Monthly Archives: November 2015

Green Butt Skunk

This video is brought to us by In The Riffle.
The Green Butt Skunk is a classic steelhead fly developed by Dan Callahan on the North Umpqua River. The Green Butt Skunk can be dressed heavy or sparse, depending on the time of year and river conditions. The Green Butt Skunk has fooled many steelhead over the years, and continues to be favorite for many steelhead fisherman. Most anglers love the Green Butt Skunk because it is easy to cast and to tie…and it catches fish of course! Don’t leave the steelhead cabin with out one!

Green Butt Skunk Fly Tying Recipe:
Hook: #02-08 Tiemco 7999
Thread: Black Danville’s 140
Tail: Red Hareline Schlappen Fibers
Body: Green Chartreuse and Black Medium Hareline Woolly Bugger Chenille
Rib: Medium Silver UNI Oval French Tinsel
Collar: Black Hareline Schlappen
Wing: White Calf Tail
Head: Loon Thick UV Fly Finish or Gloss Coat

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Filed under Steelhead

Highlighter Any – Richard Strolis

Richard says, “Here is a rather productive extended foam body ant pattern that can be tied with or without a wing. I tied this version with the wing so you could see exactly how I add that really simple extra step. This is a good imitation for ants in that size 18-14, and you can tailor them to any color you may encounter by simply changing the foam, thread, legs and dubbing. What you may encounter is even when the fish are on the small ants, this guy although dainty is a bit larger than some of the smaller ants but will still get the job done. Have fun tying this one.”

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Filed under Hoppers, Trout flies

Andrea Larko – Angling Artist

Andrea Larko

Andrea Larko

I’ve been admiring Andrea Larko’s artwork for some time and I recently messaged her to see if she might be able to send me something to post on FrankenFly. To my surprise, she is a fan of FrankenFly! She said she even named one of her fish FrankenTrout. How cool is that!?!? So take your time browsing her beautiful artwork and to keep up with all of her eye candy you can visit her art Facebook page at or to purchase her work you can visit her Etsy store at
Now I’ll let Andrea take it away, so read on…

Andrea writes…

My earliest memory was learning how to draw a house with perspective. Since then I’ve been hooked on art of many kinds. From taking courses while I was in college in printmaking, glass forming, pottery and sculpture to fine art, graphic design, and jewelry making, art of all kinds has always inspired me.
I graduated with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Illustration from the Rochester Institute of Technology without the clear sense of personal style that many of my peers had evolved. I enjoyed drawing anything, painting with any medium, and loved to experiment rather than focus on one particular strength. I wasn’t afraid to fail and loved to learn what worked well and what didn’t but more importantly, why it worked or failed. I didn’t want to be told what the rules of art were, I wanted to figure them out for myself.


Through college drawing incorporated itself into so many aspects of my life. I always found myself doodling in margins, drawing on my clothing or even myself if I didn’t have paper. When I saw something that inspired me I’d start to see things the way I’d draw or paint them. Those visual images would stick in my mind almost as if they were burned into the back of my eyelids until I could get them onto paper or a canvas. I still see every piece in my head before it goes onto paper, and with each new piece I create I get closer and closer to being able to make it look the way the back of my eyelids see it. I do, however, realize my limitations, and have had some pieces stuck in my head for years now, knowing full well that I’m not at the point yet where I could master trying to paint them. I know I’ll get there eventually and I know they’re not going anywhere soon, so until then I just aspire to learn from every mistake and each time I get a little closer to where I want to be.

Growing up with 3 sisters, my parents shared their love for fishing with us. I still remember my father casting a rod for me and putting worms on my hook. He even let my sisters and me reel in his fish if we weren’t having any luck. My mother would help us with our casting in the front yard and we all loved going hunting for nightcrawlers after it rained. When we were too young to start fishing my mother would take us with her to watch my father catch fish larger than we were. I was always amazed by the beauty of what came out of the water.


As my sisters and I grew older fishing took a back seat to education and us all moving for college, but my father still recognized the importance of being on the water, and decided to start a family trip. We now go salmon fishing every year together and camp for a weekend reconnecting and telling the best fish stories from the day and years past.
After I graduated from college I moved back to my hometown of Indiana, PA and started fishing again when I could find the time. I met the love of my life and he purchased me my first fly rod 6 years ago. Needless to say I feel in love with fishing all over again. I felt closer to the water and found a sense of peace and tranquility from being on a stream that I much needed. Once my boyfriend held a fly rod in his hands he fell in love as well. We started spending our free time tying flies and scouting the streams for trout. I ended up with beautiful photographs of so many fish and thought it was a shame they just sat in iPhoto, so I decided to make a few oil paintings for our fly tying and art studio to brighten up the bare walls. After they were posted on Facebook and Instagram I was asked to make prints, so I did, and my business as an angling artist began.


I made prints from the color study sketches I did for the paintings and also a few others I was asked for. I enjoyed what I was doing but it seemed as though anyone could draw a realistic fish. So I started sketching one night with a fish outline and as I always have done while I was thinking, I started to doodle. I ended up with a doodle fish and I thought it looked interesting. I tried to play off the surfaces of the fish, what would be flat I put straight lines and where I wanted dimension I added more detail and curves. They’re so much fun to create. I’m so thankful that people have enjoyed these whimsical illustrations as much as I enjoy creating them. I never dreamed I could be so lucky to live out my dreams of being an artist and getting to fish some wonderful places with someone who appreciates it as much as I do.

-Andrea Larko


Filed under fly art

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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Filed under nymphs

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


Filed under Steelhead

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.


Filed under New Product

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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Filed under Trout flies

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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Filed under Trout flies

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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Filed under Streamers