Category Archives: Fly Tying Materials & Supplies

Quick Review: Barred Variant Strung Schlappen

Guest Blogger: Paul Beel, J. Stockard Pro Tyer and owner of FrankenFly.

I had a chance to tie with and test out Nature’s Spirit’s Barred Variant Strung Schlappen recently and here are my thoughts.

The barred schlappen from Nature’s Spirit comes in a package with a decent bundle of feathers. The feathers are brilliantly barred and made quite an impact when I first opened the package. The feathers are long and in excellent shape. For testing purposes, I used two feathers and made a tail from them on a large articulated streamer (pictured below). These feathers work perfectly for this type of application, and you could also easily take the feather and wrap it around the shank of the hook to form a collar or palmer it across a body to make a full body of a streamer. It was easy to see these feathers would look terrific in the water and they did. The webby fibers flow great in the water.

You need to keep in mind that with the barring, comes a higher price. You can get regular schlappen feathers without the barring for less. However, I believe that various colors on a streamer will attract fish so I think the barring can make a significant difference.

To summarize, I think Nature’s Spirit has a quality product in their Barred Variant Strung Schlappen. I would definitely recommend these if you are in the market for barred schlappen feathers.

Video: How to Tie the Bluegill Belly Bean

Guest Blogger: Paul Beel, J. Stockard Pro Tyer and owner of FrankenFly.

In September of last year J.Stockard Fly Fishing posted my Bluegill Belly Bean as their Fly of the Month. This was the first time I had released the details about the fly. Please refer back to that post to find out even more details about the Bluegill Belly Bean.

In the following video, Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions, shows how to tie my creation and also includes some nice tips while tying. If you haven’t been watching Tim’s videos, you should really treat yourself and start. Tim has been making professional quality tying videos for many years. Check out his YouTube channel for many different types of flies.

          Bluegill Belly Bean
          Hook: 60-degree heavy jig hook (here, a Daiichi 4640), size 6.
          Thread: Light-olive, 8/0 or 70-denier.
          Eyes: Double Pupil Lead Eyes, x-small.
          Tails #1: Root beer Krystal Flash.
          Tail #2: Olive barred clear Chicone’s Micro Crusher Legs.
          Body: Opal olive Estaz, petite.
          Legs: Chicone’s Barred Micro Crusher Legs.
          Head: Light olive Frankendub.

Virtual Nymph Skin Quick Review

J.Stockard Pro Tyer: Adam Harman, you can find Adam @ Blue Ridge Custom Flies, Facebook, Instagram

Having been a fly tyer for 10 years and commercially tying the last 3, I have had the privilege of sampling many of the latest and greatest fly tying materials on the market. Some are really good, some not so good. Every so often there is that one fly tying material I will come across that peaks my interest. Virtual Nymph Skin is one of those products. I’ve been using virtual nymph skin for a while now on some of my nymph and crayfish patterns and it could quite possibly be my favorite material in my fly tying arsenal. Virtual nymph skin is so versatile and can be used for a variety of tying applications. It is excellent ribbing material for caddis larva and stonefly abdomens, it can be used as scud back material and can even be used to imitate wing cases and more. One of its unique properties is that it has a shiny, smooth side and the other side is a dull, matte-like finish making it excellent for coloring with markers. Having the ability to color the nymph skin allows for a more natural, mottled look to your bugs. It comes in two different sizes which allows you to tie big stoneflies or those tiny nymph patterns and comes in a variety of colors. Try adding Virtual Nymph Skin to your fly tying arsenal, I am confident you will not be disappointed. more…