Fly Recipe: Ian's Whiplash Prawn

Well, Ian McNemar has been logging some hard hours at the vise lately. He's been caught up in the world of tube flies now for a while, and it looks like the obsession is paying off.

Here are two variations of his newest tube pattern, a fly he calls the Whiplash Prawn.

I think he likes Metallica...

Ian's Purple Whiplash Prawn >>

Tube >> HMH thick wall micro tubing nested with clear HMH hybrid tubing
Feelers >> Black bucktail
Flash >> Pearl crystal splash
Butt >> Pink angora goat dubbing
Body >> Claret wool dubbing
Rib >> Small oval silver tinsel
Hackle >> Purple schlappen
Wing >> Black bear hair
Thread >> Danville 6/0 gray/blue
Hook >> Daiichi 1650 tube fly hook, size 6

Ian's Orange Whiplash Prawn >>

Tube >> HMH thick-wall micro tubing nested with HMH orange hybrid tubing for the junction
Eyes >> Small pink shiny beads glued onto 33lb hard mono
Feelers >> Black bucktail
Butt >> Pink angora goat dubbing
Body >> Brown angora boat dubbing
Rib >> Small silver oval tinsel
Hackle >> Orange schlappen
Wing >> Black bear hair
Thread >> Red Danville 6/0
Hook >> Daiichi 1650 tube fly hook, size 6

Evan LeBon is a regular contributor to beyondthebug.com

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


All Mashed Up: Bootleg Flies

Progress and development in fly tying (aside from the really ground-breaking stuff) resembles the pirate-minded bootlegging of the post-modern bastardized-pop world of digital music. Mashups, smashups, cutups, and boots, are tracks that combine the rythym and vocals of different pop songs to create new, Frankenstein-ed creations. Some love them, some hate them, but it seems they're here to stay.

(Here is a fine example of a mash up for those of you who may not have noticed this under-the-radar, barely legal form of music making:

"Tender Umbrella," Party Ben, Rihanna vs. General Public

If you'd like to learn more about mashups, www.bootiesf.com is a great place to get acquainted with them.)

Hot "new" flies are most often mashups, the result of modern artists combining fly patterns new and old, or elements of them, to create something else to toss into the drift.

And so the analogy is drawn; tyers of new and modern flies
blend tying techniques, color, proportion, design, and materials in the same way digital DJs mix beats, vocals, riffs, and genres to push things forward.

The Original Bootleg Fly: Lefty vs. Bob, the Half and Half

The Half & Half: Just like rich Guinness Stout and crisp Harp Lager at your favorite Irish pub, right? Well, not exactly, but the Clouser/Kreh Half & Half is similarly designed and is perhaps the original mashup of the modern fly tying world.

By ingeniously combining two of the most effective baitfish fly patterns in the history of saltwater fly fishing (a little Clouser Minnow on top, a little Lefty’s Deceiver on bottom), Bob Clouser and Lefty Kreh created a bootleg "Super Fly" and may have stumbled upon one of the most incredible Frankenstein flies a surf-cruising striped bass or ravenous blue will ever lay its eyes and lips on!

To be clear, making a comparison between musical mashups and bootleg flies should not in any way detract from the value of the progression of fly tying (or music).

It's simply a different way to think about the flies we tie.

In fact, I'd argue that, just as the greatest (and worst) tracks of the mashup world demonstrate, a lot goes into the understanding of how to create something new (and good) from something old.

Evan LeBon is a regular contributor to beyondthebug.com


Fly Recipe: MJ's Rubber Leg Copper John

The classic Copper John nymph, an attractor fly originally designed by Colorado-based angler and modern fly tying master, John Barr, was intended to sink quickly and to be fished in concert for big trout with larger grasshopper imitations. Over the years, however, the pattern has developed a cult following of anglers who use the Copper John on its own as a wickedly productive searching nymph in both rapid and still waters.

Matt "MJ" Jones of San Francisco, CA is an avid trout angler. He spends lots of time on the rich fly water of California's high country. The Truckee River is one of his favorite spots and this simple, but effective, Rubber Leg Copper John is one of his favorite flies.

Each time he heads to the Reno-Truckee area, MJ is sure to have a box-load of these bugs in red, chartreuse, and copper color variations at the ready. He loves this fly because it works well in the varied water anglers can encounter on rivers like the Truckee and for its simple design.

MJ's Rubber Leg Copper John >>

Hook >> Tiemco TMC 2457, sizes 12-18
Tail >> Black rubber legs
Body >> Wapsi UTC copper wire, size medium, red, chartreuse, copper, and other colors
Thorax >> Peacock herl
Wing Case >> Flash material coated wtih Z-Poxy 5-minute epoxy and resin
Leg >> Black rubber legs
Head >> Gold bead head, appropriately sized to fit hook

Evan LeBon is a regular contributor to beyondthebug.com

fly and photo courtsey of Matt "MJ" Jones, a regular contributor to beyondthebug.com