From Devin Olsen:
“This is one my favorite soft hackle hare’s ear variations. It was featured as one of my confidence flies in our instructional film Modern Nymphing. It’s a variation on the tungsten carotene jig designed by my former Fly Fishing Team USA Teammate Mike Sexton, which is available from Umpqua Feather Merchants. I’ve added CDC soft hackle to the pattern to make it more mobile. It is an excellent searching pattern and fishes well whenever caddis are hatching.”
Hook: Hazard HH3, Hanak 230, or your favorite nymph or jig hook in sizes 10-16
Bead: Tactical Fly Fisher slotted gold, copper, or silver tungsten bead matched to hook size
Weight: 0.015″ or 0.020″ lead wire
Thread: 16/0 Veevus in dark tan or brown
Tail: Dark speckled corzuno coq de leon or a color of your choice
Rib: Fl. orange or fl. fire orange Veevus Power Thread
Abdomen: Hareline Dubbin Hare’s ear
Hackle: Nature’s Spirit CDC gray olive or color of choice
Thorax: Hareline Ice Dub uv brown
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.”
Guadalupe River Trout Unlimited proudly brings to you our Fly Tying Video Series. In this episode Chris Johnson, owner of Living Waters in Round Rock, Texas, ties one of the staple patterns found on the Guadalupe RIver, the Red Fox Squirrel Nymph.
Hook – Gamakatsu B10s Size 10
Bead – 7/64” Gold Cyclops Bead – EYC3250
Thread – Ultra Thread – 70 Denier – Rusty Brown
Hair – Red Fox Squirrel Tail – Micro / Nymph Size
Legs – Grizzly Pumpkin Rubber Legs
Ribbing – Small Oval Gold French Tinsel
Dubbing – Dave Whitlock – Red Squirrel Nymph Abdomen
Hackle – Whiting Brahma Hen Soft Hackle
From Ryan Cooper:
“If you have giant black stoneflies in your waters give this guy a try! I love the semi-realistic look the larva lace gives the body. Hope you enjoyed and be sure to tune in next week!”
Hook: Allen Curved Shank Nymph Sz.8
Thread: Uni 6/0 Black
Bead: 2.8mm Black/Nickel
Lead Wire: 0.015
Tail: Black Goose Biots
Body: Black Larva Lace
Legs: Black Goose Biots
Wingcase: Black Thin Skin
Dubbing: Black UV Ice Dub
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 RiverRaisinFlyCompany13@gmail.com for water levels, suggested patterns, and additional information about myself, my patterns, and the adventure we all call fly fishing.