On a cold winter night a few years back I decided to take up fly tying as a hobby,something to keep myself busy while waiting for the lakes to thaw out. Lately I find myself spending more time tying flys than actually fishing them.

A good portion of my time is now spent researching the fly patterns and tyers that have become famous amongst anglers of the Pacific North West, my objective is to use this blog for sharing fly tying step by steps and other info in hopes of helping others who are just starting into this great hobby.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Doc Spratley

Without a doubt this is one of the most well know patterns to come out of the Pacific Northwest. Developed by Dick Prankard of Mt. Vernon Washington in about 1949 it was named after his close friend Dr. Donald A. Spratley. There are a few stories on how this fly got its name and here is one of them..........

One day Dick was tying the fly in his shop. Don Spratley came in to visit but did so quietly and walked up behind Dick. Don startled Dick and the tying thread broke. Dick said to his friend, “Damn you Doc Spratley, just for that I am going to name this fly after you.”

This is a great stillwater pattern wherever large caddis flies hatch, but interestingly enough in the earliest recorded history found in Roy Patrick’s Pacific Northwest Fly Patterns, 1953 edition the "Doc Spratley" was contained in the steelhead section.

Below I've included a step by step, it should be noted that I have substituted a mustad 3366 in a size 10 for the 9671.

Hook: Mustad 9671, 8-10
Tail: Grizzly
Body: Black wool
Rib: Silver tinsel
Hackle: Grizzly
Wing: Pheasant tail
Head: Peacock herl

Step 1: Tie in 8-10 fibers of grizzly hackle for tail and a strand of silver tinsel.

Step 2: Tie in or wrap forward a body with wool, wrap forward the tinsel creating even body segments and tie off.

Step 3: Tie in 8-10 grizzly hackle fibers for legs.

Step 4: Tie in small clump of pheasant tail for the wings.

Step 5: Tie in two strand of peacock herl, wrap forward tie off and whip finish.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Knudson's Gray Spider

When most anglers think of winter time in British Columbia they often think of steelhead and cutthroat trout, the next pattern featured works well for both.

This pattern was developed by Al Knudson of Everett Washington in the 1930's and was originally tied for steelhead, it has since become a favorite pattern with many anglers who fish for cutthroat trout.

Below I've included a step by step for this classic northwest spider.

Hook: Mustad 3906, size 2-10
Thread: Black
Tail: Mallard flank fibres
Body: Yellow chenille
Collar: Mallard flank tied long over grizzly saddle hackle

Step 1:Tie in mallard flank at rear of the hook.

Step 2:Tie in chenille at rear of hook wrap forward and tie off.

Step 3:Tie in grizzly for the under hackle, wind forward a couple turns and tie off.

Step 4:Tie in mallard flank for the over hackle.

Step 5:Wind the mallard flank forward a couple turns, tie off and apply head cement.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Golden Girl

Today I've tried tying a variation of a steelhead pattern developed by Roderick Haig-Brown called the "Golden Girl". This pattern was developed in the 1940's for use on the Campbell river and most experts agree that it was a stripped down version of the Durham Ranger.

Below I've put together a step by step for this pattern. In researching it I've found that it is sometimes tied with orange hackle instead of yellow.

Golden Girl
Thread:6/0 black or red
Tail:yellow hackle fibre
Body:flat gold tinsel
Wings:two golden pheasant tippets and a few yellow bucktail hairs
Hackle: Yellow saddle hackle

Step1:Tie in hackle fibres and tinsel at rear of hook.

Step2:Wrap forward tinsel and tie off.

Step 3:Tie in yellow hackle(for this I have substituted yellow marabou tips".

Step 4: Tie in some yellow bucktail hairs for wing, on top of that tie in two golden pheasant tippets back to back. Whip finish and apply head cement.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

McLeod Ugly

With salmon season winding down and steelhead season fast approaching I've been tying some new steelhead patterns to use in my search for these magnificent fish. This fly was developed by Ken and George McLeod of Washington for fishing Washington waters, but it is also a very effective fly in British Columbia.

Below is a step by step for this easy but effective pattern.

McLeod Ugly
Hook:Size 1/0 to 8
Tail:Red Fluff From the Base of a Red-Dyed Hackle
Body:Black Chenille
Hackle:Grizzly, Tied in by the Tip and Palmered Forward
Wing:Black Bear, Bucktail or Moose Hair

Step 1: Lay a base of thread and tie in red tail and grizzly hackle at end of hook.

Step 2:Tie down chenille at back of hook and wrap forward.

Step 3:Next palmer the grizzly hackle forward and tie off.

Step 4:Tie in the black bear wing, whip finish and apply head cememt.