“This is a semi realistic pattern with all the features of the real stone fly nymph but easy to tie and a good pattern to get started with if you haven’t tied semi realistc pattens before.”
Category Archives: Realistic
I’ve been fishing most of my life but I really didn’t take up fly fishing until I was a young adult. I did a lot of “dabbing”, as my Dad called it, when I was younger with a 7’ fly rod and a dry fly catching native brook trout in some of the small creeks in Southwest Virginia, where I was raised. As years past, I discovered a whole new world of fly fishing.
A couple of years after I truly started fly fishing my Father-In-Law gave me a fly tying kit for Christmas when I was 27. This opened the door to endless possibilities. I remember the first fly I tied, an olive wooly bugger with red hackle. It was a pretty ugly, disproportional fly but it started a passion that has grown into a small side business over the years.
Back in 2014, I started posting my flies on Instagram and people started asking me if I was selling them. Before I knew it, I was selling a couple here and there and then one day I asked myself why not turn it into a legit tying business? I got together with my friend and fly fishing mentor Jeff Wilkins, he gave me some sound advice on running a tying business and that started the endeavor. In early 2015, Blue Ridge Custom Flies was launched. Since that time I have tied for people all over the country, including places like the UK, Canada and Australia. I have tied at several fly fishing shows and demoed for local shops and fly fishing clubs. I’ve also had the honor of joining some very fine pro-staffs. I am currently on the pro-staff of Dr. Slick, Flymen Fishing Company, Hazard Fly Fishing and most recently J. Stockard Fly Fishing.
When I am not tying, I enjoy targeting native brook trout and wild brown trout in the small streams of Western North Carolina, East Tennessee and SW Virginia. Small stream trout fishing has always been in my blood and it’s something I am very passionate about. To me, there’s nothing more rewarding than hiking several miles into a wilderness and catching 8-10” native Appalachian brook trout out of a stream that is generally less than the width of a two lane highway. Some people may scoff at this idea, but if one could just see these beautiful creatures in person and the streams they come out of, it might just change one’s perspective. Sometimes fly fishing isn’t just about catching, it’s about enjoying the creation that surrounds you.
*Adam resides in Kernersville, NC with his wife Erin and their two children Jonah and Olivia. You can follow him on Instagram and Facebook @blueridgecustomflies or visit his website at www.blueridgecustomflies.com
Peder Wigdell and Robert Strahl have tied up some beautiful bugs in the last couple of months. They will both tell you, these are not realistic fishing flies, they are just art. Even though you cannot fish with them, I thought it was worth displaying them here so people can see this level of realism is possible in fly tying. So check them out and enjoy!
Here are the final Flies Around the Net for 2016. It has been a year of good vibes and good times for FrankenFly. I want to thank all of you for coming and visiting the website. I’m glad all of you are finding it interesting enough to come back to the site to get even more into fly fishing! I love this sport and I’m glad all of you do too! Here’s to an even better 2017!
I really like the buggy look of this pattern by Ruben and it has a good realistic look! Very fishy!
Watch as Ruben shows us how to tie it.
I learned from my dad and grandfather when I was very young. I grew up with a cabin we spent most weekends at on the Stillaguamish river in Washington state. I learned to fly fish at the age of 8, and I never truly learned to throw a spinning rod until 2016….. Spinning rods scared me. Too easy to knot up.
Did you have a mentor of any kind? Someone that you learned a lot from or was inspired by when fly fishing or fly tying?
I wouldn’t say I necessarily had a mentor, however one person that I highly respect that continues to challenge me in my fly tying even from a few states away is my old work colleague Andrew Grillos. He is also the single best fly naming person I’ve ever met.
How long have you been tying flies?
I taught myself at ten.
What species do you fish for most often these days?
Sea Run Cutthroat and Salmon in Puget Sound
Would you describe a couple of your rod setups? For example, the size and type of fly rod, line, and leader you use?
I use a Sage 690 X rod with a RIO Coastal Quickshooter intermediate fly line or a RIO Outbound with a 5-10’ versileader and a 4 foot section of 10lb fluorocarbon tippet.
Have you designed your own fly patterns?
Yes. All of the flies on my Instagram I’ve created. I have specific Umpqua flies that are copyrighted.
What is your process like when designing a new fly?
There aren’t many things I will admit I am good at. And being self-taught with no formal casting instruction for 25 years I am by no means a perfect fly caster…. But the one thing that has always come very easy to me is tying, and I’ve worked hard at it. There are few baitfish in the world that I can’t look at the fish and duplicate it in a fly form. I have never used recipes, and it bores me to try to follow a recipe. I don’t cook well either for that reason 😉 It challenges me daily to find fish to recreate, and I love the physics involved in order to enable it to ride correctly in the water.
What are some of the things you are thinking about when designing a fly for steelhead specifically?
“Texture and colors” are what I usually like to consider… In that I always want lots of movement in the water, and different forms of movement. I also want different colors that compliment the pattern, yet also give a “depth” to the fly pattern.
What type of fly tying vise do you use?
Beat up old Renzetti Traveler…. One day I’ll upgrade, but this vise won’t die and I love it.
Could you describe a couple of your most memorable fish that you have caught?
I generally look back on certain fish as being memorable not because of the fish necessarily, but because of the company too. One fish was my Clearwater steelhead hooked on a skated muddler. The fish wasn’t that great, but the whole weekend was amazing fishing with my friend and guide Brian Styskal.
I read that you are an encyclopedia of fly tying materials of classic and modern flies. Can you explain a little about this?
I joke with people that I’m a plethora of useless knowledge… I spent decades ordering tying materials for the fly shop I worked at. We were and still are the most eager shop I’ve ever encountered to special order tying materials for customers, which required me to memorize every catalog that came through over the years. I can look at virtually any synthetic and most natural tying material and tell you exactly what it is. I used to have people bring in boxes of materials consistently for me to look over and label what the fur and feathers were.
Do you still fish any classic flies?
Yes. Most are renditions of classics and my own take on them. I love Alec Jacksons Spade fly, the Orange Heron, and Dec Hogans versions of the Akroyd fly. I tie a large number of Dee flies for my own use as well.
Can you explain a little about what spey fishing is for those that do not know?
In general, it is a technique for casting that originally was developed on the river Spey with heavy rods that were upwards of 20 feet initially. It utilizes a water load as opposed to false casting in the air like a single hand rod. Spey casting allows an angler to cast a great distance with little back casting room, and allows more control over the speed of the swing of the fly.
I notice you tie various flatwing flies. Could you explain what that is?
This is a technique for tying that was developed and created by the legendary Kenney Abrames for stripers on the east coast. It is not one fly specifically, but a technique and fishing method. There is nothing I have ever found that fishes the way a correctly tied flatwing fishes. Many claim to tie flatwings… But there is a method to the madness, and without the correct order and specifically placed materials it just isn’t a flatwing.
Thank you for doing this interview for FrankenFly Brita, it was a pleasure!
Brita is a fly fishing guide at The Avid Angler in Washington. She also teaches classes there and works for Far Bank(Sage Rods) full time during the week. Be sure to look her up for your next trip to Washington!
I know, I’m running a little behind on posting Flies Around the Net. I apologize, just been a little busy. Anyway, enjoy!
Hook: TMC 5263 o similar
Thread: UNI 8/0 o UTC 70
Head: closed cell foam and lastic bead chain eyes.
abdomen: closed cell foam and plastic seet (plastic soda bootle) torax: Hareline Senyo dubbing
legs: terrestrial legs o plastic bristles
Wing: 4 rooster neck feathers, grizzly o variant
back: closed cell foam.
Ruben notes, “Dragonflies or adult dragonflies are an obsession for many anglers fishing environments where hatchings of these insects are really abundant and can witness what this generates in fish … often mere imitations, low realism, are enough to deceive a couple of trout if we succeed with the size and color. However it is sometimes necessary to achieve realism in imitation for trout decide to take our fly, as I always say, realism, if not sacrifice any vital aspect of our imitation is never an aspect that remains … always sum. This model has spent years fooling trout during the hot months in the beautiful lakes in the north where you can do a fantastic fishing on the coasts with large reedbeds Patagonia.”