Category Archives: Fly Tying

Instructions for monthly fly tying workshops and other material

Fly Tying 27 Nov 2019 – Messy Dun Fly

John tells us:

This month we will be tying a foam mayfly body, similar to the body Muz Wilson used on his Messy Dun fly.

The recipe includes:

  • A long needle
  • 2mm foam – colour of your choice
  • Elk or reindeer hair for the tail
  • Thread to match the foam.

In addition you will need to bring scissors or a knife to cut out the foam and your vice to hold the needle.

Fly Tying 25 Sep 2019

John and Claude led the ‘dubbing brush’ session on Wednesday night. Claude had a ‘home made’ dubbing brush maker and John had his fancy vice to demonstrate the creation of brushes on a different device. If you like Claude’s home made maker, he has promised to give those that attend the plans 😊.

Dubbing brushes can be used for a variety of flies from nymphs to buggers and the more talented tiers could use them for salt water flies. Below are some produced by Claude. He says it is quite quick to whip up nymph or bugger if you have a brush that is suitable – he demonstrated a quick bugger tie.

All you need is some copper wire, dubbing material (anything you have) and a bit of imagination to make the brush.

Neil Grose Fly Tying Videos

Just got this hint from Shaun. Will pop it into our useful links page in due course:

Bill – I just came a across a series of recently uploaded tying videos from Tassie, tied by Neil Grose. Really good production, and flies you never see in shops or books. Worth sharing as a blog item I would think. Cheers, Shaun.


Some Tips from Shaun

Shaun has recently been to UK fishing in the Lake District.  He extracted some tips that would be quite relevant here.  One day I’ll assemble all the tips that people have offered to Burley Line and pop them in this category.

If you’re interested, this trip we fished Lough Corrib, Stocks Reservoir, and the Lake District, where I picked up my first grand slam (Trout, Pike, Redfin) near Lake Windermere. The following are a handful of observations that I picked up this time round.

When fishing at home it’s common to see a three fly setup with increasingly lighter tipper at each fly. Level leaders seem more common in Britain, and the locals were using some of the newer Japanese fluorocarbons in 0.25mm at around 18lb. These leaders are plenty stiff and even with my casting skills, unfurl nicely with the droppers rarely tangling. On the subject of droppers, one of our fellow fishers showed me a technique that I’m definitely trying at home. When you setup at the beginning of the day, you build your leader with the usual three section, two triple surgeon knot rigs. When during the course of a day’s fishing your droppers start getting short, or there’s a tangle that’s beyond help, you cut the dropper close to the knot, and then attach a new dropper with a blood knot, or even a perfection loop using the old knot as a stopper. I’ve even seen a knot tied above and below the old surgeons knot. When using a perfection loop the dropper will slide along the leader, and whilst I didn’t see it in practice, a missed strike with the setup can tell you which fly was hit, as the dropper will slide up snug against the stopper knot.

Flies as always are a contentious subject. Boobies in both floating and sinking forms are ever popular apart from with the purists, but unsurprisingly, the comp fishers are rarely that. Foam arsed blobs (FABs) are also in most fishers boxes, fished as an attractor in a standard sinking setup, commonly with a Damsel that’s similar to a Mel’s damsel on the point, and small dark fly like a cormorant. Alternatively, because the foam variants of the FAB float well, they are used as a point fly to suspend and indicate nymphs or buzzers just under the surface on a floating line. The main change I’ve seen is in the materials used. Regular fritz is being replaced with a jelly fritz, which is translucent when wet, showing through to the thread colour. It’s a trickier material to deal with, and it’s best tied in after a brief soak, but otherwise FABs are easy to tie, and an evening’s work will supply a seasons flies. The most popular of the jelly materials are made by frozen north fishing in dozens of colours. There’s even several greens that would make potential replacements for straggle fritz on a damsel.

The other fly I was introduced to, which has yet to be named as it was an experiment by one of our fishing mates, was a beetle pattern that was simply a tapered ball of spiky black dubbing on a size 14 hook, with a ‘flashback’ made from a strip of heavy duty garbage bin liner. The fish were quite happy to take this, and it sounds like a useful ‘guide fly’ for those of us with neither the skill nor inclination to tie complex flies.

Coloured hooks also seem to be a thing now, with a bare red hook and a small dubbed thorax making for very easy buzzers.

Fly Tying 28 Aug 2019 – Double Decker Comparadun

The Comparadun series of no-hackle dry flies were developed by Caucci and Nastasi in the 1970s using a hair wing tied in a 180° flair. They are very effective patterns in slow-moving clear water where an imitative (as opposed to impressionistic) pattern is needed.

Comparaduns are one of the most versatile mayfly patterns in existence representing a low-riding mayfly to near perfection. They are commonly used during a PMD (pale morning dun) hatch. The fly we will be tying is Davie McPhail’s ‘Double Decker”. This is a relatively straight forward fly to tie and wont break your budget ….you may have the material in your tying kit.


  • Hook – size 14
  • Thread – 8/0 to match your dubbing
  • Tail – Microfibets, antron or Coq de Leon fibres (use pheasant tail if that’s all you have)
  • Body – Olive or any other natural dry fly dubbing
  • Wing – Deer Hair

‘Special’ Equipment:

  • Deer Hair Stacker – you can borrow other tyer’s stacker if you don’t have one

From <>

Fly Tying 24 July 2019

The original plan was for exploring dubbing brush but this has been postponed to August.

Instead John will lead with a fly from the IFFF Fly Tying Bronze Award flies. Download the instructions here with the intention that the CAA tying program will slowly work through the collection. This month is the Gold-Ribbed Hare’s Ear Nymph Evaluation Fly.

Usual time of 7:30 PM at Raiders Weston.

Fly Tying 26 Jun 2019

John led us through this very pretty (and I understand very effective) fly. John tells me he didn’t see any Petitjean gear at Nathan’s new digs, however Troutlore has them in stock. JQ tells me they are worth the expense.

Fly Tying 27 Feb 2019

Peter assumed the task of leading.

The Fly was the egg laying Elk Hair Caddis. It is a simple fly to tie and can be tied from size 20 to size 10. In past years it has been responsible for many hook ups for Peter (he cannot suggest that it was primarily the egg laying tie that attracted the fish or whether an ordinary would have done the job).

The following materials are required for the tying of the Egg Laying EHC:

Hook size: size 16 or your preferred size hook Hanak 100BL

Thread : Uni thread 8/0 Brown

Dubbing: Ice Dub UV peacock eye (or hends spectre dubbing 46)

Dubbing : superfine dubbing Tan

Hackle: Brown Saddle Hackle to suit hook size

Wing: Bleached Elk Hair