How to Tie a Swimming Crane Fly Larva
Crane fly larva have the unique ability to flatten out their lower segments and swim remarkably well. Here's a great pattern for imitating a crane fly larva in motion.
How to Tie a March Brown Emerger
Not only is this pattern a great March Brown Emerger imitation, but with minor changes to the colors of the wing, body and shuck, it can be used to represent a Cream Drake, a Green Drake, a Yellow Drake or any of the larger mayfly species.
How to Tie Mercer’s Missing Link
Although originally intended to represent a crippled caddisfly, Mercer's Missing Link does a remarkable job of imitating a variety of insects.
How to Tie a Wood Duck Scud
Scuds are a favorite food source for trout, and they’re found in most bodies of water year round. Here’s a quick and easy version of a scud that works remarkably well.
How to Tie a Peacock and Partridge
The Peacock and Partridge is a fly pattern that’s older than dirt yet still remarkably effective. Using just a few materials, it’s easy to tie and it could represent a whole slew of aquatic insects in various stages of life.
How to Tie the Slumpbuster
The Slumpbuster is a John Barr creation with a little bit of everything; weight, a touch of flash, some wiggle and a profile that pushes a fair amount of water.
How to Tie Higa’s SOS
This is Higa’s SOS, developed by guide Spencer Higa as a baetis imitation. SOS stands for “save our skin” and this fly has apparently bailed out a multitude of guides on tough days.
How to Tie a Caddis Larva
Caddis fly larva are a favorite food of trout just about everywhere and patterns to imitate them range from mildly suggestive to hyper-realistic.
How to Tie the Ray Charles Sow Bug
The Ray Charles Sow Bug is usually fished subsurface and is especially effective trailed behind a weighted nymph, like a bead head hare’s ear.
How to Tie the Klinkhamer Special
The Klinkhamer Special was developed by Hans van Klinken over 25 years ago. Tied in different colors and sizes, it can represent a wide variety of emerging aquatic insect species
How to Tie The Bugmeister
The Bugmeister, developed by John Perry of Montana, is probably best described as a universal attractor pattern.
How to Tie a Rough Water Caddis
Tim Flagler ties a Rough Water Caddis, a pattern designed to float in the water's surface film and to stay afloat through just about any water conditions.
How to Tie a Hi-Vis Coachman
Phil Monahan borrowed elements from a variety of patterns to come up with this highly visible fly, capable of staying afloat in the tumbling pocket water of Vermont's mountain streams.
How to Tie the Ginny Midge
If you're just beginning to tie small, the Ginny Midge is a great fly to start with. Even a size 24 is fairly easy to master.
How to Tie the Hippie Chick Midge
The idea behind the Hippie Chick Midge was to incorporate numerous bright colors into a single fly in hopes that trout respond to at least one.
How to Tie an Orange Asher
The Orange Asher is a remarkably simple nymph pattern that works well in the late fall and early winter.
How to Tie the Squirmanator
Thinking of entering a one-fly competition? The Squirminator may be just the fly you want at the end of your tippet.
How to Tie Jack Gartside’s Sparrow
Tim Flagler demonstrates how to tie a version of Jack Gartside's Sparrow using Brahma Hen instead of Gartside's preferred pheasant feathers.
How to Tie a Devil Bug
Tim Flagler demonstrates how to tie a Devil Bug, a fly that floats like a champ and produces very well when dead-drifted.
How to Tie an October Caddis Soft Hackle
"The arrival of the October Caddis or Great Autumn Brown Sedge, to me anyway, marks the end of the big bug season here in the east, the last chance to fish with a dry fly I can actually see."
How to Tie a Brahma Bugger, Version 2.0
Adding two or more colors really enhances the similarities of this pattern to a sculpin. "Fished slowly, along the bottom, it pretty much resembles the real thing."
How to Tie a Brahma Bugger
This pattern’s appeal comes from the subtle barring in the soft hackle feathers, which make it closely resemble a darter, of which there are about 150 different species in North America.
How to Tie Charlie Craven’s Mole Fly
Charlie Craven’s “Mole Fly” is super easy to tie, but does an incredible job of imitating small mayflies and midges struggling to free themselves from their nymphal shucks in the surface film.
DIY Spool Tenders
Tim Flagler explains how to assemble a spool tender using readily available and inexpensive materials:
How to Tie the Dorato Hare’s Ear
The Dorato Hare’s Ear was developed by Bill Dorato of Albany, New York, many years ago. Originally intended to imitate a newly emerged caddis, it does an admirable job of imitating mayflies as well.
How to Tie the Bivisible
The Bivisible is a pattern that dates back to the 1920’s and, if not directly invented by Edward Ringwood Hewitt, it was certainly popularized by him.
How to Tie a Cinder Worm
Matt Grobert ties his popular cinder worm pattern, designed to imitate the segments of Nereis worms that rise to the surface during their spawn.
Stripping Peacock Quills
Tim Flagler notes that there are several techniques for stripping peacock quills, but by far the most efficient involves the use of common household chemicals.
How to Tie an Ausable Wulff
Tim Flagler ties the venerable Ausable Wulff, a pattern developed by upper New York state fly fishing guru Fran Betters in 1964.
How to Tie a Damselfly
Matt Grobert ties a Damselfly pattern on a size 10 Dai-Riki #305 dry fly hook, using light olive 3/0 Danville monocord thread, deer hair, dark green Antron, Coq de Leon hackle and peacock herl.
How to Tie a Weighted Isonychia Nymph
Tim Flagler ties a standard weighted Isonychia Nymph on a size 12 Dai-Riki #270 3x long hook and includes tips on conserving wire and using UV resin to finish the pattern.
Using a Whip Finish Tool to Cut Thread
By grinding the butt end of his whip finisher to a sharp, chisel-like edge, Tim Flagler created a device that allows him to trim thread closely and neatly.
How to Tie Ken’s Crazy Ant
Ken's Crazy Ant, authored by Ken Walrath, is super easy to tie, floats like a cork, and is incredibly realistic.
How to Tie the Picket Pin
The Picket Pin was a pattern developed by Jack Boehme of Missoula, Montana in the early 1900s. It's name comes from the cowboys' common label for ground squirrels, which looked to them like horse picket pins.
How to Tie Mike’s Honey Ant
Author, fly tier and blogger Matt Grobert ties Mike's Honey Ant, a pattern originated by Mike Lawson of Henry's Fork Anglers.
How to Tie a Foam Cricket
Tim Flagler ties another popular terrestrial, the Foam Cricket, using craft foam and a paper cutter to shape the body.
How to Tie a Foam Beetle
"It may not look like much, but it's one of my favorite patterns for the late summer and early fall. Let it land with a splat beneath overhanging vegetation, give it a little twitch or two, and if there's a fish there chances are you'll get a take."
How to Tie a Purple Haze
The Purple Haze is a purple-bodied variation of the classic Parachute Adams. It was developed in Montana in the early 2000s and quickly became popular all over the west.
How to Tie the Henryville Special
The Henryville Special is a caddis fly imitation created in the 1930s by Hiram Brobst for use on the Henryville section of Broadhead Creek in the Pocono Mountains of eastern Pennsylvania.
Tying a Sulphur Soft Hackle
"Although there's no wrong way to fish this fly, when trout are rising to take naturals from the surface, I'll fish them just as I would a dry fly. They float well and are surprisingly visible for such a small pattern."
How to Tie a PFD Rusty Spinner
“Rusty Spinners can be a tough fly to fish mainly because they’re so hard to see, as they ride low in the water and are generally fished at dark. This particular pattern helps to even the odds.”
How to Tie a Goddard Caddis
Just by looking at a Goddard Caddis you can tell it’s going to float like a cork, and this floatability allows it to be twitched, skated and waked on the water’s surface, which will oftentimes initiate a take.
How to Tie the American Pheasant Tail Nymph
The American Pheasant Tail Nymph imitates a wide variety of mayfly species in their nymphal stage. Tim Flagler ties this one on a size 16 Dai-Riki #730 nymph hook and uses Flymaster 6/0 for thread.
How to Tie a Quill Gordon Parachute Emerger
Alan Landheer ties his Quill Gordon Parachute Emerger on a size 14 Daiichi #1140 hook. The Quill Gordon was popularized by Catskill tier Theodore Gordon in the late 19th or early 20th century.
Tying the CB Stocker Streamer
Authored by New Jersey tier Chally Bates when he was just fourteen years old, the CB Stocker was created specifically to catch stocked trout.
How to Tie the Frenchie Nymph
The features of the Frenchie Nymph include a gold tungsten bead head, Coq de Leon tail, UV pink thorax, and an ample and brightly colored thread collar.
How to Tie a Rainbow Warrior
This pattern’s shiny head, pearl body and red thread make it hard for trout to resist as a dropper or fished solo.
How to Tie a Mercury Midge
An effective and easy-to-tie pattern, Pat Dorsey’s Mercury Midge is a great fly to start with as a novice tier wanting to learn small flies.
Tying the Muddler Minnow
Tim Flagler offers tips for tying the perfect Muddler Minnow, using two sizes of thread and a double-edged razor blade (broken in half) to create quill segments and shape the spun deer-hair head.
Tying a Synthetic-Quill Nymph
Rich Strolis ties a Synthetic-Quill Nymph, a very simple and effective micro nymph that utilizes multi-rib construction.
How to Tie the Serendipity
The Serendipity, likely based on the European “Buzzer,” was authored by Madison River guide Ross A. Marigold, who also is responsible for the RAM Caddis.
Tying the Hornberg Dry Fly
Tim Flagler says of this size-18 dry fly variation of the classic Hornberg: “Although it’s useful year-round, I’ve found it especially effective in the fall, when small, colored-up wild fish are on the move."
How to Tie an Antron Egg
Tim Flager's version of the Antron Egg is set apart by extreme realism and might lure even doubters into giving it a try.
How to Tie a Headbanger Sculpin
Rich Strolis ties his latest articulated streamer utilizing the sculpin helmet. As Strolis says: "This guy gets down and drums up nice fish. This fly is best fished with a stout leader on a floating line."
Tying an Autumn Dun Wet Fly
Master tyer Davie McPhail ties an Autumn Dun wet fly on a size 12 hook using natural black hen fibres for the tail and peacock quill for the body.
Tying an October Caddis
“The October caddis is the ‘Isonychia of caddis hatches’ in that it is a large insect that hatches sporadically, and the trout become accustomed to their presence for about two, autumn-colored months of the year.”
How to Tie a Yellow Humpy
“It floats like a cork, imitates a variety of mayfly species, and if nothing else makes one heck of a strike indicator.”
How to Tie the Olive X-Caddis
Matt Grobert shows how to tie the X-Caddis, a pattern authored by famed western U.S. angler and shop owner Craig Mathews.
Tying the Al’s Trico
Tim Flagler ties an Al's Trico on a size-24 hook, producing a tiny but very effective pattern for late summer hatches.
How to Tie a Yellow Sally Stimulator
Matt Grobert demonstrates how to tie a Yellow Sally Stimulator, a terrific summertime pattern that imitates an adult Yellow Sally or Little Yellow Stonefly.
How to Tie an Isonychia Emerger
Matt Grobert ties an Isonychia Emerger pattern on a size 12 hook. Isonychia are also known as Slate Drakes and appear in streams all over the U.S.
How to Tie a Sulphur Usual
Matt Grobert shows how to tie his Sulpher Usual, a variation of Fran Betters's "Usual," on a Dai-Riki #305 size 16 dry fly hook.
Tying the Moto’s Minnow
Tim Flager ties a Moto's Minnow, a popular streamer originally designed as a sculpin imitation by Moto Nakamura.
How to Tie a Caribou Caddis
“Caribou hair takes some getting used to, but it’s a terrific tying material and adds both form and function to this pattern.”
How to Tie Matt’s Sulphur Emerger
Sulphur hatches are some of the most anticipated hatches of the year, but they can also be frustrating. Matt's Sulphur Emerger is an excellent pattern to start with.
Tying a Crane Fly Larva
Crane fly larvae are common in streams all across the U.S. and are a tempting meal for trout, reaching up to more than 2 inches in length.
How to Tie a Bob’s Banger
Authored by New Jersey saltwater fly fishing legend Bob Popovic, Bob's Banger is a durable, easy-to-make popper for all-around saltwater use.
How to Tie an Egg-Laying Grannom (Caddis)
Matt Grobert ties an Egg-Laying Grannom, a pattern designed to imitate both dark and light grannom caddis as they return to the river in late spring to deposit their eggs.
How to Tie a Catskill-Style Hendrickson
Matt Grobert includes all the standard measurements and techniques for tying a traditional Catskill-style Hendrickson, a favorite of Art Flick's and one of the flies that helped define that region's style of tying.
How to Tie a Single Wing Flatwing
Joe Cordeiro ties a Single Wing Flatwing baitfish imitation. You'll want a stout vise for this pattern, but the result captures all the underwater subtlety of saltwater prey.
How to Tie a Cloud Emerger
Matt Grobert ties a unique mayfly emerger pattern he calls a Cloud Emerger. This Hendrickson emerger is well-suited to a size 12 or 14 hook.
How to Tie a Sucker Spawn
Tier Tim Flagler says: "I consider myself only a recreational user of Sucker Spawn, so I really don't have a problem."
How to Tie a Matt’s Gnat
Author and tier Matt Grobert came up with this pattern in order to construct a more durable Griffith's Gnat.
How to Tie a Zug Bug
Created by Cliff Zug of Pennsylvania in the 1930s, the Zug Bug imitates a cased caddis or caddis larva, but it also works great in a dropper rig or even swung as a wet fly.
Tying a Leadwing Coachman
A great choice for drifting or swinging in cold weather, the Leadwing Coachman can imitate a variety of drowned or emerging insects, from caddisflies to mayflies.
Tying the Royal Wulff
Tim Flagler ties the classic Royal Wulff fly pattern, a garish but extremely effective attractor.
Tying the RS2
The RS2, authored by Rim Chung, derived its name from "Rim's Semblance 2." It can be fished as either a nymph or emerger.
Tying an Al’s Rat
Most anglers fish it in the film, but you can also have success fishing it deep as a trailing fly. Try them not only in brown, but green, red, gray, and even black wherever you find finicky trout.
How to Tie a Pumpkin Head Midge
Matt Grobert ties a Pumpkin Head Midge, a very effective wintertime midge pattern that features a fluorescent orange bead head.
Tying a Simple Scud
Tim Flagler demonstrates how to tie a Simple Scud pattern, using a size 16 hook and an Antron-and-Australian-possum-blend dubbing not just for the body, but for the legs and antennae as well.
Tying LaFontaine’s Sparkle Emerger
Matt Grobert ties the late Gary LaFontaine's highly popular Sparkle Emerger, which, Tim Flagler notes, "along with the Sparkle Pupa [is] nothing short of miraculous when catching trout."
Tying a Bird’s Nest
The Bird's Nest is a nymph pattern authored by master tier and San Francisco fly shop owner Cal Bird in 1959. Bird first tied it—without the bead—for trout fishing on the Truckee River.
Tying a Foam-Bodied Ant
Tim Flagler ties one of his favorite terrestrial pattern, a foam-bodied ant that is durable, easy to see, and effective.
Tying an Iris Caddis
Matt Grobert ties a pattern authored by Craig Mathews of Blue Ribbon Flies in West Yellowstone, Montana. Many believe it to be one of the most effective caddis emerger patterns ever developed.
How to Tie an Olive Woolly Bugger
There are many different ways to tie a Woolly Bugger, notes Tim Flagler, but he suggests these steps for tying one of the best searching patterns of all time.
Tying a Clouser Minnow
Tim Flagler ties another saltwater classic, the Clouser Minnow, authored by Bob Clouser around 1987.
Tying a Brassie
The Brassie is a simple yet extremely effective pattern which imitates both caddis and midge larvae, with the added bonus that it sinks like a rock, getting the fly down to levels where trout most often feed.
Tying a Foam Cricket
Curtis Fry demonstrates how to tie a Foam Cricket, which he notes not only qualifies "as a dead ringer for a cricket, it can also pass as a cicada or even a dark grasshopper."
Tying a Zebra Midge
As Tim Flagler says, "The Zebra Midge is one of those patterns that really doesn't need an introduction. It's simple, effective, and works over a wide range of fishing situations."
Tying a Double Standard
Tim Flagler offers detailed instruction on tying a fly that is half Pheasant Tail Nymph and Half Bead Head Hare's Ear Nymph.
Tying a Tabory Snake Fly
Tim Flagler says of the Tabory Snake Fly, "If I see mullet pushing in the shallows, this is the first fly I'll tie on. All in all, it's an incredible saltwater pattern."
Tying a Meat Helmet Sculpin
This video details how to tie a fairly quick sculpin imitation that gets down and has loads of built-in movement.
Tying a Slate Drake Nymph
On some rivers Slate Drakes hatch sporadically, on others they hatch en masse, but either way they are a meal that trout can’t resist.
Tying a Gurgler
Tim Flagler shows his techniques for tying one of the most interesting and popular surface patterns in fly fishing.
Tying a PMD Nymph
Richard Strolis ties another of the patterns he came up with on a recent trip to Montana: a variation of the classic PMD Nymph.
Tying an Elk Hair Caddis
Tim Flagler ties one of the most popular caddis patterns of all time, the Elk Hair Caddis. The fly was authored by Al Troth to imitate fluttering or spent adult caddis.
Tying an Articulated Ice Pick
"Going the Distance" is the right lyric for North Fork of the White guide/guru Brian Wise, who ties an Articulated Ice Pick fly in this fast-motion video.
How to Tie a Busted Stone
Rich Strolis demonstrates how to tie his Busted Stone pattern, which he notes will work just about anywhere fish feed on stoneflies.
How to Tie a Simple Caddis Larva
Tim Flagler demonstrates how to tie a simple Green Caddis Larva, an imitation of an easily overlooked but important part of a trout's diet.
Tying a CDC & Elk Fly
Tim Flagler ties the CDC & Elk pattern authored by master tier Hans Weilenmann, a high-floating caddis imitation based on Al Troth's classic Elk Hair Caddis.
Tying a Griffith’s Gnat
Authored by George Griffith, the Griffith's Gnat is an effective imitation of virtually any small insect: midges, midge emergers, or tiny mayflies.
Tying a Sulphur Soft Hackle (Wire Abdomen)
The Sulphur Soft Hackle is an extremely versatile pattern that can be fished as a dry/cripple on the surface, dead drifted as nymph, or swung and lifted like a wet fly.
Tying a Hendrickson Soft Hackle
"Most fisherman think that soft hackles and wet flies are meant to be fished exclusively in the film or upper part of the water column, but in actuality they're deadly fished deep."
Tying a Hare’s Ear
Richard Strolis ties the very popular and highly productive Hare's Ear fly pattern.
Tying a Chicken Finger
Richard Strolis ties a Chicken Finger for use as an anchor in a weighted euro nymph rig.
Tying a Case Closed
Adjust the size, color and shape and you can cover all the different types of case caddis you will encounter. The body of the fly is very durable and can be trimmed to any shape in a matter of seconds.
Tying the Glo-Bug
Tim Flagler ties the venerable Glo-Bug, a fly that got its start as an egg imitation for fall and spring spring spawning runs.
“Let the Fur Fly”
Tim Flagler demonstrates how to tie his innovative Fur Fly, a pattern meant to imitate flat-bodied nymphs.
Tying a Beach Comber
"The Beach Comber was the result of a three-year project that I started to create a lightly weighted sand eel pattern for the flats of Cape Cod during striper season."
Tying the Adams Dry Fly
In this video, Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions demonstrates how to tie one of the best-known — and most fished — fly patterns in existence: the Adams.
Tips for Starting Thread
Tim Flagler offers several tips on starting thread on a hook shank, including showing how to "trim" thread without scissors.
How to Use a Whip Finish Tool
Tim Flagler demonstrates in great detail how to use a whip finish tool, showing both slow-speed and normal speed finishing.
Tying a R-F Caddis
"I have always been a big fan of the X-Caddis and the shuck hanging off the back. I combine that with hares-ear style dub with some added flash in minimal amounts."
Tying a Rock Candy Larva
"A very good anchor fly in any euro-style nymph rig, this pattern in particular was one of my top anchors in 2010."
Tying a Shimmer Stone
"This is the latest medium to large stonefly nymph pattern I came up with. The fly is two-toned like a natural and takes on a woven-fly look without the weaving."
Tying a Classified Caddis
""This particular fly I'm tying is a deep pupa, which I'm usually fishing under an indicator, or in a weight-nymph-style rig. There are different colors of this pattern that I tie, but the one I'm tying for you today is in bright green."
Tying an Ice Pick Streamer
"I was very reluctant to use the new heads as I thought for sure they would be inevitably too heavy. Boy was I wrong. Think of this fly as my tribute to the zonker, only spruced up a bit."
Tying a Magic Caddis
"This is my other favorite caddis pupa pattern, also very simple yet much more flashy. I converted this into a weighted pupa for Czech or Polish nymphing by adding the tungsten bead."
Tying a Tenkara Fly
How to tie a tenkara fly, the Sakasa Kebari (reverse-hackle fly), used in the traditional Japanese method of mountain stream fly fishing.