Casual Dress

Tim Flagler give us detailed instructions for tying Polly Rosborough’s Casual Dress Nymph.

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Filed under nymphs, Trout flies

Fly Fishing Iceland “Highlands” – Wish4Fish

From Ken:
“Ken Tanaka of Wish4Fish is back on the water! This time Fly Fishing in Iceland!

Started off the trip in the Southern region of Iceland in the Highlands. Known for BIG Brown Trout and Artic Char. I teamed up with Fish Partner for 11 days of epic fishing. First stop was Tungnaá (Tungnaa) and Kaldakvísl (Kaldakvisl) River. “

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Griffith’s Gnat step-by-step by Son Tao

Size 20 Griffith Gnats

The Griffith’s Gnat was George Griffiths favorite fly. George was one of the founders of Trout Unlimited which had its origins in Northern Michigan. He made this fly famous and it is definitely a real fish catcher.

Son Tao ties a terrific looking Griffith’s Gnat. He recently did a step-by-step of how he ties his Griffith’s Gnats, so here it is.

Son says:
“I use Semperfli 18/0 30 Denier thread for flies size 16 and smaller. It’s very small diameter thread that lays flat and is GSP. So it’s about as strong or stronger than 140 denier thread. I just color it before the whip finish. Difficulty is 1/10.”

Materials list:
Hook: Tiemco 100 or any standard dry fly hook in sizes 14-24. This tie is a size 20.
Body: Peacock herl
Hackle: Whiting Grizzly

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Filed under Dry Fly, Michigan

Tim’s Hopper

Tim Neal shows how to tie his hopper pattern. This is a really cool hopper pattern in my opinion. You can see that Tim took the time to design this one and perfect it. It has become popular in Michigan over the last several years; a terrific fish taker!


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Grayling, Michigan 2017 – FrankenFly

Well, another trip up to Grayling in Northern Michigan is in the books. This trip will definitely be one to remember because I couldn’t have asked for better fishing. Although, there was a really big one that got away, but I’ll explain that in a bit.

We stayed at a nice place right on the Au Sable River, which supplied nice wade fishing. I went out right away and caught a handful of brookies. The largest being about 9 inches long. Which is not too bad in this stream. What was great about this stretch, was that my son was enticed enough to ask me to take him fly fishing for the first time. He had used a Zebco type setup in the past, when he was around 7, but hasn’t fished in a couple of years. He is now 12. To my surprise, he came out and asked me to teach him how to fly fish. So I tied on a bright foam Chernobyl dry fly and taught him how to dry fly fish. He was moving down the stream and casting really well. We were able to land him a little brookie and he loved it! This was a fabulous part of the trip and another experience that made this trip memorable.

One day, I met up with Brian Kozminski of True North Trout, for an evening float. Brian’s truck was in the shop because of a collision with a deer, so one of Brian’s other guides, Randy Monchilov, brought his Adipose drift boat for us to use. All three of us went out and had a nice evening of fishing, catching many brookies and browns. I have to say, the Adipose boat is a dream to float in. It has great stability and I like the low side walls. One other item to mention, is that Brian had the Temple Fork Outfitters Axiom II fly rod with him, so I was able to cast this and get the feel for the rod. I loved it! I like the backbone this rod has. If you are familiar with TFO rods, it was like a BVK but with more backbone.
Brian and Randy are nice guys and know their stuff. If you are looking for a guide up in Northern Michigan or you want to use some TFO fly rods or float in an Adipose boat, contact True North Trout. They will no doubt get you into some fish!

In between fishing, I made some other stops into some fly shops, like Gates Au Sable Lodge & Fly Shop, Ron’s Fly Shop, and even drove over to Traverse City and visited The Northern Angler.

I went out on a couple of other special fly fishing excursions, with my good friend, Chris Lessway. First, we spent an entire day and evening fishing for smallmouth bass. We floated in Chris’s older, but still quite capable, Hyde drift boat. I shared time on the sticks, so Chris could fish as well. I want to thank Chris for putting up with my rowing. Even though I’m getting better in this area, I am still learning to keep the boat in the fishing zone. It takes time.

We were catching fish right off the bat using my Thunder Mutt streamer. As we fished throughout the day, we learned that the smallies were a little finicky on that day. They were always hitting on the pause. It helped that we were able to see them most of the time. So I would pause it for even longer and wait until they hit, to try and set the hook. We switched up and went through many flies, trying to find a fly they might like better. But in the end, it was the Thunder Mutt which I had in a Chartreuse/Olive and a white streamer that worked the best.

However, things changed when the evening came. Since the sun was going down, we decided to start throwing poppers. Besides morning, this is the best time to do this. We were also on a different stretch of river. The pause didn’t change in this regard either. I was getting most of my fish by doing a pop, a twitch, and then letting it sit. Then BAM!

So this brings me to the fish I mentioned in the beginning. I did a pop, twitch, and then let it sit. I saw this smallie coming up from the side and munch down on the popper. I set the hook and it felt like a nice fish, but I didn’t realize how nice. Then it started pulling line out and then it took its first jump and Chris and I at the same time, said, “Holy Crap!” This thing was a monster. I have never seen a smallie this big. It proceded to take 4 more jumps and I continued to fight it and give it line when needed. After the 5th jump, it pulled a bit and the line came loose. The thing you never want to happen, happened. The biggest smallie I had ever seen, broke the line and was gone. It was gut wrenching. Chris and I talked about that fish the rest of the week and I stil think about it. What a fish…

Then Chris said, “We will get another one.” So we continued on downstream and I continued to throw a Rainy’s popper that I had tied. Chris was right, we did get another good one. Granted, it was not near as big as the one we lost, but it was a really nice fish! This time, I was able to land it after a great fight.

Chris netted it for me and it was in the boat. This is the smallie that is pictured. I was extremely happy to get that fish. Needless to say, it was a fantastic day of smallie fishing.

The final time I went out with Chris, was a quick morning float, we did early one morning. This time we were after some trout. It was an overcast morning with slight sprinkles of rain at first, but that tapered off to be just a cloudy morning. We tried some streamers at first, but with no luck, we switched back to dry flies. Terrestrials seemed to be what was on the menu, so I stuck with that, catching some brookies and a nice little brown trout. As we made out way downstream, I kept casting to various spots, and then it happened. My personal best, brown trout, sipped in my dry fly and doubled my 7 weight rod over. Of course, after losing that monster smallmouth, Chris and I were on the edge of our seats, as I tried working this brown trout to the boat. Chris was calling out logs that the fish was trying to run under and I would guide it away from. Finally, I worked him to the side of the boat while Chris had the net ready and I was able to guide him in. The largest brown I had ever hooked, was landed!

Chris Lessway guides for the North Branch Outing Club, located in a small area called Lovells, right outside Grayling, Michigan. The NBOC provides lodging, a guide service, and a fly shop right on the Au Sable River. Chris is the head guide there. So, if you are looking for a terrific guide, give Chris a call at the North Branch Outing Club.

So this ended an awesome trip up to Northern Michigan. I want to apologize for not having the time to meet up with Jeff Marsh of High on the Fly and Michael Williams of Green Bus Designs. I had to cancel, but will definitely meet up with these two the next time for some fly fishing action!

Thank you for reading FrankenFly!


Filed under Dry Fly, Fly Fishing, Foam, FrankenFly, Michigan, Poppers, Smallmouth, Streamers, Trout flies

Chernobyl ant with easy new parachute technique

Ruben Martin shows how to tie his Chernobyl ant with a new and easy parachute techniques for foam flies.

Materials list:
Back: tan and Brown foam 2 mm
Body: senyo fusión dubbing rainbow
Hackle: whiting golden badger rooster saddle
Legs: Barred sili legs
Parachutes: whiting golden badger rooster saddle
Thread: Uni 8/0

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Cinnamon & Olive CDC/Elk Hair Caddis – Davie McPhail

Materials list:

Hook: Fulling Mill Ultimate Dry Fly size 16
Thread: Uni-8/0 Tan
Body: Olive CDC Feather or Dubbing
Wing: Light and Dark Cinnamon CDC and Elk Hair
Thorax: Light and Dark Cinnamon CDC Fibres
Horns: Bronze Mallard Fibres

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Rich Strolis’s Shimmer Stone Nymph

Brian Wise with his first fly tying video concentrating on a nymph style fly.
The first video in the Rich Strolis Nymph Tying Series…..the Shimmer Stone.

Hook – Dai Riki 270
Bead – 5/32″
Antennae – LifeFlex
Underbody – Lead Wire .025
Tail – LifeFlex
Body/Wing Case – Flash Back
Body – D-Rib
Thorax – Hare’s Ear Plus Dubbing
Legs – Hen

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Tail Fly Fishing Magazine – Issue 30

Check out Issue 30 of Tail Fly Fishing Magazine!

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The Susqehanna Modular Fly Tying Table

Note from Paul of FrankenFly:
Hartman Woodworking built this awesome fly tying table. This particular model of table is a first for Hartman, because it incorporates a NorVise. But what’s really great about Hartman Woodworking building a table is they will customize it to your liking. They excel at this! If you haven’t seen the post about the table they built for me, check it out here.
This Susquehanna Table was actually built for Eric Snyder of Warmwater Specialties. So check out the information that Hartman has provided about the table and the photos that show off the table quite nicely.

Eric’s table after setup.

From Hartman Woodworking:
The custom Susquehanna Modular Fly Tying Table has been named after a favorite warmwater fishing spot, The Susquehanna river in Northeastern Maryland. As with all of our Fly Tying Tables they are handcrafted from the finest hardwoods, The Susquehanna containing the Maple/Birch Veneer high strength plywood base that will ensure no warpage over time and climate changes, with a 2” solid Red Oak boarder. The Red Oak boarder contains the mounting holes for your Norvise System as well as 12” solid wood inlay ruler that has a boarder of Zebra Wood, which is one of the most unique and exotic of the hardwoods. The Susquehanna also features a first tier shelf that contains ten 1 ½” round holes and a rare earth embedded magnet strip that runs approximately 12” along the front of the first tier shelf. The second tier shelf contains six 2” round holes and extra large 2”x3” and 2”x4” trays for tying pieces. The third tier contains twenty-nine ½” holes. All three tiers are also handcrafted in Red Oak. The back corners of The Susquehanna are each equipped with Modular threaded inserts that will accommodate any of the Hartman Woodworking Modular accessories. Pictures are shown with dual Modular Black Finish LED Lamps that attach to either of these mounding locations, with an Otter Creek smart phone stand that can be used stand-alone as a table top stand or securely fitted on either of the modular mounting locations on the Smart Phone Modular mounting attachment. The LED Lamps should last a lifetime but in the case that the heirloom quality table outlasts the lamps they are made to be replaceable. All wood surfaces have been finished with 12 coats of spray MinWax polyurethane (holes are hand brushed) and will hold up to many tying sessions and abuse. As normal wear and tear may dull your finish and provide a few character marks and dents it can be refinished with a light sanding and a few coats of polyurethane.

If you want to see more tables and products from Hartman, all of their contact information is below.

We maintain a Facebook page ( where we put lots of on-going photos of what is happening in the shop and some of where owner, Josh, may be wetting his line. There are a lot of pictures on Instagram ( so that you can follow all of the current work, products, shop changes or just how some finished products look. We also maintain a fully functional e-commerce website ( where you can browse and order most of our standard products or request a quote for a custom project.

We also feature some of our products at local fly shops and currently have some inventory at all four TCO Fly Shops in Pennsylvania ( and The Beaver Creek Fly Shop near Hagerstown, MD ( Stop in at one of these five fly shops to see some of our products. Make a purchase or get more information about custom orders! Contact us about any products, questions or just to find out more information:

Via email:


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