Category Archives: The Art of Fly Tying

Fly of the Month-January 2017-Sparkle Zonker

Guest Blogger: Justin Bowman

FOM sparkle zonker bowman jan 2016 360x360I tie an unweighted zonker-ish fly variation. I’ve fished this fly the past few years for smallies on my local Midwest rivers. This last year, I’ve also fished it a fair amount for Driftless trout and most recently, on the Missouri River near Craig. I’m sure it will catch fish anywhere there’s hungry fish wanting to survive. On bigger or faster water, I’ll use a 7wt Rio 15ft type six sink tip line and on smaller streams, I’ll use a floating line or various trout versileaders to adjust depth. The color combinations of this fly are infinite, but black, purple, and orange will always be a personal favorite. more…

Introducing FrankenDub

FrankenDub_Col_Final2 logoDubbing is really the center of the fly tying universe. It builds bodies, heads, tails, and even covers up ugliness. There are various types of dubbing for different kinds of flies, like dry flies, nymphs, and streamers. Some dubbing is made of natural or synthetic materials and some made of both. The list of materials used in blending dubbing is a mile long. Generally you want a light dubbing that doesn’t soak up water easily for dry flies. The complete opposite is true for dubbing used to tie nymphs because they will be riding under the water’s surface and not floating on top. Streamer dubbing is a larger beast altogether that has become extremely popular with today’s fly tiers, coming in much longer fibers than dubbing used for dry flies and nymphs. more…


Guest Blogger: Phil Rispin, fly fisher, photographer & more, find Phil’s photography here

Burnt Wing Adams

Burnt Wing Adams

When I was a little kid “Bugs” were any small thing that crawled around on the ground, dug under the ground or buzzed through the air. My friends and I used to collect bugs in mason jars putting a little bit of grass or dirt in the jar then punching holes in the metal top with a nail so the bugs could breathe. It was most fun to see who could get the largest number of Bumble Bees in one jar without getting stung. There were a couple of acres of Dandelions out behind the house often full of large heavily laden bumble bees or honey bees from nearby hives. Once collected you could get a satisfying buzz from the incarcerated bees by shaking the jar getting them all upset. If you shook the jar hard enough you could actually stun the bees and they would all take a little nap at the bottom of the jar until they recovered whereupon we would do it again. When these bees got home from their nectar gathering job at the end of the day I expect their spouses unfairly accused them of drinking too much. more…