Fly of the Week – Grayling Pink Tag

Fly of the week - Pink Tag for GraylingPink, as most fly fishermen will know is a well re-known colour for grayling. The lady of the stream is partial to any fly incorporating a spot of pink whether it’s a floss tail, pink glister thorax or a pink wire rib. These pink bugs seem to work particularly well once the Salmon make an appearance and start their spawning habits. The fixation on pink may be due to the amount of  ‘pink’ eggs being released by the female salmon. Or, in many cases, because a lot of anglers use it!

Slide a tungsten bead onto your hook, here I have used a silver bead; 3mm paired with a Kamasan B170 size 12. Secure your thread onto the hook and butt up against the tungsten bead to ensure it stays in place. Run the thread down the hook until the bend in the shank and prepare the tail. Cut a length of Glo-Brite floss and create a plump tail. I like to wrap the floss around my two fingers 8 times to get a good consistent thickness. You can get 4/5 flies out of each length so don’t throw away the off cuts!

Tie the tail in securely and take three strands of peacock herl for the body. The grayling like a mouthful so don’t skimp on the peacock. Tie the herl onto the hook and wrap around the thread, this will ensure durability of the herl as it is very prone to breakages. Wind towards the bead and tie off at the head. Take a brown hen feather, or in this case, a brown grizzle hackle and secure onto the hook. Two or three turns onto the hook and tie off. The hackle gives a lot of movement and helps the fly fool both trout and grayling in fast, medium or slow paced water.

Fishtec stock a full range of fly tying materials and hooks.

Tying Material List

Hook: Kamasan B170 Size 12
Thread: Black UTC 70
Bead: Silver Tungsten
Tail: No 2 Glo Brite
Body: Peacock Herl
Hackle: Brown Hen

Fly of the Week – Hot Spot Pheasant Tail

Fly of the Week - Fishtec
The Hot Spot Pheasant tail is a great pattern for both river or lake. This pattern was originally designed by Frank Swayer and has evolved from his original swayer nymph. The hot spot gives the fish a trigger point in clear water and also adds to its visibility in coloured water. Picked out the thorax could look like legs and would represent most insects that inhabit the lake or river bed.

Thread a bead onto a strong hook, here I have used a kamasan hook B175 size 12 with a 3mm gold bead. Tungsten beads are a great addition to a river nymph.

Run a layer of white UTC thread down the hook until opposite the barb. Take six or seven strands of pheasant tail fibres and attach to the back of the hook. Measure the length accordingly to the hook shank and wind the thread over the hook and excess pheasant tail to just over half of the way back to the eye, leaving the excess PT out the front, this will become the thorax cover.

Attach a length of gold wire to the hook and run the thread down to the back of the hook. Again, attach another four or five strands of pheasant tail to the hook, this time in reverse to form the body. Tying in tip first means that you create a tapered effect on the body as the pheasant is wound towards the eye. Wind the body up in touching turns and, tie off just in front of the thorax cover. Wind the rib in the opposite direction to secure the body and tie off.

Twist a piece of orange antrondubbing onto the thread, creating a rope around an inch in length. Wind the dubbing onto the thorax towards the eye and pull the thorax cover over the thorax. Simple secure with a few wraps of thread and tie off.

Hot spot pheasant tail tying materials

Hooks: Kamasan 175 size 10
Bead: 3mm Gold Bead
Thread: White UTC 70 denier
Tail: Pheasant tail
Rib: Gold Wire
Body: Pheasant Tail
Thorax Cover: Pheasant Tail
Thorax: Orange Antron Dub

Written by Kieron Jenkins

Fly of the Week – Roach Fry Pattern

Fly of the Week
At this time of year fry are in abundance and occupy the most structural parts of the lake. Boat jetties, boils, floating weed rafts or buoy markers seem to be favourites. It’s not often you see a shoal of fry in the middle of nowhere, but when you do, you can almost guarantee something to be lurking beneath. This weeks fly of the week is a video of how to tie a Roach Fry. Have a look at the you-tube clip below for a tutorial.

Tying Instructions

Fulling mill all purpose hooks are ideal for fry patterns, they offer a powerful strong bend, sharp points and a great shank and gape for packing on the material.

Run a layer of White UTC Thread for a layer of lead wire to sit on. The wire can be varied depending on how heavy you want the fly, here I have used a medium thickness which gives a fair amount of weight to the fly, but not making it too heavy to cast. Remember, the wing will hold water and add weight to the cast. Wind the lead to the eye, leaving sufficient room to tie the wing off. Cover the lead in a couple of layers of thread to ensure when wet the thread wont loose its colour.

Mylar tubing is the ideal body material for this fly, its available in a wide range of colours and sizes which give your fly a great profile and also ‘scaly’ look on the flanks. Simply cut the end flush and remove the inside core. Push the tube over the hook leaving around 5/6mm of the frayed end over the back of the hook. This frayed area lets the wing sit up have less chance of it running around the hook bend.

Latch a length of Rabbit zonker strip to the hook. Measure against the hook the length of the ‘tail’ and part the fur to expose the skin, simply place the rabbit strip in position and wind the thread onto the exposed skin and pull tight. Pull the whole of the rabbit strip back and tie the thread off.

Re-tie the thread at the top of the hook at the same time tying in the mylar tube. Once happy with it security push the tube towards the eye so it ‘bulbs’ up and cut as close as you can to the thread. Pull the rabbit strip forward and separate the fur where you want to tie in, gently pull the thread through the gap secure in place. Cut the skin as tight as you can to the tying thread and cover the stump with thread and tie off.

Adding eyes to this fly completely transforms it from a fly, giving the fish something to ‘target’, I prefer to use funky 3d epoxy eyes, they are strong and very reliable. Ideal for attaching to fry patterns.  Add a small amount of bug bond to the side of the fly at the head and spread just onto the body, attach a 3d eye and cure with a UV torch. Repeat the process on the opposite side and the fly is complete.

Suspend Fry Tying Materials 

Hook: Fulling Mill AP hook Size 8
Thread: UTC White 70 Denier
Underbody: Medium Lead Wire
Wing: White rabbit zonker Strip
Body: Pearl Mylar Tube
Eyes: Funky Fly tying  Red/Silver holographic eyes

Written by Kieron Jenkins

Fly of the Week – Floating Fry

Fly of the Week
It’s that time of year where ‘fry’ are at their optimum size to be engulfed by predators. Sticking close together in packs fry create an easy target for awaiting predators such as rainbow & brown trout, perch, pike and even bream. Fish tend to ‘smash’ into a pack of fry, stunning or killing as many fry as possible, they then go in, and mop them up… This is where the simple Floating Fry comes in.

Tying Instructions

Cut a booby eye cylinder in half length ways and in half again, this should be thin enough to go through the middle of the mylar tubing. Depending on the size of the fry you’re trying to represent cut the tube accordingly, here i’ve cut it to about 8mm in length.

Just like putting a braided loop onto a fly line, thread the foam through the middle of the mylar tubing using the ‘push and pull’ method. Push the two ends of the mylar together so it opens up, and pull the foam through the middle until its around half way through.

Insert a clean needle into the vice, with the taper pointing outwards and wrap five or six turns of UTC thread to the needle. UTC is good here becuase tis flat and will slide from the needle, more on that later.

Offer the mylar tube and foam up to the top of the needle and secure the tube to the top with a few turns of thread, ensuring to pull down tight on each turn, whip finish and tie off. Hold firmly the thread wraps and gently wobble and twist the tube from the needle. Repeat the same process on the opposite side of the foam. This traps the foam in the middle, between the thread, not only does it stop the foam from coming out but creates the perfect fry shape. Cut one end tight to the tying thread and the other a few MM short, the tail end.

Insert a Kamasan b175 nymph/lure size 8 hook into the vice – Fish of any size could have a go at these flies when on the surface, you need a hook which will take the strain of playing a fish of a lifetime.. A size10 could be a little small…Run a wrap of thread down the hook, and back to the top securing with a whip finish. This creates a bed for the mylar tube to sit on.

Make a small insertion 2/3rds of the way down the hook and another 1/3rd and thread the tube over the hook, into the bottom cut and out the top. Some people like the fry to sit almost on the bend of the hook, this is good for getting the fly to ‘jump’ when pulled. I prefer to keep it in the middle as this ensures strength and security on the hook.

Once happy with the positioning of the fry, add a good amount of bug bond to the underside of the hook, ensuring you cover each cut and the whole of the thread. ‘Zap’ the glue with a bug bond uv light to cure the glue.

Floating Fry Tying Materials 

Hook: Kamasan b175 Size 8
Thread: UTC Olive 70 Denier
Body: Pearl Mylar Tubing
Inner body: White foam cut to size
Glue: Bug bond

Written by Kieron Jenkins

Fly of the Week – The Cruncher

Fly of the Week

This weeks ‘Fly of the Week’ has the be the Cruncher. A generic, all round pattern which can be tied in a variety of styles, colours and sizes. My most favourite thing about this fly is that it can be tied to represent anything from corixa, olive nymphs or even small fry. A fly which can be used anywhere on the cast, it makes a great dropper or point fly. This fly can also be used to good effect between two boobies at the start of the season, ideal to entice those fish which follow the boobies out of interest.

Tying Instructions

Insert a Kamasan b175 size 10 hook into the vice – The great thing about this fly is that varying the hook gauge and size you can represent almost anything that inhabits the bottom of a reservoir.

Run your UTC thread down the hook, laying a perfectly flat bed of thread to tie over. Take five or six strands of red game hackle to use as the tail and attach with a couple of thread wraps. The tail should be kept to about the same length as the overall body, just to keep things in proportion.

Attach a rib of Uni Soft Wire, vary the colour depending on what fly you’re looking to represent. Latch three our four strands of pheasant tail to the back of the hook for the body then run the thread back to the top of the hook leaving a gap of about 1/3 for the thorax. Wind the few strands of pheasant back up the hook in touching turns and tie off. To secure, wind the wire rib in an opposite direction to the body, evenly spacing each turn to give a nice segmented effect.

The thorax is usually a darker colour than the body such as it is on most insects, here I’ve used olive glister but any sort of dubbing and fur can be applied. Create a dubbing rope but don’t tighten too much, this will allow the thorax to be picked out – especially after a couple of fish. Build a neat tapered thorax leaving enough space at the head to tie the hackle.

Prepare a hen furnace feather, the type with a black centre and light tips, by removing the fluff at the bottom of the stalk. Tie in at the head with a couple of turns of thread and wind the hack around the collar just once. Hackle turns can be varies to influence sink rate, the more turns, the slower the cruncher would sink. Tie the hackle in and varnish.

Cruncher Tying Materials 

Hook: Kamasan b175 Size 10
Thread: UTC Olive 7- Denier
Tail: Red Game 5/6 Strands
Body: Pheasant Tail 4 Strands
Rib: Silver wire
Thorax: Olive Glister
Hackle: Natural Hen Furnace

Written by Kieron Jenkins

Fly of the week – Black Hopper

Fly of the Week Last weeks ‘Fly of the week‘ was the Shipmans Buzzer a great emerger pattern which takes it’s fair share of fish. But what happens when the buzzer has hatched and is classed under its ‘adult’ stage. The Hopper is the ideal fly to represent an adult chironomid sitting on the surface. Once the fly has hatched it stays on the surface for a while until it’s wings have dried, allowing the fly to become airborne. Another stage of it’s life where it is extremely vulnerable.

Tying Instructions

Kamasan B405 hook is the ideal steel for such hooks. Lightwire and strong, these hooks let the fly sit as high on the surfaces as possible and give anglers peace of mind that the fish of a lifetime wont straighten the hook.

Wind the UTC thread thread onto the hook just behind they eye and lay a layer of thread down the shank. Simply attach a length of UTC Mirage Tinsel to the hook for the rib and create dubbing rope of genuine seals fur, black but choose the colour according to the insect colour on the day. A range of colours is best.

Just like the Shipmans Buzzer wind the seals fur along the hook creating a slim but slightly tapered effect leaving enough room to tie in a thorax. Wind the rib in an opposite direction to the seals fur three times is usually enough to give a segmented effect. Bulk the rest of the fly up with a good amount of seals fur, creating a  ‘carrot’ shape, thicker at the head than the tail. Always remember to leave enough room between the thorax and the eye when tying hoppers, there’s a lot of work to do at the end of the fly.

Ready knotted pheasant tails make tying hoppers so much easier and quicker. Sitting there with a dubbing needle and a pheasant tail tying knots in thin and brittle feather can become daunting and very stressful. Pulling 6 of these of a full ready knotted pheasant tail feather makes tying such flies a breeze. Take 6 or so feathers, marry up the tips and simply tie in on the underneath of the hook, trim the waste and prepare the hackle.

Take a hackle feather from a cape, something that will produce enough mass to keep the fly afloat. Remove the waste from the bottom of the feather – this should reveal the stalk and make it easy to tie in. Tie the feather in and attach your hackle pliers, wind the hackle back towards the bend of the hook in touching turns, covering the thread just above the thorax. Tie off and ‘wobble’ the thread between the hackle ensuring not to trap any herls and tie the thread off at the eye.

 Material List

Hook: Kamasan B405 Size 10
Thread: UTC Black 70 Denier
Rib: UTC Mirage Tinsel
Body: Black Genuine Seals Fur
Thorax: Black Genuine Seals Fur
Legs: 6x knotted hopper legs
Hackle: Black Cock

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Fly of the week 3

Written by Kieron Jenkins

Fly of the week – Shipmans Buzzer

Fly of the Week Following on from last weeks ‘Fly of the week‘ is the Shipmans Buzzer. Again, a buzzer is an imitation of the common chironomid midge. As the pupa makes its way to the surface within the top couple of feet it’s wingbuds and legs start to take shape and emerge from the body. The insect is then stuck in the surface as it tries to free itself from the surface tension. This is the stage where the wings are almost fully formed and the fly is emerging from its shuck.

Tying Instructions

Insert a Kamasan B405 hook into the vice. A lightwire hooks is best for this pattern as it allows the fly to sit on, in or just under the surface. Exactly where it will be most effective. The hook will also aid your casting when covering fish, letting the flies be lifted easier off the water and re-cast.

Latch the tying thread to the hook a few millimetres behind the eye and run the thread down the hook and stop just as the shank starts to curve . Again, UTC thread is the ideal component as it lies flat and spreads along the body.

Take a length of white Polypropolyne Floating Yarn, this will be used as a sighter and also represent the emptying shuck. It will also help the floatability of the fly, making sure it’s sitting where it should be.Tie a length in over the end of the hook and tie the thread over the top back towards the eye, leaving around 2/3 cm each side. Once the full length of full is covered, trim each end to around 4/5mm.

The rib, UTC Mirage Tinsel can be tied in at the top or bottom of the shank, catch it onto the hook and run the thread back to the bend of the hook. Create a dubbing rope of genuine seals fur, here I’ve used black, choose the colour according to the insect colour on the day. A range of colours is best.

Tie the seals fur towards to eye, creating a level, thin body, leaving sufficient room for a thorax. Wrap the mirage rib back towards the eye, three turns is usually enough to create a well segmented body. Trap the rib in with the thread and tie off.

Bulk the rest of the fly up with a good amount of seals fur, creating a sort of ‘carrot’ shape, thicker at the head than the tail. This gives the fly a great profile and lets the back end sit in the water, rather than on top of it.

 Material List

Hook: Kamasan B405 Size 10
Thread: UTC Black 70 Denier
Breathers: Polypropolyne floating yarn
Body: Black Genuine Seals Fur
Rib: UTC Mirage Tinsel
Thorax: Black Genuine Seals Fur

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Fly of the week 4

Written by Kieron Jenkins

Fly of the week – Black Buzzer

Fly of the Week
Following on from last weeks ‘Fly of the week‘ is the Black Buzzer. Again, a buzzer is an imitation of the common chironomid midge. As the bloodworm matures and pupates the next step of it’s life cycle is the pupa. Possibly the most important stage to both trout and angler. This is the stage where the wings form inside it’s thorax and the pupae makes it’s way through the water column to the surface. It’s most vulnerable state.

Tying Instructions

Here I’ve used a Kamasan B110 hook, the heavier the hook the better when fishing a team of buzzers, the flies will fall quickly through the column and hold at the required depth when held by the fly line.

Start off by tying the thread to the hook a few millimetres from the eye and run the thread down the hook, around the bend and to about opposite the barb in touching turns.  UTC thread is the ideal component as it lies flat and spreads along the body very easily with minimum bulk.

The rib, Uni Soft Wire can be tied in at the top or bottom of the shank, I prefer to tie in at the top of the hook, this ensures that the wire is completely covered in two wraps of thread. Tie the wire in with touching turns and run the thread back to the top of the hook, leaving sufficient room for a thorax. Wind the silver wire rib back up the fly leaving equal spacings between each turn, this gives the banding effect which buzzers gain when they fill with air as they work their way to the surface. Finally, leave a gap of about 4mm behind the eye and tie off. Rib Complete.

Tying in Goose Biots. Simply take a goose biots from the stalk and tie in at the back of the thorax by the fine tips of the feather. Simply duplicate on the other side of the hook, and build a neat ‘lemon shape’ thorax (thicker in the middle) and secure with a half hitch at the eye, this helps keep everything in place in case of accidental slips. Pull the two biots forward and secure with a few turns of thread, build a neat head and tie off.

Fly tiers have recently been using a new UV reactive varnish called ‘bug bond‘. A varnish which is set with the use of a UV torch. Simply cover the fly in the glue, less of the glue the better, trying to keep everything as thin as possible but coating the fly for security and weight. Simple ‘zap’ the glue once applied for 15/20 second and the fly is complete.

 Material List

Hook: Kamasan B110 Size 10
Thread: UTC Black 70 Denier
Body: Black thread
Rib: Silver Wire
Thorax: Black Thread
Glue: Bug bond LITE

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Written by Kieron Jenkins

Fly of the week – Simple Bloodworm Pattern

The bloodworm pattern is an imitation of the common chironomid midge or buzzer. The bloodworm is the early stage of a chironomids life, the lava. Bloodworm tend to spend the majority of their life living in soft mud or silt, when they’re active, the fish simply cant resist them! Silt is usually located at the deepest part of the lake around weed and reeds or in bays which are generally sheltered from prevailing winds. Locating these areas should provide the angler with great fly fishing early on in the season when fish are feeding close to the bottom.

Tying Instructions

Fasten a tungsten or gold bead to a strong, heavy gauge hook. Here I’ve used a Kamasan B110 hook, along with a veniard 3mm gold bead. A 3mm bead will fit either a size 10 or 12 hook perfectly.

Latch the thread onto the hook, building up a wall of thread behind the bead to stop it sliding down the hook whilst tying. Red UTC thread is ideal for this pattern, the multi stranded fine denier thread lies flat and evenly spreads when tying key materials to the hook. Wind the thread in touching turns down the body to opposite the barb, stopping here will leave plenty of room for the body.

Attaching a tail which will entice fish when the fly is falling or holding near the bottom, in theory, should increase catch rate. The tail on this bloodworm pattern is twisted flexi floss, to achieve this, hold a piece of red flexi floss three inches apart, and roll between your thumb and forefinger in opposite directions. After enough rolling the flexi floss will then fold in the middle and twist around each other creating a loop. Create the tail about the same length as the body. Secure in place with two to three thread wraps and then continue up the body, pulling the flexi floss over the back and trapping in with spaced even turns of thread, creating a ribbed effect over the floss/shellback. As you reach the bead, leave a few millimetres free and cut off the flexi floss.

Tie over the cut off from the flexi floss and create a short inch long rope of florescent red seals fur to create the thorax. Keep the rope quite loose so it can be pulled out with your dubbing brush for movement. Tie towards the eye whip finish and varnish – The fly is ready to go!

 Material List

Hook: Kamasan B110 Size 10
Bead: Veniards Gold Bead 3mm
Thread: UTC Red 70 Denier
Tail: Twisted Red Flexifloss
Body: Red thread
Shellback Cover: Red Flexifloss
Rib: Red thread
Thorax: Red Seal Fur

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Written by Kieron Jenkins