Tag Archives: fly tying instructions

Fly of the Month – Bluegill Belly Bean

Bluegills will often hit just about anything when it is spring time and they are on their beds. They are tenacious when guarding their beds and will strike at anything in their territory. But if they are not bedding, things change, especially in late summer.

I designed the Bluegill Belly Bean for late summer time when the bluegill are no longer on their beds and usually stay deep in the water. You can get the Bluegill Belly Bean down to find them and get their attention. Cast it out and countdown and let it sink. How long to count down depends on how deep the body of water is you are fishing or where the bluegill are holding. But I would say 10 or 15 seconds is a good start. Sometimes you might be able to just give it a twitch and the bluegill will take it. Other times you might just have to leave it sitting still or you may have to strip it and get it moving before they will strike. You just have to try different tactics to see what they like on that particular day. Normally they are not as easy to catch when they are not guarding their beds. more…

Observations from the West Branch of the Delaware

Guest Blogger: Brian Sausner

I may not be a great fly fisherman but I’m pretty sure I know a few, and I’m definitely sure I try to talk less and listen more when they talk shop. On a recent trip with some solid guys a few words of wisdom stuck with me. I have rounded up a few observations from a visit to the selective West Branch of the Delaware and its outstanding dry fly water to share with the blog readers. I have always been a guy who will quit a fish after a certain amount of refusals and fly changing. Saying to myself “I don’t have it” or find fault with my presentation or the circumstances impacting it. This guy was a preaching the opposite and had the on water chops that made me listen. He said never leave a rising fish. Don’t assume that there will be more fish working later or the conditions will improve as you move up or down stream. This same gentleman preached letting the fly drag or sink after its drifted feeling that some fish follow it back and take it at the instance where drag begins in fear of losing the meal. The drag free drift is my personal religion more often than not but I do agree that the half drowned dun can be a great fly for fickle fish.

Another solid fisherman and fly tier stocked up heavy on emerger hooks when we got rained off the river and had a fly shop day. He spoke highly of his affection for the BWO emerger as a pattern for selective trout and stated that he ties mostly emergers these days anyway. I have also been moving to more and more emergers and flies with trailing shucks in place of tails. I had my best luck on a hair wing emerger pattern even when the duns were on the water. I confess that the BWO is a fly that I keep stocked but seldom go to in times of failure. As a fly tier I found it useful and semi inspiring when I got a chance to look at what the other fisherman had brought to the stream in their fly boxes. The trip rained out for the second half but I added a few ideas to my tying arsenal. I was glad that people stuck around the cabin despite the bad conditions, maybe it’s not always best to run home to chores and work when talking around the fire is all that the trip has left to offer.

Fly of the Month, Howitzer Bustin’ Baitfish

Fly Tyer: Martin Bawden, CEO, Fly Fishing Company, creators of Fish-Skull™, Nymph-Head™ and Surface Seducer® products

For August, we feature Flymen Fishing’s new Howitzer Bustin’ Baitfish tied using the new Howitzer foam baitfish popper head that imitates the head of a small minnow (or baitfish) splashing and sipping at the surface of the water. The Howitzer head is designed with a deep recess at the back so that an articulated body and tail of a minnow can be embedded seamlessly into the back of the head. As a result, the body of the minnow hangs down in the water (roughly at a 45-degree angle) and moves enticingly in a position that can be seen by predatory fish from a long distance and offers them an irresistible profile and an easy opportunity for a meal! To tie the Howitzer Bustin’ Baitfish, you combine the Howitzer popper head with Surface Seducer® Dragon Eyes™, Surface Seducer® Popper Hooks, and the Fish-Skull® Articulated Shank.


Head: Surface Seducer Howitzer Baitfish Popper Head – white, medium size
Eyes: Surface Seducer Dragon Eyes – 6mm size, any of the 4 colors available will work
Front Hook: Mustad 34007 (or similar) streamer hook, size 1/0
Back Hook: Gamakatsu SC15, size #2
Shank: Fish-Skull Fish-Spine, 15mm shank
Main Body: Gamechanger Chenille, Clear
Middle Body and hook: Marabou, White with several wraps of Palmer Chenille.

Want to learn more about how to tie this fly? Read the Flymen blog, Inside Look: Designing the Surface Seducer Howitzer by Martin Bawden for a behind-the-scenes look at developing this new material, as well as videos demonstrating how to tie the Howitzer Bustin’ Baitfish.