Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Mayfly Nymph

Step by step instructions for a basic mayfly nymph imitation.  This is a generic upwing pattern and the size and color can be adjusted to suit the species you wish to imitate.  Follow me on twitter or instagram @flickinfeathers for more fishing content.
Materials used
Hook: Nymph hook 8-18
Weight: lead wire
Thread: Uni 8/0
Tail: Brahma hen fibres
Body: Life cycle dubbing
Rib: Thread
Thorax cover: Pheasant tail

Turbo Popper Billfish Fly

Step by step instructions for a billfish tube with a  Rainy's turbo popper head. for some serious disturbance.  Tie them in your preferred colour combinations and sizes for the offshore fish near you.  Although it's designed for billfish like marlin and sailfish, don't hesitate to chuck it at Mahi's kingifsh or others that come up on the spread.
Materials used
Large plastic tube
Semperfli Nano silk 3/0
Saltwater flashabou
several saddle feathers
rainy's turbo popping head
15mm flat tape eyes

Monday, 27 February 2017

Klingons on the starboard bow

step by step instructions for Peter Morse's Klingon bill fish fly.  This fly has proven to be effective in Australia and Malaysia among other locations.
Check out Morsie's website here

Large plastic tube
Thread: White 3/0
Super hair: white + a contrasting colour
pearl flash
krystal flash
Saddle hackles, white + contrasting colour
10mm eyes
Loon UV thick

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Sawyer's Pheasant Tail

Step by step instructions for Frank Sawyer's classic.  The pheasant tail nymph has spawned countless variations but the original remains a firm favorite of many.  This fly is very simple, requiring only 2 materials but causes problems for some, hopefully this video will help.  Follow me on twitter or instagram @flickinfeathers for more fishing content.
Materials Used
Hook:Nymph hook 16-20
Thread: fine redish copper wire
Tail/body/thorax cover: pheasant tail fibres

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Tying A Cam Sigler Big Game Tube

Step by step instructions for the classic bill fish fly Cam Sigler's Big Game Tube.  It's been a mainstay of the billfish fly fishing scene for years and contineus to work for  marlin, sailfish and other pelagic species too.  It's not the most difficult tie, but will make you burn through a lot of materials.
Materials used
Large diameter plastic tube
Thread: 3/0 (I use semperfli nanosilk)
Tail:Saddle hackles 12-18 in contrasting colours
Flash:Saltwater flashabou
Colar: Several plumes of marabou
Eyes:large eyes of your choice
UV resin
Popper: Cam Sigler Popping head 

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Tungsten bead caddis

Step by step instructions for a simple but effective nymph pattern that works for trout, grayling and other species too. Adjust the size and  weight to suit where your fishing.
Follow me on twitter or instagram @flickinfeathers for more fishing content
Materials Used
Hook: Knapek Gammarus 8-16
Weight: Tungsten bead
Thread: Dark UTC
Shell back: Sybai fine flex
Body: Ice dub
Rib :4lb Nylon

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

The straggler

Here are instruvtions for an effective little nymph pattern I've been working on.  It's a quick, easy tie that works well for trout and grayling. Follow me on twitter or instagram @flickinfeathers for more flishing content.
Materials used
Hook: Knapek jig size 10-16
Weight: Tungsten bead
Tail: Egg yarn
Abdomen: Straggle string
Hackle : CDC feather
Thorax: ice dub

Monday, 20 February 2017

Straggle String Caddis Larva

Step by step instructions for a simple but effective caddis imitation.  Try this anywhere you'd fish Czech or European style nymphs.
Hook: Knapek Gammarus14-6
Weight: flat lead
Thread: Semperfli Nano silk
Rib: 4lb mono
Shell back: Sybai fine stretch
Body: Semperfli straggle string

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Flash tail foxy minnow

Step by step instructions for a slight twist on Dan Blanton's flash tail clouser.  This pattern is a killer for anything that eats baitfish from bass, to pike to snook and others.
Materials Used
Hook: Mustad 32786BLN
Weight:Pseudo Eyes
Thread: Danvilles Flat Waxed Nylon
Tail:Sybai New Sparkle hair
Body: Synthetic Dubbing
Belly: white fleece or fox tail
Wing : fox tail

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Bend back

Step by step instructions for a classic bendback pattern.  These little bait fish are almost completely weedless and great around structure and grass. Tie them in a range of colours of sizes to suit your target species whether its redfish in the grass or largemouth on docks or any other species that eats minnows or other small bait.
materials used
Hook: Tiemco 411S
Thread 6/0
Weight(optional) flat lead
Body: Flash material coated with UV resin
Wing 1: Bucktail, and flash (Sybai new sparkle hair)
Wing 2: Saddle hackles
Eyes: 5mm 3D eyes

Reed smut

Step by step instructions for tying a simple reed smut imitation.  Small black flies like this are well worth a place in your box for those days when the fish are preoccupied and won't look at anything bigger.
twitter @flickinfeathers
Materials used
Tiemco 2487BL 20-28
Thread: Black Veevus 10/0
Wing:CDC and a couple of strands of flash
Body: Black Superfine dubbing

Friday, 17 February 2017

Perdigon Nymph

Number 12 in the fly tying for beginners series is a basic Perdigon nymph.  These are great little nymphs for  Czech, French and other European style nymphing.  You can make them more complex if you want to by adding a rib, quill body or flashback etc. but you'll catch plenty of trout and grayling on the simplest versions.
Materials Used
Hook: Jig hook 14-16( I used Knapek)
Head: Slotted tungsten bead
Weight: .015 lead wire
Tail: Coq de Leon
Body : Veevus 10/0
Collar: Contrasting Veevus 10/0
Wing case: Black nail polish
Coating: UV resin

The Ultimate Shrimp

Step by step instructions for a variation of the Ultimate Shrimp.  A truly deadly flats pattern for a wide range of species including bonefish, permit and trigger fish.  Tie some and try them for your next flats trip.
Materials used
Hook: Gamakatsu SL12 or similar
Legs: silli legs
Mouthparts:  marabou
Eyes: EP crab eyes or similar
Weight: dumbell eyes
Body: UV resin (optional Loon sparkle powder)

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Dirty Sub

Detailed instructions for a nice little carp bug that's ideal for waters where the fish prefer a smaller fly.  I like small beadhead bugs for carp but wanted something that would fish hook up while still maintaining the small profile.
Tie them in a range of weights and colours to suit where you're fishing.
Materials used
Hook: Owner C5 boilie hook size 4
Thread: Veevus 10/0
Weight: tungsten bead mounted on 20lb mono
Legs: black and white barred sillileg
Tail: Chickabou
Body: Semperfli straggle string
Hackle: Whiting Brahma hen

Wednesday, 15 February 2017


Step by step instructions for a simple but effective subsurface bass fly. I've designed this fly to be a quick and simple tie, try them in various colors and sizes to suit the waters you're fishing for large mouth, small mouth and others.
 Materials Used
Hook: Tiemco 200R size 4-10
Thread: Danville's flat waxed nylon
Weed guard: 20lb Mono
Weight: dumbells to painted to match color scheme
Tail: marabou, 2 colors
Flash: Sybai new sparkle Hair
Body: rear 2/3 Sybai spectra flash dubbing front 1/3 SLF
Collar: Silicon legs

Euro Nymphing 101

This series showed up on my suggestions page and I gave it a look, quite well put together and good tips for anyone looking to start out with short line nymphing.  My only bugbear is that they only fished 2 flies, I'm not sure about regs in America, but back home in Scotland I always fished 3 which allows for more control of depth through switching flies and positions

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

CDC dun

Step by step instructions for a simple but effective CDC dun.  I've tied this version as a PMD but you can change the size or colour to match the naturals you want to imitate.
Hook: Tiemco 103BL size13-21
Thread: veevus 10/0
Tail: Coq de Leon
Abdomen: Turkey biots
Wing : CDC
Thorax: Superfine dry fly dubbing.

Monday, 13 February 2017

Marty's Minimal Mud Bug

Detailed instructions for a simple little crayfish imitation that I've developed over the last year or two, it's a quick easy tie and well worth a place in your fly box. Try it for bass, carp and others.
Materials Used
Hook: TMC 200R size 4-8
Thread: 6/0
Weight. 0.035 Lead wire
Tail: Rabbit zonker
Body: Blend of Sybai SLF and spectra flash dubbing
Rib: Medium wire
Legs: Medium round rubber

Red Tag Jig

Step by step instructions for an easy to tie, but deadly nymph pattern. The red tag will work for trout, grayling and others, so should find a place in any nymph fisher's box.  Follow me on twitter or instagram for more fishing content  @flickinfeathers
Materals used
Hook: Knapek jig 12-16
Bead: slotted tungsten
Thread: dark 8/0
Tag: Flame glo bug yarn
Body: peacock herl
Rib: silver oval tinsel or wire
Thorax: black ice dub

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Bob Clouser's Deep Minnow

Step By step instructions for tying Bob Clouser's famous deep minnow, This fly is absolutely deadly and will catch pretty much anything that swims.   It's a simple pattern, but one that a lot of people struggle to get right, hopefully this video will help.
Materials used
Hook: Gamakatsu S10S 4H
Thread: 6/0
Body/wing: Bucktail and flash
Weight: Dumbbell eyes

Grayling Bomb!

Step by step instructions for a really effective river bug. Don't be fooled by the name, this fly works for trout, carp and barbel as well as grayling. Find me on twitter or instagram @flicking feathers for more fishing content.
Materials used
Hook: Knapek Gammarus 8-12
Weight: 2 tungsten beads
Thread: Fl orange or pink
Rib: silver oval tinsel
Body: Glister sparkle dubbing

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Bibio Perdigon Nymph

Step by step instructions for an effective perdigon variation.  These little nymphs are highly effective for both trout and grayling and  well worth their place in any nymph box. For more fishing content find me on twitter or instagram @fickinfeathers
Materials Used
Hook: Jig hook 14-18
Bead: Black slotted tungsten
Thread: Black
Tail: Cock hackle fibres
Rib: pearl crystal flash
Thorax: Red tinsel
Thorax cover: black nail polish
top coat UV resin

Nich Fish

Detailed tying instructions for a simple but effective baitfish fly  that works well in both fresh and salt water try them for fry feeding trout in lakes or seabass from the beach and many more.
Materials used
Hook: Gamakatsu S10 S4H
Thread: Fly master plus
Body: SF blend or some other fibre you like
Head: foam dowel
Eyes: 3D eyes of your choice

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Rigging for Sailfish

After our Sailfish trip to Rompin in November I've had a few questions about the equipment needed to tackle old stick face. The following  information is by no means definitive, but should prove useful to anyone looking to try their hand at sails on fly.  And you should all be looking to!

Rods, Reels and Line 

You're looking at #12 outfits here. We all have our preferred brands and models, and on this trip there were rods from Sage, Redington, TFO and Colton on the boat.  Although all of them got it done, the Colton blue water stick which was a bit heavier seemed to be putting more strain on the angler than the fish at times but had excellent lifting power near the boat, it's probably a great stick for fighting tuna.
Obviously you need a reel to match your rod, quality brands that you trust and have confidence in are a must.  I mostly used a Tibor Gulfstream loaded with 300yards of 65lb backing and a Rio GT line for poppers. The guide's choice was a Nautilus.  I also had a Redington Behemoth with a similar amount of backing and a Rio Leviathan 500grain integrated head.  The Behemoth proved more than up to the task and, I think,  goes a long way to making this kind of fishing more accessible to a greater number of anglers.

Don't be under-gunned, I've heard of people fishing 10 weight outfits for sails and, while it's possible, I wouldn't do it.  12 is no where near too heavy and it's better for the fish, if we can beat them quickly.

Flies and Leaders

We weren't fishing IGFA leaders, but if you want to you can check out Cam Sigler's website for leader formulas.  Juan, the head guide at Sportfishing Asia generally fishes a straight 6ft (180cm) length of 60-100lb fluorocarbon. This is fine, but I prefer to have a class section that would allow me to break the fish off if a shark appears on the scene during the fight.  I used a 3ft (90cm) section of 100lb flouro and a 3ft section of 30lb fluoro with bimini twists in each end. The connections from shock tippet to leader was a slim beauty tied with one of the bimini loops, the other end was loop-to-looped to welded loop in the fly line, still fairly simple but with a breakable section in case of emergencies.

You don't need a huge number of flies for sailfish.  A selection of Sigler style big game tubes with popping heads, some Klingons and flashy profile flies, all  rigged with double 6/0-8/0 Gamakatsu octopus hooks snelled to the shock tippet.

If you would like a bill fish fly pack, don't hesitate to get in touch with me to arrange an order.

I hope this has shed some light on the gear you need to catch sailfish on fly. It can be a bit intimidating, but it's actually much simpler than a lot of people may think.

wooly bugger

Step by step instructions for a basic Wooly Bugger.  This classic streamer is a great pattern for beginner tyers and can be used as a jumping off point for other streamers and variations.
Materials Used
Hook: Long shank streamer
Thread: 6/0
Tail: Marabou
Flash: Crystal flash or similar
Rib: Wire
Body: wooly bugger chenille
Hackle: Cock Saddle hackle

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

the Frenchie

Step by step instructions for the Frenchie. This deadly variation on the pheasant tail originated in the competition scene, but is well worth a space in any nymph box.
Follow me on twitter or instagram @flickinfeathers
Materials used.
Hook: 12-18 jig (or standard nymph hook)
Bead:Gold tungsten bead to suit.
Thread: Fluoro Pink
Tail: pheasant tail fibres
Abdomen: pheasant tail
Rib: copper wire
Thorax: UV pink ice dubbing (chartreuse , orange and red are also good)

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Deer Hair Primer Part 2

In part 2 of the deer hair primer. In this installment I'm looking at choosing hair and the hooks I like to use. Hopefully you'll now feel a bit more confident in the materials you'll be using before we move on to simple techniques in the next part.

Clouser Floating Minnow

Detailed instructions for Bob Clouser's floating minnow.  This fly excels in situations where fish are reluctant to hit a noisier surface fly but still want a surface silhouette. Designed for smallmouth bass but highly effective for predatory gamefish the world over.  Slide it slowly across the surface or twitch it near structure and hold on.
Materials Used
Hook: Gamakatsu SC15 (but use what you like)
Thread: Flat waxed nylon
Throat: Red crystal flash
Body/tail: 2 colours of Bucktail with flash between
Head:2 Foam bug bodies
Eyes: flat tape eyes
Top coat: UV resin or epoxy mixed with fine glitter.

It comes from a land down under!

Guerilla Bug

Detailed instructions for a tasty little surface pattern from Australia.  The Guerilla bug is  a pretty snag proof little surface fly that works well for bass, panfish,  mangrove jacks and bream among others.  Tie some up and give them a try  in your local woodpile.
Materials Used
Hook: Gamakatsu B10S
Thread: Flat waxed nylon
Tail: Marabou
Flash: Sparkle Hair
Body: Spectraflash dubbing
Rib: 12-15lb Nylon
Head: Foam Spider body
Legs: Sili legs

Monday, 6 February 2017

Iwai Minnow

Detailed instructions for the Iwai minnow. This is a Japanese variation on the mylar minnow theme and is a firm favourite for Japanese seabass. It's also effective for other game fish, especially ambush predators.
Materails Used
Hook: Gamakatsu B10S
Thread: Flat waxed Nylon
Tail: Flashabou
Body: Mylar tubing over a foam cylinder
Throat: Red EP fibres
Eyes: Black plastic bead chain or glass beads fixed on Nylon
Coating: Liquid fusion or similar tough flexible glue

Monster Bugger

Step by step instructions for a simple but effective articulated streamer.  The double bugger, or monster bugger as some call it, is essentially the basis of many modern articulated streamers and a good starting point for anyone looking to build a collection of patterns. The materials listed below are a suggestion and can be changed/subbed to suit your needs.
Materials used:
Hook :Varivas 2500V SE size 4+2
Thread: 140 denier Daniville's 
Tail: Marabou
Flash: Sybai tinsel hair (flashabou)
Body: Ice Dub
Rib: Copper wire
Hackle: Schlappen
Articulation: 26lb beading wire and some glass beads
Weight: lead eyes
Head: Sybai Nymph dubbing
Rubber legs

Tying with deer hair part 1

I've added a series of videos on deer hair work. The first one looks at the tools you'll need if you want to start tying deer hair bugs.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Chenille Crab Claws

No need to pay for EP claws when you can knot up your own in a few seconds.

Double deciever

Step by step instructions for a variation on the double deceiver.  A modern classic, this fly will catch any predatory fish, just adjust the size to suit.
Materials Used
Hooks: Gamakatsu B10s (rear) Varivas 2500V SE (front)
Thread: 6/0 flymaster
Tail: schlappen or saddle hackles
Flash: Sybai Sparkle Hair
Body: Polar Chenille
Belly: Bucktail
Back: Bucktail
Articulation: 26lb beading wire and glass beads.
3D eyes
UV resin

zoo cougar

Step by step instructions for Kelly Galloup's Zoo Cougar.
This streamer is a modern classic and really deadly for large trout, bass and others. Tie some and try them.
Find me on Twitter or Instagram @flickinfeathers for more fly tying and fly fishing content.
Materials Used
Hook: streamer 2-6
Thread: GSP
Tail: marabou
Body: pearl braid or dubbing
Under wing: Calf tail
Wing: Mallard flank
Head: Deer hair

Getting back to trout.. maybe

Step by step instructions for a simple but effective nymph pattern.  This is a basically a variation on a Walt's Worm but can be very effective in slightly darker or more colored water.
Follow me on Twiiter or instagram @flickinfeathers for more fishing content.
Matrials Used
Hook: 12-18 jig hook
Thread: Veevus 10/0 hot orange
Rib: Pearl Crystal Flash
Body:Natural squirrel fur

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Redington Behemoth Full Review

A few months on and it's time for the full review of the Redington Behemoth.  This real really is excellent value for money and performs well above it's price point.  Despite a few minor issues it's a definite 5 out of 5 stars from me on this reel.  Nothing at the price point is going to match it.