Hawaiian Punch

14 August 2017 Alan's Recipes

This popular Dustin Kovacvich designed steelhead and salmon fly pattern is particularly effective in the slightly murky, glacial green colour of the Skeena River or during high water conditions when visibility is reduced. Combining these vibrant colours with materials that impart strike triggering movement in the water resulted in a fly that has been the key to connecting with many large British Columbia steelhead.


Materials

Hook: Mustad SL53UNP-BL or Tiemco TMC 7999; Size 4 and 2
Thread: UTC 140 Fl. fire orange
Tail: Fluorescent chartreuse rabbit strip
Flash: Fluorescent orange rabbit strip; cross-cut
Hackle: Fluorescent cerise marabou
Topping: Pearl Flashabou
Adhesive: Premium head cement (available at Pieroway Rod Company)

Instructions

Step 1. Pinch down the barb and insert the hook in the vise.

Step 2. Attach the thread behind the hook eye and wrap back to the location opposite the hook point, laying down a solid thread base.

Step 3. Select a 2" piece of rabbit strip and tie it in so that it extends approximately one hook shank length from the bend of the hook. Bind down the rabbit strip securely making sure your final thread wrap stops at the location opposite the barb of the hook. Trim the end of the rabbit strip into a point.

Step 4. Tie in a piece of cross-cut rabbit strip at the location opposite the barb of the hook. Palmer the rabbit strip back up the hook shank towards the eye; approximately 4-6 wraps. Overlap each wrap slightly and make sure to leave enough room for the flash, hackle, and head of the fly.

Step 5. Select three pieces of pearl flashabou, cut in half and then bind down on both sides of the hook shank so that three strands extend along either side of the tail. Trim the flashabou so that it is 1/8" longer than the rabbit strip tail.

Step 6. Tie in a marabou feather by the tip and palmer it forward to the eye of the hook, making sure not to trap any fibers. Remember, the collar imparts a lot of the fish enticing action and the number of hackle wraps will determine whether you have a sparse or dense marabou collar. Therefore, you will need to experiment until the collar breathes and pulses just right.

Step 7. With your scissors, carefully trim any excess marabou fibers, back wrap the thread slightly and proceed to build up a nicely finished head.

Step 8. Whip finish and apply 2 coats of premium head cement to your thread head making sure not to get any into your marabou collar.

Your Hawaiian Punch is now complete and your are ready to head out On The Water!

 

 




Quill Body Nymph - Western Green Drake

17 July 2017 Alan's Recipes

This pattern is effective on pressured fish who need a little convincing to eat your fly, particularly in slower moving water when fish have more time to look at a fly before they commit to eating it.

Designed to closely replicate the nymph stage of Dunella Grandis in both profile and colour this fly is a quick but realistic tie. In addition, this pattern does not have a lot of extra material on it to keep the fly from cutting through the water as it descends to the bottom. All that extra material on flies can often spook catch & release fish that have been hooked numerous times.

This is a great fly to add to your nymph box as it is easy to tie, and trout enthusiastically eat it.


Materials

Hook: Tiemco TMC 2499SP-BL; Size 12
Thread: UTC Ultra 140; Brown Olive
Weight: Lead wire (.015)
Tail: Antron yarn; Olive
Body: Synthetic quill body wrap; Olive (Available at Pieroway Rod Company)
Body Coating: Loon UV Clear Fly Finish; Thin
Collar: Synthetic dubbing; Dark Olive
Hackle: CDC feather; Natural
Adhesive: Head cement

Instructions

Step 1. Insert the hook in the vise and wrap 15 turns of lead wire onto the hook shank.

Step 2. Attach the thread and proceed to cross wrap a thread base down and back along the hook shank covering the lead wire. End with the thread one eye width from the eye of the hook.

Step 3. Cut a 2 cm length of antron yarn, split the piece in half and then double it over the thread. Bind down this tail segment so that it butts up against the lead wire and extends 1/4 way down the bend of the hook. Trim the tail so that it is one hook gap in length.

Step 4. Select a strip of synthetic quill body and tie in the thin part at the base of the tail. Wrap the thread forward to the hook eye. Overwrap the thread base with the synthetic quill body overlapping each segment slightly. Tie off once the material is half way along the lead wire segment.

Step 5. Cover the quill body with a sparse coating of Loon UV Clear Fly Finish Thin. Flash the coating with a UV light to create a hard-transparent cover.

Step 6. Spin the thread with a noodle of dubbing and then wrap it several times around the hook shank to create a dubbed thorax.

Step 7. Proceed to tie in a single CDC feather by the tip, in front of the ball of dubbing. Palmer the feather around the hook shank three times or until you have a full collar. Tie the feather off and pinch trim the CDC collar to about half the length of the tail.

Step 8. Build up a small 'head' of thread and then execute a whip finish.

Step 9. Carefully apply a small drop of head cement to the exposed thread wraps at the head of the fly.

Your Quill Body Nymph is now complete and your are ready to head out On The Water!

 

 




Keel Crab

9 June 2017 Alan's Recipes

Designed to catch permit, bonefish and redfish, this crab pattern has proven effective throughout the Mexican Yucatan, Belize, Cuba, and Louisiana. The secret? The brass beads on the keel which not only add the right amount of weight to the fly, but also ensure the fly descends at the correct angle and sits in a defensive position once it reaches the bottom.

Colour variations include olive, tan, white, cream, and 'blue crab'. Here I have tied the blue crab version.

Materials

Hook: Gamakatsu SC 15, Size 1/0
Thread: UTC Ultra 140 brown olive
Weight: Keel - Four 1/8" black brass beads; Head - 5/32" black brass dumbbell eyes
Claws: Olive grizzly marabou; Dyed blue wood duck
Flash: Pearl krystal flash
Eyes: Large black mono eyes
Keel: 20 lb Mason hard mono
Body: Eel green 3D EP Fibers
Legs: Fly Enhancer Legs light blue/pumpkin
Adhesive: Zap-a-Gap 'Brush On'

Instructions

Step 1. Insert the hook in the vise and attach the thread two hook eye lengths behind the eye.

Step 2. Run a bead of Zap-a-Gap along the thread wraps and then tie in the dumbbell eyes onto the top of the hook shank using figure-eight wraps (This fly rides hook point up).

Step 3. Wrap a thread base back to the point where the bend starts. Double over two pieces of krystal flash and tie them in so that four strands extend off the back of the hook one and a half hook shanks in length.

Step 4. Next, tie in two grizzly marabou feathers so they also extend off the back of the hook the length of one hook shank.

Step 5a. Strip half the fibers from a wood duck feather and tie them in along one side of the marabou. Make sure they curve away from the marabou, creating the illusion of claws.

Step 5b. Strip the other half of the wood duck feather and repeat by tying those fibers in along the other side of the marabou.

Step 6. Wrap the thread back to the point behind the dumbbell eyes. Cut a 3" long piece of 20 lb Mason monofilament and lay it on top of the hook shank so that it extends back over the marabou. Wrap back towards the hook bend covering the monofilament. Make sure to bind it securely to the hook shank, stopping the thread opposite the barb of the hook.

Step 7. Invert the fly in the vice and tie in the mono eyes with several figure-eight wraps making sure they stick out at a 45-degree angle.

Step 8. Select several bunches of EP fibers, about the diameter of a wooden match stick, and cut them into smaller pieces 3-4 cm (1-2 inches) in length.

Step 9. Using figure-eight wraps, tie a piece of the EP fibers onto the hook shank at a 90-degree angle and as close to the mono eyes as possible. Lock the fiber bunch down with several wraps in front.

Step 10. Select three strands of Fly Enhancer Legs and cut them in half. Tie in one pair of legs, using figure-eight wraps, and making sure that it butts up against the EP fibers as closely as possible.

Step 11. Repeat this EP fiber/leg pair tie-in sequence until you have tied in three sets of legs and built up a body that butts up against the dumbbell eyes. You will get a nicely proportioned body if you have two segments of EP fiber between every pair of legs.

Step 12. Tie off and cut the thread at the eye of the hook.

Step 13. Using a pair of curved scissors, carefully trim the EP fiber body into a roughly circular shape using a Canadian nickel as a size guide. Make sure to keep the legs out of the way so they do not accidentally get cut off. Do not worry if the crab body is slightly lopsided as real crabs are not perfectly round either.

Step 14. Trim the Fly Enhancer Legs so they are all roughly the same length.

Step 15. Restart the thread at the head of the fly.

Step 16. String four brass beads onto the mono keel, bend the monofilament keel over the dumbbell eyes and tie off right at the eye of the hook. Cut the excess monofilament piece.

Step 17. Whip finish your thread and coat all your visible thread wraps with Zap-a-Gap for durability.

Your Keel Crab is now complete and you are ready to head out On The Water!

 

 



Chicken Biscuit

13 May 2017 Alan's Recipes>

This semi-realistic peanut butter (tan) and jam (purple) coloured crab fly pattern for redfish has produced well throughout the Louisiana delta marsh. Slow strips and hops along the bottom often result in aggressive and very visual takes.

Colour variations of this fly include all black, crawfish orange/brown, blue/olive, chartreuse/hot pink, white/yellow and tan/orange.

Materials

Hook: Eagle Claw (413-2) jig hook, size 2
Thread: UNI-Thread 6/0, wine
Tail: Strung Marabou, ginger
Flash: Flashabou, purple
Body: Just Add H2O Bait Fish Brush 2", bleeding purple
Legs/Claws: Fly Enhancer legs, purple/pumpkin
Eyes: Lead Eyes, small

Instructions

Step 1. Insert the hook in the vise and attach the thread. Wrap back one hook eye length laying down a thread base.

Step 2. Place a drop of Zap-A-Gap on the thread wraps and then figure eight wrap the lead eyes to the top of the hook. (This fly rides hook point up).

Step 3. Wrap the thread back to the hook bend. Select a single marabou feather and then proceed to tie in the marabou tail so that it extends back one hook shank in length.

Step 4. Double over the thread three strands of flashabou and then wrap back to the hook bend tying the flashabou down as you go. Make sure the flashabou is positioned along the sides of the tail. Trim the flash so that it is slightly longer then the length of the marabou tail.

Step 5. Wrap the thread forward to the mid-point of the hook shank. Double over the thread a single strand of leg material. Wrap back over the material a short way, tying the leg material down as you go. Trim the two legs to two hook shank length.

Step 6. Wrap the thread forward to just behind the lead eyes. Again, double over the thread a single strand of leg material. Wrap back over the material a short way, tying the leg material down as you go. Again, trim the two legs to two hook shank length.

Step 7. Wrap the thread back to the tail, making sure not to trap the legs. Tie in the end of a Bait Fish brush, wrap the thread forward to the location behind the eyes. Palmer the brush material forward three wraps, making sure not to trap any fibers or the leg, and stopping behind the eyes. Tie off and cut the brush using old scissors or side cutters.

Step 8. Wrap the thread forward in front of the eyes and build up a small thread head. Cover the head with Loon Outdoors UV Clear Fly Finish (Thin).

Step 9. Take the fly out of the vise and trim the brush fibers short on the bottom and taper the sides and top so the fibers are approximately one hook shank in length. Again, make sure not to cut off one of the legs.

Your Chicken Biscuit is now complete and you are ready to head out On The Water!

 

 



Foam Army Ant

10 April 2017 Alan's Recipes\

\>While the Foam Army Ant may look like a "Match the Hatch" exact copy of a futuristic zombie apocalypse red ant, this pattern is more than just a fun bug to tie. It floats well, is visible, and the legs create a lot of fish attracting movement. This fly is really more of an attractor pattern that works great for feeding the numerous trout species found in the smaller creeks and rivers in Alberta and Montana.

Materials

Hook: Kumho 017, Size 10 (Available at Pieroway Rod Company Canada)
Thread: UNI-Thread 6/0 red
Dubbing: Ice Dub UV red and Ice Dub UV black
Body: Foam at The Mouth custom cut foam fly body; Size 1 Red Army Ant
Underwing: Midge Flash Pearl
Wing: Ice Fur black
Legs: Life Flex Black

Instructions

Step 1. Insert the hook in the vise, attach the thread, and wrap a 3-layer thread base onto the hook. End with the thread opposite the point of the hook.

Step 2. Place a drop of Zap-A-Gap onto the thread wraps and spread with bodkin. Then twist a pinch of red UV Ice Dub onto the thread and wrap forward three turns.

Step 3. Place the custom cut foam fly body on top of the hook so that the rear taper in the body lines up with the location of the thread. Bind down the rear half of the foam body with 3 or 4 firm wraps.

Step 4a. Prepare a set of Life Flex legs by cutting one individual piece off the hank, folding it in half, then in half again and cutting. This should result in 4 roughly equal length legs.

Step 4b. Bind down a leg on each side of the rear segment tie in point of the foam body with 2 or 3 thread wraps.

Step 5.  Twist another pinch of red UV Ice Dub onto the thread and wrap forward four turns so that the dubbed thread lines up with the front taper in the foam body. Remember to cover the thread wraps that tie in the legs with dubbing.

Step 6. Bind down the front half of the foam body with 3 or 4 wraps.

Step 7. Bind down four short strands of midge flash, on top of the foam body at the front taper tie in point, with 2 or 3 firm thread wraps. Trim the strands so that the overall length of the flash extends just short of the end of the foam body.

Step 8a. Prepare the wing by cutting off a sparse (approximately 1/2 a matchstick in diameter) amount of Ice Fur from the hank.

Step 8b. Fold the Ice Fur wing strands around the thread and bind down, on top of the flash material tie in point, with 2 or 3 firm thread wraps. Trim the fibers so that the overall length of the wing is roughly equal to the length of the flash.

Step 9. Bind down a leg on each side of the front taper tie in point of the body with 2 or 3 thread wraps.

Step 10. Twist a pinch of black UV Ice Dub onto the thread and wrap forward so that the dubbing covers the thread wraps that tie in the wing/legs.

Step 11a. Advance the thread forward to the hook eye and build up a small head in front of the foam.

Step 11b. Whip finish and carefully apply a small amount of head cement to the exposed thread wraps at the head of the fly.

Step 12. Flip the fly over in the vise so it is belly up and catch all of the legs together between your thumb and forefinger. Trim them off so that they are all of roughly equal length.

Your Foam Army Ant is now complete and you are ready to head out On The Water!

 

 



Hot Butt Rubber Legs

10 March 2017 Alan's Recipes

This simple variation of Cathy and Barry Beck’s Sili-Legs Bonefish Fly has worked especially well at fooling large fish, including bonefish, permit and redfish, in deeper water situations. Designed to mimic a large crustacean, such as a mantis shrimp, this fly sinks quickly and produces a lot of fish enticing motion. This pattern is especially effective when targeting fish feeding on the pancake or deep water flats found in Hawaii, Florida and the Bahamas.

Generally tied in larger sizes (4, 2 and 1) and using tan coloured materials with an orange “hot spot” this fly will also work well on big bonefish when tied in tan/chartreuse or brown/orange colour combinations.

Materials

Hook: Gamakatsu SL 11-3H, Size 4
Thread: UTC Ultra 140 tan
Eyes: Large silver beadchain or 5/32” tungsten dumbbell eyes
Tail: Midge flash; tan/pearl
Hot Spot: Seal fur dubbing; orange
Body: Seal fur dubbing; light ginger
Wing: Extra select craft fur; sand
Legs: Grizzly flutter legs; black barred rootbeer


Instructions

Step 1. Insert the hook in the vise. Attach the thread and wrap back to a point 0.5 cm from the eye of the hook.

Step 2. Place a drop of super glue on the thread wraps and then figure eight wrap the beadchain or dumbbell eyes to the top of the hook (This fly rides hook point up).

Step 3. Tie in a small bunch (10 strands) of midge flash, on top of the hook, starting at a point directly behind the eyes and wrapping the thread over the flash to a point at the bend of the hook. Trim the fibers to the length of 1.5 cm.>

Step 4. Twist some orange seal dubbing onto the thread and proceed to wrap it into a small ball covering approximately 1/3 of the hook shank.

Step 5.> Twist some light ginger seal dubbing onto the thread and proceed to wrap forward covering the remaining hook shank space between the “hot spot” and the eyes with dubbing. Also, make sure to wrap a small amount of dubbing between the eyes.

Step 5a. Using a dubbing brush gently rough up the dubbed body to bring out the spikey seal fur.

Step 6. Wrap the thread forward to the hook eye.

Step 7. Cut a pencil thick clump of craft fur, remove the underfur and roughly even up the long fibers. Tie the craft fur wing in in front of the eyes so that it extends back past the hook bend approximately the same length as the tail.

Step 8. Tie in three strands of rubber legs on each side of the thread head so that the legs extend past the wing approximately 1 cm.

Step 9. Build up a small thread head, whip finish and cement.

Your Hot Butt Rubber Legs is now complete and you are ready to head out On The Water!

 

 



Pesca Squimp

5 February 2017 Alan's Recipes

This simple variation of the original Squimp fly is a very productive pattern for catching tailing or cruising bonefish on shallow water flats. Designed to land lightly, sink relatively slowly and blend into the local environment, like natural prey, this stealthy pattern is especially effective when targeting fish feeding on the turtle grass flats found in Belize and Mexico.

Tied in larger sizes (4 and 2) and using tan coloured materials this fly will also fool the big bonefish found on Cuban, Bahamian, and Hawaiian sand/marl flats.

Materials

Hook: Daiichi 2546, Size 6
Thread: UTC Ultra 140 olive
Eyes: Medium beadchain; black
Mouth: EP Silky Fibers 3D; reddish olive
Body: SLF saltwater dubbing blend; smokey olive
Legs: Loco legs; green turtle grass

Instructions

>Step 1. Insert the hook in the vise. Attach the thread and wrap back to the point across from the barb of the hook.

Step 2. Place a drop of Zap-A-Gap on the thread wraps and then figure eight wrap the beadchain eyes to the top of the hook (This fly rides hook point up).

Step 3. Tie in a small bunch of EP silky fibers, on top of the hook, starting at a point directly behind the eyes and wrap the thread over the fibers to a point slightly past the bend of the hook. Trim the fibers to the length of approximately one hook gap.

Step 4. Return the thread to the point right behind the eyes.

Step 5. Loop a single strand of loco legs around the thread and tie them in so they extend off the hook about a hook shank in length.

Step 6a. Spin a dubbing noodle of SLF saltwater dubbing blend and proceed to wrap the dubbing forward, forming a sparsely dubbed body, to a point one eye width behind the hook eye. Make sure to stroke the dubbing fibers back after each wrap so as not to trap any fibers during the subsequent wraps. Also, remember to figure eight the dubbing noodle around the eyes to cover up the thread wraps.

Step 6b. Tie off the dubbing noodle at the front of the hook with 4 or 5 thread wraps forming the start of a thread head.

Step 7a. Tie in half a strand of loco leg on each side of the thread head so that half of the leg extends along the side of the fly and the other half extends out past the hook eye.

Step 7b. Build up a small thread head in front of the legs so they splay out slightly.

Step 8. Whip finish and cement the head or coat with Clear Cure hydro.

Your Pesca Squimp is now complete and you are ready to head out On The Water

 

 



Gurgler Fly

13 January 2017 Alan's Recipes

The original Gurgler pattern was developed by angling legend Jack Gartside. This simple top water pattern is not really a “popper” or a “slider” and has a unique action that “gurgles” and sputters along the surface, drawing the attention and strikes from a variety of game fish including bass, northern pike, and snook just to name a few. This variation of Jack’s famous fly is designed to be eaten by Baby Tarpon.

Designed with a slim profile it casts relatively easily, and the rubber legs and rabbit strip provide plenty of motion. Combine this enticing action with the sparkle of EP streamer brush and this pattern really attracts a tarpon’s attention. Used to catch baby Silver Kings wherever they live, this fly has proven particularly productive in the Campeche, Mexico area. To quote Alejandro from Campeche Tarpon, “the gurgler is king.”
Effective color variations of this fly include white/red and yellow/chartreuse.

Materials

Hook: Daiichi 2546, Size 1/0
Thread: Black 6/0 UNI-Thread
Foul guard: 30lb Mason hard mono
Tail: Black magnum rabbit strip (zonker)
Flash: Purple krystal flash
Legs: Dark dun Loco Legs
Shell: 2mm black foam and adhesive backed 2mm purple foam
Body: Peacock black Ice Dub
Synthetic Hackle: Black EP anadromus brush
Cement: Hard as Hull
 
Instructions

Step 1. Insert the hook in the vise, attach the thread and wrap back to the hook bend building up a thread base.

Step 2. Tie in a black magnum rabbit strip (approximately 2 inches in length) extending off the back of the hook.

Step 3. Tie in a 30lb mono loop on top of the rabbit strip tie-in point. This loop should extend a hook gap length from the bend in the hook. Pull the rabbit strip up through the loop so that the strip sits on top of the mono loop. This will help to prevent the rabbit strip from fouling around the hook.

Step 4. Tie in 6 strands of purple krystal flash so that they extend down each side of the rabbit strip. Trim them slightly longer than the tail.

Step 5. Fold a single Loco leg over the thread and tie it in so that half extends down one side of the tail and half down the other side. Leave the legs long for added motion. Coat the tie in point with Hard as Hull for added durability.

Step 6. Prepare a strip of double layer closed-cell foam, purple over black, by cutting two pieces of foam in roughly equal widths (slightly narrower than the hook gap; ½ inch wide) and sticking them together. These pieces should be of sufficient length to form both the shell and lip of the fly. Trim what will be the rear portion of the foam shell into a tapered point.

Step 6a. Prepare a second foam strip of 2mm black foam for the body. Cut the foam slightly narrower than the hook gap (½ inch wide) with a tapered point at one end. The overall length should be ¾ of an inch.

Step 7. At the hook bend tie-in point secure the tapered point of the black/purple foam shell with several thread wraps.

Step 8. Advance the thread to a point two hook widths behind the eye.

Step 9. Fold one end of the black foam strip around the hook shank and make a single turn of thread over the foam. Don’t tighten it until you come all the way around with the thread and pull straight down. Hold the foam in place on the top of the hook as you do this first wrap and then follow up with several additional wraps stacked on to of the first to lock the foam in place.

Step 10. Spiral wrap the thread back over the foam to the hook bend, anchoring it with several additional wraps of thread at this end point.

Step 11. Tie in a length of EP anadromus brush at the bend.

Step 12. Twist some Ice Dub onto the thread and wrap forward and back covering the foam and forming a scruffy body. Stop your last wrap of the dubbed thread at the point one third of the body length forward of the hook bend.

Step 13. Palmer the EP anadromus brush forward two turns and tie off (do not cut the streamer brush).

Step 14. Fold another single Loco leg over the thread and tie it in so that half extends down one side of the body and half down the other side. Twist the thread with more dubbing and wrap forward two thirds of the body length.

Step 15. Continue to palmer the EP anadromus brush forward another two turns and tie off (again, do not cut the streamer brush).

Step 16. Add a final pair of Loco legs by folding a single rubber leg over the thread and tying it in so that half extends down one side of the body and half down the other side. 

Step 17. Advance the thread, twisted with more dubbing, to a point two hook eye widths behind the eye.

Step 18. Palmer the EP anadromus brush forward another two turns, tie off and cut with a pair of side cutters.

Step 19. Part and brush the EP anadromus brush fibers that are on top of the hook shank to the sides of the fly.

Step 20. Pull the black/purple foam shell over the body and secure with six firm thread wraps.

Step 21. Wrap the thread in front of the foam “lip” that extends over the eye and built up a small thread head.

Step 22. Whip finish and cement the thread wraps.

Step 23. Trim the foam “lip” so it extends approximately 1/4 inch over the hook eye. The length and shape of this lip determines the action of the fly when stripped so feel free to experiment.

Your Gurgler is now complete and you are ready to head out On The Water!
 



Cormorant Poop Toad Fly

11 December 2016 Alan's Recipes

This variation of Gary Merriman’s famous Tarpon Toad fly is designed to imitate the “droppings” produced by a cormorant. In the Campeche, Mexico area there are numerous cormorant rookeries along the mangrove lined coast. At these locations, the baby tarpon has come to associate the presence of cormorant droppings with an abundant supply of food.

When the droppings hit the water, and start to slowly disperse and sink, small baitfish leave the safety of the mangrove roots to feed on the suspending material. These baitfish, and the droppings themselves in-turn, attract baby tarpon looking for an easy meal. Casting a Cormorant Poop Toad Fly tight to the rookery vegetation and letting it dead drift with the tide often results in a very visual take from a junior Silver King. 

Materials

Hook: Gamakatsu SL12S, Size 1/0
Thread: UTC Ultra 140 olive green
Eyes: Large black mono eyes
Tail: White marabou quills
Collar: Yellow thin-cut rabbit zonker strip
Body: EP 3D Fibers; olive
 
Instructions

Step 1. Insert the hook in the vise and attach the thread.

Step 2. Tie in one or two quality marabou feathers just before the bend in the hook. Wrap the marabou shaft six times with thread to raise (post) the tail and prevent fouling.

Step 3. Tie in and palmer a yellow rabbit zonker strip three times just forward of the marabou tail. Tie it off with several tight wraps of thread and a drop of Zap-A-Gap.

Step 4. Move the thread forward to a point one eye length back of the hook eye. Place a drop of Zap-A-Gap on the thread wraps and then figure-eight wrap the mono eyes to the top of the hook.

Step 5. Prepare a match stick thick bunch of EP fibers by cutting it into 1.5” long pieces. You will need six or seven of these segments per fly.

Step 6. Tie in, using figure-eight wraps, each precut segment on top of and angled 90 degrees to the hook shank. Start flush with the yellow rabbit collar and attach the segments in sequence to form a standard crab-style body.

Step 7. Whip finish and cement all the visible thread wraps.

Step 8. Trim the EP fiber body into a slightly oval shape with scissors.

Your Cormorant Poop Toad is now complete and you are ready to head out On The Water!

 



Sculp Snack

10 November 2016 Alan's Recipes

This George Daniel streamer fly pattern is a modern variation of the Woolly Bugger intended to imitate a sculpin. Designed with a slim profile it casts easily, and the rubber legs and marabou provide plenty of motion. The conehead provides a jigging action to the fly when it is retrieved with a start/stop action. Combine this lifelike action with the shimmer of UV chenille and this pattern really attracts a fish’s attention. Used to catch trophy trout wherever they live, this fly has produced well in the rivers of Canada and the United States as well as Patagonia.

Effective color variations of this fly to include brown, olive, yellow, black and white.

Materials

Hook: TMC 9395, size 8
Thread: UTC 140 olive
Weight: Conehead 7/32 gold (optional .020 lead wire)
Tail: Dark brown marabou over rootbeer marabou
Flash: Gold flashabou
Body: Olive brown UV polar chenille
Legs: Olive Sili legs barred yellow/gold-black
Collar: Olive brown ice dub
 
Instructions

Step 1. Pinch down the barb and slide the conehead onto the hook.

Step 2. Insert the hook into the vise. Attach the thread behind the conehead and wrap back to hook bend, laying down a solid thread base. Return thread behind the conehead.

Step 3. Select a dark brown and rootbeer marabou feather. Tie in the rootbeer marabou behind the conehead and wrap thread back to the hook, bend binding the feather to the top of the hook shank. Make sure the end of the tail only extends one shank length past the hook bend.

Step 4. Return thread behind the conehead. Tie in the dark brown marabou behind the conehead and on top of the rootbeer marabou, matching the length. Wrap thread back to the hook bend binding the feather to the top of the hook shank.

Step 5. Return thread behind the conehead. Select three pieces of gold flashabou, cut in half and then bind down on both sides of the hook shank so that three strands extend along either side of the tail. Trim flashabou so that it is 1/8” longer than the marabou tail.

Step 6. Return thread behind the conehead. Tie in a 2 1/2” long piece of olive brown UV polar chenille and wrap thread back to the base of the tail, binding down the UV chenille.

Step 7. Return wrap the thread to the tie in point behind the conehead. Palmer wrap the UV polar chenille up the hook shank in open spirals and tie off behind the conehead. With your scissors, carefully trim the UV chenille fiber so that they extend out from the body approximately a hook gaps length.

Step 8. Select one strand of sili legs from the bunch and then fold it over and cut in half. Double both strands of sili legs over the thread and tie in behind the conehead so that two strands of leg material extend down either side of the fly. Trim sili legs so they are even with the hook bend.

Step 9. Spin a pinch of Ice Dub onto the thread and proceed to build up a dubbed collar. Make sure to pack the dubbing into the conehead as best you can. Create a dubbing collar even with the edge of the conehead.

Step 10. Apply a drop of Zap-a-Gap to your thread and whip finish behind the conehead.

Your Sculp Snack is now complete and you are ready to head out On The Water!

 



Luigi the Lobster

11 October 2016 Alan's Recipes

This fun to tie, semi-realistic, lobster/crayfish fly pattern for bonefish, permit, redfish and trout has produced well throughout the Mexican Yucatan, northern Belize, Cuba, Louisiana and Montana. Slow strips and hops along the bottom often result in solid, potentially knot breaking, takes.

Color variations of this fly to imitate other crustaceans include pink, root beer, pearl, white/orange, olive (mantis shrimp), white/chartreuse and tan.

Materials

Hook: TMC 811S, size 4
Thread: UNI-Thread 6/0 Rusty Brown
Weight: Fish Skull Shrimp & Cray Tails medium gold
Mouth Parts: EP Silky Fibers 3-D rust
Legs/Claws: Orange/orange-black barred sili-legs
Eyes: EP Crab and Shrimp Eyes x-small black
Body: EP Streamer Brush Short Fibers rust
 
Instructions

Step 1. Insert the hook in the vise and attach the thread, wrapping back to the mid shank laying down a thread base.

Step 2. Run a bead of Zap-A-Gap along the thread wraps and then tie in the Shrimp & Cray Tail onto the top of the hook shank (This fly rides hook point up). Make sure the end of the tail doesn’t extend past the hook eye.

Step 3. Advance the thread to the point opposite the hook barb and then return to the hook mid point, laying down a thread base.

Step 4. Double a 1” long by 1/16” wide piece of rust EP Silky Fibers 3-D over the thread and proceed to tie it in along the hook shank stopping opposite the hook barb. Trim the mouth parts to approximately one hook gap in length.

Step 5. Return wrap the thread to the hook mid point. Select two x-small black EP Crab and Shrimp Eyes and trim them so that they will extend from the hook mid point to one hook eyes length beyond the mouth parts. Mash the back half of each eyes stalk flat with smooth jawed pliers to aid in the tie in. Position each eye stalk individually alongside the hook shank and wrap back to the hook bend tying the eye stalk down as you wrap. Bend each eye stalk out 45 degrees away from the hook shank.

Step 6. Return wrap the thread to the hook mid point. Select one strand of sili-legs from the bunch and then fold it over and cut in half. Double both strands of sili-legs over the thread and wrap back to the hook bend tying the legs down on top of the hook shank as you wrap. This will result in four legs extending approximately 3/4” past the mouth parts.

Step 7a. Tie in a 4 ½” inch long piece of the rust coloured EP Streamer Brush Short Fibers starting at the mid point of the hook and wrapping to the bend.

Step 7b. Spiral wrap (palmer) the EP Streamer Brush up the body towards the tail, making sure to evenly space it, and not trap any fibers. Tie off in front of the tail and cut with a pair of side cutters (wire cutters).

Step 8. Build up a small thread head, whip finish and cover with head cement.

Step 9. With your scissors carefully taper the body from the tail (narrow) to the head (wide). Also, trim any loose fibers from around the hook eye and adjacent to the tail. Make sure the tail is visible and not hidden by the EP Streamer Brush fibers.

Your Luigi the Lobster is now complete and you are ready to head out On The Water!
 


Jelly Bean Beetle

14 September 2016 Alan's Recipes

As the leaves begin to change colour and we transition into the fall fishing season, terrestrial insects remain an important food source for trout. Beetles are often present in large numbers along the banks of rivers and creeks and being clumsy fliers often end up in the water where they become an easy meal for a hungry fish.

This particular beetle imitation closely mimics a variety of beetle species in both profile and lustre. Beetle flies are very often hard to spot on the water, but this particular pattern has an indicator foam strip on its back to aid in seeing subtle rises our when your fly is dragging. This is a great fly to add to your box as it is easy to tie, easy to see, and trout rise enthusiastically to eat it.

Materials
Hook: Mustad 94840; Size 14
Thread: UTC Ultra 140; black
Shell: Black foam (2mm)
Underbody: Ice Dub; peacock black
Legs: Round rubber legs; small grey
Indicator: Orange foam (2mm)
 
Instructions
Step 1. Insert the hook in the vise, attach the thread and proceed to wrap a thread base down and back along the hook shank. End with the thread one eye width from the eye of the hook.
Step 2. Cut a strip of foam that is approximately the width of the hook gap. Trim the corners of the foam strip into a point to aid with the tie in.
Step 3. Apply a thin layer of Zap-A-Gap to the thread wraps. Place your foam strip on top of the hook shank with the pointed end at the thread index point. Bind down the pointed end of the foam strip with several wraps of thread.
Step 4. Wrap back over the foam down into the curve of the hook bend securing it with spiral wraps; end with several overlapping wraps of thread. Insure that the foam strip is positioned horizontal to the hook bend.
Step 5. Create a tightly wrapped dubbing loop with the Ice Dub and then advance the tying thread to within two eye widths of the eye of the hook.
Step 6. Proceed to wrap an underbody forward and tie off. Give the dubbed underbody a trim to eliminate any stray fibers, open up the hook gap and create the illusion of uniformity (I use a cauterizing tool to aid in trimming the really pesky fibers but be careful not to melt your foam!).
Step 7. Pull the foam ‘shell’ over the top of the underbody and secure with several thread wraps at the front thread index point (two eye widths from the eye of the hook). Trim the excess foam strip leaving about 1/8” over the eye of the hook. This will form the head and body segments of the beetle.
Step 8. Prepare a strip of 2 mm orange foam. This strip should be 1/2” long and about 1/8” wide. The orange foam indicator strip acts as a visual aid to help the angler see the drift of this low riding pattern. It also provides additional floatation for the pattern.
Step 9. Secure the indicator strip to the top of the fly with 2 firm wraps of thread. Trim the orange foam indicator strip so that it forms a small V-shape and does not extend over the head of the fly.
Step 10. Prepare a set of rubber legs by cutting an individual piece off the hank, folding it in half, and cutting. This should result in 2 roughly equal length round rubber legs.
Step 11. Bind down the legs on both sides of the head/body tie in point with 2 or 3 thread wraps. Trim the legs so they are approximately a hook shank in length.
Step 12. Place a small amount of Ice Dub on the thread, lift up the black foam head, and advance the thread/dubbing to the hook eye. Give this dubbed underbody a trim to eliminate any stray fibers and clear the eye. Be careful not to cut the legs!
Step 13. Build up a small ‘head’ of thread and then execute a whip finish.
Step 14. Carefully apply a small amount of Zap-A-Gap to the exposed thread wraps at the head of the fly.

Your Jelly Bean Beetle is now complete and you are ready to head out On The Water!
 


Hoh Bo Spey

16 August 2016 Alan's Recipes

This pattern, which takes its name from two Pacific Northwest steelhead rivers, was created by Charles St. Pierre. The Hoh Bo Spey was designed around movement as it undulates and pulses in the current without loosing bulk and profile.  It can be tied in numerous colors such as Black, Chartreuse, Orange, Red and Purple. The simplistic design and many possible colour combinations should enable you to quickly fill up a fly box. This is a great fly as it is easy to tie, easy to cast, and will catch steelhead, salmon, trout and char.

Materials
Shank: Partridge Waddington Shank 35mm
Hook: Owner SSW, Size 2
Stinger Loop: Senyo’s Intruder Wire; black
Thread: Ultra 140 black; Ultra 140 burnt orange
Butt: Ice Dub UV hot orange
Rib: Ultra Wire large silver
Hackle: Guinea fowl feather; black and white
Body: Ice Dub UV black
Collar: Marabou feather; black
Flash: Holographic Flashabou; gold
Horns: Amherst pheasant; black and white
 
Instructions
Step 1. Insert the shank in the vise, attach the thread and proceed to wrap a thread base onto the rear portion. End with the thread at the rear of the shank.
Step 2a. Tie in a loop of wire, to attach the hook, extending from the rear of the shank approximately 1-inch. Test measure the loop by fixing the hook onto the wire (where it has kinked) and then removing it. Do this to make sure that you do not leave the stinger loop too long as this can result in deeply hooked fish.
Step 2b. Place your wire loop with each “arm” of your loop positioned along a side of the shank. Wrap your thread up the shank, securing the wire loop and finishing with your thread along the back. Double your wire back and over wrap back down to the rear of the shank. Apply a thin layer of Zap-A-Gap to the thread wraps.
Step 3. Wrap a large ball of Ice Dub onto the rear 1/8” to 1/4” of the shank.
Step 4. Tie in a length of Ultra Wire for a rib.
Step 5. Tie in a well marked guinea fowl feather by the tip.
Step 6. Create a dubbing loop and proceed to wrap forward a body of Ice Dub. Give the dubbed body a good scrub with a Velcro brush to pull out any trapped fibers and give it the illusion of bulk.
Step 7. Palmer wrap the guinea fowl feather forward along the body and tie off at the head.
Step 8. Counter wrap the body with the Ultra Wire making sure not to trap the hackle fibers. Tie off.
Step 9. Tie in a single long wispy marabou feather by the tip.
Step 10. Wrap the marabou a maximum of two times around the shank making sure no fibers become trapped. You can lightly moisten the feather fibers to stop them from blowing around and make them easier to work with.
Step 11. Tie in an overwing consisting of four pieces of holographic flashabou extending approximately 1/4” past the hook. If you wish to create a flashier profile, you can tie in additional pieces of holographic flashabou and spread them around the shank.
Step 12. Remove approximately eight amherst pheasant fibers from the feather and tie in around the shank. You can do this individually or four on the top and four on the bottom in two attempts.
Step 13. Tie off the black thread and attach the orange thread. Proceed to built up a neat head, whip finish and coat with head cement.

Your Hoh Bo Spey is now complete and you are ready to head out On The Water!
 




Bar Guac Hopper

7 July 2016 Alan's Recipes

This pattern, which takes its name from the popular appetizer Guacamole, was inspired by the ‘Bar Guac’ special at a local fly fishing hang out. The Bar Guac Hopper is a colour variant of the Slim Jim Hopper pattern. Each of the coloured materials were selected as per the ingredients in a guacamole recipe and the dipping chips that accompany it (i.e. onion, tomato, avocado, cilantro, sour cream and tortilla chips). While this is all fun, and probably making you more than a little hungry, this pattern works great for feeding mountain stream cutthroats as well as Bow River rainbow trout.

Materials
Hook: TMC 5263, Size 8
Thread: Ultra 140 olive
Body: 2mm bright green foam and olive adhesive back furry foam
Wing: Sand 3D EP fibers
Legs: Yellow/black/red medium round rubber legs
Indicator Strip: 2mm white foam strip
 
Instructions
Step 1. Pre-make the hopper bodies by sticking the sheet of olive adhesive back furry foam to the green 2mm foam. Then use a small (1 1/8” long) hopper body cutter to stamp out the required number of foam body forms.
Step 2. Insert the hook in the vise, attach the thread and wrap a 3-layer thread base onto the hook. End with the thread at the mid-shank of the hook.
Step 3. Place a drop of Zap-A-Gap on the rear thread wraps only and spread with bobbin. Then attach the foam body to the hook with 4 or 5 firm wraps of thread.
Step 4. Advance the thread to just behind the hook eye and apply another thin layer of Zap-A-Gap to the remaining thread wraps.
Step 5. Bind down the front half of the foam body with 3 or 4 firm wraps.
Step 6. Attach a 2 ½” long piece of 3D EP fibers, about the diameter of a match stick, to the top of the fly with 2 thread wraps.
Step 7.  Advance the thread back to the rear segment tie in point, over the top of the fly. Then, lightly pull back the 3D EP fiber wing.
Step 8. Bind down the wing with 2 or 3 firm thread wraps.  Trim the fibers so that the overall length of the wing extends just past the end of the rear of the foam body.
Step 9. Prepare a strip of 2 mm white foam. This strip should be 1” long and about the width of the body. Trim the end of the white indicator strip that will be facing rearward into a pointed shape. The white foam indicator strip acts as a visual aid to help the angler see the drift of this low riding pattern. It also provides additional floatation for the pattern.
Step 10. Secure the indicator strip to the top of the fly with 2 firm wraps of thread. Overlap the wing by about 1/8” with the pointed end of the white foam indicator strip.
Step 11. Prepare a set of round rubber legs by cutting two individual pieces off the hank, folding them in half, and cutting. This should result in 4 roughly equal length round rubber legs.
Step 12. Bind down the legs on both sides of the rear segment tie in point of the body with 3 or 4 thread wraps.
Step 13. Lift up the white foam indicator strip and advance the thread to the front segment. Bring the thread over the top of the fly when you are executing this step.
Step 14. Bind down the white foam indicator strip with 2 firm wraps of thread. Trim the excess foam indicator strip leaving about 1/8”.
Step 15. Bind down the second set of legs on both sides of the front segment tie in point of the body with 3 or 4 thread wraps.
 
Step 16. Advance the thread forward to the hook eye and whip finish.
Step 17. Flip the fly over in the vise so it is belly up and catch all of the legs together between your thumb and forefinger. Trim them off so that they are all of roughly equal length.
Step 18. Carefully apply a small amount of Zap-A-Gap to the exposed thread wraps securing the legs.

Your Bar Guac Hopper is now complete and you are ready to head out On The Water
 




Margarita Clouser

8 June 2016 Alan's Recipes

This variation of Bob Clouser’s time-tested Clouser Deep Minnow fly is also called the Electric Chicken. In the smaller sizes it is a productive pattern for catching larger bonefish in deeper water or for targeting schooled up mudding bonefish. It is also a good pattern for casting around the reefs and mangroves of the Mexican Yucatan or Cayman Islands for juvenile snappers, grouper or jacks.

This fly also has some interesting ultraviolet (UV) properties as the chartreuse thread and bucktail glow brightly in the UV light spectrum.

Materials
Hook: Dai-Riki #930, Size 2, 4 or 6
Thread: Ultra 140 chartreuse
Weight: Mini or small lead dumbbell eyes
Body: White calftail
Flash: Gold and pearl krystal flash
Wing: Pink and chartreuse bucktail
 
Instructions
Step 1. Insert the hook in the vise and attach the thread.
Step 2. Place a drop of Zap-A-Gap on the thread wraps and then figure eight wrap the dumbbell eyes to the top of the hook (This fly rides hook point up).
Step 3. Tie in a sparse clump of long semi-straight white calftail extending past the bend of the hook about half a hook shank length. First, tie the calftail down in front of the eyes, then tie it down behind the eyes. Move the thread back in front of the eyes.
Step 4. Invert the hook in the vise (if your vise rotates, then rotate). Tie in 4 strands of gold krystal flash and 4 strands of pearl krystal flash using the “fold over” method. The flash should extend past the calftail about half a hook shank length.
Step 5. Tie in a sparse clump of pink bucktail in front of the eyes only. Next, tie in a sparse clump of chartreuse bucktail, on top of the pink bucktail. The bucktail should extend about the same length as the krystal flash.
Step 6.  Whip finish and cement the head or coat them with Clear Cure hydro.

Your Margarita Clouser is now complete and you are ready to head out On The Water

 




Mink Shrimp

2 May 2016 Alan's Recipes

This semi-realistic shrimp fly pattern for bonefish and permit (in larger sizes) has produced well throughout the Mexican Yucatan and the waters of northern Belize. Color variations include white, olive (mantis shrimp), and tan.

Materials
Hook: TMC 811S, size 6 or 4
Thread: Ultra 140 Fl. Shell Pink
Weight: Medium silver beadchain
Antennae: Black krystal flash
Front legs: Pumpkin/green-orange-black flake sili-legs
Eyes: X-small burned mono black
Rib: Medium copper wire
Body: Dark pink dubbing blend
Shell: Mink zonker strip (natural brown)
Back legs: Pumpkin/green-orange-black flake sili-legs

Instructions
Step 1. Insert the hook in the vise and attach the thread, wrapping back two hook eye lengths.
Step 2. Place a drop of Zap-A-Gap on the thread wraps and then figure eight wrap the beadchain eyes to the top of the hook (This fly rides hook point up).
Step 3. Double over the thread a single strand of black krystal flash and then wrap back to the hook bend tying the krystal flash down as you wrap. Trim the two antennae to twice the hook shank length.
Step 4. Return wrap the thread to just behind the beadchain eyes. Double over the thread a single strand of sili-legs material. Wrap back to the hook bend tying the sili-legs material down as you wrap. Trim the two legs to hook shank length.
Step 5. Return wrap the thread to just behind the beadchain eyes. Position each eye stalk individually alongside the hook shank and wrap back to the hook band. Each eye ball should be situated at approximately half the length of the legs. Bend each eye stalk out 45 degrees from the hook shank.
Step 6.  Tie in a 2.5 inch long piece of medium cooper wire at the bend of the hook.
Step 7. Rotate the hook in the vice (hook point up) and tie in a 1 inch long piece of mink zonker strip. Position the strip so that when it is pull over the body of the fly the hair will lie canted back towards the hook point. Place a drop of Zap-A-Gap on the thread wraps.
Step 8. Place dubbing on thread and dub a body forward to the 2/3 point of the hook shank.
Step 9. Double over the thread a single strand of sili-legs material. Wrap back over the “V” of the legs tying the sili-legs material down along the sides of the body as you wrap. Trim the two legs to 1/5 the hook shank length.
Step 10. Finish dubbing the body making sure to make figure eight wraps of dubbing between the eyes.
Step 11. Spiral wrap the copper wire up the body making sure to evenly space it. Tie off in front of the eyes.
Step 12. Using a dubbing brush pick out the body.
Step 13. Pull the mink zonker strip tight over the body and tie off in front of the eyes.
Step 14. Build up a small thread head and cover with head cement.

Your Mink Shrimp is now complete and you are ready to head out On The Water!


 


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