Monthly Archives: December 2012

Bastian’s Floating Caddis Emerger – Don Bastian

bfce-oliveDon timed this just as I posted about his Green Patriot yesterday. He has written an excellent post about his new fly explaining its effectiveness, Gary Lafontaine, the concept behind his design, and some interesting facts about how trout feed. Orvis has accepted his Floating Caddis Emerger and it is listed in their catalog at this time.

“I thought about some elements of the caddis fly that I felt important to imitate. Form, silhouette, and floatation were key elements that needed to be designed into the fly. Caddis pupal shucks quiver and vibrate while floating on the surface as the adults struggle to emerge, so I reasoned that the addition of various fibers to blur the trout’s vision might suggest this behavior. And it needed to float as well. I also thought of a mottling effect to imitate the variegated markings of some caddis flies. This thought process caused me to develop the Floating Caddis Emerger. This pattern has become my favorite because it works far better than the others. In fact it has worked so well that I am prone to exaggerated ravings about it, however I shall endeavor to focus on the facts. The Floating Caddis Emerger differs from the other two patterns in two ways. First and most significantly, there is what I call an overback strip of closed-cell foam. This is my solution for unexcelled floatation. Even if swamped in surface turbulence, the fly remains suspended in the film. The second addition is a single wrap of mottled hen back feather at the head to achieve a variegated effect. Omitted ingredients are the body shuck and the half wing. Included are the trailing shuck, Krystalflash rib, Haretron dubbed body, and dubbed head.”

You should definitely take the time to read his post because I think the entire process of designing this fly has been thought-through carefully. I honestly admire Don for learning Lafontaine’s concepts and then taking the information he learned and applying it to his own design.


Filed under Trout flies

Green Patriot

green-patriotBack in 1996 or 1997, Don Bastian invited Charles Meck to go fishing with him in Ontario at the Grand River. This was about the time Don created the Green Patriot. Don explains the design of the fly like this.

“More or less going along with the infamous Green Weenie fly, that Charlie popularized with a looped-tail, I took the inspiration of Charlie’s Patriot and the known fact that fish love chartreuse and created the Green Patriot. Sort of like the Lime Trude, but more on the order of a Wulff. The Green Patriot is dressed just like the Patriot, except that it uses fluorescent green thread instead of red, and pearlescent Krystal-flash instead of the light blue of Charlie’s pattern.”

When Don told Charlie the fly was a cross between the Patriot and Green Weenie, he laughed. They both started calling the fly the “Patriot Weenie.” Don said they caught fish on the Green Patriot at the Grand River. He noted they were not big fish, but he was happy the fly was working on a hard-fished river. Charles later went out west and wrote back to Don, “Those Patriot Weenies really caught a lot of trout!”

Don expresses the Green Patriot is a great attractor pattern on small streams or anywhere in pocket and broken water when there’s no hatch.

Green Patriot

Hook: Standard dry fly hook size #10 – #16
Wings: White calf body hair; white thread is used to set, divide, and post the wings
Thread: Danville 6/0 Flymaster #504 Fluorescent Green
Tail: Brown hackle fibers
Body: Fluorescent green tying thread; the rear and front-third of the body is formed with pearlescent Krystal-flash wrapped over the thread
Hackle: Brown

Charles and Don would meet again when Charles was working on the second edition of Pennsylvania Trout Streams and Their Hatches. Charles actually went to Don’s house and they fished Larry’s Creek in Pennsylvania. He mentioned Don’s tying of Comparaduns in the book.

If you want to read a few more details about the fly, head over to Don Bastians website.

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Filed under Classic


pat2Charles R. Meck, a lifelong Pennsylvania resident and the author of several successful books on fly-fishing, has fished virtually every trout stream in the state of Pennsylvania.  He has also fished throughout the Mid-Atlantic States, Arizona and New Mexico. He is well known for his amazing Patriot fly pattern. Charles created the fly back in 1985 and tested it heavily. I have heard many fly fishermen say it is one of their go-to patterns.

Here is an excellent excerpt from Charles about the creation of the fly.

“I tied my first Patriot dry fly more than 20 years ago. When I first tied the pattern I called it the RB Coachman. The RB stood for “really blue” and the body was first tied with barbules from a blue marabou feather. Shortly after Krystal flash came on the market I substituted that product in smolt blue for the body. When I first showed the pattern to Art Gusbar he looked at it and said we should call it the Patriot because it has red, white and blue in the pattern. I handed Art one of the patterns and urged him to try it. Art tied on the pattern immediately and began casting it on one of Pennsylvania’s top tailwaters, the Youghiogheny River, just below the town of Confluence in southwestern Pennsylvania. On the second cast Art hooked onto an 18-inch rainbow on the Patriot.”

There is an excellent article on Charles’ website that explains how he fishes the Patriot and some tips on tying it. There is a video provided by Rise Form Studio of Charles himself tying the Patriot. Be patient when hitting play on this video. For some reason it takes a long time to start playing, but it eventually does and it is worth the wait to hear how Charles recommends tying his fly.


Hook: size 12 to 18, Mustad 94833
Thread: Bright orange red fluorescent 6/0
Tail: Brown hackle fibers
Body: Five strands of smolt blue Krystal Flash with a midrib of the tying thread in the middle of the shank Wings: White calf hair, divided
Hackle: Brown

NOTE: It is important to note the Patriot should be tied with Smolt Blue Krystal Flash. Smolt Blue is a light,
almost translucent blue that possesses a reflective iridescence, almost
purplish when wound over the red thread.

So if you’re looking for a good attractor pattern, this one’s for you. Tie some up and give it a try next season, I know I will!

Photo by Project Healing Waters

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Filed under Classic

Indiana on the Fly

The Indianapolis fly fishing show, Indiana on the Fly, is next Saturday, January 5th. They usually have some fantastic fly tyers at this event and I will be attending. So I’m hopeful I will be able to snap some good photos and be able to post them here at FrankenFly. If you’re close, check it out, it’s a nice show!

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Filed under FrankenFly

Realistic Baitfish video – Rich Strolis

Rich released a new video today on his new baitfish pattern, Realistic Baitfish. Rich now has this pattern available in his store for custom order. This looks like an effective pattern and an easy tie. Rich does a great job as usual with the tying video provided below.


Filed under Rich Strolis

FrankenShrimp step-by-step – Ben Treppa

Ben Treppa is a saltwater fly tyer and fisherman from Michigan. He does tie warmwater flies too, but he concentrates mainly on saltwater. Ben writes a nice blog called Waiting on a bite… and he’s a Pro Team Member for Deer Creek. Ben said this fly he was naming “FrankenShrimp” to honor FrankenFly (which was very cool!) and it’s a variation of several flies he ties and creates.





Material list:

Mustad 34007 1/0
Uni-Thread Black 6/0
Lead Eyes (size Small)
Purple Finn Raccoon
Black Krystal Flash
Purple Saddle Hackle
Pearl Sparkle Braid
Black Bucktail
Big Fly Thread Fire Orange (optional)
Head Cement


Step 1: Start thread about 1/4″ back from the hook eye.

Step 2: Tie in lead eyes using cross wraps. Add a drop or two of superglue to help keep eyes from rolling around hook shank.

Step 3: Cut a small clump of finn raccoon off the hide/zonker. Tie on to hook shank behind lead eyes and work back to the bend.

Step 4: Cut several pieces of black krystal flash off the hank. Tie krystal flash in on both sides of the hook shank. I tie in the full length of the krystal flash at the middle point then double over and secure.

Step 5: Prepare mono and glass bead eyes. These particular eyes were done with 1 min two-part epoxy. You can make your own or buy them.

Step 6: Tie in shrimp eyes to the desired length. I prefer about 1″.

Step 7: Prepare strung saddle hackle by stripping off webby feathers from the bottom.

Step 8: Tie in just in front of the finn raccoon like so.

Step 9: Tie in piece of sparkle braid. In order to keep the body somewhat smooth and un-tapered I tie it in from behind the lead eyes back to the finn raccoon.

Step 10: Palmer sparkle braid forward up to the lead eyes. Tie off and trim. Do not advance the thread just yet!

Step 11: Palmer saddle hackle forward and tie off and trim behind lead eyes. Advance thread forward to the front of the lead eyes.

Step 12: Trim ends even on the bucktail clump and tie on in front of the lead eyes. Do not whip finish and cut thread yet.

Step 13: The following step is optional, but something I like to do. I do it on a lot of my flies. Using bright colored thread create a small accent stripe in front of the lead eyes. Whip finish and trim accent thread. Clean up from portion of thread head with black thread, whip finish, trim, and coat thread with head cement.

Step 14: fly is finished.

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Filed under Saltwater, Step by Step

Biot Parachute – Alex Lafkas

Alex Lafkas guides full time out of the Old AuSable Fly Shop in Grayling, Michigan. Alex got his start fly-tying and fishing the AuSable under the tutelage of Rusty Gates, at age 15. Countless winters of production tying for Gates Lodge and Old AuSable Fly Shop have helped him advance his tying. All flies trout, Alex can tie; large baitfish patterns to small Olive Emergers to Copper John’s, his fly boxes are proof. Several years ago Alex began spending January through March guiding on the White River in Arkansas. April through December is spent on the AuSable River, from Grayling to Loud Pond. Spring and fall are mainly wet fly seasons, streamers and nymphs, with peak dry fly season from Mid-April through September.

Alex provides us with detailed information about the Biot Parachute. A fly he uses with great success. As proof, one of Alex’s clients is shown at the end of this post holding a 21″ brown trout he caught on a Biot Parachute.


Biot Parachute

Hook: TMC 100, 101 #14-#22

Thread: Color to Match Dubbing

Shuck: Dark Brown Z-Lon

Body: Biot to match insect

Parachute: Hi-Vis

Hackle: To match insect

Dubbing: To match insect

The following chart will break down what biot, dubbing and hackle should be used for each insect:

BWO #16-#22OliveBWOSuperfine BWOGrizzly dyed olive, Med dun, Dark Dun
Hendrickson #14TanBrown/Gray/Hendrickson PinkSuperfine Dark TanDark, Med or Light Dun
Sulpher #16-#18YellowSulper Yellow/YellowSuperfine PMD or YellowLt Dun, Badger, Ginger
Iso #12-#14GrayGrayLt OliveDark, Med or Lt Dun




  1. Use a half strand of Z-Lon on #14’s and bigger, 1/3 for #16 or smaller. Tie in the Z-Lon 2/3 of the way up the hook shank, where you will tie your post in. Wrap thread back so the Z-Lon extends straight off the rear of the hook. Trim Z-Lon so it is the same length as the hook shank.


  1. Moisten biot and tie it in tip first. Tie in with clear side down and wrap up 2/3 of the hook shank to where the Z-Lon is tied in.


  1. Cover the hook shank with thread to the eye of the hook. And tie in Hi-Vis parachute. I use para post and split the material in half. Then I tie in the material with 5 or 6 wraps along the hook shank then make several wraps around the para post to form a solid base that doesn’t turn on the hook. Apply a drop of glue to post when completed.


  1. Tie in hackle and use a small amount of dubbing and cover the area around the post and the hook shank in front of post. When this step is completed the only part of the hook shank showing should be at the eye of the hook.


  1. Wrap hackle and tie off around the post. This is done by taking your thread behind the post and below the hackle and wrapping around the post twice. Then move your thread to the eye of the hook, whip finish.

21" Brown Trout caught on Biot Parachute

If you would like to get in touch with Alex for a guide trip, you can reach him at his e-mail address

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Filed under Michigan, Trout flies

Merry Christmas from FrankenFly!

I hope everyone out there has a Merry Christmas! FrankenFly has only just begun, but the response from all of you has been wonderful. I’ve had nothing but nice comments about the website and I’m ecstatic about that! Below I have posted some Christmas flies tied by some very skilled fly tyers. You can still find most of these fly tyers hanging out at either or

If you want to really get that fly tying Christmas spirit pumping, watch the fly tying video below by Louis Cahill of Gink and Gasoline.


Jody Rumsey


Filed under FrankenFly

New from Renzetti

Traveler 2300Renzetti has recently released several new products, including a new black Traveler 2300 Cam Vise Pedestal Base Model. The 2300 comes with anodized aluminum parts and a black powder coated pedestal base. If you are poor like me, you are looking for the cheapest model you can get. Renzetti has a non-anodized version of the Traveler in the 2000 model. The parts on the 2000 are all aluminum. The 2000 has the same exact jaws as the other Traveler models, so no problem there. At a price of $159.95, I feel it is a good buy. For more information visit the Traveler page on Renzetti’s website.

Renzetti now has an entire new line of fly tying tools branded as the R Evolution Product Line. Tools available are hair stackers, hair packers, teasers, and hand tools including a dubbing twister, dubbing needles, and half hitch tools. A carry bag to store your vise, tools, and other fly tying items is another new R Evolution hair stackersitem. From seeing the photos, the tools look very well made and designed.

Renzetti has started a new venture they are calling R Distribution. I spoke to Frank Catino of Renzetti and he mentioned the new venture will involve importing Just Add H2O Products from South Africa. Products like Slinky Blends are involved. These products will be available for dealers in the near future. They are in the process of working on a new web presence for R Distribution. If you are curious about the products, you can find a list at the old website.

Coming mid-2013 Renzetti is planning to come out with a new line of precision scissors. I’m kind of a fly tying scissor geek, so I’m looking forward to this.

That sums up what’s new with Renzetti at this time. As new information becomes available, FrankenFly will keep you posted.


Filed under Vises

Junk Yard Dog released!

Mike Schmidt of Anglers Choice Flies has released a big new streamer called the Junk Yard Dog. According to Mike it’s almost 6 inches in length. Mike says, “This thing casts like a whisper and hooks like a jackhammer.” Head over to Mike’s blog to find out more about the new JYD!

Junk Yard Dog

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Filed under Mike Schmidt