Monthly Archives: April 2017

This Thing? – Gunnar Brammer

From Gunnar:
“I give a step by step instruction for tying This Thing. This pattern is designed to resemble an injured baitfish laying on its side in the water column, yet function as a diver/swim fly on the retrieve. Can be fished successfully on either floating or sinking style lines, recommend 6wt and up.”

Material List:
Hook: Ahrex 2/0 26* Bent Streamer Hook
Tail: FlymenFishingCo Faux Bucktail, Polar Flash (20 strands)
Body: EP Craft Fur Brush/EP Sparkle Brush
Material Dam: FlymenFishingCo Double Barrel Popper (small)
Collar: Hedron Inc. MicroLon
Head: Senyos Laser Dub
Eyes: 6mm Deer Creek Gator Eyez
Resin: Deer Creek UV Diamond Flex

1 Comment

Filed under Streamers

How to Attach Pacchiarini Wiggle Tails to Hooks and Add Action to Your Flies

From Rapax:
“Paolo Pacchiarini’s wiggle tails are a great way of adding life-like action to your flies. It is a proven way of attracting predatory fish such as pike, bass, perch, large trout; you name it, and have resulted in many big catches throughout the world.

In this brief video I show you how to use “snaps for tails” and “snaps for hooks” to attach Pacchiarini’s wiggle tails to your hook.”

Both the snaps and wiggle tails shown in this video can be bought from

Comments Off on How to Attach Pacchiarini Wiggle Tails to Hooks and Add Action to Your Flies

Filed under Streamers

TFO Impact Fly Rod Review

I recently had a chance to get my hands on the new Impact fly rod from Temple Fork Outfitters. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. From what I read, part of this rod’s origin consisted of test rods being sent out to many casting and fishing experts, like Bob Clouser, Lefty Kreh, Flip Pallot, and Larry Dahlberg, to give you some examples. TFO then made adjustments to the rods according to the feedback they received. Granted, a fly rod is a personal preference and even the experts have their own preferences. However, it seems they were after something really special with this fly rod. So I was definitely excited to try one.

When I first took the butt section out of the sleeve, I noticed how light the rod felt, even if I was only holding one section. Then what attracted my attention was the modern looking reel seat and the emerald highlights around the thread wraps near the guides. It’s a very nice looking rod. NOTE: With a little research I noticed the larger sized rods have the modern looking reel seats and the smaller sized rods have rosewood inserts.

So I went out to test cast this new rod using a 250 grain sinking line with a single hook streamer tied on the end. Now, with the full rod in my hand, I could more closely feel how light weight this rod is. It felt great in my hand. With that first casting stroke, it felt effortless to cast. Having just fished with my 6wt Clouser rod, the softness of the Impact showed instantly. Of course, the Clouser is a stiff action rod after all.

I then tied on an articulated streamer with lead dumbbell eyes to see how it would throw something with some more weight. I have to say, more than any rod I’ve casted, even with the flexibility of the Impact, it had enough power to shoot the streamer extremely well. Usually when a rod has that kind of flexibility, I have to use the sling shot and flick of the wrist technique to wing the streamer out there. I didn’t have to do that with the Impact.

I spoke to Captain Austin Auducci and asked him to give me his opinion of the TFO Impact. Austin is the owner and head guide of Grab Your Fly Charters located in the Chicago area.

“I’ve used it as a streamer rod and also to throw top water flies like the BoogleBug. It performs well at both applications. It has the power to throw streamers and it provides a more delicate presentation when throwing top water flies. I do not hesitate to give them to my clients to use.”

What I plan to do in the future is grab a smaller weight Impact for a dedicated dry fly rod. I believe the Impact would make a terrific trout rod. Actually, Austin mentioned the same thing to me.

I’m starting to get the feeling the Impact would be good at many applications. I even read a post from a saltwater fisher stating how much he uses Impacts for salt.

The price point is a little higher than the other TFO rods, but not by much. One of the most attractive features that I love about TFO rods in general is that you get a quality rod at a good price. Even at this price, the Impact is still a bargain in my book.

I was completely happy using my Clouser and my BVK. To be honest, I wasn’t looking for another rod. But after casting the Impact, I plan to use this rod much more. I think it has the ability to become my go-to rod.

-Paul J. Beel

Comments Off on TFO Impact Fly Rod Review

Filed under Fly Rods, Product Review

a Tight Loop magazine – Spring 2017


The Spring 2017 edition of a Tight Loop Magazine is now live! Check it out!

Comments Off on a Tight Loop magazine – Spring 2017

Filed under emagazine

Fly tying of John Satkowski

Having designed commercial patterns for Rainy’s Flies for two years now, I am constantly pushing the boundaries of movement and effectiveness with my patterns. Being a Bass guy my whole life, my eyes weren’t opened to the whole long rod thing until a family trip to Montana in high school changed my perception of what fly fishing is. Big streamers for aggressive brown trout was the ticket. I quickly learned that these trout can be fished very similar to smallies on a river system by quickly ripping streamers through pockets, over drops, and around cover. I was a convert almost instantly.

When I got back home I picked up a simple tying kit and began to experiment. I will admit I tied a lot of awful buggers and some terrible Adams before I had something that resembled a decently tied fly. I would go to Chris Helm’s shop in Toledo, Ohio and watch a true master spin and stack deer hair and go to Cabela’s on Saturday mornings to watch guys like Bear Andrews and Dennis Potter tie and after a while, all the time and energy paid off. I was able to design patterns and go fish with moderate success. I really started getting into Pike with their nasty attitude and speed. The tug is the drug when you fight these toothy, slime bullets. The more time on the water I spent, the more I started to notice things and by the time I was in college I pretty much had my home waters figured out.

I have learned a lot along the way and now that I am getting waist deep into the waters of the business side of things, I am learning the fly industry can be fickle and tough. You always have to self-advocate and no matter how many patterns you have on the commercial side, you always have to keep being creative and inventive. I do a fair amount of realistic tying but those flies never see the water. The real bread and butter is being able to tie a fly that works for the intended species and is easily repeatable. For the most part, my flies are developed for the way I fish. The people that I take fishing and my friends always get annoyed with me because I fly fish for bass like a tournament bass fisherman. I rip streamers or drift a nymph through a hole and if no takes I move on. I really like to cover water when I fish, especially if I’m wading. When I tie a streamer, I want the movement to be instantaneous when entering the water, get the attention of the fish, and then trigger a strike. Things like the movement of rabbit and hackle together or my addictive and generous use of ice dub in a dubbing loop to create collars and bodies lends to this method. I generally fish clear water so the patterns must not spook fish but have a good draw from a distance.

I was a teacher by trade so I love teaching the art of fly tying as well. The trick to becoming a good tier is always simply doing it. Instead of just trying to tie a wooly bugger, tie seven or eight in a row. You have to work out the kinks in the process whether it be rushing the eye or overly bulky bodies. You will tie a bunch of ugly fuglies before you tie something decent so be prepared for that. Have fun while you are at the vise. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a $500 vise and expensive tools to tie. The same goes for gear, it is really nice to have a $300 fly rod, but it simply isn’t a necessity. Get something in your price range and go fish. It’s as simple as that. A little extra information though, for big or tough fish you don’t want to skimp and be outgunned.

For tying tips, questions, and inquiries folks can visit my facebook business page River Raisin Fly Company or email me at for water levels, suggested patterns, and additional information about myself, my patterns, and the adventure we all call fly fishing.

Comments Off on Fly tying of John Satkowski

Filed under nymphs, Pike, Poppers, Streamers, Trout flies

Willy’s Fruit Rollup – Willy Self

I dug this up from back in 2014. Willy tying his Fruit Rollup.

Materials list:

Hook: 730 Series 4, 6, 8, 10
Thread: 3/0 mono cord
Bead: Glass or Brass
Tail: Scud Back over Krinkle Flash
Body: Dubbed Simi Seal
Head: Bead

Comments Off on Willy’s Fruit Rollup – Willy Self

Filed under Streamers, Trout flies

Photography of Kevin Feenstra

Kevin Feenstra is a fly fishing guide in Michigan. He is the owner of Feenstra Guide Service. If you don’t already follow Kevin on Instagram, you really should! He has some beautiful photos to share. You can find him on Instagram @kevinfeenstra
I have selected some of Kevin’s photos below, but there are so many that are good, I couldn’t include as many as I wanted. Enjoy!

1 Comment

Filed under Bowfin, Fly Fishing, Smallmouth, Steelhead

Joe Fox ties a Catskill style Red Quill

NOTE: I’ve had the honor of tying flies for Dette Trout Flies and Joe is a pleasure to work with. It’s awesome to be able to tie for a fly shop with so much history surrounding it.

Joe Fox of Dette Trout Flies in Roscoe, NY, demonstrates how he ties a classic Catskill style Red Quill dry fly.

Comments Off on Joe Fox ties a Catskill style Red Quill

Filed under Catskill, Classic

Dubbin’ Sculpin – Hackles & Wings

Simon Johansson of Hackles & Wings, ties the Dubbin’ Sculpin. Simon explains,”An easy sculpin pattern with a lot of movement, hook point riding up, and a real nice belly.”




-Thread: Nanosilk 50D White
-Hook: Gamakatsu F314
-Belly: Ripple Ice Fiber, UV Pearl
-Back, Hackle: Rabbit Zonker Strip, Purple
-Eyes: Double Pupil Eyes, Chartreuse
-Head: Monster Dub, Black

Comments Off on Dubbin’ Sculpin – Hackles & Wings

Filed under Streamers

Werthers Midge

Patrick Sessoms of Due South Outfitters showing off his “Werthers Midge” which resembles a dead scud. Super good pattern on the tailwaters in Tennessee and in the local streams around Boone, NC.

Materials Needed:

10.0 Vevus thread, any color
Small amber Round Rib
Allen N205 Size 18
2 mm copper tungsten bead

Comments Off on Werthers Midge

Filed under nymphs