Category Archives: Classic

The Fly Tying of Fred Klein

Grizzly King Bucktail Streamer

My name is Fred Klein, I am from Pennsylvania and started tying flies over 40 years ago with my mother’s wooden clothes pin and sketches from library books.

My family moved to an old farmhouse in the woods with a spring stream and cold pond full of brook trout. My first fly rod was a gift when I was ten years old over 40 years ago. What a gift that was! I started tying flies using a wooden clothes pin as a vice from library book sketches. We had several trout streams near home including the Schuylkill River (Dutch for Hidden River) as well as the Appalachian Mountains.

Being drawn to the wilderness I have pursued wild brown and brook trout with the fly. The beauty and artistry of the old flies as well as fishing with very old fly rods has been my passion.

Tying flies from painted plates from classic books such as Mary Orvis Marbury’s Favorite Flies’1892, and Ray Bergman’s Trout ‘1938 has been a captivating artistic endeavor bringing the beautiful, colorful flies from the golden days of fly fishing alive.

These old patterns are still as functional on the streams and rivers today as they were centuries ago. I have broken away from following the popular styles of today’s fly tying and fishing to pursue trout with the tools of yesterday.

If you want to see more of Fred’s flies and keep up on his latest, follow him on Instagram @haresear100

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Filed under Classic, Hairwings

Flies Around the Net – September 2017

Yes, I know, I’m running a little late with this. But here it is! Thanks for reading FrankenFly!

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Filed under Classic, Dry Fly, Intruders, nymphs, Saltwater, Streamers

Flies Around the Net – August 2017

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Filed under Classic, Deer Hair, Dry Fly, Foam, Hoppers, Pike, Saltwater, Streamers, Trout flies

The Fly Tying of Son Tao

I recently started to notice some beautifully tied flies posted by Son Tao. After seeing a friend from Indianapolis post that he was fishing with Tao, I was surprised to learn he was here in Indiana. I contacted him and below you can read a little about him. He has also been touched by Project Healing Waters, which is a fantastic organization that help vets. In a very short time, you can see by the photos, that Son has skills! Check out his work below!

From Son Tao:
“I’m 44 years old and currently live in Indianapolis, Indiana. I grew up in Pennsylvania but have bounced around for the past 16 years since I am active duty Army. My current rank is Master Sergeant.

I’ve been tying for 14 months now. I was first introduced to tying by a Korean War vet as a way to deal with post traumatic stress. I’ve been deployed 5 times and have seen some unimaginable horrors around the world. After dealing with numerous surgeries and the horrors of war, I was in a dark place. Fly tying provided me with an avenue to escape those memories. It relaxes my mind and focuses my attention in a positive way.

Other than that, I thoroughly enjoy tying classic patterns. I’m a history nerd and find the story behind Flies as interesting as fly fishing itself. So when I got started, I naturally was drawn to Catskill style dry flies.”

Stimulator with Elk wing

Fan Wing Ginger Quill

Lady Benson

Foam Back Humpy

Size 20 Griffith Gnats


Filed under Catskill, Classic, Dry Fly, nymphs, Trout flies

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.

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Filed under Catskill, Classic

Bradley Special – Ricky Bassett

Bradley Special

Bradley Special

Ricky Bassett tied up this beautiful Bradley Special. This was an old dry fly pattern tied by the Dettes of Roscoe, New York. The fly shop, Dettes Trout Flies, is still there and ran by their grandson, Joe Fox. I think the body of this fly is especially interesting.

According to the book, The Founding Flies, “In the late 1930s, William Bradley, an early member of the Beaverkill Trout Club, requested that the Dettes custom tie this fly.”

Ricky is a skilled fly tier that continues to practice the Catskill dry fly style of tying. He did a great job on this one!

Materials list:
Bradley Special Size 14
Wings: Mallard
Tail: red brown spade hackle, rooster
Body: sparse amount of red fox squirrel spun between two strands of red silk.
Hackle: Red brown rooster

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Filed under Catskill, Classic, Trout flies

Bob Jacklin: Muddler Minnow

Bob Jacklin has always been one of my favorite fly tyers. He purchased the fly shop that Pat Barnes owned and started back in the 1950s in West Yellowstone, Montana. Today, Bob still owns and runs Jacklin’s Fly Shop. I was lucky enough to meet and talk with Bob at the Midwest Fly Fishing Expo 2 years ago. So this gives me a chance to post the photo of him and I as well! Anyway, check out Bob Jacklin tying the classic Muddler Minnow.

This classic pattern was pulled as a sample from “Bob Jacklin: Classic Flies and Their Stories”. Available for purchase here: . In that HD Downloadable collection Bob discusses the history of 6 classic patterns as well as demonstrating how to tie these famous patterns using available materials.
Find more about Bob at

Bob Jacklin and Paul J Beel

Bob Jacklin and Paul J Beel

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Filed under Classic, Streamers

Vintage Fly Tying Bobbins

Classic Fly Tyer walks you through some vintage fly tying bobbins and telling you a little of the history of each.

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Filed under Classic, Tools

Ginger Quill

Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions latest fly tying video has Matt Grobert show you how to tie a beautiful, timeless Catskill classic, the Ginger Quill.

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Filed under Catskill, Classic

Duffing’s Night Caddis

Duffings Night Caddis

I wanted to post a fly from my old buddy, Tom Deschaine’s website Tom passed away about a year ago, but he did a lot of work trying to track down information and recipes from old Michigan dry fly patterns. He is one of the major sources I’ve used when tying some of the Michigan Classics I tie.

This particular fly is Duffing’s Night Caddis designed by Harry (Henry) Duffing of Baldwin, Michigan back in the 50s. It always struck me as a very beautiful pattern and could stand up with the rest of the patterns available in the 1950s. Tom recommended to Flexament the wings to make them more durable. The wings may also be tied upright and divided. The egg sack in the back could be tied in either gray or yellow.

All Tom found out about Mr. Duffing is that he owned a barber shop in Baldwin, Michigan and was an amateur tier who specialized in heavily hackled flies. I would say for an amateur tier, he sure designed a beauty here!

This fly was created to be fished at night for the Hexagenia hatch. It is recommended to use dry fly powder floatant or liquid floatant to keep old flies like this afloat.

Recipe is as follows:

Hook: Mustad #79580 Size: 6-8 4XL
Thread: Black or Brown, 6/0
Tail: Two Pheasant Tail Fibers, tied in a “vee”.
Body: Gray Wool Yarn
Rib: Gold Tinsel and Palmered Brown Hackle.
Wing: Gray Mallard Wing Segments, tied upright & divided.
Hackle: Brown

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Filed under Classic, Michigan