Monthly Archives: December 2013

b smo’s “Ragg Wool” Cranefly Larva

Brian Smolinski of Lund’s Fly Shop came up with this simple cool cranefly larva pattern. He slathers us with details below!

Over the years I would get a few requests here or there for a cranefly larva pattern, but it was never very many. Since demand seemed low, I never justified stocking one, I always just gave excuse that a hare’s ear nymph is close enough. Well this past year cranefly nymph enthusiasts were coming out of the woodwork from all over asking for this fly.
After looking at several entomology photos of these critters and walking past the windows of the yarn store next to my own shop, the idea of a yarn bodied larva sounded pretty good. Not only does this fly look great, but it is pretty easy and fairly quick to tie.



Hook: Size 12 TMC 200R
Head: Dubbing Mixture:
Dark Hare’s Ear Plus
Chocolate Brown Hare’s Ear Plus
Dark Rainbow Scud Dub
Thread: 72 Denier (Danville 6/0) – Coffee
Ribbing: Medium UTC Ultra Wire – Brown
Body: Natural Mix Wool Yarn
Weight: .025” lead wire

1 – make a section of lead wraps around the shank of the hook approximately half of the overall length of the hook, and so approx. a quarter of the hook length is on either side of the lead wraps.
2 – make a few thread wraps over the lead to secure it while tying the ribbing wire at the rear of the hook
3 – then lightly coat wire with a adhesive of your choice. I use a UV Resin which hardens instantly under an LED ultraviolet flashlight. This not only covers & secures the lead wire, but creates a perfectly shaped tapered base to wrap over with the yarn. (see pic)
4 – tie in yarn at the rear of the hook making sure that all three segments of the yarn tightly tied down.
5 – untwist the yarn and separate each segment by running a bodkin or something similar in between each “strand”.
6 – pull all three strands of yarn so they are taught and lay flat. Begin winding the yarn forwards to the front of the hook, overlapping each wrap to create the desired bulk and taper.
7 – tie off yarn and rib over body of the fly with the ultra wire.
8 – trim excess wire and yarn, then use the dubbing mixture to dub head of fly.
9 – finish and apply head cement notes
10 – when head cement is dry, brush both the yarn and the dubbing fibers with a stainless steel dubbing brush, pushing the head fibers forward.



Comments Off on b smo’s “Ragg Wool” Cranefly Larva

Filed under nymphs, Trout flies

Campeona Streamer

Recently, I’ve been reading The Founding Flies by Mike Valla. Wow, what a fabulous book of fly tying history. The amount of fly patterns and information in this book is impressive! It has quickly become one of my favorites. The book brings to light many patterns you do not normally hear or read anything about.

The fly below is an example of one such pattern brought here by Scottish born fly tyer Elizabeth Greig. You can read much more about her intriguing history in The Founding Flies.

Gary Fraser tied the version below and I have included his information from

Hook: Daiichi Alec Jackson 2051
Thread: Red 8/0
Tag: Gold flat tinsel
Tail: Red goose quill slips
Butt: White chenille
Body: green wool dubbing
Rib: Silver flat tinsel
Throat: Red hackle fibers
Wing: Peacock herl
Shoulder: Teal flank 1/3 wing length
Head: Red

Notes: Well, it may not exactly be a hair wing technically, but it does exude the spirit of one. The streamer originated in Chile and was widely used as fodder for South American quarry. The pattern made it’s way north via a fly dresser in New York named Elizabeth Greig. Mrs. Greig tied the pattern for South American customers and tested the usefulness of the fly in her home state waters. It was proven to be a successful pattern for trout in New York State.

Comments Off on Campeona Streamer

Filed under Streamers

Simple Single-Fly Display – Gary Tanner


I keep up with Gary and his blog, The River’s Course. He has some interesting fishing adventures and ties extremely well. He has recently been working on some nice wooden fly displays. Here is his introduction and then head over to read and see all the details.

Some time ago, classic fly tyer Eunan Hendron asked me to make some display stands for him that would hold a clear plastic baseball card holder, which held the fly.  Made a few and shipped them off.  Recently had some time on my hands, some wood cut-offs from various project, and the ever-present need to try and make a few bucks.  Thus, this post on making (and hopefully selling!) a fly display stand with case.

First, there was that pesky pile of various woods, chief among them some 200-year old Longleaf pine that came down courtesy Hurricane Hugo in South Carolina back in 1989.  I found it in the rafters of an old sawmill, and used it for the floors of a house we were building outside of Edgefield, SC, when I was the director of development for the National Wild Turkey Federation.  The sapwood is light and has a nice color; the heartwood is hard as a rock, full of pine resin and almost impossible to sand because of that resin.  But it is beautiful.  So I started with this:

Gary’s most recent post goes Inside a chunk of firewood…

Comments Off on Simple Single-Fly Display – Gary Tanner

Filed under New Product

Fox Squirrel Nymph – Holsinger’s Fly Shop

This fly is a great generic nymph and a perfect substitute for a hare’s ear. You can also look us up on the web at for all your fly tying and fishing needs. Holsinger’s Fly Shop is located in East Freedom, Pennsylvania.

Comments Off on Fox Squirrel Nymph – Holsinger’s Fly Shop

Filed under Step by Step, Trout flies

Flies Around the Net – 12-26-2013

Some of the flies that have caught my eye around the net this month.

Candy Cane - Kevin Raye

Candy Cane – Kevin Raye

Amber Caddis Pupa - Krystian Niemy

Amber Caddis Pupa – Krystian Niemy

Tied by Norbert Renaud

Tied by Norbert Renaud

Curtis Fry - Merry Christmas wet fly

Curtis Fry – Merry Christmas wet fly

Celtic Caddis - Jimbo Busse

Celtic Caddis – Jimbo Busse

Mayfly - Pierre Lainé

Mayfly – Pierre Lainé

Sand Eel - Jack Denny

Sand Eel – Jack Denny

Lafontaine's Sparkle Yarn Pupa - Jörgen Danielsson

Lafontaine’s Sparkle Yarn Pupa – Jörgen Danielsson

Wemoc Adams - Mike Valla

Wemoc Adams – Mike Valla

JCs Double Trouble Christmas Caddis

JCs Double Trouble Christmas Caddis

Comments Off on Flies Around the Net – 12-26-2013

Filed under Uncategorized

Steve Dally’s Lap Dancer

Dally’s Ozark Fly Fisher partner and guide Steve Dally demonstrates his predator seducing Lap Dancer in trophy brown trout sizes.

Like all our White River trophy brown trout guides, Steve was seeking new ways to find the radical wounded baitfish action to tempt big browns. The Lap Dancer is a step forward in the evolution. Steve ties the Lap Dancer from 5″ to 10″ long for meat eaters from smallmouth, largemouth, trout, salmon and even pike and musky.

Why the “Lap Dancer” name _ “you have to pay good money to get something to wiggle like that.”

Rear Hook: Gamakatsu B10S #1
Thread: Wapsi UTC 210
Tail: 2 or 4 Saddle Hackles depending on quality
Body: Bucktail
Underbody: Palmer Chennile
Flash: Krystal Flash; Flashabou Mirage; Grizzly Accent
Rear Articulation 20mm Fishskull Articulated Shanks
Front Articulation 50# mono
Beads: Dally’s Streamer Balls 6mm metallic beads.
Lead: .030 Lead Wire
Swimming Hackle: Grizzly saddle narrow
Head: Rainy’s Foam Diver Head Large


Filed under Step by Step, Streamers, Trout flies

Pink Matuka Spey – Ken Chandler


This one is brought to us by guide Ken Chandler in Ontario, Canada with Ken Chandler Fly Fishing Adventures. The Pink Matuka spey can be a tricky fly to tie the first time, so be patient and take your time. It can be tied in smaller sizes,the 3/0 is the size I fish with the two hander and a heavy tip. It’s a long materials list, but I’ve taken 10 years to perfect this fly. In various colors (black, purple, white and olive) this fly produces on every river I fish.
Hook  –  Partridge CS10/1 (3/0)
Thread  –   6/0 Uni Thread (pink or red)
Tag  –   Flat Mylar #12 (silver)
Rib  –   Medium Oval Tinsel X-Strong (gold)
Body  –   Micro Chenille (white)
Wing  –   Magnum Rabbit Strip (pink)
Collar  –  Large Cactus Chenille (pink)
First Hackle  –   Saddle Hackle (pink)
Second Hackle  –   Burnt Spey (white) -soaked in hot water
Over-Hackle  –   Mallard Flank (pink)

Ken has the full step-by-step on the Pink Matuka Spey his website.

Comments Off on Pink Matuka Spey – Ken Chandler

Filed under Steelhead, Streamers, Trout flies

White Miracle

Here are some easy and quick midge patterns … along with being very effective for creek and stream trout sent to me by Andy Satanek. White Miracle is kind of an appropriate name for this time of year. Andy has also included the Zebra Midge which is a well known and proven pattern.

On the Vice at

White Miracle

White Miracle

White Miracle (size 16 shown)

Hook – TMC 2487 (scud)
Sizes – 16 to 22
Body – White thread
Rib – Red wire
Head – Black thread


Beadhead White Miracle

Beadhead White Miracle

Beadhead White Miracle (size 16 shown)

Hook – TMC 2487 (scud)
Sizes – 16 to 22
Beadhead – Black
Body – White thread
Rib – Red wire
Collar – Black thread


Beadhead Zebra Midge

Beadhead Zebra Midge

Beadhead Zebra (size 16 shown)

Hook – TMC 2487 (scud)
Sizes – 16 to 20
Beadhead – Black
Body – Black thread
Rib – Gold wire
Collar – Black thread

Comments Off on White Miracle

Filed under Trout flies

Parachute Blue Wing Olive

Great looking Blue Wing Olive by the gang at The Catch and The Hatch. It is a good idea to always have some Blue Wing Olives in your box because the hatches happen often. Check this one out.

Materials List:

Hook Type: Tiemco 100
Hook Size: #14-26
Hackle: Brown Hen Hackle and Grizzly Hackle to Match Hook Size
Tailing Fibers: Hens Hackle Fibers/ Mayfly Tailing Fibers
Thread Type: 8/0 Uni Thread or 70 Denier
Thread Color: Gray, Olive, Yellow, Orange, Black, Red, Pale Yellow, Brown Etc.
Wing: Mcflylon in White, Black, or Pink
Dubbing: Superfine – Match to Thread


Filed under Trout flies

HMG Fly Systems by Joe Nicklo


After four years of unsatisfactory attempts at refining and tweaking a hot melt glue process application worthy of introduction to the fly tying community, HMG Fly Systems is pleased to present a superior fly tying material that competes with and, in some but not all cases, replaces epoxy and ultraviolet (UV) cured fly tying components.

HMG Fly Systems has developed many patterns using hot melt glue as a component.  In some patterns it is the total material for a completed fly.  We have also developed several patterns that are threadless — not a single wrap of thread in the entire fly. See HMG patterns at

Unlike epoxy and UV cure materials, hot melt glue exhibits many advantages and has superior qualities.  The applications of hot melt glue are infinite and limited only by the fly tier’s degree of creativity.  The following list shows some of the many advantages of hot melt glue over epoxy and UV cured materials:

• No need for UV lights or turning/drying motors.
• Available in a variety of colors.
• Like paint, colors can be blended to obtain a desired color.
• It cures in seconds without a sticky residue.
• It can be shaped and segmented.
• It can be repaired.
• Eliminates weaving materials.
• Colors are mixed and faded during the tying process.
• Can be colored with permanent markers.
• Reduces tying time, in some cases as much at 50%.
• Hot melt glue is extremely durable.
• Can be used to make on-the-stream wader repairs.
• The big one — it is very inexpensive when compared to epoxy and UV cured products.

1 Comment

Filed under New Product