Fly of the Week – Mayfly Nymph

Fly Of The Week - Mayfly nymph
The Mayfly Nymph is the first stage of a Mayflies life cycle, preferring to live in silty or sand bottoms, this nymph becomes part of a trouts main food source over the next month or so. The mayflies usually last for just over a month with the abundance of them making an appearance in just one to two weeks. Keep your eye out and be prepared for when the fish turn onto them!

Attach a Kamasan B175 hook into the vice and lay a neat bed of thread onto the hook shank. Mayfly nymphs seem to move like it’s olive counterparts, in short fast darts, so adding six or seven turns of lead will help give the flies that movement your looking for. Run the thread over the lead securing it into place tapering at each edge.

At the tail, attach four or five strands of pheasant tail and cut the excess off. Then for the rib, simply tie in three extra pheasant tail strands by the tail to get a thin to thick tapering effect from the rib. Dub some tan coloured dubbing onto the thread and wind up over the lead stopping around 2/3 of the way along the hook shank. Rib the body with the pheasant tail and tie off. Add a thorax cover of pheasant tail, this time tied in with the tips facing backwards so when it’s pulled over, the excess PT will create legs.

Gently dub a lighter coloured dubbing as the thorax covering the lead right to the eye. Pull the PT over as the thorax cover and tie in. With the excess tips over the eye, carefully split the remainder evenly over each side and secure with a few turns of thread. Whip the thread off at the head and varnish.

This fly will guarantee fish when the trout are feeding on mayfly!

Hook: Kamasan b175 Size 12
Thread: Brown70 UTC
Tail: Flexi Floss
Rib: Pheasant Tail
Blody: Tan Dubbing
Thorax Cover: Pheasant Tail
Cream Dubbing
Pheasant Tail

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Written by Kieron Jenkins

Fly of the Week – Crinkle Tail Hares Ear

Fly Of The Week - Crinkle Tail Hares Ear
Keeping on the theme of the Killer Shrimp Patterns from last week, I’ve tied a fly which can be used on the dropper or a point fly of a full nymphing cast, or as a middle dropper on a team of pullers. The Killer Shrimp have become the main food source of Grafham trout, so why not offer them something attractive and give them a mouthful! This Hares Ear Pattern has caught anglers many fish over the last few season, why not give it a go yourself?

Attach a strong hook into the vice, the shrimp offer a great source of protein for the trout so expect explosive takes immense runs! Here I’ve used a Kamasan b175 size 10 and used brown UTC thread. This keeps the colour scheme that ‘shrimpy brown’. run a layer of thread down to the bend of the hook and take three or four strands of Veniards Crystal tinsel which is available in a hank. Attach a length of gold wire rib to the hook and cut the tail at around 5/6 mm in length. This can be varied to suit the size of fly you’re tying.

Dub a generous amount of Hares Ear to the thread and run half way up the body, forming a fairly uniform rope throughout. Take the gold wire and rib the body with evenly spaced turns. Trim off the wire and dub some more hares ear as a thorax. Take two hot orange goose biots and tie in along the shank of the body. Trim away the waste and tidy up the head.

For the hackle I’ve used a brown partridge feather. To get the best results and keep the head small, gently pull the fibers back from the tip of the feather and tie in near the exposed stalk. Take your hackle pliers and wind the hackle around one or two times, depending on how bulking you want the fly. Simply trim the waste and tie your thread off.

Hook: Kamasan B175 size 10
Thread: Brown UTC 70
Tail: Crinkle flash
Rib: Gold Wire
Body: Hares Ear
Cheeks: Orange Goose Biots
Thorax: Hares Ear
Hackle: Brown Partridge

Written by Kieron Jenkins

Fly of the Week – Grafham Killer Shrimp

Fly Of The Week -  Grafham Killer ShrimpOver the past three years the talking point of invasive species has almost been directly focused on the Alien Killer Shrimp. The Killer Shrimp preys on a range of native species, such as freshwater invertebrates – particularly native shrimp – and even young fish. Quote: BBC. But, from a fishing point of view, it lets fish gorge on a protein packed food, gaining weight and strength to proved great fishing to all anglers. Especially those on a rocky bank such as the Dam wall!

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Attach a hook into your vice, here I have used a Barbless Fulling Mill Grub hook, this gives a great shape and represents the movement of a shrimp. Run a layer of Brown UTC thread down the shank of the body until the extreme bend in the hook. Take 5/6 strands of brown partridge and attached them as a tail, roughly 5mm in length and tie in a length of gold wire for the rib.

Take a strip of white foam, you can use any colour you like but i prefer to colour my own with pantone pens. Attach the foam at the butt so it can be tied forward as a shellback. Dub a very generous amount of hares ear to the thread and wrap up the shank of the hook to form the body, bulking up in the middle to gain a more shrimpy profile.

Take a couple more strands of grey partridge and tie in sticking out over the eye to form it’s feelers. Pull the foam over the back and secure in at the eye of the fly, leaving some over the eye to help with movement. Gently wind the rib over the foam towards the eye in even, spaced turns. This forms the segmented effect you see on freshwater shrimps.Simply tie in and whip the thread off. To add more life to the fly take your dubbing needle and tease the fur from the body between the turns of wire.

Take your pantone pens and colour the back, here I have used grey and brown but you can use whatever colours you prefer. Colour the back, leave to dry, the fly is then ready to fish!

Hook: Fulling Mull Czech Nymph Barbless Size 10
Thread: Brown UTC 70
Tail: Brown Partridge
Rib: Gold Wire
Body: Hares Ear
Shellback: White Foam
Antennas: Brown Partridge

Written by Kieron Jenkins

Fly of the Week – The Dabbler

Fly Of The Week - Dabbler

The Dabbler is a classic Irish lough pattern which was devised to fish high in the water to represent everything from olives and mayflies to shrimp. The Dabbler has been a firm favourite on a lot of traditional anglers casts whilst fishing for brown trout on wild hill lakes. More recently with the addition of micro fine fritz and multitudes of dubbing, the dabbler has become a great fly for rainbow trout, usually tied in more enticing colours than those for browns.

Start off by inserting one of your favourite hooks into the vice. Here I have used a Barbless Fulling Mill Grab Gape hook in a size 12. Run a layer of Black UTC thread down the hook in touching turns to create an even platform for the tying to sit. Take five or six strands of mallard from a feather and secure to the hook with a few turns of thread.

For the body I have used Claret Crystal Hackle from FlyBox, a great material which adds lots of movement to the fly without the added bulk to hassle of using a real hackle. Wind the fritz in touching turns towards the eye, ensuring to pull the fibres back after each turn to get a streamline and neater look. Simply tie off before the eye to leave enough room for a hackle and the cloak.

Strip the excess from the bottom of a hackle stalk and tie in. This additional hackle will support the mallard cloak to sit higher on the fly. Wind the hackle around two or three times so that it gives a bit more life to the fly. Take around an inch or so of the mallard feather and strip from the stalk. Simply fold the mallard in half, place flat over the top of the fly and gently push and hold the mallard on the sides of the shank. With a loose turn of thread secure the mallard in place, this will tighten the mallard to the hook and fill in any gaps, cut off the excess once you are happy. Wind a few more turns of thread over the mallard to completely secure and whip finish off.

Dabbler Tying Materials

Hook: Fulling Mull Grip Gape Barbless Size 10
Thread: Black UTC 70
Tail: Bronze Mallard
Body: Claret Crystal Hackle
Hackle: Black Cock
Cloak: Bronze Mallard Folded

Written by Kieron Jenkins

Fly of the Week – UV Crystal Hackle Damsel

Fly Of The Week - UV Crystal Hackle Damsel

The Damsel is one of the most prolific insects which inhabit our lakes here in the UK. This is reflected in what anglers prefer to fish on small waters and reservoirs with most anglers ‘go to’ fly being a damsel of some sort. Variants consist of chain eyes, gold heads or leaded bodies with marabou tails either woven or stacked, both of these additions add the most possible movement. Kieron Jenkins shows how to tie one of the more modern variants using UV Crystal hackle fritz for the body.

Simply start off by attaching a bead of choice to your favourite hook. Here I have chosen the Fulling Mill Grip Gape Hook size 10, with a 3.8 silver brass bead. Attach your UTC Thread to the hook, building up a section of thread behind the bead to stop any slippage then run the thread down the hook creating a solid platform to latch your marabou tail onto.

Take an inch or so of olive marabou from a turkey feather and trim away the end waste. This makes tying the marabou in easier and it also adds less bulk to the body. Run the thread over the marabou to the bead to form a smooth, flat body then take the thread back down to the bend of the hook. Offer up a strand of crinkle flash to each side of the tail for added sparkle and tie in.

For the body I have used FlyBox UV Crystal Hackle in olive colour. The UV adds some extra sparkle in low light conditions, primarily what we get this time of year in the UK! Take the front end of the fritz, the tip where the fibres fall back down the hank. This ensures that each time you wind the fritz each turn falls perfectly into place and sits right. Latch the fritz to the hook and wind – in touching turns – back towards the bead, pulling the fibres back after each turn. Simply tie in, build a little hot spot with the bright coloured thread and tie off.

This pattern can also be tied in many different colour combinations, all black, black and green, white and green, all white… A great versatile pattern for grown on or stocked fish.

UV Crystal Hackle Damsel Tying Materials
Hook: Fulling Mill Heavyweight Champ Barbless Size 10
Thread: Orange UTC 140
Bead: Silver 3.3mm
Tail: Olive Marabou
Flash: Crinkle Flash
Body: Olive UV Crystal Hackle

Written by Kieron Jenkins

Fly of the Week – Red Holographic Stripped Quill Buzzer

Fly Of The Week - Super Glue BuzzerSuper glue buzzers are probably the most used flies in the UK, especially start of the season where midge pupa are in abundance in cold, silty waters. Bloodworm are a staple part of a fishes diet, expect anything from carp to trout to pick up a bloodworm pattern! This weeks fly of the week is the Red Holographic Stripped Quill Buzzer, coated with super glue to give it durability and add small amounts of weight. A good representation of the bloodworm, ideal for the point of a two or three fly cast.

Select an appropriate hook – Here I have chosen to tie this fly on a Barbless Fulling Mill Grip Gape hooks, size 10. Run one layer of thread down the hook shank and stop just short of the extreme bend on the hook. This gives the fly a great shape, almost as if it’s moving.

Take a length of stripped quill, I prefer to strip my own using my thumb and forefinger. Attach this to the bend of the hook with as few turns as possible and then wind in the medium red holographic. Take this to the thorax of the fly in touching turns, tie in and rib with evenly separated turns of the stripped quill. Getting the quill to sit at the bend of the hook on top of the holographic can be tricky, have some patients and get it sitting right (it took me three attempts!).

Tie off the stripped quill and build a neat tapered thorax to form the head of the fly. Take two Flu Orange goose biots for wing buds and latch in the fine ends to the bottom of the thorax at each side of the hook. Making sure the tips of the biots are covered, take your thread to the top of the hook and sit behind the eye. Pull each goose biot up and over the eye in a diagonal position, tie in and whip finish.

Glueing the fly

Simply take your bonding agent, my favourite recently has been the Airflo Stic-IT anglers super glue. A handy little tub of super strength glue with a fine point nozzle to get into those tough creases. Layer a small amount of glue down the body and over the thorax and take your needle to disperse evenly. Once the whole body is covered leave to dry and repeat the process as many times as possible.

Fly Tying Material List for the Red Holo Stripped Quill Buzzer.

Hook: Fulling Mull Grip Gape Barbless Size 10
Thread: Black UTC 70
Body: Red Holographic
Rib: Stripped Peacock Quill
Thorax: Black Thread
Cheeks: Orange Goose Biot
Coating: Airflo Stic-IT Anglers Super Glue

Written by Kieron Jenkins

Fly of the Week – Chain Eye Cats Whisker

Fly Of The Week - Chain Eye Cats Whisker
Ever wondered how to tie the Chain Eyed Cats Whisker, one of the deadliest patterns on the fly fishing scene since anglers ever cast a line? Have a look at our fly of the week. Designed to catch recently introduced stocked fish, this pattern has proven its effectiveness time and time again. This, however, is a ‘new age’ variation which incorporates some up to date material and additional movement.

Start off by attaching a long shank hook into the vice. Here I have used one of the Fulling Mill range of hooks, the special nymph, size 8. Lay two or three short layers of thread at the head of the hook, this will act as a platform to tie the chain eyes on to. Offer the chain eyes to the hook and tie in with strong thread. Figure of eight your thread around the eyes making sure they are tied in securely, add a dab of super glue if you need too, here I’ve used the new Airflo Stic-IT Anglers Glue.

Once you’re happy with the eyes take the thread to the bottom of the hook, just opposite the barb and peal off a decent amount of white marabou. Cut the waste from the ends and thin out. Tie this onto the hook and secure in place. Tare the ends of the marabou to desired length and then add some additional flash. Two strands of pearl crinkle flash.

For the body I’ve chosen the Flybox Crystal Hackle in Chartreuse. This adds volume and movement to the fly. Simply attach the end to the back of the hook and wind in touching turns – pulling the fibres back each time – towards to head of the hook. Secure in with one or two turns of thread and attach the Flexi Floss legs.

Tying Materials for the Chain Eyed Cat

Hook: Fulling Mill Nymph Special Size 8
Thread: Orange UTC 140
Eyes: Gold Chair Eyes
Glue: Airflo Stic-IT Anglers Super Glue
Tail: White Marabou
Flash: Crinkle Flash
Body: Chartreuse Crystal Hackle
Legs: Chartreuse Flexi Floss

Fly of the Week – Hot Spot Pheasant Tail Jig

Fly Of The Week - Fishtec
The hot spot pheasant tail is a basic but very effective pattern, it can be tied in a variety of colours which makes this pattern extremely versatile on both rivers and lakes. This jig  is a favourite amongst river anglers for stocked fish or whilst the water is up and dirty. Effectively fished on the point of a two fly cast, this fly brings attraction and sheer confidence to a team of flies.

Attach a tungsten bead to one of the New size 12 Fulling Mill Force Jig hook with a slotted 3.3 mm tungsten bead. Run a layer of black thread to the base of the hook and strip 4/5 fibres of red game hackle from the stalk and tie in. Vary the length depending on the hook size and attach a length of gold wire for the rib.

Create a layer of thread to which the pheasant tail body can lay on and attach 3/4 strands of pheasant to the back of the hook. Take the thread to a safe position behind the bead and in touching turns, run the body material towards the bead. Once your happy with the length of the body tie in and cut off, securing with open turns of the gold wire.

Whip finish and cut the thread from the hook and attach a floss type material – here I’ve used Glo-Bright No5 – and secure just behind the bead. Create a thorax from the floss with multiple turns of thread just behind the bead. Whip finish and tie off, securing with varnish.

Tying Materials

Hook: Fulling Mill Force Jig Hook Size 12
Bead: Slotted 3.5mm Gold Tungsten Bead
Thread: Brown UTC 70 Denier
Tail: Red Game Cock Hackle
Rib: Gold Wire
Body: Pheasant Tail
Hotspot: Glo Bright No5

Written by Kieron Jenkins

Fly of the Week – Pink Tail Caddis Jig

Fishtec fly Of The Week

The Pink Tail Caddis is Kieron’s variant of the ‘peeping caddis’. Tied in exactly the same manor as the original, but with the addition of a CDC hackle and tied onto a jig hook. The jig hook helps this fly fish head down with the pink tag facing upwards, hopefully looking more enticing to the awaiting fish. This pattern can be easily changed by simply altering the colours of the wool – It is also good to change the position of the hackle such as around the bend of the hook just after attaching the tail.

Take a length of wool and burn the end with a sighter. Slowly push the end of the wool towards the flame to singe the end and create a dark ball. This will act as the caddis’s head. Slot a slotted bead onto a Jig hook, here I have used a 3mm tungsten bead with a size 12 Fulling Mill Force Jig Hook. Attach brown UTC 70 denier to the hook and build a layer of thread behind the bead. This is to ensure the bead stays in place and doesn’t slip down the hook.

Run a layer of thread to the back of the hook, stopping short of the bend and attaching the tail. Cover the cut off of the wool with thread to create a net, even under body and attach a length of gold wire to the hook. Dub a generous amount of Hares Ear fur to the thread in an even formation, this ensures the body stays even throughout the length of the fly, just like the real thing. Wind the dubbing to the head of the fly and stop just short of the bead. Wind the rib through the body in even, spacious turns and tie off.

Prepare a CDC feather for the hackle, stroking the fibres back from the tip so it can be tied securely in place behind the bead. Clamp the hackle pliers to the CDC stalk and wind onto the hook. I prefer just one turn of CDC, but add as many to your satisfaction. Tie in and tidy up with more dubbing. Pull the CDC feathers back along the fly and tare where you feel necessary to create a ‘leggy’ look.

 Pink Tail Caddis Material list

Hook: Fulling Mill Force Jig Hook Size 12
Bead: Slotted 3.5mm Gold Tungsten Bead
Thread: Brown UTC 70 Denier
Tail: Wool (burnt)
Rib: Gold Wire
Body: Hares Ear
Hackle: CDC (wound)
Thorax: Hares Ear


Written by Kieron Jenkins

Fly of the Week – Black Hot Spot Pheasant Tail Jig

Fly of the Week - Black Pheasant Tail
‘Jigs’ or J hooks have been getting increasingly popular over the last couple of years, with most post-jig anglers becoming jig-maniacs! A lot of anglers only have jig style flies in their box, but that isn’t a bad thing as they are growing in popularity with the fish, too! One thing that hasn’t changed though is the tendency for fish to eat pheasant tail nymphs, so this weeks, fly of the week has both attributes, Pheasant tail and a Jig hook.

Start off by threading a 3.5mm slotted bead onto a Fulling Mill Force Jig Hook, size 12.  Bulk up a layer of UTC Thread behind the bead to secure it tightly in place. This ensures the bead doesn’t wobble and become dislodged. Take the thread down the hook and stop just as the curve takes shape.

Take around six or seven strands of black cock hackle and tie in roughly the same length of the hook. Strip four strands of black pheasant tail and length of gold wire from the spool and tie both in, running the thread to around 2/3s of the way up the hook. Wind the pheasant over the thread and then rib the wire in the opposite direction to secure, and tie off.

Attach two strands of Glo-Bright Flo Orange to the hook at around four inches in length. These are used for the hotspot, so bulk each turn up on top of each other, around five or six times, tie off, and tie in a strand of natural peacock herl to create the thorax. Wind the herl towards the bead, again bulking the head up so the head appears tapered to the bead. Simply tie off and whip finish.

This fly can be varied in colour, size and style by changing the hotspot colour or thorax material.


Written by Kieron Jenkins