Modifying Flies, with Tim Cammisa
Tom R: Hi, and welcome to the "Orvis Fly Fishing Podcast." This is your host, Tom Rosenbauer. And we have a very geeky podcast for you today. It's about fly tying and it's with...my guest is Tim Cammisa. And Tim and I get geeky about flies. And what we're gonna talk about today is patterns and which standard patterns are just not to be messed with. Which ones should you keep the original tying materials and methods? Which one should you have a little leeway to tie? Of course, this is all personal opinion. And Tim and I go through a bunch of very, very popular standard patterns and talk about how we personally vary these patterns based on our own desires and our own needs. So, you may not agree with a lot of the changes we suggest or you may not agree with us keeping some patterns exactly as they are. But if you like fly-tying and you like geeky podcasts, this is the one for you.
Now, if you have a question for me, you can send it to
This one's...first one is an email from James, "I have a question for Tom and didn't know how to ask it. So here it is. I have a 9-foot 6-weight clear water with...clear water rod and with clear water and Hydros Bank Shot lines that I use as just like my general purpose rod. I have an 8.5-foot 4-weight clear water for small streams and panfish and an 8-weight Recon with a sinking line for hybrids and stripers. My question is, should I get a six or a seven Recon outfit for pretty much a smallmouth streamer rod, and then I will have my other 6-weight for a backup second rod? My 6-weight clear water was my first rod after taking an FF 101, Fly-Fishing 101 at my local Orvis store."
Well, James, I don't know if you absolutely need another rod. A 6-weight rod is a pretty good streamer rod for smallmouth bass. It sounds like you may just wanna buy a new Recon rod. And since you already have a six, the clearwater six is a nice rod. I would go with the 7-weight if you really think you need a new rod because some 7-weight's gonna give you a little bit more power for bigger flies. Occasionally, you might wanna throw a really big popper or streamer for smallmouth, or you might wanna fish for largemouth bass or something else. And that 7-weight's just gonna give you a little bit more power, and you're gonna be able to throw a little bit more wind-resistant flies than you could with a 6-weight. So, you know, I wouldn't get another 6-weight. It sounds that you have one, you like it, why replace it? Why use it for a backup? Get yourself a 7-weight. And the 7-weight Recon is also not a bad streamer rod for trout. If you're fishing sinking lines and large streamers, it'll work just fine, or it could be a lightweight hybrid and striper rod if you're just getting into smaller fish. So, my opinion, go with the 7-weight.
"Hey, Mr. Tom. This is Keith in Sparta, Georgia. A couple of questions for you, one fly tying, and one personal. I hope you don't mind. The first is, I've been using the Dragon Tails mostly for bass flies. I tied up one, it took me probably 20 minutes to tie just to look like a good-eating-sized brim just so I could catch big giant bass, it worked. First fish I caught on it was an 8-pound largemouth yesterday. But my issue is with the durability of the Dragon Tails. Usually, after half an hour or so or a couple of fish, the material at the tail just falls off and then the fly looks like half a fly. So I just wonder if you had any tips or ideas on how to improve the durability of Dragon Tails. Thanks for everything, really enjoy the podcast. Have a great evening. Go braves and go dogs."
So, Keith, yeah, that's a problem with Dragon Tails. They work really well, they have action like nothing else, but they are not that durable. And invariably, they fail right in the attachment to the hook. There's a couple things you can do. One is to do what Dave Mangum does for tarpon, in that he puts a loop of monofilament underneath the tail, he ties in a loop of monofilament first, have a stiff heavy monofilament like 30 or 40-pound, and then he puts a drop of super glue on that, and he just touches the tail to that loop. And that keeps the fly from fouling, and it also will give you a little bit more durability on the fly. It is also going to affect the action just slightly because the thing isn't gonna wiggle all the way to the hook shank. So, a little super glue, either with that loop of monofilament or putting a little super glue into the thread core where the Dragon Tail material attaches to the hook will help it somewhat.
You're right, they're not that durable. And I hope you are either burning the end of the Dragon Tail or you're putting a little drop of some sort of glue on the end of it because they do tend to fray at the tip unless you put a drop of glue or burn it, singe it a little bit to keep it from unraveling. But they do fall apart. And my advice to you is that they seem to work as a fairly simple fly with just a Dragon Tail and then just a couple winds of EP fiber or hackle or something in front of the Dragon Tail. And then when they fall apart, you haven't spent a lot of time in constructing that fly. You can save the hook, cut the Dragon Tail off, and tie a new one on. The dirty little secret of Dragon Tails is that they don't last that long, and I don't know of a way to really improve the durability that much. We're always trying to develop a better core for those, but currently, we've got the strongest core on those Dragon Tails that we've been able to find.
Here is an email from Aaron, "Thanks for all you do for the fly fishing community. I've been bass crappie fishing for 25 plus years in my home state of Oklahoma. And have fly fished a few times a year for the last eight years when I can travel to places with trout. I'm getting into the new trend of Euro-nymphing. I just ordered a 3-weight 10-foot Clearwater combo, and I had a couple questions. First, is a mono rig for Euro-nymphing with a 10-foot rod essentially the same as a 10-foot crappie jigging rod? Both are 10-foot, use mono fishing line, are made for small flies and lures, and both have a faster action than a typical fly rod. What is the difference between these two setups? Second, is a mono rig even considered fly fishing if it uses mono line and isn't cast like a traditional fly rod?"
So, Aaron, first of all, I have a question for you. If you've been bass and crappie fishing for 25 years and you're driving so far to catch trout...it sounds like you're not fly fishing for bass and crappie, and that could be a lot of fun. Crappie, you generally need a sinking line and a small baitfish imitations, usually, you know, like I use a White Zonker or a white Clouser Minnow. And, of course, there's lots and lots of bass flies. I'd urge you to use your fly rod a little bit closer to home for that other fishing because it'll be a lot of fun.
You know, I've never had a crappie jigging rod, and I don't know how it's made, but I suspect that it's not...I don't think it would work as well as a rod that's really designed. I mean, it took us, you know, a year of testing to make that 10-foot 3-weight Euro-nymphing rod, sending it out to a lot of testers that use the rod. And, you know, it requires a fairly stiff butt for playing fish. It requires a really sensitive tip for feeling strikes and delivering those weighted flies. I'm not sure how close they are, but I suspect that the crappie jigging rod, it probably doesn't have as much R&D put into it. It might work. I'm sure it wouldn't be as good as that 10-foot 3-weight rod.
And regarding whether a mono rig is considered fly fishing, it depends on who you ask. It's totally up to you. If you don't think it's fly fishing, then it's not fly fishing. If you think it's fly fishing, then it is. You've got a fly rod, you got a fly reel, you're throwing flies, and, yeah, your leader is a little bit longer than normal and doesn't come outside the guides. Is that fly fishing? Well, some people would tell you no. I would say yes.
And, of course, whether it's fly fishing or not, is also gonna depend on regulations. You know, there's certain places that allow only fly fishing, and some of them do state that you need to have a real fly line on the reel. So, you know, I don't know if they specify...I think some of them even specified you can't have a leader longer than X number of feet, but that's rare. I check the regulations, but as far as whether you consider it fly fishing or not is totally up to you.
"Hi, Tom. This is Rick from the Missouri, Ozarks. Just listened to the podcast about Leigh Perkins, and I really enjoyed it, especially the part about the wrinkle-free blazer ad because I've gone through two of those and really enjoy them. The reason I'm calling is to ask your views on whether striped bass are likely to predate on trout. I'm on the North Fork of the White River in Missouri. This is the river that flows into Norfork Lake, which gives rise to the more famous North Fork of the White River that flows into the White River. But our river is not an impoundment, it is a freestone spring-fed river. And in 2017, two things happened. One is we had a catastrophic flood, and even before that, an old mill dam was removed. And since then, the stripers from the Norfork Lake have had free ability to migrate up into the North Fork of the White River in Missouri. And guides have noticed that stripers attack the rainbows as they reel them in, yet the department of conservation says, "No, no, the stripers don't eat trout, they eat the crayfish and the sculpins." And the shocking study shows that the trout population in this area is at an all-time low, which could be for lots of reasons. But I'm just wondering what you think of the idea that the striped bass may or may not be eating the trout. Thanks a lot, Tom. Bye."
Well, Rick, I'm glad you like that wrinkle-free blazer ad, we use that for many years. Regarding whether striped bass prey on trout, I'm not a biologist and I would hate to disagree with a biologist. But in my experience, striped bass will eat anything that moves. They can be very unselective in their food choice, and they can eat anything from a...you know, in saltwater, they eat anything from a shrimp, to a lobster, to a clam, to a worm, to a baitfish, they'll eat lots of different things. If the trout are within the size of a fish they can handle, I can't believe that those striped bass aren't preying on the trout. But again, I'm not a biologist, and the trout decline could be related to many different things. I would bet the striped bass are eating some of those trout.
Here is an email from Blaine from Louisiana, "I'm curious if there are different situations where it's better to use either split shot or a Tungsten Putty or is it purely personal preference and if it is what's yours."
Well, Blaine, they both have their advantages and disadvantages. Split shot is generally tough to move on your leader from one place to the next because you slide it up against a knot or a tippet ring, and it's pretty much set wherever you put it because when you cast, it's gonna slide up to that knot, and it's tough to remove. Some people use their fingernail, and there's tools that you can use to remove, switch up, but it's not easy. Generally, you have to cut the leader and pull a split shot off. But it does stay put on a leader.
Tungsten Putty, on the other hand, has a lot of advantages in that you can move it anywhere you want, you can add or subtract small amounts very easily just by adding a little pinch of it to whatever you've got on your leader. But Tungsten Putty does slide on the leader. You can sometimes just cast it off the leader because, you know, it's soft. Tungsten Putty generally works better in colder water. It'll hold better on a leader and is less likely to come off. And if you're using things like a water load, or roll cast, or you're making short casts with a nice open loop, Tungsten Putty will stay on pretty well. However, if you're making longer casts, you're false casting a lot, which you shouldn't be with any weight on your leader, but you might be, you know, split shot's gonna be better. And split shot just does stay on the leader longer.
So, you know, my general philosophy is to not use any weight on the leader if I can help it. And I'll go with Tungsten Putty first, and if I get annoyed with it coming off and it slides too much, then I'll go to split shot. So, those are my... But I do like the Tungsten Putty because of its versatility. And if you're gonna suddenly switch to a dry fly, you can just pull that Tungsten Putty off your leader. And, you know, with split shot, you gotta almost rebuild your leader to get the split shot off of there.
Tom: "Hey, Tom. This is Tom from Northern Vermont in Albans, actually a student currently at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. I've been getting out on the water a little bit the last couple weeks down here in Virginia. Fishing's been pretty good, and I like to run with the double mint rig in the spring. It seems to work pretty well for me. But I was all out of squirmy worms that I like to use. There aren't any fly shops around me. I went to Walmart a couple weeks ago, and I could not find much the flies. But I picked up, you know, those like Berkley Gulp like the plastic worms. So I've been using those the way that I would be using a squirmy fly, and it's been working pretty good. I've been catching a good number of fish on that setup. I like to run those behind like a heavy mint like a big black stonefly or something like that. My question was just want to ask, is that technically a fly in your opinion? I know it's all subjective. It's obviously not like bait fishing but it's an artificial lure but it's not really tied on the hook. It's just...because you hook them on, do this like a regular like size 8 or size 10 hook or whatever. But I just wanted your opinion on that. And like everyone says, really appreciate the podcast. I just got into fly fishing a couple years ago and kind of self-taught, and the podcast has been a huge help. So thank you very much.
Tom R: Well, Tom, I'm not that familiar with Berkley Gulps, but I think they're like an artificial plastic lure. And is it technically a fly? No, it's not technically a fly. And I imagine, again, where there are legal restrictions on tackle, you probably couldn't get away with calling that a fly. However, if it works for you and you're having fun, then why not do it?
This is just my personal definition of a fly. If I can stick a hook in a vise and make a fly by tying some kind of material onto the hook, whether it's glow bug yarn, or a squirmy worm, or anything else, then, to me, it's a fly. If I go to the store and I buy it and it's already on a hook, that really to me is not a fly. But again, if you're having fun with it, go ahead and do it, but just check the legal regulations if you're fishing a fly fishing only area to make sure that it's okay.
Here's an email from Henry from Fayetteville, Arkansas. And Henry has some questions about knots, "I recently discovered by accident that by pulling both ends of a clinch knot, you get a smoother-looking knot, and by doing a simple pull test, it seems to test stronger, but a proper experiment may say otherwise. Almost all online resources say to only pull the standing line and not the tag. I think the reason why the one end pull knot might be slightly because the line has more space between the wraps on the knot with only pulling on one end and a sudden pull makes the wrap slip. I wanted to know if you have seen the same thing happen or if I'm really doing this the wrong way. I could be peddling false theories. I put a couple images at bottom of the page. And he sent me a couple pictures of two knots and both looked fine. I also had a question about leader to fly line knots. I use both loop-to-loop connections and a direct leader-to-fly line connection. I was wondering, is the single Duncan Loop knot or the nail knot better for leader to fly line? The Duncan Loop is definitely easier to tie and I wanted to know your opinions. Oh, I almost forgot, thanks for the tips about the Trilene and the non-slip mono loop. I went fishing for carp yesterday, and although I didn't catch any carp, I used both knots, and I was thoroughly impressed by the breaking strength. Thank you for helping me add two helpful knots to my arsenal."
So, Henry, I tried to tie some clinch knots pulling on both the tag end and the standing part of the line, and they didn't tighten well for me. The coils around the line didn't all slip down to the fly, it left a messy-looking knot. And I'm not sure how you're pulling on both ends. When I did it, it didn't work for me, and I don't think that knot would be very strong.
Now, you do have to hold on to the tag end a little bit when you tie a clinch knot just to prevent it from slipping through, and maybe you're not really pulling that hard on it. But I can't see... The strength of that knot comes from those coils that seat against each other right up against the eye of the hook without stressing the line. And I can't see how you can get the same kind of knot by pulling on the tag end. So, I would say, if it works for you, go ahead and try it, but I don't think you're gonna get many converts to your method. So, you know, it's easy enough to tie a clinch knot by just pulling on the fly and the tag end as long as that tag on or sorry. It's easy enough to tie a clinch knot just pulling on the fly and the standing part. I don't see why you'd want to pull on the tag end. But I haven't done any knot tests and I don't know for sure. I would urge you not to do that. I don't think it's gonna work out that well for you.
Regarding the Duncan Loop versus the nail knot. I don't think the Duncan Loop is gonna work as well. If you're gonna tie your leader directly to a permanent loop on your fly line, the Duncan Loop will work. I don't know how you would put a Duncan Loop directly onto a fly line. And the nail knot works so well, and with a little practice, it's not that much harder to tie than a Duncan loop. If you're tying a leader directly to the fly line, I would stick with the nail knot. It's a knot that if tied properly never fails.
Hey, Tom. I had a quick question. So, I am going to get into some tiger muskie fishing, and I was wondering what line I should look into. I know you've talked about this before, but to be more specific, I'm doing a lot of the fishing from the shore. So I'll rarely at least as in the foreseeable future, I won't be on a boat or anything. I was wondering if you would use an intermediate line or a sinking line. And if you did use a sinking, how fast would it be? Appreciate your podcast and look forward to your answer. Thanks.
So if you're tiger muskie fishing from shore, you have to... I can't really tell you what kind of line you need because you didn't tell me how deep the water was, how fast the water was, if there's current there, if there's not, and, you know, where the tiger muskies are gonna be. You might be able to do everything with a floating line and just a heavier fly that gets down. Those fish, if they're gonna take a fly, they're gonna see it. You don't always necessarily need to get the fly down to their level because they're predators and they're looking for something to eat.
I would say, if you've got really deep water right in front of you, then probably a sinking line would work. But how fast of a sinking line? I really can't tell you. Sinking lines all have inches per second sink rate on it. Just figure out how fast or deep the water is and how long you wanna wait to get that fly down a little bit deeper, and then you can figure out what kind of sinking line you need. It's gonna be based on conditions.
Knowing nothing else, I would think an intermediate line is probably going to be the most useful line. It's a slow sinking line. You can get it down fairly deep as long as you don't have a lot of current, and it will make the fly ride, you know, a little bit more mid water. So, not knowing anything else, I would go with the intermediate. But again, you're gonna have to look at the conditions you're fishing, and you're gonna need to decide what kind of line you need and how close to the fish you need to get.
Here's an email from Brian from Maple Valley, Washington, "I wonder if you can shed light on different types of fly lines for trout fishing. I have a number of different rods and reels and all are rigged with floating lines and Tapered Nylon leaders. When switching between dry flies, nymphs, or streamers, am I just switching the flies out and sometimes the leader for length and size? When it comes to streamer and nymph fishing, when does it make sense to use a sinking or intermediate line? And when does it make sense to just stick with a floating line?"
Well, Brian, you didn't say if you're fishing rivers or lakes. If you're fishing rivers, I would say that 95% of the time all you need is a floating line. I don't fish sinking lines for trout in rivers unless I am fishing a streamer and the water is really fast or really high and I need to get the fly down and keep it down below the surface of the water.
You know, all other times, floating lines gonna work for you, and you get your nymphs deeper by using heavier nymphs or split shot or something. I would not use...I can't think of many times I would use a sinking line for nymph fishing because it's really difficult to get a dead drift with a nymph with a sinking line. It's nearly impossible to tell when the fish takes your fly because you're not using an indicator obviously with a sinking line. You might wanna use a sinking line if you're swinging your nymphs, if you're swinging them in the current-sinking or an intermediate line. But, you know, it's rare to use a sinking line for any kind of nymph fishing. But for streamers, yes, for streamers in lakes, yes, you might need a sinking line if the water is fast and high.
Now, in lakes, it's a different story. In lakes, you're gonna need...you know, to fish effectively, you're going to need probably a floating line, an intermediate line, and a sinking line because, in lakes, you do sometimes need to get deeper, and you need to retrieve your fly at a deeper level so that you keep your fly in that strike zone where the trout are. So, in lakes, you are gonna need definitely some sinking and/or intermediate lines. And if you are fishing lakes, I advise you to go to the Orvis Learning Center at howtoflyfish.orvis.com and watch the stillwater trout episode with Phil Rowley, who talks about the various types of lines that you might need for fishing lakes.
Tom: Hello, Mr. Rosenbauer. My name is Tom from Mooresburg, Tennessee. I have a question and perhaps another question. By the way, the usual plaudits are at the end of the message. I hope this is okay. Here in East Tennessee, we seem to have an abundance of Plethodon salamanders. With these salamanders, instead of the toxins found in the large brightly colored salamanders, they rely on camouflage and really tiny sizes to avoid getting eaten or predation. Therefore it seems to me that they would be a nice meal for a local small or largemouth bass. Do you know of any salamander flies? My library doesn't exactly have a ton of fly pattern books from all over the place. So I've had to use the interwebs, and on the interwebs, I haven't found much that seems to indicate that there are salamander flies out there. Anyway.
On a related topic, I would be curious to hear how you might approach designing a fly like a salamander. I'm interested more in the design process and your thinking than in specific materials or hooks or anything like that. Thanks for your help.
Here is the addendum. I want to thank you and Orvis for all you do for fly fishing, conservation, and fashion. Your and Orvis's dedication to conservation and public outreach is second to none or at least a few. The above questions and comments are mine and mine alone. I did not represent any vested interests in fly fishing, boating, Orvis, or any fish species or fish prey species, not limited to insects, both aquatic and terrestrial, as well as fish that may be consumed from time to time by fish caught and/or targeted by fly fishers. Thank you.
Tom R: You know, Tom, that's an interesting question. I don't know of any salamander patterns, but I know that in a lot of the rivers that I fish here in Vermont, there are some very tiny salamanders that live along the margins in the streams. And I think they don't have a terrestrial form because they seem to retain their gills throughout their life. So, they're aquatic, they don't crawl out of the water. They live in the water at least for most of their life. They may eventually transform into terrestrial forms, but I don't think so. I think these are strictly aquatic salamanders. And I've often wondered if the trout take those salamanders because they're probably not toxic. Newts and red-Fs [SP] are toxic to fish, and you definitely don't wanna imitate them. But you said these are not toxic salamanders.
So, what I would do is next time you're on the river, I would look at...I would try to find a couple of salamanders in the water. Maybe take a phone with a waterproof case or an underwater camera and kick the salamanders around a little bit and see what they do, see how they move in the water, and then either pick a streamer from your box that mimics that shape and action. Or, you know, if you're a fly-tier, then...and tie some flies that mimic that. And I would suspect that when salamanders swim, they're basically just a squiggly thing moving through the water. You don't really see the legs. All you see is a squiggly body darting through the water.
So, I would think some sort of leech fly with marabou on it that's about the same...definitely the same size as those salamanders, and, you know, you can try to mimic the color as best you can. And then probably most important is imitate the behavior of those salamanders in the water, you know, how fast do they swim? Do they swim a little bit and then pause and rest, or do they just keep swimming? You know, observe what the prey is doing. I would bet that the trout are eating those salamanders. And, you know, I think that it would be pretty easy to make a fly or buy a fly that mimics the action, shape, and the color of that pattern. And by the way, I love your close, C-L-O-S-E, not C-L-O-T-H-E-S.
Anyway, that is the Fly Box for this week. It's a little short because Tim and I talked a long time about flies. So, let's go talk to Tim Cammisa about modifying fly patterns. Well, my guest today is Tim Cammisa. I had Tim on the podcast last year, and Tim did a presentation or we talked about emergers. And it was hugely popular and people asked me to get Tim back. I originally wanted to get Tim on the podcast to talk fly tying anyway, and we didn't do it last time because I saw his emerger presentation. I thought that would be great. But we are gonna talk fly tying today.
I'm sure that most people are hot and heavy into their fly tying. Right now they're cramming to get all their fly boxes filled, things are warming up, the hatches are starting. And if you're like me you, do everything last minute. So, I thought it would be appropriate to do a fly tying podcast. Tim, welcome first of all.
Tim: Thanks, Tom. Listen, it's great to be back. I'm really glad to know that I didn't break the Orvis fly fishing podcast the first time you had me on. So, it's an honor to return. I also wanted to say to your listeners, the last time that we spoke, you asked me a question and you stumped me. And it was a question for, if you're out West, if you're a Western fly fisher in the United States, what was a resource for them? And I'm not sure if you ever followed back up, but Tom and I did have kind of an outside communication. And just to piggyback on that conversation, the two resources that we mentioned were the "Pocketguide to Western Hatches" by Dave Hughes. And I think you also threw out "Flies for Western Super Hatches" by Leeson and Schollmeyer.
Tom R: Correct.
Tim: I have to say to the audience, we promised we'd get back to you, and we did.
Tom R: Okay. Those are references for Western Hatches if you're interested in pursuing more on Western Hatches. Cool. Well, thank you, Tim, for reminding...
Tim: [crosstalk 00:36:04] out of the way.
Tom R: ...about that. And what's our topic today, Tim?
Tim: Listen, this was an interesting topic. I mean, you and I both love to tie flies, there's no question about it. And if you're not a fly-tier for at least the listeners too, we're gonna connect this to fishing. So know that this is gonna be closely tied. So I know everyone will gain from this conversation. But I was packing for one of the fly fishing shows this winter, and I was going through some of the flies that I was going to be teaching and tying at my classes and my seminars. And I realized, I'm going through these baggies, I'm putting them together, and a lot of them were variations of classics. And it kind of brought me to this topic of, is there a fly out there that's untouchable where we still tie it the same way now that, you know, I learned it 30 years ago? Or is there a fly out there now that like we know that everyone ties X fly, yet I don't tie it that way anymore? So what's the reason behind it? So I wanted to jump into that topic and see if you and I could kind of go through it and take turns and talk about our own tying styles when it relates to these patterns.
Tom R: Yeah, we'll probably disagree, and I'm sure that a lot of listeners will disagree with us because they always do. I mean, you ask 10 fly-tiers for an opinion, you get 12 answers, so.
Tim: Yeah. And that's part of the fun. I mean, absolutely, the important thing is, I mean, at the end of the day, our goal is to help lessen the learning curve for tying, for fly fishing. But also, I mean, this is all about having fun, and especially in tying, there's so much creativity, and we're trying to fool a fish that has a brain the size of a pee. I mean, let's not overthink this. [crosstalk 00:37:34], you know.
Tom R: And it is fun. It is fun to experiment, but there are some untouchables. You and I agree with three out of four anyways.
Tim: Well, let's not get to that list yet. Do you want me to pick a fly from the top [crosstalk 00:37:53].
Tom R: Yeah, just pick a fly from the list and we'll talk about it.
Tim: All right. Let's jump into this. The first one I'm gonna pick. Let's see. I'll do an eeny, meeny, miny, moe. Let's go with the Elk Hair Caddis.
Tom R: Okay. Good one.
Tim: And, gosh, man, I might get lit up over this one. I'll be honest. I live in Pennsylvania. I fished all around the country, I host trips to Iceland, yet this is one fly I rarely tie anymore. And I know the great Al Troth, I mean, probably is really disturb hearing that. But from a lot of the water that I choose to fish, it tends to be water that is a little bit slower, a little bit lower of a gradient, the fish have a little bit more time to see the fly. So whenever I think of an Elk Hair Caddis, that's a fly that's tied. It's intended to kind of ride a little bit higher up. You can really see it. I mean, great for pocket water, great for riffles. But I'm thinking like, for me, I'm the opposite. So, I tend to immediately... I mean, number one, I'm in Pennsylvania. I don't opt for Elk a lot. I go for deer hair. But the fly that I kind of tie in its place, I mean, I go with something like a bullet head caddisfly where I'll use something like a belly hair and I'll use a spun deer hair body kind of like a Goddard caddis in a sense, trim that completely off. I'll have maybe a chartreuse tag at the rear of the fly. And then I like to tie kind of a bullet head, you know, wing, you know, in a sense with a little bit of a CDC underwing. So I love that style fly that will...it still will float really well. What I love about that is you have that deer hair body, which is gonna help to really just pop it up. It's still gonna float really great, but it's not that traditional Elk hair with a lot of hackle that's really going to be extremely buoyant in a sense and it's gonna help you visualize it. So that's one that... Gosh, I can't tell you the last time I've tied an Elk Hair Caddis.
Tom R: Yeah. Well, you know, I've tied a lot of Elk Hair Caddis the past couple years only because I've been teaching some basic fly tying classes, and I have a box full of traditional Elk Hair Caddis with hackled bodies. And honestly, the only place I use them is in small streams as an attractor pattern, and I have a feeling that fish take it more often for a small moth than they do for a caddisfly. And I never put a palmer hackle on the bodies of my caddis imitations. It sounds like you are the same.
Tim: Yeah, I'm the same. Now, I will say there's a fly that...oh, gosh, I just recently...I've been tying it a lot over the last few years. I believe it's a Lance Egan fly called the Corn-fed Caddis. What's cool about that pattern is that it's got a ton of CDC in it. I'm somebody now but I tend to be putting a little bit more CDC in dubbing loops and having CDC bodies...a bunch of CDC jammed at the head. You know, I think in that pattern, he doesn't have any CDC in the body, but I am not opposed to getting something else in there that will help it float. Yet I love to select materials for my fly tying that have a little bit of natural movement to them. And we know that when caddis are on the water, I mean, they move so much, and we would be millionaires if we could figure out a way to develop a fly that's just gonna move on its own. However, we can't do it yet. So, let's get some materials that will show that movement, something like CDC a little bit more often.
Tom R: Yeah. My go-to caddis imitation is actually one of my own patterns, which is rare. Most of my go-to flies are not my own patterns. But this one is called the [inaudible 00:41:21] caddis. And it has no relation to the X Caddis. It was named for the late Rick Ecko [SP], who was a friend of mine who owned a fly shop for a while in the Delaware. And I named it for him because I was staying at his house on the river when I first tied it. It's a really simple fly. The body is dubbing from hare's ear, just the soft underfur from...not hare's ear. Snowshoe rabbit foot, sorry, snowshoe rabbit foot dubbing. And I just usually make them just kind of a neutral gray, I don't worry about color, and then I put a little CDC underwing and then snowshoe rabbit's foot on top of the CDC and then maybe a little fur head on it. And when you look at this thing underwater, man, it looks like a moving caddisfly. It floats very low, not as easy to see as an Elk Hair Caddis, but I find that's a lot more effective. So, yeah.
Tim: Oh, I love that. Yeah. It's a nice simple tie too. And maybe that's something else that I tend to prefer with a lot of my patterns. I really try to get...it seems like it gets simpler and simpler with so many of my flies that I'm tying because, probably like you, it's like a lot of them are last minute. Like if winter is over, it's time to fish. And I'm just trying to gear up [crosstalk 00:42:45] out as quick as I can.
Tom R: Yeah. All right. What's next? Pick another one.
Tim: Let's jump to another one. Let's see. We did a dry fly. Gosh, let's do the woolly bugger. Can we do that one next? I mean, that's [crosstalk 00:42:58]
Tom R: Yeah. We can do that one.
Tim: ...we can do woolly bugger.
Tom R: Yeah.
Tim: All right. Well, I don't know about you, but let's first preface it with, there are so many fly-tiers out there. The first fly they learned to tie, it was the woolly bugger. I mean, that's like the number one, that's like the go-to. I've posted on Facebook a number of times, you know, if you're gonna teach a class a beginner fly, what's your number one? It always comes back to the woolly bugger. Though interestingly, my day job, I teach sixth grade, I teach 12-year-olds, and I have a fly fishing club. And the first fly that I teach them is it tends to be the Mop Fly or the squirmy wormy only because we go fishing in the first, you know, four or five classes, and I want them to catch a fish on one of their own flies. And those are really easy flies to teach children. But with adults, I mean, the wooly bugger, you just look at that. We have the marabou tail or we have just the hackle that moves. We have a chenille body, just simple.
Now, I can go through a couple of my own little variations over the years, and these aren't necessarily mine. But the first kind of iteration of the woolly bugger that I tied, it was one...I think it was shared by Lefty Kreh, where you still had the marabou tail, there was still hackle, but instead of chenille, he used the peacock herl body. I just love that. In fact, that's one of the first videos I had ever released on my YouTube channel like seven years ago, it was that fly. It was just such a killer for me.
And then I ran through this period of time where I wanted to make it really easy. So I just got rid of the hackle, and I used like esters, you know, some type of chenille with almost an ice dub in it for my body, it was just that. Then I kind of...I jumped one more step, Tom, where I was like, "I want a woolly bugger body and I want to bring hackle back." So I started using stuff like semi-sealed dubbing for the body, and I would use a dubbing brush and I would pick it out. And then I would put hackle on the fly. But instead of using the woolly bugger hackle, I was buying hackle that's called schlappen. I really like the hard.
Tom R: Really soft. Yeah.
Tim: Yeah, real soft stuff. I love grizzly. I just love all those bard colors. I mean, that's one of my go-to hackles no matter what. But I just love something that was really buggy, and I was putting a bunch of that schlappen on there. Without a doubt, that was like my woolly bugger, that was my go-to.
And now it's like...now we've hit, you know, present time, we're doing this podcast April, 2022. And my go-to fly is this, I call it a jig bugger, where it's tied on a jig hook with a slotted tungsten bead. So, it's a little bit more likely to ride hook point up. So it's less likely to snag. And I use just one body material. I mean, one material for the tail, one material for the body, and I brush it all out. That material is just...it's a dubbing that has just a great color to it. The dubbing's called Arizona Semi-Seal Dubbing kind of returned to a favorite. And I mean, this fly has been just...it's nothing. It's basically just that dubbing in a dubbing loop and you just brush it out.
This pattern wasn't necessarily...I don't wanna say this pattern exactly was shared with me from a friend, but there's a fellow fly-tiers named Justin Aldrich. He just recently passed away of Crohn's disease. He was just an exceptional tier. That's what he did for a living, and he was really known for these jig buggers.
And the one little tip that he shared with me, it would be tied on a jig hook and you'd have that slaughtered tungsten bead, but he would hide a second one underneath. And that second tungsten bead just got so much weight and it allowed this fly to ride hook point up even more and got right down to the bottom. So, I found it, a jig bugger. That's one that...I think I even shared that pattern in my newest book because it's on the end of my lines, early spring. I mean, that's one of those top five flies for me now.
Tom R: And what size do you tie this in, Tim?
Tim: Gosh, if you can go with the size 8, 10, or even size 12 jig hook. But when I say jig hook, I guess I should pump the brakes because a lot of people are thinking like a typical nymph jig hook. But there's a lot of jig hooks out there that are made from manufacturers that are 2X long now so you can get a little bit of a longer shank to make it look a little bit more like a baitfish because, you know, I look at this as a baitfish, maybe as a leech, just something that fish wanna try out and taste. I tend to go with a little bit larger sizes with this, but typically, no smaller than a size 12.
Tom R: And what color?
Tim: Black...the semi-seal color. I think it's a black red. I love that combo and I also love black purple, such as the blend of a black and purple. Those are easily my top two colors. Now, I will also say, my uncle John, he would hate if I told people all this. I mean, my uncle john's nearing 90, and he's just so traditional. I mean, the first color of woolly bugger that I...it was my go-to color was olive. It had to be olive. It was like olive for a decade. And then I started fishing nothing but white buggers. It was a white marabou, white body, and then a grizzly hackle, and it was like, gosh, that was such a killer, especially on stocked fish. So I've kind of gone back and forth with colors over the years, yet, I don't know, Tom, it's either just me or do the fish not care because I've used every single color and they still seem to eat it.
Tom R : Yeah. I think if they're gonna eat a streamer, they're gonna need a streamer. You know, I've seen days when they're not...reluctantly eating streamers and maybe color makes a difference then. But if they're really chopping streamers, I don't think it matters either. I go with... And I typically...my woolly buggers are pretty traditional. I use marabou. I use chenille body. I will use a softer hackle baby schlappen if I can get it small enough because I don't like really long hackle. And I typically just put a black tungsten bead or tungsten cone on the head. Pretty traditional conehead bugger is what I... don't really make many change. I'm not very creative with my buggers. And I have a lot of them in my box, but they're all pretty straightforward.
Tim: Yeah. I mean, it's a great fly. You don't have to vary it that much if it's... I think it's comical just to see how many variations of it have come out of it.
Tom: Oh, my God.
Tim: You can go so many different colors. Tom, the one thing I'll mention that, you know, you and I haven't talked much about is the notion of articulated streamers. And the gist is, I saw them, they were just...they seemed so complicated. And I looked at it as, "Why don't I just take two woolly buggers and just connect them with some type of articulation wire?" And that's what I did. But instead of using the chenille and using paco, I wanted kind of an easier way, and I turned to Enrico Puglisi and just used some of his dubbing brushes. And without a doubt, one of my most effective articulated streamers, I called the EP Articulated Streamer, I mean, not a very creative name, I'm sorry. But that's been my fly, and it just consists of a marabou tail, an EP brush, and I have, you know, some connecting wire with a couple beads, and then moving forward, a little bit of marabou to cover those beads. Again, the brush of them, whatever you want for your head at the front, I mean, it's a simple fly that it just connects right back to the woolly bugger. To me, I look at it, it's just another variation of the woolly bugger.
Tom R: Yeah. You know what Enrico would say about that.
Tim: Forget about it. [inaudible 00:50:09].
Tom R: All right.
Tim: All right. Let's see. So we did a dry fly. We did a streamer. Do you wanna go down the nymph route now?
Tom R: Yeah. Let's do a nymph.
Tim: All right. Let's see. I'm looking on our list. We got the hare's ear, the pheasant tail. I'll let you pick. You've been letting me pick. You've been a gracious host.
Tom R: Oh, boy. Okay. Hare's ear.
Tim: All right. Cool. [inaudible 00:50:38] me later. Are you ready to go?
Tom: No, you go.
Tim: Well, I'm happy to. So, hare's ear. I mean, we're talking about the gold ribs. I guess whenever I first started getting into fly tying, to me, I typically would tie them with a bead head. That was not a jig hook but, you know, I think back to just the traditional. It was a great fly. It worked so well. It could imitate caddisflies, maybe some mayflies out there as well, look buggy. Without a doubt, just one of those great patterns. I was someone who believed, you know, back in the day that if I bought a traditional hare's ear blend that wasn't good enough, so I like to, you know, cut my own, I like to blend it myself, and I still do. Now, as I moved forward over the years, kind of the fly that I've now turned to probably being from Pennsylvania is a variation of the Walt's worm. The Walt's worm, that was created by Walt Young. I mean, it's basically hare's ear dubbing on a hook that has a bunch of wire underneath. That was kind of the original.
I've kind of since taken it a few more places where I'll still place this on a jig hook with a slotted tungsten bead, but the variation that I kind of look at now, I love to use hot spots on flies. I used to like to use them in the bead, but I've realized a lot of people use beads. So I now tend to use more muted colors on my beads like matte black. So I put my hot spots in other places.
In the case of the Walt's worm, I like to call it Blowtorch variation kind of like Devin Olsen. And my hot spot is with a little piece of glow bright thread coming out the rear. So I just have a little bit of thread coming out. I'll still use, you know, wire for my ribbon, so I go with that. But for my dubbing, I love to blend my own dubbing. And that's just something that, I don't know, I still believe that it makes my flies look a little bit different than everybody else's because so many people use the hare's ear, they use the Walt's worm. So I want my fly to just be different. So I'll use some type of a dubbing and I'll blend it with a little bit of flash. I have a pinch system that I use to kind of go through that and I'll make these little buggies. And I'll have like the recipe on the outside. I mean, what I like to use to blend my dubbing is an old coffee bean grinder. I mean, please don't tell my wife that that's what happened to our coffee bean grinder, but it's now being used for better things. And it now catches us a lot of fish. But I still love to blend my own dubbing because...
Tom R: Me too.
Tim: ...it separates my flies from others. Yeah. There's something that's great about it. And when I tie that fly, I also like to, you know, have that dubbing go the whole way up to the bead, and the trick with doing that is I put a little bit of dubbing on my thread right before I do my whip finish, so whenever I whip finish, it makes the last couple turns still have dubbing on them, so you have a really clean look the whole way up to your bead. So that's a little tip for fly-tiers out there.
Tom R: Interesting.
Tim: Yeah. So that's my current version now. And that's a fly that...I'll fish that from sizes 12 down to a size 22 year-round. I mean, I have just a ton of those. Go-to color is still kind of a...I don't want to say a brown tan, but something like a brown tan. I'll also offer a lot of gray colors, especially if I'm fishing in tailwaters or spring creeks because then I feel like it's also going to pick up maybe a cress bug, scuds. So I can get that color in there too. I tend to use like hot spot colors and dubbing in it, and I'll interlace my hare's ear with purples occasionally, sometimes even light oranges, that type of stuff, just, again, to make it look a little bit different than everybody else's.
Tom R: Okay. My variation, a little more traditional, brown hackle fiber tails. My body, I take the darker part of the hare's ear, mainly the little tiny hairs at the top where ears are really dark, and then I'll blend that with some fox squirrel or pine squirrel, pine squirrel actually, natural pine squirrel so that I get a really buggy looking body natural colors. I rivet with oval gold. I don't use wire. I like oval gold tinsel, I always have. And then for the thorax, I put two black tungsten beads on the...underneath the wing case. So I put two black tungsten beads on first, a little bit smaller than, you know, normal size but two of them. And then I will put a wing case of black thin skin over that. The whole thorax area is kind of black. And I might wind a little dubbing in between the beads or not. It's pretty traditional profile but slightly different materials.
Tim: I like that. Well, I think this also brings a point. Maybe with you and I, we tend to be a little bit more particular about certain things. And for the listeners out there, this is something I love to do in my fly tying classes. I'll hold up two packets of dubbing that I bought at the show that day, and I'll say, "These are both labeled as dark hare's ear." And we look at them, they're not the same color. And that's something like we have to keep in mind because, you know, I follow recipes, you know, from other tiers. I'm the person that if you say...if Tom Rosenbauer says, "Use these five materials for the first X amount of flies I'm tying with that," I'm using the materials you recommend. And I know they probably don't matter, but I do it. If you go online or you go to a shop and you buy it, that color in that packet could be different than the one that's being recommended, and it stinks because, with natural materials, there's so many variables at play that are really out of our control. So keep that in mind. I mean, I think you're the same as me where I know the color I'm shooting for, I'm gonna do what it takes to get to it.
Tom R: Yeah. You blend your own because, yeah, you're at somebody else's mercy. I've never found a commercial hare's ear blend that I like. I think they're all too light and I like my hare's ears dark.
Tim: I'm with you there 100%. Okay. So we varied a little bit so far.
Tom R: Yeah.
Tim: Let's shift gears a little bit. I'm gonna go with one of my untouchables if that's okay.
Tom R: Okay. Yeah.
Tim: All right. We'll go back to dry fly now. Without a doubt one of my top dry flies of all time, I don't know how many years I've been tying and fishing this, it's the Sparkle Dun by Craig Matthews. This is a fly... I mean, if I had to say one word, it's just wow. It just works. I look at this fly as just an exceptional mayfly emerger, yet they don't always take it just as an emerger. And by the way, when I say emerger, what I mean is an insect that's, you know, changing from a nymphs to an adult. So when it's going through that stage especially close to the surface, it's a very vulnerable fly, it's a vulnerable insect. And that's what this fly, you know, really attempts to replicate. The way that I tie this, my tail is going to be something like Z-Lon or an EP fiber. I love the color camel, just one of my go-to colors for the tail. I try to trim it kind of short so it's about a third of the body length, maybe a little bit less than that. The body color, I go with something that's just going to represent the adult mayfly. The one material that I've recently turned to is this material called Semperfli Kapok dubbing. Oh, it's incredible stuff. I mean, I know they just...like kapok has been out for years. I think kapok used in, you know, life vests. And I think it's been used in fly tying for years. But Semperfli has been buying it in these colors. They're just incredible.
Tom R: Cool.
Tim: So, you know, if you have a chance to, you know, get your hands on some of that kapok dubbing, you'll think you're the world's best dubbing noodle creator of all time. It's great. It's a natural material. It floats forever. So, go with that. And then for the wing, I mean, I love to use deer hair. As I mentioned, I buy deer hair that's labeled comparadun. I'm very particular. I'm the person that will go through every package in the fly...
Tom R: Oh, me too.
Tim: ...so I get one with just like the right length of the black tips, you know, if I'm looking for it like that. I tend to tie a pretty sparse wing. I like it fanned out. I try to keep it at 90 degrees, you know, by building a thread dam and then getting some dubbing up there. If it leans a little bit forward, I'm okay with that. You know, I'm still gonna fish it. It's gonna fish just as good. What's great about this pattern though, when you look at it from the bottom, if a fish is thinking about a spinner, they can look up at it, they see this wing that's split. They'll take it as a spinner. They'll take it as an emerger because...for the listeners that are like, "Well, why will they take this as an emerger?" You have that the Z-Lon fiber is the tail that's not representing a mayfly tail. It's representing the nymphal skin that's being removed. This adult is crawling out of the nymphal skin, and then that adult fly is about to dry its wings. So whenever it's going through that process, it's very vulnerable, and the fish just will take this with confidence. This is just one of my go-to flies of all time.
Tom R: Yeah. Maybe a couple years ago, I would have considered this untouchable. Tim, I probably have...I bet I have 50 pieces of comparadun sparkle dun deer hair in a bag, 50 different pieces. When I start tying, you know, an 18 olive, I will go through...I will audition four or five pieces until I find...I'm sure you do the same thing.
Tim: Oh, yeah.
Tom R: People have a lot of trouble with getting the hair and using it. And, you know, I find constant questions about comparaduns and Sparkle Duns about getting the wing right. And a couple years ago, I wanted a size 18 olive-colored mayfly, but I wanted it for really fast water that I could really, really see. And what I did was I tied a traditional Sparkle Dun, but I used EP trigger point, and I put a lot of it on there. I made the wing not oversized in height but oversized in bulk and great big wing on it. And it works so well, and it's so easy to tie. In fact, I'm going to tie one of these on Monday for my live-fly time that I've gone to. A lot of my Sparkle Duns... I still like the deer hair but I've gone to a lot of Sparkle Duns with EP trigger point fiber, and it's so easy to work with, and it creates a super durable high visible wing that sheds water really quickly. Enrico actually sells these fly. He came up with this pattern, not my pattern. He came up with using EP fiber for the shock and for the wing on his flies that he sells. Mine are probably about half deer hair and half EP fiber now, my Sparkle Dun.
Tim: Listen, I don't blame you one bit. I'll tell two stories that will connect. Story number one, last week earlier in the week, I did a Zoom fly tying event with Albedi [SP], and he tied Humpy fly. That was the one that he tied. He tied it traditionally, and he did... I mean, Tom, I learned so much just watching him. It was just phenomenal. It was just like a kid in the candy store. He tied it so well. Then at the end, somebody from the audience asked, "How do you tie your own." It was your answer. It was like quite time with EP fibers or something...because it's so much easier. It's so much easier. He had one right here. He put it in his advice. He's like, "This is the one that I'll fish. The other ones I tie for customers." And it was comical, and I was like, ah.
Hearing you saying this and hearing Al, I'm like, "You know what, I definitely need to do this." But now I'll go back to this weekend, you know, the weekend prior to us recording this was the trout opener for the state of Pennsylvania. My wife and I traveled out with our family to Central Pennsylvania. We were fishing a very famous stream called Spring Creek, and in the middle of the afternoon on the first day, there was a caddis hatch. And a buddy of mine showed up. I will not mention his name on air. He's a personality. And he showed up and he's fishing. He could not catch one of these fish. And eventually, I said, "Give me your line. What's going on?" His fly kept sinking, and it was a caddis that was tied with EP fiber, or I shouldn't say EP fiber. I'm not gonna throw Enrico under the bus, but it was tied with an Antron or a Z-Lon or something along those lines.
And the first thing I did... He said, "Are you drying the fly?" And I said, "Yep. I took my nippers, and I just cut it right off, and I put on a fly with deer hair. And I said, "All right. Try it now." And it floated like a cork. And he [inaudible 01:03:26] fish that first cast. So, ah, like I'm... So you're getting through to me. I'm gonna tie a few more, but there's just something I love about deer hair. So you're getting through to me. [inaudible 01:03:37].
Tom R: I love it too, but, you know, there's no sorting, there's no stacking, you just trim it, and you don't worry about it, I'm telling you. And you can crank them out, and they work. They work.
Tim: No, I agree. And it's weird that that's the traditional fly that I'm holding on to. Like that's my untouched. I'm dying to hear what some of your listeners is thinking. Like what's their untouchable because I'm by no means traditional. I mean, I wrote a fly-tying book, and I featured a Mop in my book. I have a Mop Fly in my book, and here I am holding on to a, you know, comparadun deer hair with my Sparkle Dun.
Tom R: I've got some untouchables that probably you don't think are untouchable. So...
Tim: That's okay. All right. Well, this is fun. Let's keep going. Okay.
Tom R: All right. Should we do another untouchable?
Tim: Yeah. Let's go with it.
Tom R: All right.
Tim: I'm gonna go with...gosh, we did a dry fly. Let me pick one... I know we had a couple dry flies in there. Let me stick with the Clouser Minnow. So we'll pull up Bob Clouser for this one or the Clouser Deep Minnow. When I think of this, this is just another classic...even though the stories that I love to tell whenever I teach this fly is that typically, when people are tying this, I'm sure myself included, we tend to use too much deer hair I know whenever...
Tom R: Way too much.
Tim: I've spoken with Bob about this many times, and it's just comical because he's like, "That's not... You know, you don't need that much for movement and for, you know, some transparency in baitfish." The other comical thing about this is that all of us tie a version of the Clouser Minnow I think. For anyone who ties it, we tie a version, and in our head, that's the Clouser Minnow. And it's great because this... Bob told this great story once where somebody was tying the Clouser Minnow, and about halfway through, it was nothing like the Clouser Minnow. And Bob raised his hand and said, "Why are you doing it this way?" And he said, "Well, this is how the Clouser Minnow is tied." And Bob [inaudible 01:05:29] because he knows that fly is now tied by so many different variations based on how you lock it in. But at the end of the day, I've experimented with other materials that aren't all-natural, but there's something about bucktail that still just pulls me to it.
I think this is a great baitfish imitation. I've used it for hybrid stripers, for saltwater stripers, for lots of saltwater fishing. I've used it a little bit for trout, not as much. My go-to colors over the years, I love an all-black Clouser Minnow. I love them olive white where you'll have olive on the top, white on the bottom once you have those dumbbell eyes applied. And there's also a version that I tied that...it's like an orange and brown. Those are like three of my favorites.
The only kind of updates I've kind of made over the years with this fly is whenever I tie dumbbell eyes, I don't necessarily use just lead anymore. I like to tie eyes that actually show a pupil on the outside. So I'll opt for some eyes. I still like the dumbbell style but I just like some that will have a pupil, sometimes the color red. There's just something...I like having the color red on my baitfish. So I'll opt for something like that. And when I lock them in, I bet over time, they'll always spin. I mean, I feel like mine always do over however long it takes for me to hit enough rocks on my casts. But I still put a little bit of UV resin on the eyes and cure it with a UV light just to lock them in place a little bit more. To me, this is just one of those traditional ones that...gosh, there are so many variations of this that we can throw out there, but I still like to have deer hair, a little bit of flash in the center in those dumbbell eyes, and I go to town.
Tom R: Yeah. I've tried marabou, I've tried synthetics, I've tried every other thing, and I keep going back to bucktail. That one to me is untouchable. It's simple and it works, and you don't wanna mess with the Clouser Minnow. And you're exactly right about sparse. I mean, for striped bass, I tie some small sandeel Clouser Minnows for early season striped bass. And there's probably an olive and white and there's probably a dozen hairs on top and a dozen hairs on the bottom and one piece of flash, very, very sparse.
Tim: Yeah. That's right. That one piece of flash, that's something that...I mean, we could talk about so many...we can take that in so many directions. But man, there's something about people time with so much flash that it's almost overkill. And I think back to like, what was the pattern, I think it was the copper job [SP] where there was just like one piece of flash that came over that wing case. And just that one little piece of flash when that fly was sinking in when it was rolling across the bottom, you could actually see that piece of flash just reflect light. And it's like you don't need 25 pieces of flash on a Clouser Minnow just to have [crosstalk 01:08:19] you in there. That's all you need.
Tom R: Yep, one-piece folded over so you get two strands, that's it, I'm done.
Tim: Yep. I'm with you there.
Tom R: And it's a lot easier to tie a sparse Clouser. It's a little lot easier.
Tim: Yes. And the head always comes out so clean [crosstalk 01:08:33].
Tom R: Yeah. They look nice.
So, the only...
Tim: [crosstalk 01:08:37] the only ones. Go ahead.
Tom R: I was gonna say the only time I'll tie a heavy clouser is if I'm fishing in the surf, I do want a wider profile fishing in the surf for striped bass. And I will put more hair on what I call a surf clouser. And I usually use yellow and white instead of olive and white. I will sometimes tie them heavy but those are strictly for fishing in the surf.
Tim: Okay. Yeah, that makes sense. And there's also something to be said for quality bucktail, which can be tricky. And I'm definitely not an expert when it comes to selecting bucktail. I feel like I've gotten lucky with some of the pieces I've had over the years. But even where I select the hair from on the bucktail, I noticed that really has an impact too on the fly how well it moves in the water.
Tom R: It does. Yeah. Yep. Are you a tip or a butt guy on your clousers?
Tim: Gosh, let me think.
Tom R: Or middle?
Tim: I think I'm more of the middle. I think I like a lot of the middle fibers. Yeah. I don't use the tip as much. I feel like the tip are nice and straight, but I don't know if they have as much movement that I like.
Tom R: Okay. Yeah. I usually go tip to middle. I will use the fibers at...the hairs at the tip. And sometimes for those surf clouser, I will use the stuff at the bottom because, again, I want bulk on a fly in the surf so that they can see it.
Tim: Yeah. I'm just picturing my bucktails right now. I feel like I start at the middle and work my way up to the tip, and I have a bunch that have that bottom section kind of still there. So, if anyone has some ideas on how I can use that a little bit more, let me know.
Tom R: Yeah, surf clousers.
Tim: Yeah, that's it.
Tom R: All right, man, should we go back to one with variations? Why don't you pick one with variations?
Tim: Oh, gosh, we have a great list here. Let me do an easy one here. It's a classic, but I have a small variation for the Zebra Midge. We'll do the Zebra Midge because this is another fly that I think is just...I think it's gonna be for a lot of people. It's an untouchable. I believe the creator of this was...I think it was Ted Welling. And we're talking...for anyone who's not into time, it's a bead, thread, and wire. I mean, you can't get simpler than that. Whenever I pose the question, what's the first fly people should learn? This one comes up a lot especially in a size 14. A lot of people say, "Tim, a size 14 Zebra Midge" because you know it's gonna catch fish, it's an easy tie. And they're right. For some reason though, this one never hits my top three list of flies when I'm introducing them to students, yet in smaller sizes, man, this is one that I use all the time. There's no doubt about it.
I mean, my favorite colors of zebra midge, you know, we're talking black, olive. Sometimes brown too. Those are really the three that I get into. I know others. Depending on where you're fishing, you can integrate some other colors. Now, the one kind of change that I tie now that I learned from a friend. I was fishing the South Holston with a buddy of mine. His name's Jake Adamerovich. And my wife and I were fishing and we were floating the Holston. I'm the person where I want to set up my rig. I'd selected my flies, and we were fishing with a point, a dropper fly. And he had selected heather's rig for her. And we're floating. We're catching fish here and there. And all of a sudden, she goes on this terror, Tom, she catches like five or six in a row. And after the...you know, maybe three. She's got the front spot. So I'm thinking, "All right. She's seeing these fish first." And then after another few fish, it wasn't the spot. I mean, she was fishing a fly that was just killing them. And Jake's smiling because he knows I don't have a fly. So I finally say, "All right. I give up. Just please..." I like lift my rig out. I'm like, "What do I put on?" He's like, "Well, you don't have this one. It's a zebra midge, but it's an improved zebra midge." I'm like, "Ooh, tell me how you can improve the zebra midge."
And I'll tell you the one that I tie now. It's a little bit different than Jake's but it's the same concept. The one I time now is on a very small jig hook. The model I use is a Hanak H 480 BL. That BL means it's barbless, a size 20. There's not a lot of jig hooks in smaller sizes that won't bend out. That's one that doesn't for me. I use a small bead, something like a 20 to a 25, depending on how fast you want to sink. And the tail is one piece, a very small piece of Opal Midge Mirage. That's Opal-colored Midge Mirage. It has this little flash on the tail. I use a 1-millimeter fine wire. The thread for my body, this is another key, I use Semperfli Nano Silk, and their size is 24/0. So it's a 24/0 thread that will bend the hook, which is crazy. You could basically just get...you're getting a handful of wraps so your body's as thick as the hook. It's just really cool.
You know, you have your black body. Then you counter rib with this fine wire. I tend to go silver wire, silver bead. That's just the color that I like to use. And then once you tie it off at the bead, then we go back over it with a little bit of a UV resin like bone dry, and then hit it with a torch. So you have this fly that's got this little piece of midge mirage, which just gives you some flash. And it's a really durable fly, so it doesn't fall apart right away.
And what Jake told me about this pattern, he fishes it primarily as the dropper. So it's a little bit higher up than the point. And he feels especially on a lot of these tailwaters that the fish will see this drifting and they'll just see that...a little bit of flash as it's moving in the current, and they come up for it. They'll bypass the dropper a lot of times or bypass the point for this dropper fly. And I'm telling you, I put it on, that was it. It was silly from that point forward. I called him that summer and said, "Hey, will you tie this for my YouTube channel?" Because as much as I want to kind of, you know, keep that fly to myself, I want to share with others. It's been a go-to, you know, fly of mine now for, I don't know, five or six years.
Tom R: I'm gonna try some of those. Yeah. The only thing that I would do differently, and then I'm surprised you didn't mention it, on a zebra midge is I love a red body zebra midge with a black bead. Ever try those?
Tim: Oh, gosh, I want to say years ago when I fished the Missouri, I used that color combination. I haven't since. So, no, I have been. I'm going to now.
Tom R: Yeah. I like red. I'll start with black, but if black doesn't work, I'll go to a red. And usually, one of those will work if the fish are eating small stuff.
Tim: How small do you tie yours?
Tom R: You know, 18, 20s mainly. I don't fish a lot of tailwaters where you need tiny, tiny flies. I haven't fished the South Platte in years. You know, I don't fish a lot of super, super technical tailwaters. I used to. I love fishing them. I just haven't had the opportunity recently. So, you know, 18s and 20s generally, short shank hook.
Tim: Okay. The other thing that I had a conversation with and I think Ben Furimsky of the Fly Fishing Show about this. I know he likes to fish some of his midges with a white bead to represent an emerger. You know, that's another thing that I haven't done a lot over the years, but I'm starting to...especially if I fish stillwater when I'm fishing lakes that I know have trout in them, then I'll opt a little bit more for a zebra midge with a white bead or like a... There's something about matte colors. I love that matte white color and matte black. I don't know if the shine. I used to think that shine in the bead like a gold bead or a brass bead really drew them in, but I'm going with so many matte colors now, and it hasn't seemed to change my catch rate. I'm constantly rethinking some of my earlier thoughts.
Tom R: Yeah. I've been a big fan of matte black beads for a long time and use mostly black beads. You know what, speaking of white beads, the pattern that I use for brook trout a lot here in the mountain streams, it really seems to work, you know, Berkshire aren't that picky, but it seems to work better than other nymphs, is a Walt's worm with a chartreuse hot spot in a white bead. That seems to kill the brook trout.
Tim: Oh, wow. Is the chartreuse hot spot. Are we talking like a thread hot spot?
Tom R: Yeah, just chartreuse thread hot spot and a white bead. I don't know if it's just coincidence, but it seems to work better for me than other nymphs for those mountain brook trout.
Tim: I don't think I have white beads in that size. I often try some.
Tom R: Yeah. No, I mean, I'm talking bigger fly. I'm talking 14, 16.
Tim: That's what I mean. I have smaller beads that's like 14, 16. I don't think I have any white beads. So I have to look in it.
Tom R: Yeah. Unfortunately, the white wears off pretty quickly I've noticed on those tungsten beads. So after a while, it's kind of silver anyway, but it starts out white.
Tim: The fish don't care. They're okay with it.
Tom R: No, they beat it up pretty good. All right. What are we going to next?
Tim: All right. We've been doing good. Let's stick with that list that we just did a midge...gosh, let's get a little dirty. How about a San Juan worm. Do you mind going down that path?
Tom R: I don't mind going down that path. I like [inaudible 01:17:40] flies.
Tim: Yeah. Good. All right. You and I are on the same page here. Well, the San Juan to me, this was one of my...this brings back a lot of memories I guess because I mentioned my great uncle John. And I feel like whenever he taught me how to tie flies, it was very traditional, lots of Catskill flies, no eggs, no sucker spawn, no worms. That stuff was okay for steelhead and panfish but not the trout. And the San Juan worm, I feel like it was just really getting its heat whenever I got into fly tying. And I almost felt guilty of tying these but I still tied them. And I used them a lot for panfish back in the day. And I remember my first version of it, I would take a match or a lighter and I would burn an end to that was [inaudible 01:18:23] I believe. And I would pull it through the bead and then I would slide the bead onto the hook and I would keep the bead right in the middle of the shank and I would put some red thread behind the bead. Then I just put my thread over the bead, a little bit of red thread in front of it. Then what finish under that material, that chenille of vermeil. And that was like my San Juan worm that I used for panfish. The bass would eat it. And it was just a killer.
Now like, you know, fast forward to today, there's just something about the squirmy wormy that I just can't say no especially for stockfish. I tied the squirmy wormy for a few years, just loved it. Then a member of the Youth Fly Fishing Team. I was talking with him at a Fly Tying Show, and he was saying, "Hey, have you tied this with the orthodontic elastics yet?" I'm like, "No, what are you talking about?" And it's where you take this little piece of elastic that you use if you have braces or a retainer in your mouth...
Tom R: Oh, or a Dorsey indicator.
Tim: Exactly. That concept and where you kind of split it in the middle. I think there's a video on there if your listeners...you know, it's always tough to explain this. But the gist is you split it in the middle and you're able to pull it on both ends because it's a very resilient and stretchy material. And once you have your body in a sense locked in, which is just thread, I like fluorescent orange thread, you're able to then slide the squirmy through that elastic. And what's nice about it is that if you catch fish on squirmies after so long, they eventually do fall. You know, they come apart. They'll be damaged in the center. I mean, there's so many variations of those without a doubt. But this is one where you can kind of have these hooks that already just have this elastic on it, and you can swap out colors. You can really...there's so many options.
Tom R: This is getting dirty. This is getting really dirty.
Tim: [crosstalk 01:20:04] like what are you going fishing with? Well, I have six hooks with these little elastics and I have a bag of squirmies, so you're going worm fishing. I won't say that.
Tom R: You just tie the elastic in and leave part of the loop open so that you can slide a piece of squirmy in there.
Tim: Half a loop. If you're looking at the hook right now if it's in your advice, half of the loop will be on the left side. The other half will be on the right side by the eye. So there's enough separation there to hold the squirmy to the hook.
Tom R: I see. Put it through two loops.
Tim: It's the same piece of elastic [crosstalk 01:20:41].
Tom R: Yeah. But you're going through two loops.
Tim: Oh, it's dirty. Whenever I teach people how to tie this fly, you can see in their eyes the excitement. They're trying to contain it because they don't wanna admit like, "Oh, gosh, like this is my new fly." I mean, whenever I fish lakes, that's a go-to fly. My favorite colors, I love red traditional. I love pink. And then the two sneaky colors, for anyone still listening, that I use for trout and moving water, I love brown, and I love black. There's just something about those two colors. Not everyone uses those squirmy wormy. So I like to use them. Those are my worms. I'm a worm guy apparently.
Tom R: Do you find when you wind the squirmy material that it just deteriorates a lot more quickly if you wind it on a hook? If you like put a tail on and then wind the body out of the same squirmy material, do you find that it just deteriorates?
Tim: I do but I also feel like some of my earlier ones deteriorated. It was because I left them in a container that had...it was clear plastic, and I felt like once the UV rays got to them, that really helped to just ping them and they just seemed to fall apart a lot faster. The short answer is yes. The argument I have when I still will tie a lot that way. The way that you're describing where it's almost the traditional way, I don't even worry if it comes through the beat. I'll lock in the tail, wrap it around to my thread that's waiting at the bead, and locking that piece up there. My argument to that method is that if a fish bites down on a squirmy wormy body versus if you're going to put dubbing over top of it, I feel like they just hold on to it a little bit longer. [crosstalk 01:22:17].
Tom R: Don't they fall apart quickly?
Tim: They do. I mean, I still think I can get at least 10 or 15 fish off [inaudible 01:22:24].
Tom R: Even if you don't fish them, I find that they just fall apart in my fly box. I open it up and...even if I haven't used them in months, they're just falling apart.
Tim: Yeah. I haven't seen that as much. It could be this, something that I was...we're going down the squirmy wormy path. There's a member of Fly Fishing Team USA. This is the guy that no one knows. His name's Pat Weiss. He's from Central Pennsylvania. He's not big into social media. He's just that guy that just catches fish. And he loves the squirmy wormy. He'll probably be mad that I'm talking about it now. But what he does with his. He showed me a piece of material once. And he's like, "If you can't do this with your material, don't use it." And he took the material and just stretched it and stretched his arms out. And this is a big dude. So whenever he stretched his arms, we're talking like 6 feet. And he stretched one piece of material 6 feet. And when I got home, I grabbed some of mine and some materials, I think the Caster's Squirmito, name brand squirmy material, it did that. And I have one or two that whenever I want to stretch them, they snapped. So that could be another little...maybe the material wasn't enough to snuff. [crosstalk 01:23:33] but maybe UV rays are getting to it. I don't seem to have that issue as much as it sounds like you have it.
Tom R: Okay. I was wondering if, you know, there's lubricants sometimes on fly tying threads, not wax. I think they put lubricants on. I thought maybe that was getting to it. But I don't know. But I'm gonna do the rubber band trick. I'm going back to this rubber band thing. Do you put a bead on that too?
Tim: Yeah. I tend to put mine on, the same thing, jig hooks, a lot of tungsten beads. Yeah, the same. I like silver beads for the most part, except if I'm going with my brown or black ones, then I use a matte black bead.
Tom R: I got a whole bunch of those orthodontist bands because I like them for Dorsey indicators. So I'm gonna be tying some of them up.
Tim: All of your listeners are going to be calling their dentist tomorrow saying, "Can I stop in? I need to get some orthodontic bands."
Tom R: No, you can get them online. They're really cheap.
Tim: Or Amazon.
Tom R: Yeah, they're really cheap.
Tim: Pack of 100 for 50 bucks or something.
Tom R: All right. Shall we do something less dirty? Why don't we go to the Adams Parachute?
Tim: Oh, gosh, I knew you were gonna bring this one up. You know I was kind of like hesitating on that one.
Tom R: Yeah. I want you to upset some people here.
Tim: Okay. Well, I don't think I'm gonna upset them as much as others. Now, let me first say this. I think your listeners heard. You know, I started tying flies when I was 10 years old and I won't say the year. No, I will say the year. That was 1989. That's when I first learned Catskill flies. That was my number one. I fished a lot over the next few years after that in Central Pennsylvania. I eventually had a mentor, John Dunn, who took me out to Montana. And I just fell in love with emergers there. I came back. I guided on the Delaware. So I kept getting drawn to emergers, which is why you and I did that first podcast on it. So whenever I think about my early dry flies, it was Catskills. And then I jumped to parachutes, and I think the water wisps if those are still around. So this is kind of like an upside down dry fly, you know, because they sat low. And when you're tying parachutes, you know, you think what's the parachute you tie? It's the Adams, there's no doubt about it. Over the years I've buried it, I definitely love a purple Adams where it's kind of like a traditional Adams with a purple body.
Tom R: That's a good one.
Tim: That's easily one that I use. But the one that I tie now, my Adams, I probably shouldn't...somebody's gonna email me and say, "Don't call it them Adams. That's not what you tie." Because Leonard Holiday [SP] would not be happy. But the one that I tie my tail is Coq de Leon and Medium Pardo. It's a chicken tail. What's nice about those fibers is they're very resilient. They have great barring to them. They just look natural. They won't tear. So I use that for my tail. For my body, I use that gray kapok dubbing. So I still will use traditional gray. And then for my post, my parachute post, I love to use Z-lon or EP fiber in pink. I mean, I love fluorescent pink. If you look in my box, nearly all of my parachutes are pink. Some are white. Some are black depending on the glare of the water. But I can see pink at a distance. I can see it in low light conditions. I have a couple that I'll tie with some materials that will glow in the dark too, maybe some like crystal flash fibers that I can hit with the UV torch so at night I can see them when they're floating. So I have a few that I'll tie with that post, but most of the time it's with, you know, Z-Lon or EP fiber. And then the hackle, you know, I believe the traditional is macramé where some people will go with brown and grizzly match together.
Tom R: Brown and grizzly is traditional. Yeah.
Tim: Is that the traditional?
Tom R: Yeah.
Tim: I was always told get crease. You don't have to worry about the brown and grizzly. But I just use grizzly. I very rarely put the brown on anymore. I love grizzly on all my dry flies. So that's my current "Adams."
Tom R: I'm pretty traditional. I will use CDL for the tails. I agree with you there. If I'm not tying a purple one, I will use muskrat fur. I love muskrat. I think it's really translucent. It's nice to dub with. And I have it, you know, it's easy to get. And then EP fiber, white EP. I don't go pink. I haven't had great luck with pink parachute wings. I know that white sometimes do get mixed up with the bubbles on the water, but I think the fish are gonna be less suspicious if the wing is white EP fiber. And then I do use brown and grizzly, I mix them. So, that's pretty traditional.
Tim: Yeah. Let me ask you this because I say a pink wing, and when I say a pink wing, it's really not a wing.
Tom R: It's a post. Yeah.
Tim: Yeah. It's a very, very short post. I have just enough there so it's just peeking out above the hackle. If you leave yours a little bit longer, like it would be awake?
Tom R: Yeah, because I believe that you need something to stick up. It's gonna be a lot more visible if it sticks up. The higher it sticks up, the easier it's going to be to see. You know, I do a standard shank length post.
Tim: Okay. So you and I differ there. That's for sure.
Tom R: Yeah. I don't do short posts. I do fairly long one. I just think I can see it better.
Tim: Okay. And I think that brings up a great point that if fish are looking for a wing, you're at least giving them something they can see, whereas I trim mine short because I only wanna see it, but I don't want them to see a high this pink wing. I think that is eternal to fish. But if they're looking for a wing, they're not gonna see one with my Adam's Parachute that's for sure.
Tom R: The wing is for me. I don't think the fish... I think that most of the time, particularly in faster water, the fish see the body and the hackle. The wing's for me so I can see it.
Tim: All right. We're doing good. Do we still have time for a couple more?
Tom R: Let's do a couple that we agree are on...what did you call it?
Tom R: Untouchables. Yeah. Let's do a couple untouchables.
Tim: Okay. Let's see. I know we went down to Craig Matthew's path. There's another fly I have from him, but let's pull up the George Griffith's Gnat. To me, this is...I mean, I love this fly. It could represent a midge cluster. When I got it on the Delaware, this was like my money fly. I got to slow water and there were brown trout sipping. It was this fly in a size 18 or 20 that was my first fly put on extended my 6X or 7X. I mean, it's worked for me all around the world especially just those slow pulls when they sip, to tie the fly, I tend to lock in my thread and I like to leave the tag end of thread extend kind of like a tail in a sense. I just let it hang there because I use my thread as protection afterwards. And then I just tie in a single piece of, you know, grizzly saddle hackle, I tie in a couple pieces of peacock herl. I like to get peacock herl off of a peacock tail feather, and I like to get it close to the eye so you have really lots of fibers in there. And I just will wind my peacock, wind my grizzly hackle up with, you know, nice, you know, relative even wraps. And then I will take my thread, that thread tag, and I'll counter wrap that just to kind of protect things a little bit more, block it off. And that's my fly.
I've married it a little bit, Tom, where I've actually tied in a piece of EP fiber like a hi-vis orange or hi-vis pink, that's kind of a wing going back, and I've kind of trimmed the hackle along the top of the fly and tied it in kind of caddis style for me to see it or I've even had it straight up at the front. And I even showed that in the video years ago on YouTube, but now I don't use that one anymore. I've gone back to the peacock and grizzly hackle. I mean, it's easy to tie, and I love it. I mean, I'll even tie this up to...you know, as large as size 14. I mean, I've had success, you know, on many rivers on a larger Griffith's Gnat. Though my money zone is right around 18. That seems to be the size that really starts to light up.
Tom R: It's a killer. You don't wanna change Griffith's Gnat. You know, the one thing I have done for midge clusters is a double Griffith's, and I'm not so sure it's any better than just a plain old Griffith. I'll tie like a rump of peacock herl palmer with grizzly. Then I'll tie it off. And I'll put a few turns of strip peacock quill in the middle and then tie another rump up on front so it's like two midges together. I know. It's a pain to tie in smaller sizes, and I don't know if it works that much better. I have double Griffith's. I have experimented with and they, you know, seem to work okay.
Tim: Exactly. Peacock quill is a great material. I mean, I do like... I thought you were going to pull the peacock quill out earlier when we were talking about...I think it was the Sparkle Dun. I thought that was gonna be your variation where you were going to say you still like the EP fiber then you go peacock quill, which [inaudible 01:32:49] a skinny body. [crosstalk 01:32:50] pull that one out there because I love peacock quill and even nymphs. It's an exceptional material. So, I don't blame you for trying it here.
Tom R: And I don't like biot bodies at all. I can't stand working with biots.
Tim: You mean like goose biots? Yeah.
Tom R: Yeah. Why use biots when you got a whole peacock eye that you're not gonna do anything with, and that's where the best quills are. So you might as well use them.
Tim: Oh, man. Listen, I did go down that path when I used to fish the Delaware a lot. It was like I needed the right shade of orange to represent the sulfurs and the PMVs and I needed the biot. I mean, I really thought that mattered so much more than I think it does now. But when you're fishing those technical tailwaters especially, it's like you want everything as perfect as possible. So I get it. For those of you who are doing that right now, I get it, but no, I don't do it as much anymore.
Tom R: Yeah. Well, Tim, that was a good list.
Tim: For sure. That was a lot of fun. There's some good flies in there. Absolutely.
Tom R: Yeah. And I hope that we've encouraged people to experiment and not to worry about substituting. I'm just like you. If I see one of your patterns, I'm gonna tie...first I'm gonna tie it exactly the way you describe it because you've used that pattern, you've proven it, it works. Then I'm gonna start playing around. You know, it's human nature that you're gonna start playing around trying to improve it. Usually, I don't improve over somebody's original pattern. It's fun to experiment. It's fun to substitute. And we've got such an incredible variety of materials available to us. And none of them are very expensive, right? Most of these things are cheap.
Tim: Yeah. In the grand scheme of things, that's for sure. And I agree with you completely. If I'm gonna tie, you know, Tom Rosenbauer rabbit foot emerger, I'm gonna tie it how you tie it. But then I'm gonna start to play around with it. So I uses this rabbit foot here, but maybe I'm going to use CDC because I wanna try to get this out of it. That's the fun of this. That's the best part of this. And there's nothing better than... I don't know about you, but I love whenever I come up with these crazy variations of some of these untouchables, and they're sitting in the corner of my box for a season or even, you know, over a season. And then I turn to them like a year and a half later. I'm like, "Oh, I did tie up variation and it works." And it's like, "Oh, I'm on to something now." I love that. That feeling's awesome. That's why we love to tie flies and go fish with them because you get that instant feedback like, "Yes, my design worked. Even though the Tom Rosenbauer design was great, I was able to put my own spin on it and that fish took it." And man, does it just make my day?
Tom R: It really is satisfying. It does make your day. Well, we have been talking to Tim Cammisa. Tim has a website called Trout and Feather. And you have a YouTube channel, right, as well with lots of fly tying and fishing tips and product reviews. And you also have a new book out. God, I almost forgot to mention your new book. You wanna tell people about your new book? We mentioned it on the last podcast but let's talk about it again.
Tim: Yeah. We mentioned it. I won't get into it too far. It's called "Fly Tying for Everyone." It's a fly tying book where we investigate a baker's dozen of flies. So there's 13 patterns that I selected that are dry flies, emergers, nymphs, streamers. And we selected those because they were built around this foundation of fly tying skills where there's the foundation of skills. It doesn't go from A to Z where you follow step one, step two, step three, and you tie these flies. Where I have the 13 flies, you can tie them in any order that you want, but the key with these flies is there's some great fly tying skills but then I also talk about how you fish them. And each one of these flies, they're fish catchers. So this isn't a book that you're gonna buy and you're gonna say, "All right. Well, Tim, is gonna teach me how to tie this fly, and then I have to apply it to a fly that actually catches fish." Like these are flies that are in my box like today. Like three of these flies I used on Saturday. And I think we talked about a couple of them. It's a list of flies like that.
The other kind of piece I wanted to grab with this book. I did an overview of fly tying materials and fly tying tools right now, you know, in 2020, 2021, 2022 because I think it's cool whenever... I'm somebody that's in the books, and I love to read, you know, past books and prior books and kind of see what they were tying with them. So I wanted to kind of mark this time and say, here are some of the things that we're doing right now. So I talk about a lot of modern materials and modern tools just so in 20 or 30 or 40 or 50 years when someone picks up my book, they're like, "Oh, cool, look what they were doing back in 2017."
Tom R: Yeah. I can't wait to find out what they're doing.
Tim : I can't wait. The future is great. I mean, think about today compared to when I learned 30 years ago. Oh, my gosh, the resource is a lot.
Tom R: Oh, yeah, huge difference. Huge difference.
Tom R: All right, Tim. Well, thank you for sharing an hour with us, and thanks for your thoughts on fly tying. I know we probably raised a few eyebrows, especially on that squirmy thing. But you know, I think that...hopefully, we encourage some people to do some more experimentation with their patterns.
Tim: You got it. Well, Tom, it's always a pleasure talking to you. Thanks for having me back. And for all the listeners out there, Tom is such a gracious host. He is just a wealth of knowledge as you all know, and, you know, on behalf of everyone, thanks for everything you do for fly fishing podcast.
Tom R: Thanks for listening to the "Orvis Fly Fishing Podcast" with Tom Rosenbauer. You can be a part of the show. Have a question or a comment, send it to us at