Yellow Spot Jig Nymph – Hans Stephenson

An extremely effective jig nymph. This pattern can be tied in sizes 10-16. This color combination has worked well for us, but the hot spot color can be changed. Especially effective in mid to late summer as yellow mayflies become more active.
Tied by Ryan Gabert of Dakota Angler & Outfitter –

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Lady Gaga Steelhead Stinger – Martyn White

Detailed instructions for a steelhead stinger in the lady gaga colour scheme by Martyn White.
twitter @flickinfeathers Instagram @martynwhit

Materials List:
Waddington shank
Intruder wire
Thread: black
Butt: Ice dub UV hot pink
Tail: Hot pink yarn or floss
Rib: Copper wire
Body: Rear, copper flat braid; front, blue spectra flash dubbing
Body hackle: Hot pink Schlappen
Wing 1: Fucshia pink sparkle hair
Wing 2: Pink polar fox
Wing 3: Kingfisher blue Polar fox
Wing 4: Turquoise angel hair
Wing 5: Fiery brown sparkle hair
Front hackle: Blue guinea fowl
Over wing: Black polar fox
Cheeks: Jungle cock or synthetic jungle cock

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Tacky Tube – Tacky Fly Fishing

Tacky Tube

Tacky Tube

Tacky Fly Fishing has announced this week, their new Tacky Tube. They say it’s the fly patch re-invented. It looks like a really cool product from what I’ve seen so far. They have more details and product information on their web site:

Check out the video below to see a bit more about this new style of fly patch.


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Tying the John Storey Dry Fly with Davie McPhail

Materials Used:

Hook, Size 18
Thread, Sheer 14/0 Black
Body, Peacock Herl
Hackle, Natural Red or Ginger Cock
Wing, Mallard Body/Flank

WILLIAM Arthur Storey, who has died at the age of 93, was a third generation North Yorkshire riverkeeper of national reputation.

He spent his working life tending the River Rye for the historic Ryedale Angling Club, which still flourishes today. Visitors to his little cottage in Helmsley, on the banks of the Rye, could hardly miss it owing to the brass grayling adorning the front door, which Arthurhad made himself during the Second World War from a shell casing.

Arthur Storey’s name and love of fly fishing will be forever associated with the John Storey fly, named after his grandfather, who devised the original pattern.

With its peacock-over-wool body, grey mallard breast feather wing and reddish-brown hackle, the John Storey began life as a wet fly in the early 19th century. By around 1914 it had evolved into a highly effective general purpose dry pattern.

Arthur’s father, Walter, dispensed with the wool underbody (originally included to waterlog and help sink the fly), tied its wing upright, and added a Rhode Island Red cock hackle.

Arthur Storey’s own contribution came in 1935, when he changed the angle of the wing so it sloped forward of the hook eye. This, he freely admitted, was by default, as he struggled to form the original upright wing. The John Storey has been thus tied ever since; however Arthur occasionally substituted the Rhode Island Red hackle for a ginger one, which he claimed was highly attractive to grayling.

Although not intended to imitate anything in particular, Arthur’s variant of the John Storey has remained a highly effective general pattern, proving its worth on both northern trout rivers and southern chalkstreams. Many members of the Ryedale Anglers’ Club still swear by it today, while Arthur Oglesby, one of our greatest game anglers, once used it exclusively throughout one particular trout season with great success.

To the very end of his long life, he remained proud of the fact that, in the late 1970s, T. Donald Overfield had consulted him while researching his book Fifty Favourite Dry Flies, published in 1980. Arthur treated Overfield to a perfect demonstration of the John Storey’s effectiveness by catching a wild brown trout on the Rye behind his cottage garden from under a hawthorn bush that still exists today. Donald Overfield’s beautiful illustrations of the fly’s evolution, framed and sent to Arthur in gratitude, took pride of place on his living room wall.

Beyond Fifty Favourite Dry Flies, Arthur and the John Storey have been featured in a number of well-known books and periodicals on fly fishing and fly tying. These include John Roberts’ New Illustrated Dictionary of Trout Flies (1986), Taff Price’s Fly Patterns: An International Guide (1986), R. C. Dales’ Fly Fishing in Herriot Country (2005), and a recent article by Dales and Arthur’s daughter Anne Nightingale in the December 2012 issue of Waterlog journal. Roberts in particular had good cause to respect the John Storey – it was the first dry fly on which he landed a river brown trout.

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Olive-Gray Duster – Ray Tucker


Ray Tucker recently tied up some interesting wet flies he calls Olive-Gray Dusters. They are a type of Pheasant Tail Soft Hackle Nymph. See below for the materials list and more information from Ray.

Materials list:
Hook – Mustad 3906 Heavy Wet Fly Hook/Size 8 and 10 (debarb/optional)
Body – UNI-Yarn (Insect Green)
Tag/Rib – Ultra Wire (Gold/Small)
Thread – 8/0 UNI-Thread (Camel)
Tail/Dorsal Strip/Wing Case – Pheasant Tail Fibers (Natural)
Hackle – Hungarian Partridge (Natural)
Thorax – Ostrich Herl from a Feather duster (Natural Gray/Dun)
Head – Double 3-turn whip finish using the tying thread

Materials are listed in the order they are tyed onto the hook. Quite a few materials, but once you get the hang of tying them, they go fairly quickly.

These could easily be tyed in a range of colors, by switching out the yarn and/or the herl color. Give them a try. Hopefully they are as fun to fish, as they are to tie. 😀

Note on hook choice: I chose the Mustad 3906 because it is a nice heavy nymph hook. The 3906B would also be a good choice, if you want a longer bodied nymph. When designing how the fly behaves in the water, I want to be able to fish this fly deeply for steelhead. I wanted a durable hook which would sink quickly (thus the narrow body profile). If I was clever, I’d find a way to underweight the thorax area with the ribbing wire, but when I tried it had ended up with a little more bulk than I wanted. I’m sure I can figure something out. I just need to play around more with a few ideas. All part of the fun.



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Filed under nymphs, Soft Hackles, Steelhead

Adams Irresistible

The Adams Irresistible is a great all purpose dry fly. The deer hair body on the Adams Irresistible allows the fly to float high and stay visible in pocket water. The Adams Irresistible is thought to be a mayfly imitation, but is also a great attractor pattern. Practice up and give the Adams Irresistible a try. They are very fun flies to tie once you get the hang of them!

Adams Irresistible Fly Tying recipe:
Hook: #10-18 Tiemco 100
Thread: Black 8/0 UNI
Tail: Moose Body Hair
Body: Deer Hair
Wing: Grizzly Whiting Hen Cape
Hackle: Grizzly and Brown Whiting Rooster Cape

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Chad Johnson’s Mini Mega Minnow

Video from Dally’s Ozark Fly Fisher www.theozarkflyfisher on the White River in Cotter, Arkansas. Produced by the incomparable Brian Wise from Fly Fishing The Ozarks

The Mini Mega Minnow offers predator hunters a smaller profile for imitating prey species, like smallmouth & largemouth bass, white hybrids and stripers and smaller esox species, not forgetting trout species. If it eats small baitfish, it will eat this fly.

Our own Chad Johnson, an Umpqua fly designer and Dally’s guide, has built in plenty of triggers for predator species, most predominantly the oversize eyes, protected in a helmet of Clear Cure Goo.
The profile is a minnow, bucktail and hackles giving the illusion of bulk and living movement without the water absorbing weight.
The action comes from the lead wire on bend of hook: On the strip the rear weight ensures the fly swims flat through the water column and on the pause momentum will cause the fly to dart laterally. Fish it on a sinking line, tie it in your favorite color combo’s for any predator fish.

Material list


Hook – TMC 8089 Size 6
Thread –GSP 50, White
Eyes – 1/4” Oval Pupil 3D-Pearl/Black
Clear Cure Goo
Green Glitter
American Rooster Saddle- White
Chartreuse &White Bucktail
EP—Sparkle Brush- Pearl
30/0 Lead Wire
Hard as Hull
30 lb. Mono

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Ken Lockwood Streamer

I’m a fan of hairwing streamers, so I enjoyed the video this week from Tim Flagler and Tightline Productions. Check out the Ken Lockwood Streamer and enjoy!

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Matt Grajewski interview!

Matt Grajewski

Matt Grajewski

Could you explain how you got started fly fishing and fly tying?

As a kid, my Dad would break out a fly rod and popper later in the evening to fish for bass. I still remember those evenings in the canoe, watching the popper and hoping a bass would eat it. That was the first fly fishing memory for my brothers and I, and probably why we have always gravitated toward making a fish chase down a fly.

My older brother, Eric, asked for a fly tying kit when we were young. I remember tying flies and ice fishing jigs. That’s where it all started. Little did we know back then what it would grow into.

Some time ago you partnered with Nick Granato to form Fly Obsession. Could you explain what Fly Obsession is and how that all got started?

Nick and I have always had a similar brain when it comes to tying and fishing. After a number of conversations, we decided to join forces. The goal was to write about the things we talked about. It’s not a “Top 10 nymphs for trout” or “How to rig an indicator” type of fly fishing content. Not that there is anything wrong with that. It just wasn’t the things we liked to do and talk about. So we talk about the things we love and hope one or two people dig it.
Visit at this link:

Do you have any mentors that you look up to?

It may be cliche, but it really is my family. I learned more from my Dad than I will ever realize. I learned many lessons about life through our time in the outdoors. My parents both made a lot of sacrifices so that we could enjoy the outdoors. My Mom always fished and hunted hard, even when things didn’t go her way. Eric fishes harder than anyone I know and never gives up. My younger brother, Mark, is always willing to try something new. All of those experiences taught me a lot about fish, and life.

A few years ago there was a short film about you and your brothers called The Brothers Brown created by Third Year Fly Fisher. What do you remember most about that experience?

It was a lot of fun working on that film, and sharing all of the stories and memories with RT. A lot of which was off camera. The thing I’ll probably remember most was Eric’s bottom of the ninth fish. He had lost a couple of big fish during the filming, and we all really wanted him to land one of those for the film. We decided to stay and fish one more day and do a short float. We didn’t have anyone to row another boat so we all piled into one. It was crowded, but we made it work. Eric lost a giant early in the day. It was just bad luck. You can hear the silence on the film when that fish comes off. Finally, at the last good section of the float, he hooks a good fish. After a few tense moments, the fish makes it into the net. We have definitely caught a lot of trout bigger, but that is a fish I’ll never forget. You can see the excitement in the film after we land that fish.
Visit at this link: Third Year Fly Fisher

Do you still have a special place in your heart for the Au Sable River?

Absolutely, and always will. My love of trout fishing was born in the UP, but it was solidified on the big waters of the Au Sable. My parents bought that cabin in 1985, and we spent a lot of time on that water since. I am now passing my affection for that river onto my kids. It is really cool to watch them experience the river. Probably much like it was for my parents to share it with my siblings and I.

What species of fish do you like to fish for most often?

These days, that’s an easy one. Muskie. Particularly, lake muskies. I have fished for a lot of different freshwater species, and I enjoy all of them. But, there is nothing like muskie for me. I love tying big flies. I love the game of locating them each time out. I love how they eat a fly with bad intentions. Mostly, I love that they do whatever the hell they want. I respect that.


In your opinion, what makes a good muskie fly?

There are a couple vital elements a muskie fly needs, in my opinion. It must have triggering movement. I don’t want a fly that comes straight back to the boat. I want a fly that glides to the side, or drops down. It also can’t be hard to cast. Muskie fly fishing isn’t as physically demanding as it’s made out to be. Big streamer trout fishing is definitely harder on you. But, if you are casting a fly that is unnecessarily difficult to cast AND retrieve, you will wear yourself out. The biggest mistake I see with big flies is they have too much material. They become harder to cast, harder to retrieve, and harder to manipulate. I try not to make it harder on myself than I need to.

Do you have some tips you could give to tiers out there who want to begin tying streamers for muskie?

Achieve the profile you want, with the least amount of materials. There are a lot of great natural and synthetic materials available today. Materials that hold a good profile, but also shed water easily. Many of these do not have to be packed tightly on a hook to hold a profile. Blane Chocklett’s T-bone is a great example of that.

How is tying a fly for muskie different from tying a fly for big brown trout?

With big brown streamers, every material is in play. With muskie flies, I mostly stay away from materials that retain water or collapse easily. Otherwise, the basis is the same. Achieve the desired profile, without extra material. Your arm will thank you later.

What are your go-to streamers for muskie?

Yard Sale is my favorite and has produced more fish for me than any other fly. Jumpin’ Jack Flash is creeping up quickly, and I’ll always have some classic bucktail flies in my box. Tough to beat the beauty and productivity of a big bucktail fly for muskie.

Yard Sale

Yard Sale

What thread do you primarily use on your muskie flies?

GSP in 210 and 280. I go through a lot of it.

Is there a species that you haven’t caught, that you would like to attempt to catch one day?

I’ve always wanted to fish for Stripers, especially on the upper east coast. I hope to make that happen one day.

Do you tie commercially or sell your flies in some way?

I wouldn’t say I tie commercially, but I do small custom orders of big trout streamers and muskie flies. I cannot tie two flies that look the same. It’s just not in my nature. There are guys like Eli Berant, Rich Strolis, and Mike Schmidt that are your dudes if you want volume. Those guys can tie custom orders as good as anyone, but they also turn out flies in numbers with the best of them.

What are some of your favorite fly patterns to tie?

The Devil Dancer is my favorite pattern to tie. I love the classic bucktail and hackle flies, and it’s my spin on those that incorporates two modern materials. So they have some of the classic look, with the flash and creativity of modern flies. A good mix of both. Jumpin’ Jack Flash and Nut Butters are up there as well.

Devil Dancer

Devil Dancer

How many patterns have you designed yourself?

Not really sure as it’s tough to really lay claim on a design these days. So much of today’s modern streamer tying is a mix of other patterns. Especially with how many are posted on the internet. Back in the day, you saw a fly in a shop, or a new material that inspired you. Nowadays, there is inspiration everywhere and a shit ton of great tyers out there. For the creative fly tyer, I’m not sure there has been a better time to be alive.

Do you have any new patterns you are working on at the moment?

Always. My brain never stops. I recently got out of bed at 1 am to tie a fly that was in my head. I like the way it swims and some fish have shown some interest, but it needs more time in the water and fish feedback for me to be sold on it. You can’t beat fish feedback when testing a new idea.

new fly idea from Matt

new fly idea from Matt

Could you describe some of your main rigs you use when you go fishing, including rod, reel, and line?

Rods are pretty simple. 10 and 11 weights are my go-to rods. I get asked about which brand/model of rods a lot. My answer is they all catch fish. Find one that fits your stroke and price range, and that’s the rod you want. There is no one best rod.

As far as lines, I’ve used a lot and probably liked the Scientific Anglers Wet Tip Express the best. I think the line is the most important piece of the rig. Haven’t tried the Sonar yet. I also like the Airflo Sniper. My preference is a sink tip in the 25′-27′ range with a floating running line. I don’t like the coating in the intermediate running lines. They are not great in cold weather, and tougher to handle because they are usually smaller in diameter. That is a particularly tough on the those cold November and December days in Michigan.

Reels are even easier than rods. Anything that holds line. If you can get your hands on one that picks up line easily, that can help, but not necessary. A lot of fish are never put on the reel. The drag doesn’t matter.

Is there anything at all you would like to add?

There is a lot of division amongst fly anglers these days. It would be cool to see less of that. So many people fighting for internet fame, and/or bashing others. There used to be more of a camaraderie amongst fly anglers, and I would like to see that regardless of technique. I saw a shop recently selling decals bashing spin fishing. That stuff bums me out. Lets unite instead of fighting and make sure we continue to get the youth involved in the sport. That’s my two cents.

Thanks Matt!

Jumpin’ Jack Flash

Nut Butters

Nut Butters

Devil Dancer

Devil Dancer

Yard Sale

Yard Sale


Filed under Interview, Muskie

Tail Fly Fishing Magazine – Issue #20


The new edition of Tail Fly Fishing Magazine is now available!

  • Untangling the Fly Line Matrix
  • The Miracles of Fall
  • Fly Box Porn
  • The Decline of the Striped Bass
  • Fly Fishing for Redfish
  • Don’t Get Paint on the Ceiling

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Filed under emagazine, Saltwater