Monthly Archives: January 2018

Kreelex and Chuck Kraft

This past weekend I was tying at the Heartland Fly Fishing Festival in Lebanon, Indiana. See my earlier post on the details of the show. Anyway, it was a great show and I really enjoyed it! An Indiana fly fishing guide friend of mine, Jeff Conrad, came over at one point and told me I should take some time to go talk to Chuck Kraft. Chuck started guiding back in the 80’s and before that designed some nice flies to get him started. He guided in South America and spent a lot of time guiding the James, New, Shenandoah and Jackson Rivers in Virginia. Chuck has even fished with Lefty Kreh and Bob Clouser.

So I of course took the advice of my friend, Jeff, and I’m glad I did. Chuck was such a nice guy to talk with about fly fishing, tying and guiding. He even came over to my table before his fly tying demo and we had a nice chat about a flash product he uses on his Kreelex fly called Kreinik and his Clawdad fly.

He definitely made an impression on me as I watched his fly tying demo and I went back over to Chuck’s table after his demo and wanted to buy one of his Clawdad’s and he insisted I just take it and not pay him, even though I tried several times, until he said, “I’m not going to take your damn money!” Haha, that cracked me up!

So, below is a video of Chuck tying his Kreelex fly that uses the Kreinik Flash I mentioned above. You can find the Kreinik Flash at the Eastern Trophies Fly Fishing which is ran by a friend of Chuck’s, William Heresniak.

Chuck was telling me he literally designed the Kreelex in his sleep before heading to Chile to guide for a few months. This fly is a very popular streamer even now, out west. So check it out!

To read even more about Chuck Kraft, head to this website which briefly explains Chuck’s history:

From Eastern Trophies Fly Fishing:
“This is one of Chuck’s best flies he ever developed and is deadly on Freshwater and Saltwater species. Since 1996 this fly has literally caught almost every fish you could think of from Smallmouth to Dorado, to Trout to Musky. It has won fishing tournaments and was outlawed in certain fly fishing tournaments for being too effective. Simple to tie and if we had only one fly to fish for anything it would be the Kreelex.”

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Filed under Fly Fishing, Streamers

The Bantam

The Portland Fly Shop ties Miguel Morejohn’s Bantam steelhead fly.

Material List:

Size 2 Steelhead Hook
#4 Octopus Hook
Ice Dub
Fusion Dub
Oval Rib
Ostrich Herl
Krystal Flash
XS Lead Eyes
Grizzly Hackle Tips

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Filed under Steelhead

Mini STF – Jonatan Ternald

From Jonatan Ternald:
“A step by step on how to tie the Mini STF baitfish. One of my favorite bait fish patterns for sea run brown trouts, but it will hunt a lot of different species in both salt and fresh water. Small and transparent. Quick and easy to tie. If you don´t have access to STF you can use the next best ting, Polar Dub. It dose´t hav as long fiber as the STF but it´s no need for that on this fly. Happy tying!”

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Filed under Streamers

Balsa Poppers and The Mothership – Matt Zudweg

Matt Zudweg of Boneyard Fly Gear makes killer old school balsa wood poppers! Check out the one above to see what I mean. Matt was getting ready for a fly fishing show lately and has been posting his work. Matt says, even though these balsa poppers are definitely fishable, most people just buy them for display. Below you will find some cool photos of his work on the poppers.
A couple of years ago Matt made a video of the process he uses to make his balsa poppers. I posted about it here on FrankenFly and you can find it here:

The Mothership
Besides his normal balsa wood poppers, this year Matt decided to take it to the next level. He got a 12/0 hook and went crazy big with the balsa! Yes, a 12/0 balsa wood popper! Down below you can see the photos to see just how big this popper is. Since his regular fly tying vise would not hold the huge hook, he had to use a Craftsman Vise to hold it. Enjoy!


Filed under Poppers

Peacock Punisher – Mad River Outfitters

In this tutorial, Pat Kelly at Mad River Outfitters walks you through tying a Peacock Bass Fly called the “PEACOCK PUNISHER”. A MUST HAVE fly on our annual excursions to the Amazon.
You can visit the Mad River Outfitters blog for more detailed information.

Materials list:

Thread: 100 Denier GSP
First Shank: Flymen Fishing Co. Articulated Fish Spine 25mm
Second Shank: Flymen Fishing Co. Articulated Shank 20mm
Hook: Gamakatsu SL12S 4/0
Flash: Mirage Flashabou- Fl. Yellow
Flash: Holographic Flashabou- Red
Flash: UV Pearl Polar Chenille
Eyes: Flymen Fishing Co. Living Eyes 10mm (color of choice)
Articulation Point: Flymen Fishing Co. Articulated Shank 35mm
Tail: Strung Rooster Saddles- Yellow
Body: Yellow Bucktail, Red Bucktail
Cement: Brushable Zap-A-Gap
Epoxy: Loon UV Resin Thick

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Filed under Streamers

Hare’s Ear Trude

The Hare’s Ear Trude is a great dry fly spruce moth pattern on the Gallatin River as well as other rivers in SW Montana. Like a spruce moth, it sits low in the water and is easy to tie.

Materials list:

Hook: Dai-Riki #320 Size 10-14
Thread: 8/0 or 70D Tan
Tail: Elk Hair
Body: Hare’s Ear Dubbing
Rib: Pearl Krystal Flash
Wing: Calf Tail
Hackle: Grizzly and Barred Ginger

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Filed under Dry Fly

Deer Hair Dubbing Streaking Caddis – Peter Steen

Fly Fish Food had guest tyer, Peter Steen (@fly_fishing_pete on Instagram), tie up a great little streaking caddis pattern!

You might have noticed some flies posted here on FrankenFly tied by Peter. He ties quality flies. Check it out!

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Filed under Trout flies

Heartland Fly Fishing Festival

The Indianapolis fly fishing show is coming soon! Heartland Fly Fishing Festival. I’ll be there and I will be doing a fly tying demo as well. For more information, read below.

The heartland Fly Fishing Festival is a fly fishing show in Lebanon, IN – hosted by Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing. The Festival is focused on fly fishing and the techniques and tools that allow anyone to pursue the sport.

Doors open 9:00 am each day. Presentation schedule varies each day.

Silent Auctions every 4 hours – INCLUDING A handmade wooden kayak and Fly gear. All silent auction items benefit Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing Organization.

The show is for anyone new and interested in learning to fly fish, and the fly fisher who has developed a passion for the sport. From novice/beginner to professional this show will have something for everyone interested in fly fishing. A special kids casting and tying area will get them started right.

The show will host over 50-plus exhibitors, presenters and fly fishing guides from Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, North Carolina and Tennessee.

Saltwater fly fishing guides and fly tyers are coming up to Indiana for the winter. Guides will talk shop and trips, fly shops will demonstrate the latest gear, and fly fishing representatives will have equipment available for tryout.

Notables from the fly fishing community will join us. And you should too. This two-day event promises to be exciting and educational.

Casting demonstrations, clinics, educational seminars will be presented by fly fishing personalities throughout the two-day event. Small watercraft (kayak, canoe, single person craft, drift boat) exhibitors will be in attendance. Fishing lodges, outfitters and guides will show you how, and if you already think you know, will show you more.

Ticket price: $12.00 daily-$15.00 two-day pass.
$6 for 18 AND UNDER. Kids 10 and under are free.

FREE ADMISSION FOR ALL Active duty and separated military with ID. PLEASE JOIN US!

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Filed under Fly fishing show, FrankenFly

Mike Schmidt’s Maraceiver – Brian Wise

From Brian Wise of Fly Fishing the Ozarks:
“A Double Deceiver tweaked with Marabou……..yes.”

Materials list:
Rear Hook Hook – Gamakatsu Sp11
Tail – Marabou
Body – Marabou

Front Hook Hook – Gamakatsu B10s 1/0
Body – Marabou
Flash – Flashabou
Head – Bucktail
Eyes – Flymen Eyes
UV Resin

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Filed under Brian Wise, Streamers

Jay’s Swing Jig – Jay Nicholas

From The Caddis Fly Shop:
“In this video Jay ties a Jigged version of the Ultralicious Steelhead Tube Fly. This fly is tied on a #2 Jigged hook using the same color combination of black and blue and includes Double Pupil Eyes. It is fished best swinging for both summer and winter steelhead. The benefit of using a jigged hook versus a Tube Fly is that the hook will ride up so you’re less likely to snag and this fly actually has a little less material than the tube version. If you’re not experienced in tying tube flies yet this is a great alternative. This is a proven color combination that has worked well for Jay and other anglers.”

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Filed under Steelhead