Monthly Archives: February 2013

Spirit River UV2

The new UV2 products from Spirit River are very interesting. Before I was a fly tier and fly fisherman, I grew up as a bass angler with baitcasters and spinning reels. In that realm, bass anglers have already been using UV products. What peaks my interest about UV2 is that I feel it will give me another tool in my fly fishing arsenal to get the fish’s attention.

Spirit River’s Bill Black has led the study on the new UV2 products and consulted with well respected fly tier and fly fisherman Randall Kaufmann. Bill asked him about the effectiveness of his patterns in relation to his dubbing mixtures.

Randall had this to say, “”from what little we know it would seem plausible that fly recognition by fish consists of five “keys”: size, shape, color, animation and presentation. The more “keys” you offer, the higher your success rate. It is with all these thoughts in mind that I devise or select an imitation to fish. The Kaufmann Stone, in assorted colors and sizes, illustrates this strategy. The desired color of dubbing is achieved through a blend of many colors, thereby allowing fish to perhaps perceive a natural mottling “pattern”, realistic shade or to “see” a specific color. It is also a blend of multiple materials, which are chosen for their reflective, translucent and animation properties.” Hold a Kaufmann Stone up to the light. You can “see” any color that you look for. Such multi-color/material dubbing mixtures “come alive” in the water and, depending on light and water conditions, and other angling variables, can dramatically increase the “acceptance rate” of fish.”

When I read this, I completely agreed with Randall, because that’s what we do as fishermen all the time. We work on combining all of the things possible that might help us catch fish. We are always looking for more keys, as Randall said.

All of this UV information can be a little confusing. Basically Spirit River is combining both UVF and UVR processes and dying their UV2 products with this method. That’s why it’s called UV2. Now what is UVF and UVR you ask? I’ll refer to the documentation to briefly help explain.

UVF or Ultra Violet Fluorescent are what anglers/tiers know as the usual fluorescent tying materials which absorb light and will emerge back out in a stronger wave length we can view as brighter. Light colors of UVF will radiate under a black light and certain colors can be seen at very long distances both in and out of water. In addition, UVF can also be seen with a standard low strength UV light.

UVR or Ultra Violet Reflectance are the shorter wave lengths the human eye does not usually perceive. These are what we are primarily concerned

UV shot of dubbing

with because of their prevalence in the natural world. UVR reflects through a material or is emitted by the species and cannot readily be seen by the human eye unless very expensive equipment and filters are used.  What you can sometimes see under a UV light is a bluish purple tint on honest to goodness UV enhanced materials.  Many in our industry continue to claim it is UV when actually some of it is not. In addition many feathers and furs emit their own UVR signature and many common patterns used today will in fact emit some UVR.

Bill has worked closely with well respected world class dyer and fly tier Dave McNeese on this process. McNeese works intimately with insects and is a famous butterfly collector at the university of Oregon where he is in the process of classifying all species of moths, butterflies and beetles by their UVR finger print. He has just discovered two new species which were identified using UVR. So now that you know that, here is what is even more intriguing about UVR.

“The UVR spectrum is extremely common in the animal/insect world. Way more than you might think. This is how bees and butterflies find flowers and mayflies find mates.”

Bill Black adds this, “Also consider the many species of mayflies.  They must radiate a strong UVR factor simply because they have a extremely short time to find a mate then lay eggs. On hotter days the smaller flies may have less than 24 hours of flight time. In addition they are competing with other species in the same space so the UVR signature they give must be unique and strong. So it makes sense that nymphs, emergers, and adults tied with a UVR factor will allow an angler a distinct advantage.”

From the information that I’ve read, I thought it was important to note this statement from Bill. “That the statements above are not to say that many other factors do not enter into the science of UV and fish. They do. Consideration needs to be given to the types of water (salt or fresh), and its clarity. These are additional factors just as are the UV light reflected from the water and the UV ambient light during daylight hours.  Because of these ‘other’ factors we do feel there is a place in flies and lures where there is NO UV needed.  Basically a flat black non-UV Wooly Bugger can and will stand out better against certain water and light conditions. Ever notice how some species of fish tend to feed more in dawn and dusk situations. They are keying in on the UVR aspects of their prey.”

I honestly think this is a product worth using as another part of the flies I tie. As stated above, I believe it adds to the other elements I’m using to entice fish.

Bill has made an informative video explaining the UV2 products in a much better way and he even shows us what normal products look like compared to their UV2 counterparts. If you’re having trouble understanding all of this, the video really helps.


Filed under Product Review

Ausable Wulff – Fran Betters

In 1964 Fran Betters created the now famous, Ausable Wulff.



“After years of fishing the AuSable and other Adirondack Streams, and after studying numerous insects, I had noticed a particular curiosity relating especially to the large stonefly and mayfly nymphs in the rivers of the Adirondacks,” Betters wrote in his book, “Fly fishing and — fly tying and pattern guide.” “They seemed to have a slight rusty orange coloration in the thorax and some red in the heads of the flies. I thought that this might be characteristic of flies on these streams due to the mineral content of the streambeds.”


Hook: Regular dry-fly hook, sizes 16 to 12
Thread: Fluorescent orange 6/0 (140 denier)
Tail: Woodchuck guard hair
Body: Rusty orange Australian opossum fur
Hackle: Cree or grizzly hackle and a brown hackle
Wing: Kip tail or calf body hair

You can still buy Fran Betters flies and other items at

In this classic video, the late Fran Betters shows us how to tie his Ausable Wulff.

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Filed under Classic

Treppa’s Bombers, Muffins, and Franken Shrimp


Ben Treppa surprised me with an e-mail tonight asking me to quit posting such good stuff. I had no idea what he was talking about until I clicked the link he sent. Ben tied up some sweet looking Bombers of his own! I’m sure you will like the Chubby Muffin he tied up in the same post. Love it!

I meant to include Ben in the “Around the Net” post a few days ago because he had Custom Fly Art create a beautiful rendition of his Franken Shrimp he created a step-by-step for here on FrankenFly. See below.

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Filed under Streamers

Bernard’s Green Bomber



My grandfather taught me how to fish for bass and bluegill at the age of ten. I fished with him for years before he passed away and I lost my fishing guide, so to speak. It would be more than a decade later before I regained my love for fishing with my sons. Grandpa was not a fly fisherman, but he made his own lures. He was one heck of a handyman, so it came naturally to him. I’m lucky enough to have several of his homemade lures, so I wanted to try and recreate these into flies.

Here is a photo of Grandpa’s lure. It’s articulated by having a connection in the middle. So I had to go with a big articulated streamer for this one. I plan to use this for bass. I’ve included a photo below of the fly in the water. It doesn’t really give it justice, because when the fly is in the water it has fantastic action!




Here’s to you Grandpa!


Back Hook: Gamakatsu B10S Stinger size 2
Olive Marabou
Pearl Krystal Flash
Pearl Olive Estaz
Olive Schlappen feather palmered
Olive grizzy rabbit strip

Front Hook: Gamakatsu B10S Stinger size 1
Back: Olive Marabou
Pearl Olive Estaz
Olive Schlappen feather palmered
Collar: Olive Marabou
Olive Senyo Laser Dub
3d Holographic eyes – red

Use your favorite wire to make the connection. I used Senyo’s Intruder Wire here. You can use Beadalon too. Then a couple of beads to keep the wire together.


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Filed under FrankenFly, Largemouth, Streamers

Psycho Sculpin – Marc Procopio


Here is another pattern by Marc Procopio of
Marc wanted to design a pattern that would work well when swinging a big fly on the Great Lakes.

Thread: Black 6/0 Danvilles Fly Master
Tube: 40/40 Pro Flexi Tube Pink
Tail: 1/8″ Hot Pink/Black/White Tiger Barred Rabbit tied in where the Junction and Liner portion of the tube meet.
Collar: Black Marabou tied in by the butt and wrapped in touching turns (full plume) W/4 strands of Ostrich Herl on each side slightly shorter than the tail.
Pectoral Fins: Large sized dyed pink Amherst Pheasant tippet tied so they splay out (make sure they are long enough. They are there for function and move nicely in the water)
Head:  Magnum Rabbit in a dubbing loop nice and full followed by a Large Eumer (weighted) Cone and X Large Pro Sonic Disk

Notes: you may cut a 1/8″ strip of flat lead and wrap that around the tube the length of the fly starting from where the junction and liner portion meet. Just make sure you leave room for the Cone and Sonic disk. You may add some flash if you wish. Dark colored Ice wing fiber is recommended (Purple Blue Back)


Filed under Michigan, Streamers

Around the Net – 2/22/2013

It’s time for another quick fly tying tour around the Internet to highlight a few cool things in case you missed them.

Planettrout is a blog and a person, believe it or not. He has a ton of nymph patterns over on his blog with a ton of recipes. Below are a couple of nice patterns he’s posted lately. One is a variant on Charlie Craven’s Caddistrophic Pupa and the other is a variant on Dan Delekta’s Delektable Lil’ Spanker. Recipes for both are at Planettrout.



While we’re on the subject of nymphs, here is a super sexy nymph called the Latex n’ Copper nymph. You can find a step-by-step from the creator, Dronlee at his blog, Fly Tying Nation.

Latex n Copper Nymph sbs 19b

My friend Justin Keene has been working on a fancy new streamer over at Stream2Stream. He has put together a nice step-by-step of his new articulated streamer, Project-X. It looks like it will wreak havoc on the fish!



So, if you haven’t visited Fly Fish Food you are missing a lot of fantastic fly tying! It is brought to you by two outstanding fly tyers, Clark (Cheech) Pierce and Curtis Fry. If you haven’t noticed, Curtis has been on FrankenFly a couple times. Once with his Double D and another time with his Micro Nymph. One fly from Fly Fish Food that I enjoyed lately was the Cheech Leech pictured below. A recipe and video on this cool streamer is over at Fly Fish Food.


Cheech Leech


Filed under FrankenFly

Dr. Feelgood and Kingpin

Greg Senyo from Steelhead Alley Outfitters sent me over a couple of nice photos displaying his new fly, Dr. Feelgood! Greg has been extremely busy, but promises more information about his new fly in the future. So I’m really looking forward to that.

In the first image there are several flies sitting in front of a brand spanking new special edition Great Lakes Kingpin #0 spey reel. Awesome baby!!


DR. Feelgood with Kingpin

Senyo Dr. Feelgood Pink

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Filed under Steelhead

Shannon’s Streamer

I love largemouth bass and here in Indiana I’m surrounded by lakes that mainly contain them. So that’s what I’m fishing for the majority of the time. Rich McElligott, a member of the Illinois Smallmouth Alliance has created a nice little streamer that works well for largemouth bass. The information supplied with the video says,

“Shannon’s Streamer is a great pattern created by Rich McElligott, a member of the Illinois Smallmoout Alliance. It’s a fly fisher’s equivalent of the Yamamoto Senko stick bait and works wonders as a “drop fly”. Fish it with a 1X or 2X fluorocarbon tippet and loop knot and allow it to wobble through the water column with occassional twitches when smallies are onto a minnow bite.”

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Filed under Largemouth

From the Dregs – Shawn Britton


From the Dregs

Style -Intruder

This Fly was from the Dregs of the tying waste basket…Hence the
name… So I this it is truly fit to be a “FrankenFly”

Hook:  Gamakatsu B10 stinger #4
Trailer/Stinger:  Gamakatsu Octopus #6
Trailer Hook Feathers:  Golden Yellow & Blue dyed mallard
Trailer Wire:  30lb Fireline Braid
Thread:  Black Monocord
Body:  Lime Green Chenille
Built Up Underbody:  Green EP Foxy Brush
Wings/Feather:  Two or Three Emu Feathers,
Three stripped to the tip, golden yellow hackles leaving a full stem to tie in
as you would a hackle.
Cheeks:  two short golden yellow saddles topped with jungle cock
Accent Flash:  Sparse amount of red and silver Krystal Flash
First Collar:  Blue Dyed Mallard
Finish Collar:  Blue Spey Hackle


shawn tying at storeShawn F. Britton:  I am just another angler and fly tier who has let his love of the outdoors consume his life. A published artist and freelance writer, and well know East Coast fly tier. My feet have been wet somewhere in the woods and waters since my birth and I know my rivers and streams like the back of my hand.  My business, Flies by Britton, is located in Torrington Connecticut, just minutes from two of New England’s premier Trout fisheries – The Farmington River and The Housatonic River. This is the original home of Custom Fly Tying, home base for my fly tying classes, fly shop, and close to the waters where I grew up fishing – the perfect waters in which to offer my instruction and guided trips for Fly Fishing. I also enjoy fishing and guiding on the smaller streams. You’ll find me just the same on many of the local lakes and ponds. Whether it’s from a canoes, pontoons or float tubes – I’ll be fishing for Trout, Bass, Pike and any other species of fish that will hit the end of my line.

Shawn is on the Flymen Fishing Company & Regal vise Pro Staff and a few more. He uses his Bulldog vise to any fly, from Catskill Flies to Crawfish & Hellgrammites, Spey & Dee to Salmon & Steelhead, etc.. Like many of us his approach to fly tying is not limited, nor is it one dimensional.
See you at the shows and maybe we’ll meet on the water.

Shawn is a Longtime Board member and the Newsletter/Web Editor for The Farmington River Anglers Association –

Tightlines’ Shawn

Feel free to contact me or stop by the shop and say hello.

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Filed under Steelhead

Doug Stout items

This is a continuation of the post from the other day of Doug Stout’s awesome work! If you have any interest of wanting something created by Doug, please contact him at the below information and inquire.

Doug sells granite bases for your fly tying vise in various colors and each base is unique. Please contact Doug for pricing. They are reasonable prices.


Doug has custom fly boxes he makes. Doug has placed the slits in the foam in a way so the flies will hang straight when the box is carried or hung up.

Large fly box – $32.95 – 10″ x 14″ and 3.5″ deep
Small fly box – $31.95 – 10.5″ x 8″ and 3″ deep



Fly rotators

AC power, 5rpm motor, steel powder coated, stainless steel, in-line cord switch

9″ tall, 4.5″ wide
wheel is 5″ in diameter 1.5″ thick

They come in white or black as pictured


Filed under Tools