Fly of the Month August 2021

Fly of the Month – Hi-Vis Lite

Guess Blogger and Tyer: Jon Bates, Pennsylvania

The Hi-Vis Lite is my slimmed down version of the Hi-Vis Shiner from Nomad Anglers. I came across this pattern 2-3 years ago and it has become my favorite modern streamer for Smallmouth. The pattern only uses 2 materials and is very low on the difficulty scale for tying. I have tied these for many different species in both freshwater and salt.

Materials:
Hook: Partridge Attitude Extra sizes 4 thru 3/0 or BGH Big Game Hunter Hook
Thread: Danville 140 Denier Black
Tail: Craft Fur
Body: Ripple Ice Hair in Pearl
Eyes: Flymen Living Eyes 3D
UV: Solarez Bone Dry

Continue reading → Fly of the Month – Hi-Vis Lite

Dynamic Dubbin Loops – Part 2

J.Stockard Pro Tyer: John Satkowski, Toledo, OH, fly tying demonstrator and instructor, you can find him on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/johnsatkowski/

You can’t really talk about composite and complex dubbing loops without discussing some trout swing flies. If you know anything about me, you know I am not much of a steelhead fisherman. I have caught most of my steelhead accidentally fishing for other species. I do, however, enjoy tying steelhead intruder flies, brook and brown trout streamers, and swing flies. I love going to northern Michigan and fishing the beautiful rivers for feisty brookies. Whether you enjoy swinging flies for chromers or throwing streamers for browns or brookies, a dynamic loop fly can change the odds in your favor.


Although you can make any fly you can think of with a complex dubbing loop, the most popular style nowadays is the complex loop intruder. Intruder flies have what are called stations. You can have one station or up to four or five stations depending on what you are tying. Most flies have two stations, a front and a rear with some sort of flat, flashy material in between. You will hear terms like Hoh Bo spey flies, and most of these patterns have a single station. I know that there is a lot more to these style of flies, but I am keeping it fairly basic in terms of description. The intruder style fly uses a ball of dubbing or some other kind of support to spread out the station. The same is usually done on the front station as well. Your prop materials can be anything from mylar piping unraveled, chenille, or you can make a small composite loop with materials like feather barbs, Ice Dub, Amherst pheasant fibers, Ringneck pheasant, or even turkey tail fibers. A softer and suppler material is then tied in over the top. You can use a myriad of materials for this, but I really like arctic fox, marabou, opossum, flashabou, and various furs mixed with Angel Hair. If you stick to the basic design and construction of an intruder you can make really nice flies. Tiny versions of streamers with composite loops are becoming very popular as well so you can alter the size and shape of your fly by changing and trimming materials down to fit your needs.

In some of the flies pictured, the dubbing loop also offers some support for palmered marabou on top of it. You can get some really natural looking results with this method of streamer construction. Nymph flies can even be constructed with dynamic loops and the results are often great for creating a really “buggy” looking nymph with a small bit of flash to get the fish’s attention. I know brook trout especially love an area of flash or a hotspot on a nymph drifting by. Since my local rivers have an abundance of the almighty hex, a slightly flashy hex nymph can also get some attention from the resident smallmouth during the pivotal times of the season. You can experiment with lots of different materials with different colors and textures to see what the fish like. I find that a dynamic loop with mostly natural materials and sparse amounts of flash is best for tying small nymphs or even dries. You can really ramp up your stone or steelhead nymph patterns with some Senyo Shaggy and ice dub to create the effect of more movement and a glint of flash to help the fish key in on your fly. In murky and rough conditions, this may be your savior from going home with the skunk.

Continue reading → Dynamic Dubbin Loops – Part 2

Fly of the Month – The Dream Seller

J.Stockard Pro Tyer: John Satkowski, Toledo, OH, fly tying demonstrator and instructor, you can find him on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/johnsatkowski/

Fly of the Month Dream SellerComing up with an original streamer pattern is tough enough, throw in the fact that it has to be fairly simple to tie and commercially viable compounds things immensely. The Dream Seller is a pattern I have been working on for a while that went through quite a few revisions before it ended up being darn near perfect for predatory fish. This pattern really pushes a lot of water and really has a lot of nice movement that draws fish in. The two keys to this fly are the Icelandic Sheep tail and the Senyo Laser dub head. You can alter the weight to work different parts of the water column and tie it in different sizes to fit your needs. Give this fly a try, you definitely won’t be disappointed. You can see in the picture a new, shiny chub version and a beat up one I took from my streamer box with some tippet still attached.

The first version of this fly had a collar of Laser dub on both the front and back hook, it also had a longer tail and more flash. Initially tied to tempt pike, I decided to downsize it a little bit and make the materials a bit sparser for more movement. I also eliminated the shank I put in the middle so now it is just a two hook articulated fly. The fly also was a little heavy when wet so lessening the materials also helped the fly become easier to cast, particularly with a 6 or 7 weight rod which I use most often.

The Dream Seller is fairly easy to tie and is really durable with the use of backward tying techniques. This is my favorite method of tying flies with either Icelandic Sheep or craft fur. I get a fair amount of questions with both of these materials so I thought I would talk a little bit about each. Craft fur is a great material for tying, it moves great and it easily sheds water on the back cast. The mistake I see a lot of people make is they don’t take the time to prep it properly. I always cut a slightly larger hunk than I think I will need and then comb out the underfur thoroughly. Not combing the fur will lead to the material not being able to move as well through the water and it makes tie in points more bulky and unsightly. You can also save the underfur and put it in a little bag to use for dubbing. Start taking the time to prep your craft fur and you will see noticeable differences in your flies and in their action and appearance.

Icelandic sheep is similar in that you need to take a little extra time with the material. It does have some underfur that you will need to remove. I don’t remove all of it, but getting rid of 80% of the underfur will make your fly breathe and move better while maintaining some appearance of bulk. This also helps with backwards tying the sheep because you can create a smaller tie in point and when you reverse the hair to tie down again, you get a little lift from a small amount of the underfur perfect for the top side of the hook shank when making a baitfish wing. The backward tying method makes your flies much more durable and also helps a bit with spacing when filling up a hook shank for a streamer. You can utilize less hook space for larger materials such as bucktail, sheep, wool, or various synthetics.

This is a fun fly to tie and is equally enjoyable to fish. I prefer throwing this fly on a 6 or 7 weight rod, although if you supersize the fly for bigger species you want to use an 8 weight or larger. I try to really build in action to my flies with the tying materials, hook choice, etc. but I do stick to a couple of retrieves for this fly that have given me pretty good results. Inevitably, the fish will tell you what they want but this is a good starting point. A strip, strip, pause, and then a sharp, long strip gets the most out of the Dream Seller. The fly will wiggle, turn, and profile on the strips, and then slowly start to sink on the pause. The long, harder strip will jump the fly up and get it moving again making it imitate a dying or struggling baitfish. This is deadly on smallmouth, and even more effective on fish species that tend to follow flies such as pike. If you are looking for an articulated fly to rip some lips, tie up some Dream Sellers and give them a toss in your local waters.

Continue reading → Fly of the Month – The Dream Seller