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Mr. Bill

by Elaine Cook

This is my number one “go to” dry fly for trout in either still or moving water. Very important to follow these directions carefully when it comes to proportions, thread wraps and handling and positioning materials. Some helpful hints (tips) will be included that can be applied for tying other flys.

Hook: TMC or TFS 100, or equivalent standard dry fly hook. Sizes 12-16

Thread: black 8/0, 12/0 for size 16 hooks if you wish.

Tail: golden phesant tippet (5-6 barbs) (Tip: Names of the parts of a feather: stem- projection from skin, Barb- projection from stem, barbule- projection from Barb which are difficult to see in most feathers.)

Body: peacock herl with long, easy to see barbules (2-3) (Tip: Herl is fragile , test by gently pulling on tip. If it breaks further than one inch down, discard. Whole feathers are usually better than packaged. Have found whole feathers at the farmers market in Aptos.).

Wing: white calf tail (crinkly, not straight hairs)

Hackle: brown saddle. Tip: Saddle hackle feathers are long, have soft stems, and barb lengths are the same. Best used for dry flies, popper necks, and some buggers. Neck hackle feathers are short, have stiff stems, barbs become shorter near tip. Best used for streamers, popper legs and tails, some buggers, barbs of side feathers for tails on dry flies.

Glue: Zap-A-Gap, Supper Glue, or similar

1. Crimp barb.

2. Attach thread mid shank, leave hanging NO further forward.

3. Tie tail to top of shank, extending shank length beyond shank. Cut any butt ends at MID shank.Position thread at rear of shank.

4. Attach herl tips. Using dubbing hook, form loop with herl, advance thread to MID shank, twist tomake chenille, wrap forward to MID shank. Tie off, cut excess.

5. Wing will be made with 2 small clumps of hairs.  Holding tips, cut one clump from tail. (Tip: always cut hair VERY close to hide.) Clean out all under fur. Using large stacker, stack TIPS.  Remove any more underfur or short hairs. Position on top of shank, tips above mid tail, make one thread wrap around hair only. Then one around both hair and shank, 2 more snug wraps- each one BEHIND the last. Cut butt ends at an angle, tie down butts. Apply sm. amt. glue, using tip of bodkin, to thread wraps and tied down hair. ( Tip: A moderate amount of glue placed in a plastic lid will not set up for quite awhile. This makes application of sm. amts. glue with bodkin easy.) Position thread right in front of wing. Repeat above with 2nd clump of hair. Position thread right infront of wing.

6. Splay barbs at butt end of hackle. Cut 4-5 short on both sides of stem forming a crew cut. Tie in crew cut. Position thread right in front of wing. Make 3-5 close hackle wraps forward forcing thread forward. Tie off, cut excess. Trim any whiskers. Wrap thread head if not already formed while tying in materials. Tie off. Sm. amt. glue to head.

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Schroeder Hopper

by Elaine Cook. Fly Tying Master

This grasshopper pattern has been around for many years and the trout sure like it. Most hopper patterns today feature foam bodies and rubber legs, which are easier to tie and are more durable. There are times when the foam flies don’t work and the fish gobble the Schroeder imitation up. Since hoppers come in a variety of colors, the fly can be tied with wings in tan or cream. The body in tan, cream, yellow, brown, green or orange.

  • Hook: TMC 5212 or 5262.  Sizes 8/12
  • Thread: brown or tan. 8/0
  • Post: white calf body
  • Body: golden-brown Antron dubbing
  • Wing: mottled turkey quill
  • Legs: Ringneck Pheasant tail feather
  • Hackle: grizzly saddle
  • Thorax: same as body
  • Wing and Leg Coating: Flexament or clear lacquer spray

1. Coat or spray wing feather. Allow to dry.

2. Crimp barb.

3. Attach thread behind eye. Wrap to 1/3 back on shank.

4. Cut small clump calf hair from hide. Remove underfur. Stack tips. Position on top of shank, tips 1/2 shank length forward. Make several wraps to secure. Cut excess buts at an angle. Wrap down butts. Hold post upright, making many thread wraps in front of it to hold position. To secure, make several wraps around base, then pull thread to rear and make several wraps around shank. Repeat a couple times.

5. Wrap thread to rear of shank. Dub generous tapered body forward to 1/8 in. Behind post.

6. Separate barbs on quill wing making section equal to hook gap. Cut from stem.cut butt end straight across. Round the other end. Length equal to hook length. Place butt against post. Tie in place.

7. I like to prepare many ahead. Cut 4 barbs from stem and tie knot in center for each leg. This is tricky to do. Look on U-tube for various techniques, or buy them already prepared. Coat to reinforce. Tie in one on each side of wing. Knee should be near bend of hook. Trim length (see sample). Dub more over wing and leg tie in section.

8. Prepare butt end of hackle with crew cut. Tie in crew cut in front of post. Holding upright, make a couple thread wraps to hold in place. Dub generous thorax from eye to post. Wrap thread clockwise around post leaving it hanging on your side of fly. Wrap hackle clockwise around base of post 3 times. Holding hackle toward you and slightly down, bring thread up infront of hackle stem, then around base of post 3 times, then forward to eye. Tie off, cut excess. Cut excess hackle. Apply sm. Amt. glue to final thread wraps and base of post.

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Bead Chain Bugger

by Fly Tying Master. Elaine Cook

This bugger pattern is very effective when twitched or stripped using a sinking line in stillwater. It can be varied in size and color. You will find this easy to tie.   Hooks: 4-12.   Body Colors: solid black, mottled black/olive, mottled black/brown, mottled black/tan, mottled brown/tan.  Tail, Hackle and Thread: color to match one of body colors. My favorite is as follows.

  • Hook: TMC 5263 size 8
  • Thread: 8/0 olive
  • Eyes: sm. or med. bead chain
  • Tail: fluffy olive marabou
  • Hackle: saddle, dun color, barbs equal to 1 and 1/2 hook gap
  • Body: mottled black/olive ,med. size
  • Glue: Super Glue , Zap-A-Gap or similar

1. Crimp barb.

2. Attach thread behind hook eye. Touching wraps to 1/3 back then forward to one hook eye length behind eye.

3. Attach bead chain eyes on top of shank with multiple  crisis-cross wraps then wraps around under side of balls but on top of shank. Repeat several times. Apply glue. Position thread mid shank.

4. Position marabou on top of shank, tips extending hook length to rear of shank. Tie in place up to bead chain then back to rear  of shank. Cut butts behind bead chain.

5. Holding tip of hackle, stroke bars so they stand out at right angles to stem. Tie in tip.

6. Pull fibers off 1/4 inch of end of chenille. Tie in exposed strings.

7. Position thread behind eyes. Wrap chenille forward in touching wraps. Tie off, cut excess. Palmer hackle forward in 6 wraps. Tie off, cut excess.

8. Wrap thread head in front of eyes. Whip finish. Cut thread. Apply glue.

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Shad Dart

by Fly Tying Master - Elaine Cook

This, easy to tie, fly pattern has many material and color variations. Try using it for shad in rivers or perch in the surf. Shad fishing is right around the corner. And of course perch can be targeted usually in spring, summer and fall. Our surf fishouts will begin soon and may be an acceptable CDC outing due to the ability to practice social distancing of 6 feet or more.

  • Hook: Mustad 34007 or Eagle Claw 253SS , sizes 4-10
  • Thread: 6/0 , color to match head
  • Eyes: med size bead chain
  • Tail: marabou or calf tail, red, orange or white
  • Flash and Body: crystal  flash, red, orange or pearl
  • Head: sm. chenille or crystal chenille, red or orange
  • Coating: Sally Hansen’s Hard as Nails nail polish
  • Glue: Supper Glue, Zap-A-Gap or similar
  1. Crimp barb.
  2.  Attach thread behind hook eye. Touching wraps to mid shank then forward to 2 eye lengths behind eye.
  3. Tie in bead chain eyes on top of shank with many crisis-cross wraps and circular wraps below balls but above shank. Apply glue. Position thread at rear of shank.
  4. Use sm. amt. tail material. If calf tail,clean out underfur. Position material on top of shank. Tips, shank length to rear. Tie in place up to bead chain. Cut excess.
  5. Using 3 strands of crystal  flash, bend in half forming a loop. Tie to top of shank withloopextendingto tipof tail. Position thread behind bead chain. Wet strands. With touching wraps, wrap forward to bead chain, then back to tail, then forward again. Tie off, cut excess. Cut loop. Apply glue to body.
  6. Remove some fibers from end of chenille. Tie in strings behind bead chain. Position thread in front of bead chain.wrap chenille around both beads forming a round head.tie off, cut excess. Multiple thread wraps behind hook eye. Tie off, cut thread. Apply glue.
  7. Coat body and tie off thread wraps with Sally Hansen’s.
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Schroeders Parachute Hopper

It’s never too early to get ready for summer with a few hoppers. This old pattern continues to be very effective and has an entirely different profile than foam patterns.

Hook: TMC 5262 or 5612, sizes 6 – 12
Thread: Tan 8/0
Post: White calf body
Body: Golden brown Antron dubbing
Wing: Mottled turkey quill feather
Legs: Ringneck Pheasant tail feather
Hackle: Grizzly, barbs 1 1/2 – 2 times hook gap
Thorax: Same as body

  1. Crimp barb.
  2. Attach thread behind eye in touching wraps 1/3rd back.
  3. Cut a small clump of calf body hair from hide. Clean and stack. Lay on shank with tips forward extending 1/2 shank length beyond tie in; securely tie in. Cut butts at an angle; wrap down. Holding upright make many wraps in front to hold upright.
  4. Dub generous body to within 1/8” of post.
  5. Treat windings with lacquer or Flexament. Separate section of quill 1/4” wide, cut according to diagram. Place round end to rear of fly, butt up against the post and tie in place.
  6. Using 6 – 8 Pheasant feather barbs, tie knot in center (tricky, go to web for techniques). Apply Zap-A-Gap to keep fibers together. Tie in one leg on each side behind post according to diagram. Cut excess.
  7. Prep hackle end with “crew-cut” (diagram). Tie in front of post. Hold upright and tie to base of post.
  8. Dub generous thorax. Leave thread hanging on your side of shank.
  9. Make 3 – 4 hackle wraps around base of post. While holding hackle downward, make 3 thread wraps around base of post.
  10. Tie off behind eye. cut excess hackle