Fly of the Week – CDC Red Tag Jig

Fly Of The Week - Red Tag Jig
The Red Tag Jig has been a firm favourite amongst river anglers, both competitive and pleasure, right across Europe and the UK. This pattern is a variation of Martyn Flynn’s ‘red tag’ dry fly which was meant for grayling. Still a very successful fly in it’s dry fly form, the Red Tag has been adapted and varied to create a killer all-round fly pattern. Here’s Kieron Jenkins’ favourite variation.

Take a Fulling Mill Barbless Force Jig Hook and attach a suitable sized bead, here I have used a 3.5mm slotted tungsten bead. Attach the thread – here I have used UTC Thread in black – just behind the bead and build a layer of thread to secure it in place.

Take the thread down to the end of the hook shank and stop just where it bends round. Double up a few strands of Glo-Bright No5 floss and tie in as the tail. Cut, but leave generous amount of floss as the tag, grayling and trout love colour! The length can be varied depending on the attitude of the fish. It’s always good to have some long and some short depending on the pressure the fish get.

Take a large CDC feather and tie in half way along the stalk, with the thick end in hand. Secure in with a few wraps of thread and then pull the feather back so that the tips are tied in. This should give you a generous length of feather to use as the body. Simply latch the hackle pliers onto the end of the CDC feather and wrap in touching turns up the body. The CDC produces a lovely tapered effect as the stalk gets thicker towards the head, and also a very buggy looking profile  as the CDC feathers act as legs.

Tie the feather off and cut the spare stalk away. I like to leave the CDC messy at this stage and run some dubbing through the ‘hackle’ at the head. Dub some glister onto your thread and wind between the CDC and pull any stray fibres back over the fly and tie off the thread. Et-Viola.

Red Tag Jig Tying Materials

Hook: Fulling Mill Force Jig Hook Size 12
Bead: Slotted 3.5mm Gold Tungsten Bead
Thread: Black UTC 70 Denier
Tail: Glo Bright No 5
Body: CDC (wound)
Hackle: CDC
Thorax: Hendz Glister No45

Red Tag Jig Fly

Written by Kieron Jenkins

Fly of the Week – Cat Booby

Fly Of The Week - Cat BoobyThe booby has to be one of the most devastating flies on the fishing scene, be it on a small water or a large reservoir. One thing most people fall down on is tying the eyes onto the hook, it’s a simple task which is made harder by most who try and find the quickest or easiest way. Take a look at this video on how to round and attach booby eyes to a hook. This is not the most complicated way but on large boobies it gives the best results.

Attach a strong hook into the vice, here I have used a Kamasan B175 size 8 as the tail on this booby is fairly long. To get the correct size booby eyes what I prefer to do is measure the booby cylinder against the hook shank, obviously this will differ if you’re using long shank hooks. Try and keep the eyes no wider than the hook gauge.

To round the eyes, hold the scissors at an angle and slightly take the one edge of the booby cylinder off. As you cut, turn the eye so you get more of a curvaceous cut. Apply this to each end of the booby eye and the eye should be more or less complete. My preferred thread for tying in booby eyes is 140 UTC range of threads, it’s strong and is not as coarse as others to cut through the plastazone foam.

To tie the eye in, run two layers of thread over 1/3 of the hook returning back to the eye. Place the booby eyes on top of the thread positioning them where you think they look most symmetrical. Lift the thread over the  eye making sure the eyes stay in the ideal place. Once you are happy with their positioning pull the thread tight and figure of 8 the thread around the eyes, keeping as close to the ‘bite’ point as possible, where the thread eats into the foam.

Once you’re happy, run the thread to the back of the hook and pull around an inch of marabou from a turkey feather. Remove the waste material at the bottom of the feather and tie to the back of the hook. Secure the tail in place by running the thread over the waste piece of marabou creating a tight under body for the fritz to grip too.

Tie the fritz in by removing a section of the synthetic material to expose the core and take the thread back towards the eyes. Wind the fritz over the body towards the eye, ensuring after each turn you pull the fibres backwards to get a neat body and profile. Tie the fritz off behind the eyes securing with a few extra turns. Whip finish the thread in front of the eyes to complete.

Cat Whisker Booby Tying Materials 

Hook: Kamasan b175 Size 8
Thread: Fl.Orange 140 UTC
Eyes: Yellow Booby Eyes
Tail: White Marabou
Body: Chartreuse 15mm Fritz

Written by Kieron Jenkins

Fly of the Week – Hares Ear Nymph

Fly of the Week
Another classic river and still-water fly – The Hares Ear nymph. This pattern comes into it’s own when used on the river, it imitates almost anything that inhabits the river bed and can be varied with  different colour beads, leaded bodies and hotspots. Most fly fishermen’s fly boxes are variants on the Hares ear or pheasant tail theme. With the Grayling season upon us, the Hares ear has to be this weeks fly of the week.

Attach a gold bead to a hook of your choice, my favourite is the Kamasan b175, in a range of sizes. Here I’ve used a size 10. Build a layer of White UTC Thread behind the bead, this makes sure everything is secure and the beads doesn’t slip off over the tying. Run a layer of thread down the hook shanks and stop just opposite the barb. Detach 5/6 strands of red game herls as the tail. Measure the length against the hook shank, preferably it’ll be about the same, one or two turns of thread and it should be secure.

Attach a length of Uni soft Wire and run the thread to the top of the hook, securing and hiding the waste from the tail and wire, returning to the bottom of the hook to start the body.

Pull some dubbing from an hares ear mask or packet and create a right rope around 2 inches in length. Run the body to the top of the hook, leaving enough room to tie off the rib and insert a thorax.

Evenly space four or five turns of the wire rib, and tie off. This gives the body some security as fish teeth tend to pull the fur from the thread and wreck the fly. You want your flies to catch more than a few fish, right?

Attach more hares fur to the thread, this time not to tight, so it gives the fly a tapered effect and a much ‘buggy’ look. A few turns should do to cover the thread. A few tight wraps just behind the bead and whip finish off.

Simply take your dubbing needle or rake and ‘scruff’ the fly up, it looks much better once it has been picked out. I prefer to use a dubbing needle as I can control the amount of spike.

Hares Ear – Tying Materials 

Hook: Kamasan 175 Size 10
Bead: 3mm Gold bead
Thread: UTC White 70 Denier
Tail: Red Game
Rib: Gold Oval Wire
Body: Hares Ear dubbing
Thorax: Hares Ear dubbing

Written by Kieron Jenkins

Fly of the Week – Suspender Fry

Fly of the Week
When it comes to ‘fry time’ getting them up on the surface is key. Watching the fish come and engulf your fly half way through an agitated retrieve can leave your heart in your mouth when you see some of the sizes of fish which come to take a look. This suspender fry pattern, as featured in Total Flyfisher magazine, October issue,  is one of the most favoured amongst competition anglers, myself included!

Tying Instructions

Fit a Kamasan b175 Size 8 hook into the vice. Size 10’s or various other hooks can be used to fit the fly into the international gauge. The thing is with hooks on fry patterns is that you never really know what your going to hook, so you need something substantial to sustain the pressure a large fish can put on your wire.

White UTC Thread is great for this fly, it makes it easy to bulk up the body and trap materials in securely. Lay a couple of turns of thread on the hook and create a platform for the suspender head to sit on. Cut a booby eye cylinder in half, and at a 45 degree angler to create a point. Tie in the point of the foam so the angle lays flat to the hook, this allows the popper head to work better against the water when pulled, completely cover the foam on the hook and run the thread down to the bend of the hook and cut to length.

The wing of the fly adds the movement and shape, Minky strips are ideal winging material here as it keeps its shape a lot better than rabbit when fished slow. Spread the fur from the skin to reveal a ‘bald’ patch to tie the skin to the hook, this ensures the mink sits snug on top of the hook and not offset. A few thread wraps should secure it in place, you can always varnish the thread after finishing the fly.

Pull the mink back and out of the way clearing space to tie in the Vampire Fritz body. Pull some fritz fibre from the fritz hank to reveal the core, and tie in. Wrap the fritz towards to eye of the hook ensuring to stroke the fritz back after each turn this makes sure none are trapped. Tie to the eye of the hook, tie and off.

Simply pull the mink strip over the back of the fritz and spread the fur again to tie in. Cut close to the mink not to leave too much of a gap between the suspender head and whip finish the fly off.

Attaching the eyes couldn’t be more simple with use of Bug Bond Resin – What I like to do is build a platform of the glue first, this gives the eye some structure to sit on when gluing into place. Take a pack of funky 3d epoxy eyes and dab a small amount of UV glue to the back of the eye and nestle in place with little pressure. Once you’re happy with the position set the glue with your UV torch. Repeat the process on each side and then fill the gaps above and below the eyes for strength. Fly complete.

Suspend Fry Tying Materials 

Hook: Kamasan B175 Size 8
Thread: UTC White 70 Denier
Wing: Natural Mink Strip
Body: Olive Fritz
Head: Plastazote Foam cut to size
Glue: Bug bond

Written by Kieron Jenkins