Here is a super easy blue winged olive pattern from Orvis News. The thing I love about this video is how simple this fly is to tie. After having entertained myself with a lot of complicated fly tying recipes, I’ve definitely settled on the less-is-more approach. The basic steps in this video are similar to how I tie just about all of my dry flies now, the exceptions being Royal Wulffs, Patriots and Stimulators. Basically, if it’s a Catskill type of dry fly, this is how I do it. I even “cheat” on things like an Adams. Instead of using some feather tips I just use some synthetic material like Z-Lon or whatever I have lying around that will be visible when the fly is floating in the current — much faster to tie and I don’t think the fish have any idea it’s not a “textbook” pattern on the top.
Yeah… so that name might make you reconsider ever mentioning or using it, but according to a recent post about winter fishing for brook trout in Shenandoah National Park on the Ultralight Fly Fishing Forum, it seems to work. This guy says he caught 135 fish in a day with it, and his photos show those are good sized brookies.
See the fly recipe for the pink weenie and try it. Sounds like it might be a good early season fly for higher water.
Since my last Copper John should at this very moment be disintegrating into its last tiny bits at the bottom of Big Stoney Creek, I have spent the last couple nights at my tying bench crafting replacements. Midges catch fish, everyone says. And a small Copper John is not only capitalized, apparently, but qualifies in my book as a midge pupa. So here is a shot of it and a few others — PHOTOS ARE COMING, BUT NOT TODAY, SORRY… Very simple things to tie with the right high magnification glasses on my middle aged eyes.
This fly tying thing is a great winter time distraction, I’m finding now in my first full winter of doing it.
UPDATE: The British call midges “buzzers” because of the sound they make as they cruise by one’s head. Global Fly Fisher has a good overview of tying buzzers for stillwater fly fishing.
Great idea for a building a portable fly tying bench at The Naturalist’s Angle blog. A relatively easy DIY project if you have some basic tools including a power miter saw, a drill and a hammer, and some nails and glue. Great idea for those of us who want to plunk down in various spots around the house to tie flies without making a semi-permanent disaster zone for our family to growl about. As he mentions, he got the idea from the Global Fly Fisher’s article about building a fly tying bench.
If you can’t do it yourself, Oasis Benches sells their own line of fly tying benches as well as other accessories. Great Christmas gift idea.
At Alaska Fly Fishing Online is a piece about how fly fishing in the last frontier is led by guys who might not much care about pretty files and accurate imitations of what’s hatching, swimming and otherwise falling victim to the jaws of predacious fish. They tie simple flies that just catch stuff.
MidCurrent has another good fly tying video, this time for the basic Adams pattern, courtesy of Tightline Productions. The Adams is of course the super popular and versatile pattern for imitating a lot of common mayfly species. It’s very easy to tie, and one of those flies that always seems to end up on everyone’s “if I could only have x number of flies” lists, even though there seem to be a lot of flies on those lists! There are tons of great resources for tying the Adams, such as this one on hipwader.com, a new site to me. YouTube also has a bunch of great videos for tying the Adams. Tons more, too, just search.
I’m especially interested in all this right now because for several days it’s been in the low thirties and very windy around here, and so the fly bench is getting some use!