhesive to lock the assembly on the hook shank. Use a 3-4mm, round bead with a hole large enough to thread on the hook yet small enough to slip inside the countersunk conehead. in order of increasing additional added weight to fly, the bead can be 8/0 plastic or glass, 4mm brass, or 4mm tungsten. Zap-a-gap superglue can also be used in this application but when applied in thick layers can take a while to set. Thread: Nanosilk: 50D in olive color. The heavier thread is used so that it can be firmly pulled on when winding the chenille body to the cinch it tightly to the hook shank. The thread is tied in behind backer bead and used to build up the thread base there to lock cone and backer bead in place behind eye of the hook. Add enough UV-setting glue to fill end of cone and harden it there with your UV light. Then put a single layer thread base over the hook shank ending up at the rear of the hook shank so that the tail can be tied in. Tail: The tail is done in the classic Matuka style but uses one or two grizzly marabou dyed sculpin olive feathers-- that when stripped of the downy barbs and tied in at hook top of the hook bend so that the vane of the feather can extend out the rear of the fly far enough to double the length of the fly. For example, on a size two B10 hook, tie in the tail so that the overall length of fly pattern 2 – 2.5 inches (50-65mm). Ribbing wire: Small or brassie size (0.1 to 0.2mm) silver wire. Tied in at rear of hook shank just ahead of the tail Body: Petite Estatz pearl or medium Cactus chenille pearl (both are about the same diameter). The barbs of this type of chenille is thought to help hold the feathers in position as the wire is wrapped over them. The chenille is tied in at rear of hook shank and tightly spiraled forward to back of conehead. As you wind forward, every few turns pull on the chenille to assure that it is firmly wound to make it a tight body for the wing and belly feathers to attach to. When the chenille reaches the rear of the conehead firmly tie it off with several wraps of thread and cut off chenille tag end. Return the thread back to the rear of the hook shank while weaving the thread back and forth through the chenille to reduce the tie down of the chenille barbs. Rear bridge tuft: A small stack of sculpin-olive grizzly marabou barbs tied in on top of the hook bend to close gap between tail and wing. Only needed if the stripped grizzly marabou tail feathers are too short or sparse to close this gap by themselves. Lately, I have had a hard time finding feathers long enough to form the tail and wing with one feather. So I have taken to tying a tail feather and wing feather and, if needed, filling in the gap between them with a bridge tuft. Wing feather: Select a sculpin-olive or olive grizzly marabou feather that has a long enough strip of long barbs that it can span the entire chenille body. Strip this quill of downy barbs and the short barbs side of the feather and then tied in reverse at the rear of the hook shank-- that is with the quill heading out over the rear of the hook shank. If the wing feathers available are not thick enough, I may tie in a second prepared wing feather. But keep in mind that further overdressing the wings, belly and tail feathers can inhibit their swimming motion in water. Belly feather: White mini-marabou, sometimes called by the trademarked name, chickabou. Select a long-barbed feather that, after being stripped of the downy barbs, is wide enough to span the across the entire hook shank from the hook bend to the rear of the cone. Inspect the feather and strip off the side of the feather with the shorter barbs to make a half feather still on the quill. This half feather is tied in with thread under the hook shank at the hook bend and also-- reversed-- with the feather quill out to the rear. Now, return the thread to the front of the hook shank while weaving the thread back and forth through the chenille to reduce the tie down of the chenille barbs Spiral ribbing wire forward from hook bend to behind cone head. Make about 4 or 5 turns through both the wing and belly fibers tightening the wire after each turn to cinch down the feathers to the chenille body. Front bridge tuft: A small stack of sculpin-olive grizzly marabou barbs tied in on top of the hook bend to close gap between the conehead and wing. Again the tuft is added only if the stripped grizzly marabou tail feathers are too short or sparse to close this gap by themselves. Parr marks: The tip of a golden-olive dyed grizzly feather on each side of the hook shank. The feather shaft is centered along the hook shank and the tip of the feather extends out to near the hook bend. Note that the point where the feather is tied into the head of the fly must be near the diameter of the body or else the feather will flare out when tied in. Sidebars: Mobile elements tied in just behind conehead and extending to just past hook bend. Lateral line: 1) Amber colored silicone legging material with black barring; and, 2) Flank flash: I add in one strip of 1/32” holographic silver flashabou or mylar pearl tinsel to suggest the silvery flashes seen in the clips of the feeding forage fish shown in White Belly Matuka YouTube tying video. Collar: Dark olive ice dubbing spun on a waxed portion of the thread. The dubbed collar fills the gap between the rear of the cone and the chenille body. Whip finish just behind the rear of the cone and allow the thread to slide in under the cone and the collar dubbing. Optional Articulation: Tie the lead fly on a Gamakatsu B10 size 2-4 hook and the trailing fly on a MFC ring eye hook in size 4-6. Add skirts instead of tail on the lead fly. See general articulation procedures outlined in the Kelly Galloup videos: youtu.be/gQvQ6OwTCrg & youtu.be/PFJ5PhVLU48
  11. Just to be clear, I apply the term 'emerger' more broadly than most folks. As I use the term, it includes immediate pre-hatch and hatch stages that the angler can detect on the stream and use to select an appropriate fly pattern-- beginning with the formation of dark wing pads in mayflies that signal that a subadult is forming within the shuck and ending with failed adults that cannot free themselves from the nearly shed shuck (cripples) or drowned adults (stillborns) that did not achieve flight. As I use it, ' emergers' are the stage of life between nymphs and a successful dun.
  12. Youtube link to a video about developing the design and tying a Canopy emerger: youtu.be/4quvpoIFxH0 ____________________________ Canopy emergers, as the video shows, are a new style of bubble back emerger designs built onto an American-style pheasant tail nymph or a Zebra midge pupa pattern. Added to these patterns is a tinsel-filled tube that looks like the shiny bubbled-up thorax like seen on a natural floating emerger. Application of the canopy wing design is not restricted to these two nymphs but can be added to many other mayfly and midge patterns to make them into bubble emergers. As such the Canopy Emerger represents a pattern style, adaptable to your favorite nymph pattern, that can be also adjusted in size, degree of wing deployment and color to match mayflies and midges at various degrees of emergence. Images and observations presented in the video support a theory that excessive or catastrophic loss of gases from the loosening and bulging shuck formed during the subadult’s development and emergence can, at any stage trap the subadult in its own shuck—for example, the commonly seen split-case nymph. Therefore, emergers should be designed for a wide range of stages from a darkened wing-case on through to a failed emerger stage. First image: Pheasant Tail Canopy Emerger. The hook shank on this fly is about 5mm long. Second image: Zebra Midge Pupa Canopy Emerger. The hook shank on this fly is about 4mm long. ______________________________________________________________________________ Mayfly Recipe: Canopy Emerger shown above is built on top of an American pheasant-tail nymph chassis. Hook: Light canopy emerger variant for shallow subsurface drifts: Tiemco 206BL in size 16 to 20. For smaller sizes, I use Daiichi 1140 hooks, size 18 to 24. For a size 26 midge, I use the Gamakatsu C12BM. Heavy variant for deeper subsurface drifts: I use Tiemco hooks: 2487 BL size 16 – 20, or 2488 size 16 -22. Bead: Light variant: 2mm gold-colored plastic bead with hole or no bead at all when fishing over skittish fish. These light beads are called spacer beads and I found them on Ebay- as small as 2mm in silver and gold color amongst other colors. Heavy variant: 1.5mm to 2 mm gold bead. Thread: 30 Denier Semperfli Nano-Silk in copper color for the pheasant tail variant Ribbing: Very small 0.1mm diameter silver-colored stainless steel wire or, in order of decreasing bling, gold to amber-colored very small wire. Shuck: -- one strand of root-beer color midge-flash about an inch and a half (40mm) long tied in, folded over itself and tied off. Then trim to about ¾ shank length. I also use about five translucent light-brown guard hairs cut from a patch of muskrat fur tied in at the proper length and the tips untrimmed. Abdomen: Two copper brown fibers from the center tail of a ringneck pheasant. I use feathers sourced in Europe have an exceptionally large usable section of copper-colored feather from Feathercraft.com. Tubing Wing Case +/- underlying flashback: Use small diameter clear pliable plastic tubing like that marketed for fly tying. Use a size that will make a wing case in proper proportion to the size of the fly. As shown in the video, I cut off a 1 ½ (40mm) inch piece of medium (size 16) to small tubing (size 18) pull in small to midge size Mylar silver tinsel to make what I call a “Tinsel Tube.” As the hook sizes decrease further, I go to a silver wire pushed into the micro-size tubing as shown in the video. If a thicker wing case is desired, I tie in a flash tube piece at its middle then fold both ends over the flashback and thorax and lash in behind bead. Thorax: Before the tubing wing and optional flash back are pulled over the thorax, I dub in a small ball of dubbing to make the thorax. I use Sybai fine flash dubbing in “black” color as my peacock color for an American style pheasant tail. Collar: Optional—but often used because it can make a crossover fly that seems to suggest caddis emergers as well as returning egg-layers that become drowned adults. White or Light dun CDC oil puff fibers tied in just behind bead to project out over hook shank about ¾ of the way to the hook bend Whip finish. Variations: See video for images of canopy emerger variants. Here is one not mentioned there that is useful pre-hatch time when the fish may key in on nymphs with dark wing case: 1. Ready Baetis variant-- a Baetis nymph nearing hatch time-- imitate a pre-hatch dark wing pads by using dyed black or dark brown micro-tubing as a wing case pulled in a low arc over the thorax peacock dubbing. 2. V-wing Canopy emerger built on Zebra midge pupa chassis Hook: Tiers choice. I use Tiemco 206bl, size 16-20, Tiemco 2488 size 18 – 22. or Daiichi 1140 hooks, size 18 to 24. For size 26, the Gamakatsu C12BM. Bead: 1.5mm gold, silver or black or none-- to match angler preference, local species, whether you want a shallow or deep drifting fly, and how skittish the fish are. Thread: Black 20D Nanosilk. Body: Black thread Ribbing: Gold, silver or black or none to match local species and how skittish the fish are. Trailing shuck: Midge flash, Root beer color-- or none (=drowned fully emerged adult). Trimmed to about equal to shank length or so. Wing: (1) Clear micro-tubing with silver or white wire inserted. Tie in the wire wing in the middle of the tubing behind bead or hook eye and bend to pose it back low over hook shank; Trim to about hook shank length: Wing (2) Loop of same wire-in-tubing with cut ends tied in flat behind bead or hook eye and covered with dubbing and bend it to pose it low over the back of the hook shank. Length of loop-- extend to near hook bend. Thorax: touch dubbing using Sybai fine flash in black or dyed black beaver fur, cut off hide, stripped of guard hairs. Spin the thread to tighten up dubbing into a fuzzy noodle.
  13. I posted a video showing water tank tests of Foam Tag streamers to explain visually how a class 2 lever is another way of balancing streamers. The video includes a demonstration of using a "Tippet test" to determine, while at the vise, if a weighted fly needs to have a foam tag added to make it a balanced fly. https://youtu.be/Wg9zgNRh-E4
  • Create New...