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GLOW BUG (Salmon egg pattern)

by Elaine Cook — Fly tying chairman

Steelhead and trout follow salmon as they spawn and readily eat their eggs. This pattern simulates them. The fly doesn’t sink well so use a sinking line, put weight on your leader, or trail the fly behind a fly that sinks well, or add a gold bead to the hook before tying on the yarn.

HOOK: Mustad 9174 or TMC 105 or Targus 105.  Size 6 or 8

THREAD: STRONG: white, peach, salmon or other light color. Such As: flat waxed nylon, Danville 2/0, monochord, Gudbrod Gx2 or Ultra 149 denier.

EGG: Glow Bug Yarn: comes in both thick and thin strands. bright salmon, pale salmon, orange, peach, pale yellow, and pink

1. Crimp Barb. NOTE: a hook with upturned eye also works, but material is harder to trim.
2. Attach thread 1/3 back on shank. Cover center 1/3 of shake with touching wraps. Leave thread mid shank.

  • Cut 3 one inch or longer pieces.
  • (optional)to simulate a developing embryo, cut a 1 inch piece of contrasting color of thin yarn.
    (See diagrams for upcoming steps.)
  • position thick yarn pieces side-by-side. If using contrasting piece, place it on top.
  • pinching center of material, place on top of shank so that they are not stacked but the three thick pieces are side-by-side and thin piece on top.
  • make three snug wraps, one on top of the other, keeping yarn on top of shank.
  • pull all material firmly upward to be sure it is all on top of shank.
  • tilt yarn to rear, make three wraps in front as close to yarn as possible.
  • pulling firmly up on yarn, make three snug wraps around base of yarn.
  • Advanced thread to eye.
  • whip finish, cut thread, apply super glue or equivalent to thread wraps ONLY behind hook eye.
  • Holding and pulling yarn upward, cut all at once in a single arc with a sharp heavy duty scissor, so that the cut corresponds to radius of egg.
  • stroke yarn downward and fluff to cover bottom of shank. Finger nail or Velcro can help.
  •  trim yarn if needed to form a round contour.


  • Cut 5 inch or slightly longer pieces.
  • (optional) to simulate a developing embryo, cut one 1 inch piece of contrasting color of yarn or separate one piece of thick yarn into 2 pieces, and use one.
  • position all five pieces of one color side-by-side. If using a contrasting piece, position four pieces of primary color side by side and contrasting color on top of them.
  • Proceed as above with the step that starts with “pinching”.

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Peacock Conehead

by Elaine Cook, fly tying instruction

Both the Fly of the Month and Fly Tying Class this month will feature bass flies the Dan Eaton highly recommends for his upcoming Fishouts in the spring.

HOOK: Saber 7246. Or. TMC 5262
BEAD: brass conehead Size 1/4 “ (large) fits size 2-4 hooks
THREAD: black 6/0
TAIL: black marabou with long barbs and Black Krystal Flash
HACKLE: black saddle hackle, barbs equal to about hook gap
BODY: small peacock crystal chenille and small grey or silver chenille

  1. Crimp barb.
  2. Feed cone onto hook, small hole first.
  3. Attach thread behind cone.
  4. Select generous clump of marabou barbs. Position on top if shank, butts behind
    cone, tips extending shank length beyond rear of shank. Tie snugly in place up to
    cone then back nearly to rear of shank.
  5. Using one strand of Krystal Flash, cut in half then in half again.
    Attach center of strands with 2 wraps. Position rear strands to side near you, tie in place. Pull forward strands back and to far side. Tie in place.
  6. Attach tip of hackle to rear of shank, extending to rear.
  7. Attach crystal chenille to rear of shank, extending to rear.
  8. Remove some fuzz from end of chenille exposing strings. Tie in strings.
  9. Advance thread to cone.
  10. Snugly wrap chenille forward to cone with slight spaces between the first few then
    touching. Make 3-4 more wraps that will help to fill and secure cone. Snugly
    tie off, cut excess.
  11. Palmer crystal chenille forward in about 8 wraps. It’s OK to see a little grey. Tie off,
    cut excess.
  12. Palmer hackle forward in about 6 wraps then one extra behind cone. Tie off, cut
  13. Whip finish. Cut thread. Carefully apply glue to thread wraps
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Whip Finish

by Elaine Cook — fly tying chairman

Instead of featuring a specific fly this month, using the “whip finish” method to tie your favorite fly will be discussed.  Having the skill of tying the knot to complete your fly using a “whip finish” is very important for certain flies. Some folks use the method more often, for they just find it easier when they get the hang of it. There are 3 methods to accomplish this:

  1.  Whip finish tool that’s referred to as a Matarelli (there are other similar brands but this is the most commonly used)
  2. Standard whipper (a very old style tool and trickier to use)
  3. Hand method (the only method available before there were tools and uses 2 fingers)

Specific flies that require this method are any that must be tied off behind the material on the hook, ie: beaded flies, poppers. You can use this method on the fly being tied at the fly tying class this month but won’t be required. This is a great time to learn how, refresh your skill, or learn a new technique. There are numerous demonstrations on YouTube for all 3 methods. Just ask for  “whip finish demonstration for tying flies”.

I found the one done by Copper Landing Fly Fishing was well done for a Matarelli. Check them out and do some practicing on a bare hook.

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Kilowatt Fly

by Elaine Cook- fly tying chairman

If you desire or must have a steelhead fly for the San Lorenzo, here’s one that comes highly recommended. Of course it will probably work for the mighty fish elsewhere. This is a variation of Cliff Watt’s Kilowatt Fly. The color combinations are limitless but the 2 that seem to work best are: maroon marabou and hackle  OR maroon marabou tail with both both blue and black hackles.


  • Hook: Gamagatsu 60 degree jig hook size 2
  • Thread: black 140 denier or 3/0
  • Eyes: “Lead Eyes” 1/30 oz. ( barbells)
  • Glue: UV resin, Zap-A-Gap, or Super Glue
  • Tail:
    • 1. Orvis –  New Age Holo Flash- Kaleidoscope color   (Can substitute Flashabou or Mega Baitfish Emulator)
    • 2. Spirit River UV2 maroon marabou. (Can substitute maroon marabou)
  • Rear Body: FNF UV Jelly-biscuit color. (Can substitute UV Polar Chenille-hot pink color)
  • Forward Body: both UV ice dub- purple color AND Salar Synthetic Mikkeli-blue color
  • Wing: same Holo Flash
  • Hackle: maroon marabou


  1.  Crimp barb.
  2.  Attach thread behind hook eye. Wrap thread base to rear of shank then forward to blend in hook.
  3.  Paint eyes with 2 layers red nail polish then one of Sally Hanson’s-Hard As Nails nail polish. Attach at bend of hook with many figure 8 and circular tight wraps. Apply glue. Wrap thread to rear of shank.
  4.  Tie in small clump of Holo Flash. Cut to length of hook.
  5.  Tie in clump of marabou. Same length as Holo Flash.
  6.  Tie in UV Jelly. Make 2-3 touching wraps forward, forcing thread as you turn. Tie off, cut excess.
  7.  Blend both forward body materials. Place in dubbing loop. Advance thread to 1/4 back on shank. Twist dubbing loop making  a thick chenille. Wrap forward a thick body. Tie off, cut excess. Pick out body with a bodkin.
  8.  Turn hook upside down. Tie in small clump Holo Flash on top of shank. Cut to hook length.
  9.  Select lg. marabou feather. Strip barbs off one side of feather. Tie in tip. Wrap, preening back barbs as you go. Tie off, cut excess. Whip finish, cut thread, apply glue.

This is not an early season fly. It can be swung on a Skaget line in the estuary when big fish are in, or dead drifted on a tight line through a riffle or under a bobber. It also can be jigged like a spoon through a pool or frog water. You may have noticed that there isn’t a lot of room for a back cast on the upper reaches of the San Lorenzo. That’s why most seasoned Steelheaders fish exclusively with mono line much like euronymphers. Strip casting is the common method of presenting a fly on the S.L. It is a similar technique to flipping for bass and allows the angler to pitch a fly into tight pockets in very tight quarters. Not to say that you can’t use a traditional fly line but many times anglers spook fish with a role cast over a run or pool, especially in low clear water.

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Tips For Fly Tying

by Elaine- Fly tying chairman

Instead of a specific fly to tie this month I’m sharing some tips that ought to help you tie more flies in the future.

1. There are various methods to thread a bodkin. My favorite is using a ” floss threaded” which is a dental item that is sold in most pharmacies. I advise never using the wire tool that is designed for that purpose. It will score the inside and in turn cause thread to fray and break.

2. While trying to tie a particular fly, it helps to prevent materials from being lost in the clutter or blow away in the wind you using a clip or cloths pin.  For your hooks, glue a magnet to the base of your vise.

3.  Bodkins usually get freshly applied glue out of the hook eye but a feather is really effective.

4. Frustrated with the hole in your glue bottle being glued shut? Try this, after each use quickly wipe with a cloth, re-establish  hole with a safety pin or bodkin, then cap right away. If that doesn’t work try a flame  heated pin. Also cutting off the tip will often get below the hardened glue.

5. Hardened glue on bodkin or safety pin can easily be scraped off with a razor blade.

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Red and White Bead Chain Whistler

by Elaine Cook --- fly tying chairman

This pattern can be used for stripers, pike, salmon, steelhead or ocean fish depending on size. These directions are approite for stripers. Use a fast sinking line and rapid long strips. The overall length of this fly should be about 3 1/2 “. This fly will turn upside down when fished.

Hook: Mustad 34007 size 1    1.Crimp Barb.

Thread: White very strong, ie: flat waxed nylon or monocord    1.Attach behind eye.  2.Touching wraps to mid shank then forward to one and half eye lengths behind eye.

Eyes: Lg. bead chain, cut in sets of 2     1.Attach to top of shank with many figure eight and circular wraps.  2.Apply Zap-A-Gap or similar glue.  3.Thread wraps to mid shank.

Upper Body: Red Bucktail    1.Cut clump from hide about size of wooden matchstick.   2.Pull out long fibers from tips and line up with others.   3. Cut butt ends at an angle 3 1/8 ” from tips.   4.Attach to top of shank behind barbells wrapping back to mid shank.   5.Repeat with a second clump.  6.Apply glue.

Mid Body: Mega Baitfish Emulator-pearl    1.Cut about 1/8″ of binding.  2.Attach strands behind barbells to top of shank tips at rear of fly.

Lateral Line: Neck grizzly hackle    1.Select 2 feathers, barbs equal to hook gap.   2.Cut stem 3″ from tip.  3.Cut about 10 barbs short on each side of butt end of stem forming a “crew cut”.   Tie one “crew cut” in on each side of shank behind barbells.

Lower Body: white Bucktail     1.Repeat like upper body but only use 1 clump.

Thorax: red chenille-lg.     1.Strip fuzz off exposing threads.   2.Tie in threads.   3.Advance thread to barbells.   4.Wrap chenille forward.    5.Tie off, cut excess.

Hackle: Very webby Grizzly hackle with very playable barbs.     1.Select feather, barbs equal to 1 1/2 hook gap.   2.Cut off fuzzy end and prepare “crew cut”.   3.With dark side up, tip to rear, tie in “crew cut between barbells on top of chenille.    4.Stroke barbs to rear while wrapping hackle 3 times behind barbells.   5.Tie off, cut excess.   6.Moisten fingers, hold barbs back, make a couple thread wraps to hold them toward rear.

Head: Tying Thread     1.Make a number figure 8 wraps around barbells.   2. Form a small tapered nose infront of eyes.   3. Whip finish, cut thread.    4.Apply glue to nose and thread between barbells.




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Bead Chain Woolybugger

by Elaine Cook----fly tying chairman

To fish this fly, use a sinking line, twitch or strip to elicite a strike from a trout. Woolybuggers typically are not tied with bead chain eyes. They give an entirely different profile. This pattern also varies in that dry fly hackle is used and barbs are kept short.

Hook: TMC 5263 , sizes 8-14

Thread: color to match tail or body

Eyes: bead chain , size proportional

Tail: Marabou, color to match hackle or body.

Hackle:  Neck or saddle. Color to match body or tail, or dun.

Body: Chenille: black, brown, olive, cinnamon, or those colors variegated.

1. Crimp Barb.

2. Attach thread behind eye. Touching wraps 1/4 back on shank then forward to one hook eye behind eye.

3. Cut bead chain with wire cutters into sets of 2.

4. Attach bead chain eyes to top of shank, one ball on each side, using multiple figure eight wraps and around base of eyes on top of shank. Wrap thread to mid shank. Apply drop of glue.

5. Pull clump of marabou off stem of feather. Note: moisten marabou for easy handling. Cut off butt ends. Lay butts on top of shank behind eyes. Tie to top of shank back to end of shank. Break (do not cut) tips to desired length.

6. Select hackle with barbs equal to 1 1/2 hook gap. Holding tip, stroke barbs against grain. Position tip on top of shank, butt end to rear. Tie in place.

7. Pull fibers off about 1/4″ of chenille exposing core threads. Attach threads to rear of shank. Advance thread to behind bead chain.

8. Wrap body forward with touching wraps. Tie off, cut excess.

9. Spiral hackle forward in 6 evenly spaced wraps. Tie off, cut excess. A couple more thread wraps to secure.

10. Make several figure 8 wraps around bead chain eyes. Wrap thread head. Whip finish. Cut thread. Apply glue to head.





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Iris Caddis

by Elaine Cook----fly tying chairman

This emerging caddis is fished in the surface film using a floating line. Apply floatent to the loop wing only.

Hook: TMC 100   sizes 14-18

Thread: tan 8/0

Shuck: Amber Z-Lon or spooled Antron

Body: tan Hairtron or Hairline dubbing

Wing: white Z-Lon or Antron

Thorax: same as body AND dubbing wax

Head: thread

1. Crimp Barb.

2. Apply thread 1/3 back on shank.

3. Separate strand of shuck material in half. Tie to top of shank from tie-in to a little around bend of hook. Cut length equal to 1/2 hook shank long.

4. Dub a generous body up to tie in. Brush backward a little to make rough.

5. Tie in wing material on your side of shank. Form a loop that extends to rear of shank. Tie in on far side of shank at original tie in location. Cut excess. Wrap down butts.

6. Apply dubbing wax to a couple inches of thread. Using touch method, apply small amounts of dubbing to thread. Wrap a generous, shaggy thorax forward to hook eye. Wet fingers, pull forward dubbing backward. Make several thread wraps forming a head. Whip finish, cut thread. Brush thorax fibers back a little forming a shaggy fly.


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Adult Damsel

by Elaine Cook ---- fly tying chairman

In late spring and eairly summer, damsels migrate from the debths of ponds and lakes becoming very vulnerable to trout and bass. As adults they flutter around vegetation that sticks out of the water. They end up in the water from mating rituals and the wind. Fish will sometimes come out of the water to take them from the air or off vegetation. Do check out

Hook: TMC 5262 size 12

Thread: 6/0 royal blue   Damsels often come in tan. Just change all the materials to tan to imitate them.

Abdomen: “Adult Damsel Body” or “Braided Butt Damsel” in blue. These are braided monofilament. And a black Sharpie pen.

Eyes: Pre-made black monofilament eyes OR make your own from plastic hairbrush bristle. Holding a 5/8″ piece in the center with hemostats, melt each end with a flame, forming a barbell shape.

Thorax: blue 2mm closed cell foam

Hackle: dun saddle or neck

Thorax: blue superfine dubbing

Head: blue foam as above

1. Crimp barb.

2. Attach thread behind eye. Touching wraps to rear of  shank.

3. Prepare abdomen. Cut 1 1/8″ long. With hemostats, hold 1/16″ from tip. Melt end with flame. Mark with Sharpie 6 times starting at tip. Note: some of this will be covered, leaving 4-5 exposed marks. Lay on top of shank, melted end to rear,other end to mid shank. Tie in place. Advance thread to 3 hook eye lengths behind eye.

4. Position barbell eyes 2 1/2 hook eye lengths behind hook eye. Attach to top of shank with figure 8 wraps so it’s at right angle to shank. Apply drop of Super Glue” or the like.

5. Cut 3/16″ of foam. With one end behind eyes, attach snugly to top of shank back to mid shank or a touch more.

6. Cut wing strip 2″ X 3/8″, round ends. Twist center and attach to top of shank infront of  extending foam with figure 8 wraps so that wings extend outward.

7. Select hackle with barbs 2 times hook gap. Cut off fuzzy end. Cut 5-6 barbs short on each side of stem forming a “crew cut”. Lay crew cut on top of shank infront of extending foam with tip to rear. Tie in place.

8. Dub thorax up to and a little around barbell eyes ending infront of extending foam.

9. Holding hackle, foam and wings upright, wrap thread all the way around base of all 3 over shank leaving thread hang on your side. Holding wings downward, make 3-5 hackle wraps around base of foam then leave hanging infront of hanging thread. Bring thread upward, make 3-4 wraps around base of foam. Cut excess hackle. Cut hackle barbs short in front of foam. Apply small amount of dubbing to thread and wrap to behind barbell eyes.

10. Pull foam forward. Tie snugly in place with several wraps. Advance thread to infront of barbells, pull foam forward. Tie in place with several wraps. Pulling on foam, cut foam short.

11. Snugly wrap down foam stub. Whip finish. Cut thread. Apply glue.


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Quigley Cripple PMD

by Elaine Cook---Fly Tying Chairman

Understanding how to fish this fly is important. The rear end of the fly needs to hang down in the water and the thorax and wing out of the water. Accomplish this by applying  saliva to the body and tail, then floatent to wing and hackle. During a hatch fish tend to be more eager to take an emerger than a dun because they are not ready to fly off.

Hook: TMC 100, size 16-18

Thread: yellow 8/0 but 12/0 or 14/0 are preferred (Note: Rather than purchasing multiple colors of very fine thread, get one spool of white and use a Sharpie pens to make various colors.)

Tail and Body: Brown marabou (fluffy)

Thorax: Pale yellow dubbing

Wing: Deer hair with light color and narrow fibers

Hackle: Ginger neck or saddle

1. Crimp Barb.

2. Attach thread one eye length behind eye. Touching wraps to rear of shank.

3. Cut 3-5 marabou barbs from stem. With tips extending hook length length to rear, make 2 thread wraps forward, then fold marabou backward and make 2 thread wraps backward.

4. Make thread loop. Hold loop and stem end of marabou together, and wrap thread 2/3 forward on shank.

5. Twist loop and marabou into rope, then wrap up to hanging thread with touching wraps. Tie off,cut excess.

6. Dub a round thorax that covers  shank from 1/4 to 1/2 back from eye.

7. Cut a small bundal of deer hair from close to hide. Clean out under fur. Stack tips. Lay on top of shank, tips out over eye so that they measure a shank length from thorax. Tie in place by making first wrap around only hair fibers then second wrap around both fibers and hook shank. Make several snug wraps on top of one another. Then one around base of wing to bundal it, then one more around shank. Cut butt ends so they just cover thorax. Apply very sm. amount glue to thread wraps.

8. Select hackle, barbs 1 1/2 hook gap. Cut off fuzzy end. Cut 5-6 barbs short on each side of the base of stem forming a “crew cut”.  With feather tip to rear and dark side facing you, tie in crew cut between wing and cut deer hair butts. Make 3-5 hackle wraps around shank. Tie off cut excess.

9. Tie off with half hitches behind eye. Cut thread, apply small amount glue to half hitches.






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by Elaine---fly tying chairman

Using Poppers on the surface for bass is a kick and a half, but sometimes they won’t come up and you half to go down and dirty. Here is a great way to get their attention. This fly will automatically turn upside down when fishing, which is what the picture on the right demonstrates. Directions are for an orange fly. Other color options: white, purple, black, crawfish, green.

Hook: TFS 5444 or AREX TP650, size 2

Thread: white flat waxed nylon or Danvile 140 denier

Eyes: orange, Hairline, double purple lead eyes, size med.

Tail: black/orange over tan, tiger barred rabbit strip,

Body: orange Estas chenille, size med.

Legs: orange and black Crazy Legs, or similar

Glue: Zap-A-Gap, Super Glue, or similar

Sharpie Permanent Marker (optional) , orange

1. Crimp barb.

2. Attach thread slightly down nose. Touching wraps to 1/4 in. back on shank.

3. Attach eyes on top of shank just behind bend of nose. Use figure 8 wraps, then  circular wraps pulled snugly. Repeat several times. Wrap thread to above barb. Apply glue to eye thread wraps.

4. Cut rabbit strip 1 and 1/4 inch long. Note: devide hair fibers before cutting. With nap of hairs to rear and hide upward, attach about 1/4 inch to top of shank.

5. Tie in chenille at rear of shank. Wrap forward with touching wraps while stroking fibers back with each wrap. Last wrap snugly up against rear of eyes. Tie off, but don’t cut. Make one half hitch. Turn hook upside down.

6. Using one 6 inch strand of rubber legs, cut in half. Stack. Tie in center of both with 2 wraps. Fold forward legs to  rear. Snugly tie in place so that 2 legs extend outward on each side.

7. Advance thread to infront of eyes. Wrap chenille once over legs, then between eyes. Tie off, cut excess. Trim whiskers, then tie stubs down to hide. Whip finish. Cut thread. (Optional) using Sharpie, color thread to match body. Apply glue.

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Midnight Cowboy

by Elaine Cook - fly tying instructor

Hook: TMC 5263 or TMC 200R   Sizes 6 (at Pyramid ) -12.   Adjust materials for the smaller flies.

Thread: black 6/0

Tail: Black marabou with fluffy tips ( straight tips can be broken off )

Tail Flash: both red and blue Flashabou

Hackle: Black strung hackle, AKA India hen back.

Body: Speckled midnight fire chenille ( black chenille with short projections of both red and blue flash )

1. Crimp barb.

2. Attach thread behind eye. Wrap to above hook barb, then forward to mid shank.

3. Note: moisten marabou for easy handling.  Cut moderately large clump from stem. If barbs are not at least 2 shank lengths long, tie in at rear of shank. Lay on top of shank, butt ends 2 eye lengths behind eye. Tie in place to top of entire shank. Advance thread 1/4 inch. Shorten length of tail, by pinching  not cutting, to length of hook (some prefer a tail half that length).

4. Holding one strand of both red and blue Flashabou together, moisten for easy handling, cut in half. Tie center of all strands to top of shank with a couple wraps. Holding half on far side of tail and half on near side, tie in place back to rear of shank. Cut to length of tail.

5. Holding tip of hackle, stroke all other barbs against the grain. Tie tip to rear of shank with shiny side facing you. Advance thread to 1-2 eye lengths behind eye.

6. Strip 1/4 ” chenille from center threads. Tie threads to shank. With touching wraps, wrap to rear of shank then forward to tie in. Tie of, cut excess.

7. Spiral (palmar) hackle forward in about 8 wraps, stroking barbs backward with each wrap. Tie off, cut excess.

8. Holding barbs back, wrap thread head. Whip finish. Cut thread. Apply Zap-A-Gap glue or similar.

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Coming Out Midge Emerger

by Elaine Cook -- Fly Tying Chairman

This pattern was orininated by Jeff Henkemyer and simulates the emerging stage of a midge. Midges are a very important food source for trout in the winter. They are imparative to have in your fly box when fishing tailwaters and spring creeks throughout the year. Apply floatent and use a floating line with 4x, 5x or 6x tippet, depending on size of fish? If unable to see when fishing, trail a foot or 18 inches behind a fly more visible. A simple fly to tie, with few materials. Magnification for this very small fly is most important to get the details of the fly accurate. With small flies, every wrap of thread counts. Don’t bulk up the fly.

Hook: TMC 2487   Sizes 18-22

Thread: black 8/0

Tail (shuck): grizzly hen hackle tip

Body: black thread

Hackle: grizzly

1. Crimp barb.

2. Attach thread 1/3 back on hook shank. Touching wraps to beyond barb, then touching wraps to above barb.

3. Select a very small hen neck feather. Position on top of shank so it extends hook length to rear. With touching wraps forward, tie in up to hook point. Cut excess.

4. Moisten fibers at end of Zelon, pull to straighten a little. Make cut straight across. Pinch fibers, then tie to top of shank with touching wraps to one eye length behind eye. Cut excess. Tie down butt ends. Cut off any stray fibers. Tilt hook back in vise a little.

5. Select hackle with barbs 1 and 1/2 hook gap. At butt end, cut about 4 barbs short on each side of the stem “crew cut”.  With dull side facing you, tie in “crew cut”with touching wraps back to wing. Using touching hackle turns forward, forcing thread forward with each turn, end up one eye length behind eye. Tie off cut excess.

6. While holding hackle back out of the way, wrap small thread head. Whip finish, cut thread. Cut off any whiskers.

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Bird’s Nest

by Elaine Cook--Fly Tying Chairman

Hook: Mustad 3906 or TMC 3769 (substitution , TMC 5262). Sizes 12-16

Thread: black 6/0, but I prefer 8/0

Rib: small gold wire

Tail: lemon wood duck flank feathers

Abdomen: Australian possum dubbing ( substitution,  grey rabbit dubbing )

Legs: same as tail

Thorax: same as abdomen

1. Attach thread 1/3 back on shank.

2. Position wire under shank. Wrap in place to rear of shank. NOTE: wire under shank prevents it from repositioning tail when spiraling it forward.

3. Line up tips of feather out to side of stem. Cut about 8 from stem. Tie to top of shank, tips extending about 2/3’s shank length beyond shank. Cut excess mid shank.

4. Dub a slightly tapered body 2/3’s shank forward.

5. Spiral rib forward in about 5 wraps. Tie off. Twist wire to break. NOTE: wire dulls scissors.

6. Using one feather, line up tips just beyond rear of hook. Fold feather around hook shank. Tie in place with a couple wraps. Check to see if barbs extend backward all the way around shank. Make a couple more thread wraps. Cut excess.

7. Using dubbing loop, wrap a generous fuzzy thorax.

8. Holding fuzz back, wrap a sm. thread head. Tie off. Cut excess.


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Vernille Caddis

by Fly tying instructor : Elaine Cook

Vernille Caddis

This is one of my “go to flies”. A caddis hatch does not need to be occurring for trout to gobble this one up. The larger sizes work well for the Rocky Mountains, smaller for the Sierra. Fish with a floating line, drag free, in moving water.

Hook: TMC or TFS 2487 (or similar  scud hook ) , sizes 12-16

Thread: olive or olive dun, 8/0

Body: olive (vernille, ultra chenille, or velvet chenille), size small or standard (depending on brand). Super Glue or Zap-A-Gap.

Underwing: dun spooled Antron, light or dark

Hackle: dun, light or dark to match underwing, barbs equal to slightly less than hook gap

Wing: light or light tipped deer hair

1. Position hook in vise so that straight lower portion is parallel to table. Crimp barb.

2. Attach thread behind eye. Wrap to rear, with touching wraps to above hook point.

3. Round end of body material using a candle. Carefully melt the end buy placing it near the base of the flame. Apply glue to thread wraps. Position  on top of shank, tip above rear of hook. Tie in place with spiral wraps up to 2 eye lengths behind eye. Cut excess.

4. Cut end of underwing material to even fibers. Lay on top of body with tips slightly beyond end of body. Tie down infront of body while splaying fibers. Cut excess. Tie butt ends down up to eye.

5. Prep hackle by removing fuzzy end then cutting 4-5 barbs short on each side of butt end of stem (crew cut). Position crew cut under shank, tip of feather to rear. Tie in place back to body then forward to eye.

6. Cut match stick size bundal of hair, clean and stack tips. Position tips at rear of Antron. Tie in place with first wrap around HAIR ONLY, then firmly around hair and shank a couple times to splay fibers. Stroke butt hairs into bundal over eye forming start of head. Wrap a thread collar back to body. Advance thread back to head. Make one loose thread wrap around bundle of hair above eye, then one around collar. Trim head at an angle (see photo).

7. Make several wraps of hackle up to head. Tie off cut excess. Finish with half hitches under head , behind eye. Small amount glue to tie off threads.



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Colorado King Caddis

by Elaine Cook

Although caddis don’t have tails,  this pattern includes two stabilizing peccary. I’m not sure what trout make of these, but it’s a very effective pattern. Due to the coloring it may represent a bee to the fish. Apply floatent, fish drag free or with an occasional skitter.

HOOK: TMC or TFC 100, sizes 8-18.    Crimp Barb.

THREAD: black 8/0.   Attach mid shank. Wrap to rear of shank.

BODY: yellow or golden/yellow , superfine or rabbit dubbing.    Dub a small ball at rear of shank. Leave thread hanging in front of ball.

TAIL: 2 black peccary hairs or can substitute other coarse black hair such as moose main or body.    Position one hair on far side of ball, tip extending hook length to rear. Make 3 wraps. Pull on butt end of hair until it extends hook shank to rear or a little shorter. Tie in place. Cut excess.

HACKLE: grizzly.    Select feather with barbs equal to one or one and a quarter hook gap. Cut several barbs short on each side of base of stem (crew cut). Tie crew cut in infront of ball, light side facing you.

BODY CONT. : same dubbing.    Dub a non tapered body forward to 2 eye lengths behind eye.

HACKLE: same feather.   Palmer forward in about 5 wraps. Tie off, cut excess.

WING: bleached or light deer hair, with med. fine hairs.    Cut a sm. clump an effectiveof hair from hide. Clean out fuzz. Stack tips. Position on top of shank, tips extending to mid tail. Make first thread wrap around only the hair, the second wrap around both hair and shank. Make several snug wraps , making hairs flare. Cut hair butts short at an angle. Wrap thread head covering all hair stubs. Whip finish, cut thread. Apply Zap-A-Gap or similar. If any hairs remain exposed in thread head, use black Sharpie.

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Mr. Bill

by Elaine Cook

This is my number one “go to” dry fly for trout in either still or moving water. Very important to follow these directions carefully when it comes to proportions, thread wraps and handling and positioning materials. Some helpful hints (tips) will be included that can be applied for tying other flys.

Hook: TMC or TFS 100, or equivalent standard dry fly hook. Sizes 12-16

Thread: black 8/0, 12/0 for size 16 hooks if you wish.

Tail: golden phesant tippet (5-6 barbs) (Tip: Names of the parts of a feather: stem- projection from skin, Barb- projection from stem, barbule- projection from Barb which are difficult to see in most feathers.)

Body: peacock herl with long, easy to see barbules (2-3) (Tip: Herl is fragile , test by gently pulling on tip. If it breaks further than one inch down, discard. Whole feathers are usually better than packaged. Have found whole feathers at the farmers market in Aptos.).

Wing: white calf tail (crinkly, not straight hairs)

Hackle: brown saddle. Tip: Saddle hackle feathers are long, have soft stems, and barb lengths are the same. Best used for dry flies, popper necks, and some buggers. Neck hackle feathers are short, have stiff stems, barbs become shorter near tip. Best used for streamers, popper legs and tails, some buggers, barbs of side feathers for tails on dry flies.

Glue: Zap-A-Gap, Supper Glue, or similar

1. Crimp barb.

2. Attach thread mid shank, leave hanging NO further forward.

3. Tie tail to top of shank, extending shank length beyond shank. Cut any butt ends at MID shank.Position thread at rear of shank.

4. Attach herl tips. Using dubbing hook, form loop with herl, advance thread to MID shank, twist tomake chenille, wrap forward to MID shank. Tie off, cut excess.

5. Wing will be made with 2 small clumps of hairs.  Holding tips, cut one clump from tail. (Tip: always cut hair VERY close to hide.) Clean out all under fur. Using large stacker, stack TIPS.  Remove any more underfur or short hairs. Position on top of shank, tips above mid tail, make one thread wrap around hair only. Then one around both hair and shank, 2 more snug wraps- each one BEHIND the last. Cut butt ends at an angle, tie down butts. Apply sm. amt. glue, using tip of bodkin, to thread wraps and tied down hair. ( Tip: A moderate amount of glue placed in a plastic lid will not set up for quite awhile. This makes application of sm. amts. glue with bodkin easy.) Position thread right in front of wing. Repeat above with 2nd clump of hair. Position thread right infront of wing.

6. Splay barbs at butt end of hackle. Cut 4-5 short on both sides of stem forming a crew cut. Tie in crew cut. Position thread right in front of wing. Make 3-5 close hackle wraps forward forcing thread forward. Tie off, cut excess. Trim any whiskers. Wrap thread head if not already formed while tying in materials. Tie off. Sm. amt. glue to head.

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Schroeder Hopper

by Elaine Cook. Fly Tying Master

This grasshopper pattern has been around for many years and the trout sure like it. Most hopper patterns today feature foam bodies and rubber legs, which are easier to tie and are more durable. There are times when the foam flies don’t work and the fish gobble the Schroeder imitation up. Since hoppers come in a variety of colors, the fly can be tied with wings in tan or cream. The body in tan, cream, yellow, brown, green or orange.

  • Hook: TMC 5212 or 5262.  Sizes 8/12
  • Thread: brown or tan. 8/0
  • Post: white calf body
  • Body: golden-brown Antron dubbing
  • Wing: mottled turkey quill
  • Legs: Ringneck Pheasant tail feather
  • Hackle: grizzly saddle
  • Thorax: same as body
  • Wing and Leg Coating: Flexament or clear lacquer spray

1. Coat or spray wing feather. Allow to dry.

2. Crimp barb.

3. Attach thread behind eye. Wrap to 1/3 back on shank.

4. Cut small clump calf hair from hide. Remove underfur. Stack tips. Position on top of shank, tips 1/2 shank length forward. Make several wraps to secure. Cut excess buts at an angle. Wrap down butts. Hold post upright, making many thread wraps in front of it to hold position. To secure, make several wraps around base, then pull thread to rear and make several wraps around shank. Repeat a couple times.

5. Wrap thread to rear of shank. Dub generous tapered body forward to 1/8 in. Behind post.

6. Separate barbs on quill wing making section equal to hook gap. Cut from stem.cut butt end straight across. Round the other end. Length equal to hook length. Place butt against post. Tie in place.

7. I like to prepare many ahead. Cut 4 barbs from stem and tie knot in center for each leg. This is tricky to do. Look on U-tube for various techniques, or buy them already prepared. Coat to reinforce. Tie in one on each side of wing. Knee should be near bend of hook. Trim length (see sample). Dub more over wing and leg tie in section.

8. Prepare butt end of hackle with crew cut. Tie in crew cut in front of post. Holding upright, make a couple thread wraps to hold in place. Dub generous thorax from eye to post. Wrap thread clockwise around post leaving it hanging on your side of fly. Wrap hackle clockwise around base of post 3 times. Holding hackle toward you and slightly down, bring thread up infront of hackle stem, then around base of post 3 times, then forward to eye. Tie off, cut excess. Cut excess hackle. Apply sm. Amt. glue to final thread wraps and base of post.

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Bead Chain Bugger

by Fly Tying Master. Elaine Cook

This bugger pattern is very effective when twitched or stripped using a sinking line in stillwater. It can be varied in size and color. You will find this easy to tie.   Hooks: 4-12.   Body Colors: solid black, mottled black/olive, mottled black/brown, mottled black/tan, mottled brown/tan.  Tail, Hackle and Thread: color to match one of body colors. My favorite is as follows.

  • Hook: TMC 5263 size 8
  • Thread: 8/0 olive
  • Eyes: sm. or med. bead chain
  • Tail: fluffy olive marabou
  • Hackle: saddle, dun color, barbs equal to 1 and 1/2 hook gap
  • Body: mottled black/olive ,med. size
  • Glue: Super Glue , Zap-A-Gap or similar

1. Crimp barb.

2. Attach thread behind hook eye. Touching wraps to 1/3 back then forward to one hook eye length behind eye.

3. Attach bead chain eyes on top of shank with multiple  crisis-cross wraps then wraps around under side of balls but on top of shank. Repeat several times. Apply glue. Position thread mid shank.

4. Position marabou on top of shank, tips extending hook length to rear of shank. Tie in place up to bead chain then back to rear  of shank. Cut butts behind bead chain.

5. Holding tip of hackle, stroke bars so they stand out at right angles to stem. Tie in tip.

6. Pull fibers off 1/4 inch of end of chenille. Tie in exposed strings.

7. Position thread behind eyes. Wrap chenille forward in touching wraps. Tie off, cut excess. Palmer hackle forward in 6 wraps. Tie off, cut excess.

8. Wrap thread head in front of eyes. Whip finish. Cut thread. Apply glue.

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Shad Dart

by Fly Tying Master - Elaine Cook

This, easy to tie, fly pattern has many material and color variations. Try using it for shad in rivers or perch in the surf. Shad fishing is right around the corner. And of course perch can be targeted usually in spring, summer and fall. Our surf fishouts will begin soon and may be an acceptable CDC outing due to the ability to practice social distancing of 6 feet or more.

  • Hook: Mustad 34007 or Eagle Claw 253SS , sizes 4-10
  • Thread: 6/0 , color to match head
  • Eyes: med size bead chain
  • Tail: marabou or calf tail, red, orange or white
  • Flash and Body: crystal  flash, red, orange or pearl
  • Head: sm. chenille or crystal chenille, red or orange
  • Coating: Sally Hansen’s Hard as Nails nail polish
  • Glue: Supper Glue, Zap-A-Gap or similar
  1. Crimp barb.
  2.  Attach thread behind hook eye. Touching wraps to mid shank then forward to 2 eye lengths behind eye.
  3. Tie in bead chain eyes on top of shank with many crisis-cross wraps and circular wraps below balls but above shank. Apply glue. Position thread at rear of shank.
  4. Use sm. amt. tail material. If calf tail,clean out underfur. Position material on top of shank. Tips, shank length to rear. Tie in place up to bead chain. Cut excess.
  5. Using 3 strands of crystal  flash, bend in half forming a loop. Tie to top of shank withloopextendingto tipof tail. Position thread behind bead chain. Wet strands. With touching wraps, wrap forward to bead chain, then back to tail, then forward again. Tie off, cut excess. Cut loop. Apply glue to body.
  6. Remove some fibers from end of chenille. Tie in strings behind bead chain. Position thread in front of bead chain.wrap chenille around both beads forming a round head.tie off, cut excess. Multiple thread wraps behind hook eye. Tie off, cut thread. Apply glue.
  7. Coat body and tie off thread wraps with Sally Hansen’s.