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!

See more fly tying video on Fishtec TV

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 – 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

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 | Black & Red Nobbler

Fly Of The Week | Black and Red Nobbler
The Nobbler consist of a thick, long marabou tail with a dual coloured body. The contrasting colours in the body make a great aiming point and the colours can be varied to fish for stockies or grown on fish. With black and red as below, or black/white and green being firm favourites amongst the angling community. A leaded body also makes the fly work well in the water, giving the tail a very enticing ‘wiggle’.

Securely attach a Kamasan B175 Hook size 8 hook into the vice and run a layer of thread down the hook, touching turns, so that a layer of lead can sit securely on the hook. Wrap the hook in a layer of medium lead, leaving enough room at the eye and bend to tie in and off tail and body materials.

Tare two or three inches of marabou from the stalk of a feather and trim the waste. Pull the excess/waste herls from the stalk as shown in the video clip and securely tie onto the top of the hook. Pinch the tail at your required length.

Take a length of black glo-brite chenille and pull the fibre away from the core at the end you want to tie in. This make sure the body is kept slim and the chenille is tied in tightly. Short (5mm) fritz is also a good substitute to chenille and can be varied with colours such as pearl and gold mixture, the fritz world is your oyster. Wind the body material towards the eye stopping clear two or three turns from the eye. Again, remove the fibre from another length of chenille to use for the head. Tie in and wrap towards the eye in ‘bulked’ turns at the head to create a bump, tie off and the fly is complete.

A simple but yet very effective lure.

Black and Red Nobbler Tying Materials

Hook: Kamasan b175 size 8-12
Thread: Black UTC 70
Under-body: Lead Wire
Tail: Black marabou
Body: Black Chenille
Head: Red Chenille

Written by Kieron Jenkins

Fly of the Week – Holographic Cormorant

Fly of the Week - Holographic CormorantThe cormorant is a fly which is growing in popularity on the still-water scene, being a great alternative to a nymph when the water is murky or wind is high and keeping in control with your flies is hard. The cormorant offers great movement to a team of flies which are fished slow, or a perfect middle dropper between two colourful blobs or boobies. The aim of this fly is to entice fish to take be it from movement or suppleness on a three fly cast.

Set your hook into the vice, here I have used a Kamasan B175 size 10 but often substitute this for a lighter gauge wire for fish feeding higher in the water. Run a layer of black UTC thread down the hook and stop opposite the barb.

The body on this fly can be substituted for almost anything, I prefer peacock herl as it’s subtle and gives a great colour, a bronzy sheen in the water. Holographic tinsel, thread or flex-floss are also a good mix. Latch in two strands of peacock herl to the hook, breaking the more brittle tips and tying in the stronger parts of the herl. Attach a length of holographic tinsel for the rib and wind the peacock herl up the body in touching turns. Wind the tinsel through the herl in the opposite direction and tie off at the head, leaving enough room to tie in the wing.

Peal a length of marabou from the stalk, cutting away the waste and removing the ‘fluffyness’ from the thick end but gently pulling them away. This reveals the stalk of the herls and makes a much neater and easier tying platform. Pinch and loop the thread over the end of the marabou and secure in.

Take two orange goose biots and cute the tips to create a solid edge. Line them up over the top of the hook and push down each side, this will hopefully manoeuvre them into place each side of the hook, positioned at a slight angle across the wing and body. Trim the waste from the front of the hook and create a neat head. Whip finish and the fly is complete.

Material List – Holographic Cormorant

Hook: Kamasan b175 size 10-14
Thread: Black UTC 70
Body: Peacock Herl
Rib: Holographic Silver Tinsel
Wing: Black Marabou
Cheeks: Orange Goose Biots

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