Holiday Flurries and Summer Steelhead Flies...

Well, it's looking more and more like Christmas will be white in Manhattan...

... and that means there's only one thing to do: tie up some summer steelhead flies in anticipation of the coming season (even if it is like 7 months off).

Here's a simple low water steelhead fly that I've used with great success on the Deschutes River in Central Oregon during the late summer months.

It's a simple, sparsely-dressed pattern that doesn't require crazy materials or long hours at the vise, making it the perfect antidote for a steelheader on a snowy afternoon.

The Snow-day Summer Steelhead Fly >>

Hook >> Tiemco TMC 202 SP, size 4 or 6
Thread >> Wapsi 210 denier UTC Ultra Thread, red
Tag >> Wapsi Flat Mylar Tinsel, silver, medium
Dubbed Body >> Spirit River Angora Goat Dubbing, black or dark grey
Dubbed "Cheek" >> Spirit River Diamond Brite Dubbing, UV pearl (a nub of dubbing wrapped just forward of the hook eye return, teased for sparkle)
Collar >> Spirit River Pheasant Rump Feather, blue-green

Evan LeBon is a regular contributor to beyondthebug.com


Beyond the Bug's 2008 Holiday Gift Guide for the Modern Fly Tyer

Well, the Holidays are upon us, and if you haven't purchased that perfect gift for the modern fly tyer in your life (even if that modern fly tyer is YOU), then it's time to get crackin'!

Here's Beyond the Bug's quick and dirty guide to some totally killer fly tying gifts:

A Jewelry-Quality Salmon Fly by Shawn Davis >>

Fly tying artist, Shawn Davis, had a vision to create jewelry-quality Atlantic salmon flies for display.

We'd say he's achieved his goal.

Davis' unique and modern flies available from $1,190.00, decorative photographs both framed and un-framed available from $80.00, click here for more information.

A Renzetti Master Special Edition Fly Tying Vise >>

Probably the sexiest fly tying vise ever built. $729.95, available here at LelandFlyTying.com

A Selection of Paul Miller Super Spey Hackle >>

A modern master of steelhead fly tying named Paul Miller teamed up with a modern master of bird-raising named Kate Davidson. The result: some of the best rhea feathers for steelhead fly tying we've ever seen (and used).

$20.00, available here at LelandFlyTying.com

A subscription to Fly Tyer or Hatches Magazine >>

$19.95 for 1 full year of fly tying news, information, techniques, material reviews, HOT fly patterns, and more! Subscribe to Fly Tyer Magazine at 17 % off here.

$6.95 is a small price to pay for what is simply one of the very best modern fly tying publications on the planet. Subscribe to Hatches Magazine here (click on the "download a subscription form" link on the Home Page).

A pair of traditional Atlantic salmon fly earings >>

A couple of gaudy Altlantic salmon flies hanging off your (or your girlfriend or your wife's) ears? Need we say more?

$29.95, available here.

A classic Richard Wheatley fly box >>

Richard Wheatley of England: Storing the world's best flies in elegance for only the most discriminating tyers since the 1880's.

$30.00 - $100.00, available here at Leland Fly Fishing Outfitters.

A copy of Bob Veverka's fantastic book on modern saltwater fly tying, Innovative Saltwater Flies >>
An incredible explosion of creative fly designs from some of the very best modern saltwater fly tyers around. This is a must-have book for anyone who enojys tossing some big bugs to salty beasts.

$49.95, Available here at LelandFlyTying.com

A Mag Rite Bobbin from Merco Products >>

A fly tying bobbin with a drag system?
You heard us correctly. But in case you didn't catch it: A fly tying bobbin with a drag system.

The Rite Bobbin from Merco Products is a fantastic fly tying tool. It's ingenious disc drag system allows you to put as little or as much tension on the thread as your task requires. The mechanism is precise and variable. Thread control has been redefined.

$26.49, Available here at LelandFlyTying.com

Evan LeBon is a regular contributor to beyondthebug.com


Fly Recipe: Wylie's One Percenter Tube Fly

Every good fly has a story, and every good tube fly has a better one. You never know what will inspire, spark, and feed the naming process of a fly. Regardless of how you get there, settling on the name of a new fly is always an interesting exercise in creativity, free-association, and cool hunting.

Here's the story of a fly called the "One Percenter." It's tied by avid New Jersey-based Delaware trout bum turned steelhead freak, Wylie Haggerty.

Here's Wylie's "page 13 version" of the story behind the name:

"I remember reading Hunter S. Thompson's book Hells Angels a while back and have been interested in the gang from a sociological standpoint ever since. I had been tying flies at the lady's house while watching Gang Land on the tube and the Hells Angels piece came on. The term "1%ers" or "one percenters" has been used to describe the Hells Angles gang because only 1% of the motorcycle community ever meets their criteria. I thought this fly was unique because I had yet to see a fly use a rhea feather as the wing at the time and I thought the black and blue looked similar to the garb of motorcycle gang member. I also thought the fly would explode with movement while in the water, and coincidentally, the Hells Angles were responsible for the second largest car bomb in US history back in the day."

On a side note: In case you're wondering what the current leader of California's Hells Angels would do if he were president...

Here's a quick and dirty recipe for the One Percenter Tube Fly>>

Tube >> HMH large, medium, or small fly tying tube depending, of course, on the desired size of the finished fly
Dubbing >> Polar bear dubbing or Angora goat dubbing
Tinsel >> Silver French or Oval tinsel sized to match the tube, use a diamond braid or traditional wrapping style
Rear Wings >> Wrapped rhea feather or ostrich plume
Top Wing >> Stripped and secured rhea feather tip or ostrich plume tip
Collar >> Palmered marabou feather, oversized
Eye >> Flanking jungle cock nail feathers secured near the hook eye

Evan LeBon is a regular contributor to beyondthebug.com

photo and fly courtesy of Wylie Haggerty


A (Very) Short History of the Tube Fly

Ian McNemar's Practitioner-style prawns tied on tubes over the Thanksgiving Holiday have been a hit with readers.Given the excitement tube flies have and continue to generate among modern fly tyers, it might be useful to take a moment to review the history of tube flies and a short list of their more attractive features and advantages.

So, everyone’s talking about them: tube flies! Even though these flies may seem radically new, they have been in use for over 50 years.

The first tube flies were tied in 1945 by Winnie Morawski, a British fly tying instructor and professional tyer for Playfair and Company of Aberdeen. To produce the world’s first tube flies, Morawski tied standard Atlantic salmon patterns onto the discarded scraps of turkey quills that littered her desk. She then attached the hook separately, allowing the fly itself to slide up the leader during a strike, reducing the stress placed on the fly.

Morwaski’s innovative creations became known for lasting longer than the flies offered by her competitors. Eventually, her bench side experiment was spotted by Dr. William Mitchell who suggested the use of surgical tubing as a durable alternative to Morawski’s natural quills. The rest is, well, history.
Today, tube flies are fished throughout the world’s fly waters and continue to be associated with innovation. Tube flies offer steelhead anglers several unique advantages:

>> First and foremost, tube flies continue to be more durable than traditional, shank-tied flies – this is a plus when a fresh steelhead grabs your offering and goes!

>> Tube flies also allow a fly tyer to add an incredible amount of material to a fly pattern without using a bulky and heavy hook.

>> Using smaller, short-shanked hooks is also helpful to the steelheader, as levering action is greatly reduced, resulting in more hook ups and more big fish! Steelhead legend, Lani Waller, is convinced that fishing with tube flies has increased his hook up rate by 20 per cent!

>> Tube fly construction and rigging allows a hardcore steelheader to use a variety of hook styles, shapes, and sizes throughout the day and from fish to fish.

Evan LeBon is a regular contributor to beyondthebug.com


Translucent Tubes: Some Steelhead Candy from Ian McNemar

How did Ian McNemar spend his Turkey Day? Well, check these out.

Over the holiday, Ian whipped up about 4 or 5 purple and orange steelhead flies on tubes influenced by the traditional General Practitioner pattern over the weekend. Ian's weekend work was inspired by Jeff Mishler's recent article on translucence and steelhead fly philosophy in Fly Rod and Reel magazine.
Here are the recipes:

Ian's Purple Practitioner >>

Tube >>
HMH large tube
Feelers >> purple EP Fibers, a little EP Sparkle for flash and 2 strands
purple peacock herl from Hareline Dubbin.
Butt >> Pink UV Ice Dub from Hareline for flash
Body >> (just like with the GP, the body is two sections) Purple angora
from Wapsi; translucent pearl medium tinsel from UTC; purple teal
flank - on the back section, I V-cut the teal flank to give the back
end more substance.
Hackle >> Large purple schlappen from Hareline. A few wraps around the
butt of the fly and palmered through the body.
Thread >> 6/0 Danville, red

Ian's Orange Practitioner >>

Tube >> HMH small tube
Feelers >> orange EP, a little EP sparkle, two strands of purple peacock herl
Butt >> Pink UV Ice Dub for flash
Body >> (the body is one section) a few wraps of orange angora on the
back; a layer of silver medium tinsel covered by red died peacock
herl, orange schlappen palmered through, tied down with small oval
tinsel. It shimmers a bit and gives a flashy peek inside on occasion.
Hackle >> Orange schlappen. A few wraps on the butt and palmered through
the body.
Wing >> Burnt orange teal flank topped with a smaller piece of gray teal
flank. I did this for some contrast.

Evan LeBon is a regular contributor to beyondthebug.com

photos and flies courtesy of Ian McNemar, a regular contributor to beyondthebug.com