Category Archives: Fly Tying

Instructions for monthly fly tying workshops and other material

Flytying 26 April 2023 – “Gambugger”

From Claude:

You may have recently heard about the passing of Shaun Gambrill. Shaun was a super keen fly fisherman and has always been keen to share his knowledge with all – starters to experienced folk – from the casting days to presenting to the club on loch style techniques. One of my earliest memories of Shaun was on a trip to Bondi Forest for some early season fishing. Part of the activity included fly tying where Shaun introduced us to the ‘Gambugger’…which is a Woolly Bugger with Shaun’s secret sauce body dubbing. Not only did he share the tie with us, but he also caught a swag of fish on it.

I will be leading the tie of the Gambugger on Wednesday evening. Please come along to have a chat or do the tying – whether you knew Shaun or not.

If you are interested in participating let me know and we will explore how we can share around enough ‘secret sauce’ to allow you to tie two buggers. The ingredients you will need to get are:

  1. Bugger wet fly hook – #14 to 10 (can be any wet fly or jig hook)
  2. Bead – 2-3.5, or no bead at all
  3. Marabou – black or olive
  4. Secret sauce – can be sourced from Claude (substitute – rubber leggy dubbing)
  5. Thread to suit your colour – or just black 6/0 to 8/0

Fly Tying 22 February – Taihape Tickler … or is that Tie Happy?

From Lyall. The tickler was a favourite fly of our long time colleague Dr Bryan Pratt. I think as much for the name as for its ability to catch fish.

Unfortunately Nathan can no longer join us on Wednesday evening so I have jumped in and will be demonstrating the Taihape Tickler trout fly.

You may elect to sit back and watch on Zoom but if you are interested in materials here goes:

Hook – any heavy and long hook around size 10. I used a Gamakatsu S11-2L 3xheavy, 2xlong

Thread – black 6/0 or 8/0 Uni

Rib – Uni French gold oval rib

Tail – red wool or substitute

Body – brown dubbing

Hackle – matching brown hen hackle

Wing – pukeko substitute

A Pretty Emerger Pattern

I thought it was Peter who spotted this great video but apparently not.  It is a collaboration from Jensen Fly Fishing and Orvis and demonstrates the impressive performance of a particular emerger pattern.  There were comments that the segment showing the fly being tied is way too fast.  I’ve taken the liberty to edit this section and slowing down the critical steps.  Available here.

Fly Tying 23 Nov 2022 – Saltwater Pink Thing

Lyall has advised:

In preparation for John’s Saltwater event on 2-4 December we will be tying a version of the Pink Thing saltwater fly.  It is one of the most popular flies for use in our region.  Of course Clousers and Scuds are right up there also depending on what you are targeting. 

Our tie on 23 November from 7:30 on Zoom will be fairly free form – meaning use whatever materials you have which approximate the materials list below.

I will be using:

Hook – Mustad #1 wide gape C47SD.  Any straight eye, wide gape saltwater hook in the size your target fish might take will suffice.

Eye – dumbbell eyes.  Any size or colour you think might work.

Thread – white Uni 6/0 thread.  Go wild and use pink thread, even fluoro if you wish but make it relatively thick and robust.

Body – white Schlappen or any white chicken feather 8 cm or so long.  White Grizzley Hackle as a lateral line.  Pink or pearl flash.

Collar – pink Schlappen

We will talk about the RIO fly line you might like to use to cast a wind resistant fly and the wind-beater casting technique you may wish to use.

Join us to tie or just to watch

Here is Lyall’s production and BJ’s “black shadow” variant. Lots of pro tips from Lyall and his guest Paul.

A Simple/Fast Mayfly

Claude is tying up flies ready for a NZ trip and has chanced on this tie. I’m not sure if it will supplant the classic parachute Adams as one comment stated, but for sure much easier to tie.

Omitting feathers for wings makes things simpler. Lyall offered some advice “Don’t forget that Mayflys can also be brown and it might be good to have a couple with bright coloured posts.” Different light coloured posts will assist visibility in different lighting conditions.

Most material is easily identified, but the wing/post is poly yarn.

Happy tying.

Fly Tying 28 Sep 2022

Nathan led the class via Zoom. Claude provided this:


Hook: curved hook:  sizes 12 – 18

Thread: black, brown, olive, red or anything you have

Body: thread with either silver or copper wire

Thorax: Dubbing, peacock hearl or just thread. Coloured tinsel for the cheeks if you are keen.

Bead: Small or lead wire

Notes: There are so many variations

Those who are not up with midge fishing techniques are seriously missing out. Some will say midge fishing is just for lakes; how wrong they are. Midge are found everywhere, from fast flowing mountain streams to lowland rivers and lakes and swamps. There are around 200 species of Chironomid in Australia.

Midges can vary from pale olive green to black with every shade in between. A point to note is that in many instances the colour of the adult flying midge will be similar to that of the emerging midge. The key colours to carry in your fly box are pale olive, olive, black and blood red. To find some midge samples check the leaves on overhanging bushes or trees and you will see them there.

When is the best time to try fishing a midge pattern? Midge come off all year round, with late spring and all through summer being the best. But remember, it is the week leading up to a full moon when they prefer to hatch on mass. Midge on lakes can produce some of the most intense fishing that can be found on a stillwater. The best fishing times are from daylight to mid-morning, and again at last light.

After the early morning calm a breeze will normally come up and wind lanes will start to form; that is when the fishing gets really interesting. Wind lanes are like highways for feeding fish. As they form the floating food matter is compacted within these lanes and it is common to find a number of fish feeding at any one time. Keep your eye on the edges of these wind lanes as trout often cruise along the outside, using the rough area as cover and moving into the lane to feed whenever they so choose. On clear sunny days the trout will generally feed along the lane with the sun at their backs, as they have no eyelids so it is difficult for them to look into the sun, especially for fish feeding on the surf

From <>

you can listen to:

Advanced Stillwater Techniques, with Phil Rowley –
Anchored Podcast Ep. 188: Phil Rowley on Chironomids, Stillwater Fishing and Going Pro –

Fly Tying Wed 24 Aug 2022 – Donnie Brasco

As we start to see the yellow flowers of the wattle bloom, we know that native fishing around Canberra is just about to start. Please join some of your fellow CAA members, to tie or just chat, on Wednesday 24 August at 7:30 PM on Zoom. Invite sent separately to members.

Our mates at Boss Outdoors/previously known as Compleat Angler (ie Nathan) have assembled material kit. The kits have all the materials required to tie 4 flies in 2 colour variations.

  • Purple Head, Olive & Chartreuse Tail
  • Red Head, Olive & Chartreuse Tail

The kits are $20 each to purchase for members.

There are 12 kits available, but more can be made on request.

Notes from Claude:

If you love fly fishing for Australian native fish and are looking for a good fly this spring, look no further than the Donnie Brasco Fly. This is a great all-rounder fly for species such as golden perch, bass and the ever prized target Murray Cod (yet to catch one on the fly).

This fly can be tied in a variety of sizes. A good starting point for bass and golden perch would be to tie on a 1/0 hook. Larger hooks up to 4/0 would be ideal for Murray cod when summer rolls around. Both the body and tail of the Donnie Brasco Fly consist of rabbit fur. This material is well known for its fish enticing action. Cast these into the weed pockets, weed facing , rocky points and standing timber. When retrieving the fly with short sharp strips, rabbit fur tends to pulsate in the water, closely resembling the movement of a fishes fins.

Black and purple are proven colours when it comes to attracting Australian native fish. By tying on a purple tail and a black body you have a very versatile fly for both clear and turbid water. The fly can include a weed guard too. By tying a double loop weed guard you can work the fly right in among the structure without snagging up too often. The weed guard shown in the video offers good snag resistance whilst collapsing easily when a fish bites.

(Source: Ozfish)


Hook: 1/0 Gamakatsu O’Shaughnessy hook (or equivalent)

Thread: Veevus 6/0 thread (or equivalent)


Purple (other colour) rabbit strip
Black (other colour) crosscut rabbit strip
Red (other colour) crystal flash
Craft fur for body (optional)
Eyes: Lead or other of your choice

Weed Guard: 40lb monofilament nylon

Extra Tools (optional): Small hair clip

Fly Tying Wed 27 Jul 2022 – Klink n Dink Trout Fly

About the Klink n Dink Trout Fly

Thank you Shaun for bringing this interesting design to our attention. This fly is particularly useful for those of us that use barbless hooks and get frustrated when we lose our droppers.

The Klink n Dink is one of the Klinkhammer patterns that are excellent at bringing fish up, designed to be used as a dropper fly to be fished in conjunction with additional patterns on the same rig. The ring tied securely to the curve on the hook makes this easy to tie a tippet to, keeping the tippet away from the hook itself, thus preventing problems when hooking fish.

When fishing in tandem, this dry fly can be used as an indicator when fishing alongside a weighted or beaded nymph, and has the ability to catch fish on either of the fishing flies used, making it an increasingly popular method of fishing on either rivers or still water fisheries.

This is a great way to tempt fish that are feeding on nymphs higher in the water to rise to a dry fishing fly.

Creator of this trout fly: Malcom Anderson (?)

Country of origin for this trout fly: Scotland

This trout fly is designed to be fished on Dams & Reservoirs, Rivers & Streams, Still Water


  • Hook: Klinkhammer style hook #12, #14, #16 (if you are game)
  • Extras: 2mm tippet ring, 4X tippet. If you don’t have tippet ring you could use just the tippet
  • Body: any dubbing, pheasant tail that you have and normally use for the klinkhammer
  • Thorax: peacock herl, sparkle dubbing – normally dark colour
  • Post: your choice of colour and type. You can even use some foam cut into a post
  • Hackle: I’m not picky…what you have in your tying kit.

Fly Tying 27 May 2022

Lyall was part of a Fly Fishers International Fly Tying Group member tying session where a Sunfish fly was tied …. not ever seen this fly pattern myself. Moreover Lyall said it was using coloured deerhair with a technique he’d never seen before.

We found the session was recorded and on YouTube

23 Mar 2022 Fly Tying

BJ led. “The Bredbo – first fly of the Monaro?”

BJ said that it’s like a March Brown Wet but slightly different. It’s a hopper pattern which may still be relevant this season. Special bits are mottled wing slips (hen or turkey or partridge brown) and Golden Pheasant tippets plus partridge beard hackle. Everything is infinitely variable.

BJ wrote that a very good description of the fly can be found at

BJ Provided some hints in this scan.

After the tying session he provided an image of his flies having a test swim. Saying “Should have shown this before camera off. The tented wing helps them sit in the still water film for quite a while”