Fly of the Month – Borchers Parachute

J. Stockard Pro Tyer: Paul Shurtleff, Springville UT, You can find Paul @:,

The Borchers Special is a dry fly developed by Ernie Borchers of Grayling, Michigan around the 1940s. This fly was turned into a parachute style fly and simply called The Borchers Parachute since parachute flies became very popular.

It was created to mimic early season spinner falls, primarily dark colored flies in Michigan and is still used to this day. Some prefer it to the Adams dry fly which is an extremely popular fly.

This version is tied by J. Stockard Pro Paulie Shurtleff. See the video for all of the tying details.

Materials list:
Hook: J2 105 Dry Fly Hook
Thread: Semperfli Brown Classic Waxed 8/0
Tail: Moose Body Hair
Rib: Semperfli Brown Thin Wire
Body: Cinnamon Tipped Turkey Tail
Thorax: Brown Fine Dry Dubbing
Hackle: Brown
Post: McFlylon White

Fly of the Month – Wights Copper John

by Nathan Wight, Durham ME, J. Stockard Pro Tyer

Again this year we called on the talents of the J. Stockard Pro Tyer Team to create an eye-catching image for our catalog cover. Check out Nate Wight’s turn on the traditional Copper John. Nate, who owns North Woods Fly Co., is a 4th generation Maine guide and a tyer with 30+ years’ experience.

In 1993 John Barr began to develop a nymph that we know today as the Copper John. Although the Copper John does not imitate any given species of insect, it has proven itself to be a fish catching fly here in the United States and around the world. There have been many variations of the fly over time, but all are based on the same copper wire body.

A couple of years ago I started tying this double wire jig hook variation. One of the many advantages to this style is that you can change up wire colors. For example, use small black wire with brassy copper wire to achieve a slightly darker fly without losing all the original copper flair.

Materials List:

Hook: Wide Gap hook in Size 14. You can adjust the size of the hook and bead to suit your own preferences
Bead: 2.8 Slotted tungsten in Gold.
Thread: 30D black Gel Spun.
Tail: Brown dyed Duck wing Biots.
Body: Small and Brassie sized copper wire.
Abdomen: Peacock Black Ice Dub.
Collar: Dun colored Hare’s Mask.

Tying Instructions:

Start by placing a tungsten bead on your favorite wide gap jig hook then secure it firmly in your vise.

Lay down a base of thread starting behind the bead and working it back to the beginning of the bend of the hook. I prefer using 30D gel spun because of its strength and its ability to lay flat on the hook shank.

Select two Biots from a brown dyed Duck Quill. Bind them onto the hook making their length about the same as the shank of the hook. Be sure the natural curve of the Biot turns the tips outward. Return your thread to behind the bead.

For this fly I used small and brassie sized wire. Bind the wire down on the opposite side of the hook to where you tied the tails and return your thread to behind the bead. Be sure to use good touching wraps of thread; this will help with tighter wire wraps.

Next, wind both wires simultaneously towards the bead. Another little trick for nice tight wraps is to use your thumbnail to push the wires back against your previous wraps. When you get behind the bead, tie off both wires and either clip or twist the remaining off.

To create the thorax, apply a small dubbing noodle of peacock black ice dub and wrap it tight to the back of the bead. You only need two to three turns of dubbing.

For the collar of this fly I used Dun colored Hares mask. It doesn’t take much to make a buggy collar; a small pinch is all that’s needed. I apply the Hares mask to the fly by utilizing the split thread method. The benefits of using gel spun is that you can easily split your thread with either a bodkin or thread splitting tool by simple spinning your bobbin counterclockwise until it flattens out. By doing this method you save space over using a traditional dubbing loop. Once you’ve applied your hares mask collar, apply glue and whip finish.

Fly of the Month – Rockette by Scott Fisher

J.Stockard Pro Tyer: Scott Fisher, Somerville, NJ, you can find him on Instagram at

This time of year is a time we spend with our loved ones, and to be thankful for the things we have in life. It’s also the time of year a lot of us hunker down for the winter. As fly fishing slows compared to our peak seasons of spring and fall, we find ourselves at our tying desks cranking out flies for the upcoming spring, or honing our skills on new patterns and materials.

Growing up 35 minutes from New York City, my Christmases were always spent seeing Rockefeller Center, the giant Christmas tree, and the classic Rockettes. It’s difficult to imagine the Thanksgiving Day Parade or the Radio City Christmas Spectacular Show without these iconic group of talented holiday dancers.
When I imagined a fly that would hold the essence of these memories, these images told me where to start. Although this fly was designed with artistic purpose over pure function, it never hurts to cast these into the water to find out if the trout are in the Christmas spirit as well.

I hope you enjoy this festive wet fly pattern, and wish all of you a wonderful holiday. This is my Rockette.


Materials list:

Hook: #10 Hanak 230 BL Stillwater/Wet Fly Hook
Thread: White UTC 70D
Tag: Gold Sm. French Oval Tinsel
Butt: White Ostrich Herl
Body: Red Silk Floss
Ribbing: Gold Sm. French Oval Tinsel
Throat: Chartreuse Ice Dubbing
Wing: Married Goose Shoulder in Red, Green and Peacock Quill
Head: Red UTC 70D

Tying Instructions:

  1.  Start by taking thread wraps down the hook shank, keeping your thread flat, until you reach the hook bend.
  2. Cut a 4” length piece of small Gold French Oval Tinsel. Take flat pliers to flatten a small tag end of the tinsel before installing. This will keep the body slim. Tie in on the underside of the hook, and take 5 wraps up the shank. Secure and remove excess tinsel.
  3. Use a single piece of white ostrich herl, and cut a half inch off the base of the herl to start with a clean section. Install where the tinsel ended, and take no more than two forward wraps before binding down and removing excess herl.
  4. To keep the underbody smooth, we will use a length of red floss and the excess tinsel and bind them both down on the underside of the hook the full length of the shank until reaching the ostrich herl. This is different then tying in the materials at the tie in point. Doing so will create bumps in the underbody.
  5. Keep the red floss flat by running your fingers along the piece, being careful not to pull too hard. Wrap the floss with touch wraps up the hook shank to create a smooth silk body for the ribbing to lay on. Secure roughly 2 hook eye lengths back from the hook eye.
  6. Take the small gold tinsel and take 5 open wraps, paying attention to keep the gaps between them even in spacing. Bind down at the same point as you did the floss.
  7. Dub the thread with a very small amount of Chartreuse ice dubbing. Just enough to color the thread. Take 3 wraps around the shank, covering the tie in points of the previous materials.
  8. Next we will prepare the wing slips. You will be creating a near side and far side wing, both mirrored to each other. This can be tedious, and sometimes is best to prepare before starting the pattern. I have noticed you tend to rush with excitement at this moment because of being in the momentum of tying the pattern.
  9. Take a left and a right goose shoulder quill in red and green and cut a 1/4” from both sides for both colors. Use a bodkin or needle, and separate 2 filaments from the red. Do the same with the green. Starting with the tips of the feather pieces, marry the two colors by gently aligning and stroking them in a single direction out toward the tips until the two become seamless. Bird feathers tend to have a “Velcro” like behavior, and will grab the next filament. Aligning with the tips first will create a nicely shaped wing crest.
  10. Continue this process until you have alternating colors, with 3 red and 2 green making the slip. If you cut from the right feather, these will be your near side wing. If you cut from the left, these will be your far side. Try not to mix up the two as you build the wing slips.
  11. Cut two single filaments of peacock quills and marry to the top of each slip, completing the wing with a crest of peacock quill.
  12. Gently put the two wing slips together aligning the tips. Measure the wing length before mounting, making sure the tips go just slightly past the end of the hook.
  13. Keeping that length, bring to the tie in point of the shank and hold the slips with your left fingers, making sure the wings rest directly on top of the shank. Holding firmly, take your thread and making a soft loop over the wings between your fingers. Using a pinch wrap, once the thread has made a full wrap around the slip, gently pull up with your bobbin to compress the wings down onto the shank. DO NOT let go of your left finger pressure. Repeat this again. Take a few more securing wraps before you “check in” on how they mounted. If you’re happy with your positioning, secure with a few more wraps being careful not to wrap backward onto where the wings begin. This can offset how they are sitting.
  14. Once the wings are secured, cut the excess wing material off close, again being mindful not to make any movements that will disturb the wings. Finish with a 3 turn whip finish.
  15. To complete, change thread to Red UTC 70D and create a red head, and finish with a 3 turn whip finish. Use head cement or resin to finish the head.

Tip: Use a small watercolor brush with saliva to wet the wing tie in point and thread. This will allow the thread to glide over the wing slips, and not cause any unwanted torque.