New product: Faux Bucktail from Flymen Fishing Company

Fish‐Skull® Faux Bucktail™ is a tapered synthetic fiber designed to imitate typical premium‐length natural bucktail (or other animal fur fibers that have similar properties).

Natural taper: Faux Bucktail™ fibers are designed with the same basic diameter, gentle “crinkle”, and natural taper as bucktail, allowing you to tie most of the standard techniques and achieve the same distinctive bucktail fly or lure action in the water. In appearance, it looks almost identical.

Consistent length: Unlike natural bucktail, every Faux Bucktail™ fiber is of premium length (6‐inches / 152mm), eliminating the need to sort and search for ideal length strands and having to discard short hairs and under fibers that are unusable.

Ease of Use: Each Faux Bucktail™ bundle of fibers is glued together at the base making it easy and convenient to work with. Simply peel off the full length of your desired amount of fibers, trim to desired length, and tie them in. All the fibers are already “pre‐stacked”, but like natural bucktail a clump of fibers can be easily pulled and teased out to create a nice tapered tail, wing or body on your fly or lure.

Permanent color: Faux Bucktail™ is available in 12 vibrant colors will not bleed onto your hands while tying or fade from constant fishing. More colors will follow as the product gains momentum in the market.

Tough & durable: Designed to hold up to the toothy rigors of big‐game fishing (“bite‐proof”), Faux Bucktail™ fibers bond with super glue or other adhesives better than natural fibers, which secures eyes and other materials firmly in place and increases the lifespan of your flies or lures.

Versatile: The full length can be easily trimmed to suit the specific fly or lure you are tying. Anything from large Pike or Musky flies/lures to smaller Clouser Minnows or Deceivers or Bucktail Jigs or bite‐proof tails on Foam poppers!

Sheds water: Keep your flies light and easy to cast all day. No more waterlogged flies or lures.

No Smell: Unlike natural bucktail, Faux Bucktail™ will make both your wife and fish much, much happier!

Premium Retail Packaging: Each bundle of Faux Bucktail™ Fibers is packaged in the highest quality, barcoded; colorcoded retail packaging designed to look fantastic hanging in your store. The packaging splays the fibers in such a way that customers can closely examine the product and provide all the information necessary to make a purchasing decision. In addition, the light‐weight, low‐profile retail packs allow for easy, lower cost shipping.

Export Ease: Being a synthetic product, this eliminates the usual government requirements and restrictions for importing/exporting animal fur and feather products.

Performance Advantage: Faux Bucktail™ has a distinct performance advantage over other synthetic fibers on the market because it is tapered enabling your finished fly or lure to move more naturally in the water like real animal fur. To explain, normal synthetic fibers are not tapered which means the diameter of each fiber is exactly the same thickness from one end to the other. This creates a “consistent stiffness” along the full length of the fiber which does not allow the energy generated from the front of the fly or lure (as it moves through the water) to accelerate along the full length of the fiber to the back in the same way that a tapered fiber does. To illustrate this concept, think of how much easier it is to crack a whip than it is to crack a length of rope! In summary, a tapered fiber will give your fly or lure better action.


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2017 Midwest Fly Fishing Expo – Featured Guest Tyers

I am once again honored to be a Featured Guest Tyer at the Midwest Fly Fishing Expo this weekend, March 11th and 12th, in Warren, Michigan. This show is one of the best, if not THE best, fly fishing shows in the Midwest. To quote Ed Sullivan, “It’s going to be a really big show!” So make plans to head up and stop by and be sure to visit the FrankenFly table. I’ll be there!
See my previous post on more details of the show. See below to see the expanded list of Featured Tyers for this year’s show.
Thanks and I hope to see you there!

Captain Anthony Mule’ shop pro at Riverview Fly Shop in St. Clair, MI, started fly fishing in the canals behind his parent’s cottage on St. John’s Marsh at an the early age of 8. He taught himself how to tie flies with his father’s vise and salt water materials at the age of 12. He brings his young, fresh perspective to the fly tying community. He’s been self-taught at the art of fly tying and is not afraid to try new material and combine traditional patterns to come up with new patterns to expand the fly fisherman’s repertoire. His goal is to become a licensed guide and become a guide to foster more awareness of the fly fisherman outside of the traditional trout fishing and into the vast opportunities offered on the St. Clair waterways. This came one step closer this January 2017 when he became a licensed captain.

Chuck Furimsky visited the Midwest Fly Fishing Show at Southfield, Michigan, about 28 years ago. He enjoyed it so much, he returned to Seven Springs Mountain Resort, Pa., where he owned a retail shop that carried all leather goods. So speaking with the owner of the resort Chuck got permission to start his own fly show at the resort’s exhibit hall and patterned it after his experience at Southfield. It was an instant success and the start of a long future and many additional shows, from starting in Denver& ending in Lancaster Pa; many shows in between, with the largest show being in Somerset, NJ. Another great show creation of Chuck is the world’s largest show exclusively for tiers who attend from everywhere, including many overseas countries. That show is called the International Fly Tying Symposium and is sponsored by Fly Tyer magazine, and takes place the weekend before Thanksgiving in Somerset, N.J. His true passion was fly fishing and he was a student in George Harvey’s fly fishing credited class at Penn State. His tying is fostered by his 42 years in owning and working in his leather business. “I don’t know anyone here and only one person I met in England that ties flies with leather,” joked Chuck. You just have to stop by his table to see the patterns for trout, bass, all salt water fish, and his latest patterns he ties with his leather Turbo Tails, great for Pike, Muskie, Bass, and Walleye. 

John Satkowski resides in Toledo, Ohio, where he fishes for all fish that swim in the rivers and lakes of southeastern Michigan and northwest Ohio. An artist, fly tying demonstrator, and fly tying instructor, John shares his love of fly tying and fishing as often as he can. For the last fifteen years, he has focused on unlocking the secrets of smallmouth bass, carp, trout, and northern pike on the fly, chasing after them in the rivers and lakes of the Wolverine state and the glory waters of Montana. John is also an accomplished realistic tier and always tries to add a little realistic flare to his patterns. John is a pro tier for Flymen Fishing Company and a commercial tier for Rainy’s flies with patterns ranging from dry flies, nymphs, steelhead, streamers, and flies for the salt. John’s patterns often use creative fly materials and unconventional tying styles.

Hunter Hayes is Co-Owner/Guide at Wildwood Anglers in Ohio and is one of the many prodigies of the late deer hair master, Chris Helm. He started tying when he was 7 years old, and started tying with Chris when he was 13. His deer hair creations are more masters of artwork than fishing flies. Besides deer hair Hunter slings bobbins for all types of flies at his vise, from Warmwater, Trout, Steelhead, Salmon, and for Maumee Flies. You can contact Hunter at his email at


Steve Wascher caught his first Trout at the age of 3 ½, on a DRY FLY!! Steve is a third generation tier from Greenhurst, NY; and received basic instructions and guidance from his father; along with his grandmother in regards to tying. Steve is a well rounded tier, and enjoys all aspects of the art of fly tying; from creating a unique nymph, wet flies for steelhead, or his famed deer hair bugs for those Warmwater surprises. Besides tying Steve guides during the summer months for a wide range of Warmwater species and he enjoys writing articles as well; which have appeared along with his flies in Hatches Magazine, American Angler, and Mid-Atlantic Fly Fishing Guide. Steve is on the Pro Staff of Dyna King Vises; plus many others.

Jerry Regan; a 3rd generation fly tyer; is one of the true keepers of Michigan’s Fly Fishing History; along with being one of the best commercial fly tiers in the business. Just like Trout Unlimited, Jerry was born along the fabled Trout Waters of the Au Sable River near Grayling. As a kid he learned fly tying and fishing from Michigan’s Genuine Legends like Earl Madsen and Ernie Borcher. One thing unique for the patterns Jerry ties, he has never went with synthetics that have flooded the market place, but have stuck with the original materials that were used.

Alan “Al” Ritt grew up here in Michigan where his passion for fishing was born. In the early 80’s while living in Northern California, just after he started tying flies, he started fly fishing. In 1989 he moved to Northern Front Range of Colorado (Longmont) where he and his wife Diana reside. He is currently on the Pro-staff of Whiting Farms, PEAK Fishing, Flymen Fishing Company, Performance Flies, Clear Goo Glue, Fishing for a Cause, Performance Flies, Pro Sportfisher, Diiachi Hooks, and a fly designer for Montana Fly Company. Al is on the board of IFFF Fly Tying Governors and is also a guide on Colorado and Sylvan Dale Ranch just outside of Loveland. Besides with everything above, along with his articles in various magazines, he also published a book, “25 Best Most Versatile Flies”. Alan’s web site is:


Paul Beel is owner/writer and fly tyer of the website and fly tying business Frankenfly ( His passion of fishing was from watching his grandfather create homemade lures as a kid. He felt he could continue in his grandfather’s footsteps as a fly tyer. Paul’s tying specializes in Modern Streamers and Classic Michigan Dry Flies. And he enjoys fishing for Bass and Trout. He is a Commercial Fly Tyer for Gates Au Sable Lodge and Fly Shop; he is on the Regal Vise Pro Staff, Partridge of Redditch Pro Team, Engrico Puglisi Pro Staff, and Deer Creek Pro Staff. And his Patterns have been picked up by Orvis to be sold nationwide. You can contact Paul at www.

Dennis Potter started tying over 30 years ago before fishing on the Ausable River in Northern Michigan. He has spent 4 seasons at the Gates Ausable Lodge as a Fly Fishing Instructor and he still enjoys teaching fly tying instruction. His fly designs are fished extensively and with great success throughout the U.S. Dennis does have various Fly Tying Videos on the market and he is the owner of Riverhouse Fly Company. You will be able to find him tying at the show, with his well known high resolution video tying Demo show. Dennis’s web site is: .

Mike Schmidt is owner & Fly Tyer for Angler’s Choice Flies, based out of New Smyrna Beach, Florida; which started out from encouragement and influence from his dad. His fly tying consists of Winged Wet, Warmwater, Coldwater, and Saltwater patterns. Some of the accomplishment’s of Mike, would consist of Orvis Fly Designer, Contract and Fly Tying Instructor for Mad River Outfitters, Signature Tyer for JagFly Company/Steelhead Alley, and has articles published in Hatches on line magazine. Mike’s web site is: .


Eli Berant grew up and lives in Michigan, so he has been surrounded by big water all his life. After getting his first fly tying kit at the age of 15,  fly fishing and fly tying has been a passion of his ever since. Even though he really likes the “traditional” fly fishing experience; he has taken the concepts of the huge saltwater flies and began to apply them to his exploits here back in the big waters in Michigan. If you are interested in “Big Flies” for Lake Trout, Musky, Bass, or whatever will consume them, you can order these flies at Great Lakes Fly (


Todd A. Schotts is a production fly tier through Grizzly Flies by Schottsie, and creator of Michigan Bobbin Slingers (fly tyers) on Facebook. He is a very active member of the Michigan Fly Fishing Club, where he writes the “Fly of the Month” featured column and contributes other articles to the clubs newsletter, chairs and helps out with various outings, schools, and events. He has had 2 of his flies appear in Eastern Fly Fishing Magazine in 2 different featured articles back in 2015.His passion is being a Bass Bum, (chasing Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass in his Kayak); but also enjoys chasing Trout, or whatever will take a fly. Some of his patterns can be seen in Painted Trout located in Dexter, MI and coming soon Red Fox Outfitters in Fenton, MI. You can contact him at

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“Brook Trout” Great Smoky Mountain National Park – W4F

Ken Tanaka of Wish4Fish is back on the water. This time Fly Fishing in Tennessee in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park for Brook Trout.

From Ken:
I got a couple hours on the water with Chad Fouts from the Smoky Mountain Angler. I was lucky enough to be taken around his beautiful home water. I can’t wait to get back out there again and spend a little more time in GSMNP.

On this trip I was using my custom Flut Rod Company 9′ 3wt and the Ross Colorado LT.

Check out our store –

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Trout on the Swing!!! by Jeff Hubbard

These small Streamer patterns work well in the Spring in Michigan. These flies represent two very important baitfish patterns in the diet of our cold water fisheries in the Great Lakes Region. The Salmon Fry and the Smolt pattern. In the Spring thousands of wild King Salmon fry hatch in the Pere Marquette River. These small minnows become a huge staple in the Brown and Rainbow Trout’s diet until the insect hatches begin. These fry sit along the banks in huge numbers allowing Brown and Rainbow Trout to slam them in the shallows. Almost like witnessing a blitz in salt water where a big fish is attacking the bait. In the Spring the Smolt of these King Salmon and Steelhead of two years of age, start to school up to make their long migration back to Lake Michigan following the adult Steelhead after they spawn and head out to the Lake. These become a big piece of protein for a giant Brown and Rainbow Trout as they try to ambush them on there way out of the river system. Another major food source for our resident Trout is Sculpin’s. The Pere Marquette River and other Great Lakes tributary’s are full of these baitfish. You can find them hiding everywhere, especially rivers full of woody debris.

In the last two Springs I have been playing around with smaller weight size switch rods and short Airflo Scout heads. This system is a ton of fun to cast and hook fish on. Swinging not only for the resident Trout but for any Steelhead that might be left in the river later in the Spring. I find fishing these smaller flies, can be even more effective, then stripping giant Streamers off the bank at a much faster speed. Swinging these small flies is more of a match the hatch scenario and do to the fact your presenting them at a much slower speed with cold water temps on the swing, can trigger more strikes. You give that big trout a little more time to react to a fly in the cooler water and due to the smaller size and life like look they are willing to take it. These flies are all simple to tie with not a lot of steps or materials involved. Good luck and Tight Lines, Jeff Hubbard


Hubbard’s Flash Fry

Hubbard’s Flash Fry
Hook: Heavy Wire Long Shank Nymph Hook Size 6
Tail:  3 pieces of Pearl Fringe
Body: Peacock Ice Dub Wrapped towards eye of hook and use more as a shoulder.
Wing: Tie in a reverse piece of Olive Artic Fox or Craft Fur, fray out with fingers and pull over Ice Dub shoulder and Tie off. Then add three more pieces of the Pearl Fringe.
Collar: tie in a nice piece of Mallard Flank natural by the tip and palmer towards eye of hook.
Eyes:  Gold Bead Chain Eyes small or medium in size tied on top with Ice Dub , dubbed around them towards eye. 
Finish off eye with whip finish.

Hubbard’s Swinging Smolt

Hubbard’s Swinging Smolt

Hook:  Daiichi 1750 size 4
Tail: two soft grizzle hackles tied in Matuka style off the back of hook.
Body:  Green Caddis Ice Dub , dubbed towards front of hook putting more on towards front to form a shoulder.
Wing: Tie in reverse Artic Fox White. fray out with fingers and pull over  Ice Dub shoulder.  Two strands , one off each side of Lateral Scale Pearl (1760 is the number).
Collar:  Tie in natural Mallard Flank tip first palmer towards eye of hook.
Eyes: Medium Silver Bead Chain Eyes.
Head:  Clump on Senyo’s Laser Dub Silver Minnow Body to form head, trim and form with scissors’ around Bead Chain Eyes
Tie off and whip finish.

Hub’s PM Parr “little fry”

Hub’s PM Parr “little fry”

I developed this fly long ago for Nymphing , learned lately it swings well too.
Hook: Daiichi 1750 Size 6 or 4
Tail: White Grizzly Marabou
Body: Olive Ice Dub with Mallard flank palmer to front of hook
Wing: Grizzly Marabou pulled over top
Eyes: Med Red Eyes
Head: Shrimp or Orange Ice Dub

Mini Pugsley Sculpin

Mini Pugsley Sculpin

Hook: Daiichi 2461 Size 2
Body:  Peacock Ice Dub wrapped towards front of the hook then make a shoulder of dubbing.
Collar:   Tie on a sparse amount of the Rubber Bass Skirts this color is Green/Pumpkin Orange.
Collar: Tie in brown shlappen by tip palmer towards eye of hook.
Wing: a few strands of Red Flashabou tied in behind the Sculpin Head.
Head: the key part for any Sculpin pattern.  Tie in a clump of Rusty Brown Senyo Laser Dub and trim to give the Sculpin head your looking for.

These Fly Patterns are a Copy Right of Outfitters North Guide Service 2017

Can also be found at

Jeff has been a full time professional Fly Fishing Guide in West Michigan now for 20 years.   He spends a majority of his guiding and fishing  time on his home river the Pere Marquette.  Jeff provides all his own flies on his guide trips, he ties a lot f patterns from Swing Flies for Steelhead to Hoppers in the summer.    Operates and owns Outfitters North Guide Service.  where you can find other great fly patterns for Trout, Salmon and Steelhead. His favorite method of fishing is Swinging Flies for Steelhead November through March.

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Filed under Michigan, Salmon, Steelhead, Streamers, Trout flies

Revive Fly Fishing Journal – Winter 2016

A new issue of Revive Fly Fishing Journal is live!

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Streamer Chronicles – Chad Johnson

Brian Wise of Fly Fishing the Ozarks features Chad Johnson in his latest Streamer Chronicles episode. Chad Johnson is a guide on the White and Norfork Rivers in Arkansas.

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North 40 Fly Shop Emag – February 2017

Check out the February edition of North 40 Fly Shop’s Emag! Good stuff!

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Black Back Wiggletail in Roach

Paul Monaghan ties up a Black Back Wiggletail. Enjoy!

Generous amounts of bucktail, flash and Nayat (Snow Runner) create an awesome baitfish profile. Add a wiggletail to tempt those big Pike and Muskie..

Material List:

Hook/Rig: Sakuma Manta 546 6/0, Knot2Kinky Titanium 55lb, shrinktube, crimp, bead (optional) and Holo gold Jumbo Slim wiggletail and Mustad Fastac clip.

Thread 100d GSP white
Bucktail in white and medium dunn
Nayat (Snow Runner) in grey and black
Red wool roving
Black wool roving mixed with black angelina fibre
White Deer Creek Mega Lazer dub ( or use white wool roving mixed with silver angelina fibre)
Metz Natural grizzly saddle
Hedron Magnum Flashabou in Moonlight
Hedron standard Flashabou in silver and black
Hedron Mirage in pink
Holofusion in opal
Jerkbaitmania 12mm eyes

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Filed under Muskie, Pike, Streamers

Clouser Hellgrammite

Martyn White shows us step by step instructions for Bob Clouser’s hellgrammite.
From Martyn:
“This suggestive imitation of a Dobsonfly larva is an excellent smallmouth fly, it’s full of movement and has an incredibly enticing action when fished dead drift or retrieved. I’ve tied an olive version here, but black or dark brown is also very effective.”

Materials list:
Hook: Tiemco 811s size 4
Weight: 0.020-0.030 lead wire
Thread: 3/0 to match body color
Abdomen: Wide cut Zonker strip
Thorax : Rabbit fur taken from the skin
Gills: grizzly hackle
Head: furry foam

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FrankenFly Fly Boxes

I really wanted to begin having some FrankenFly fly boxes available, so I did a little research to find a place that could do it. I had many people recommend David Humphries of River Traditions to me. So I contacted David and told him what I was looking for and he sent back some photos of nice boxes and I think they came out looking fantastic! I will make these available soon in the FrankenFly Online Fly Shop.

A traditional aluminum fly box with two sides of slit foam. Rugged and lightweight these fly boxes provide ample storage for a couple days on the water.


Durable light weight aluminum
4 colors available
6″ long x 3 1/2″ wide x 1″ deep
4 oz weight
6 rows of slit foam, room for +200 flies

I will also start carrying these cool little bottle openers that River Traditions makes as well.


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