>>>What Are You Tying Today? Part V

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As I read the word "deerfly" and the pic was in my peripheral vision I actually "winced". Those deer fly's can bite like no other!!!
I find that the horsefly hurts A BIT more BUT they land on you like a crashing 747 so at least there is some warning!
Rivergod Emerger - This mayfly emerger pattern was first tied by Dennis Potter from Grand Rapids in 1985. The below pictured pattern is a PMD, but this can be tied in other colors to match the hatch.
Hook - TMC 100, 12-20 or TMC 2488, 22-24
Thread - to match insect
Tail - wood duck flank fibers
Shuck - Hi-Vis Wing material, tied 2/3rds length of tail (gold antron used)
Abdomen - for size 16 or smaller use tying thread, for larger sizes use dry fly dubbing
Wing - dark Z-lon (grey antron used here)
Thorax - dry fly dubbing, 1 turn behind wing then rest tied for thorax
Robber Fly - This "Michigan" dry pattern was actually first tied by a Pennsylvanian! Chauncy Lively first tied this fly in 1967 to represent the non-aquatic dipteran robber flies he saw while fishing on the south branch of the Au Sable River. Mr. Lively spent summers in Michigan at the time though he did eventually move to Michigan in 1974. Fish this fly the same way you'd fish any hopper pattern - near weeds near the shore. The robber fly is a predacious insect that hunts and feeds on other insects and can be found sitting on the water.
Hook - standard dry, 14
Thread - tan - for abdomen, black - for the rest of the fly
Tail/Abdomen - greyish tan deer hair, tied extended and a little thicker than a wooden matchstick with a tan thread crisscross
Body/Thorax - peacock herl
Wings - deer hair, divided and tied down delta style
Hackle - brown and grizzly, mixed
These are the last three flies I plan on tying, I think, for my Ontario trip. A couple of smallmouth sized poppers.


Rockhopper - A pattern developed by Al Rockwood back in 1938 when he was 16 years old. Al went on to become a well-known professional tyer later in his life. This pre-WWII pattern uses kapok, a popular tying material that became quite scarce during the war and is now coming back in favor, so if you are looking for pattern to use some of your new supply, this is a good one to try. NOTE: The preferred method to apply kapok is by using the split thread dubbing method as kapok is a great floating material BUT it is to short for a noodle dub and a dubbing loop tends to add unnecessary bulk.
Hook - Mustad 98431, 8-14
Thread - yellow
Body - kapok NOTE: Pre-WWII kapok ONLY came in its natural color as this material was next to impossible to dye. One reason the new material has become popular is that they have a new dying process that will take. Try a color or two that will best imitate the hoppers in your area.
Underwing - black calftail
Top Wing - turkey, the 2 quills to be treated with Fleximent or an art spray fixative and tied on both sides of the underwing
Hackle - brown and grizzly, mixed
Royal Bee - Designed in 2007 by Tom Deschaine as a searcher pattern dur the dog days of summer. Besides being a fine biology teacher, fly tyer, and rod builder Tom was a fine fly historian who's work this series of patterns is honoring.
Hook - Mustad 94833 or 94840, 12-16
Thread - black
Tail - red hackle fibers
Rib - yellow floss or gold thread
Body - black floss
Wing - mallard flank fibers; tied sparse, upright, and divided
Hackle - furnace
Simple Hex Spinner - Created by Mark Lord of Kingsley, MI in 1996.
Hook - Orvis 1526, 4-6 (Mustad 9672 used above)
Thread - yellow
Tail - 2 stripped grizzly hackle stems or peccary hairs
Underbody - yellow yarn
Overbody - natural deer hair; extended ~1/3 of the tail, tied in over the barb and flared, the spiral wrapped with the rib
Rib - tying thread, crisscrossed
Wings - white deer hair, poly or Z-lon, tied spent (poly used above)
Hackle - brown and grizzly, cree, or barred ginger (brown/grizzly mix used here)
Snowshoe Sulphur - This pattern was developed at Gate's Au Sable Lodge in 1989 by Rusty Gates and Josh Nethers. It is an emerger pattern for the sulphur hatch.
Hook - TMC 100, 16-18
Thread - light yellow
Shuck - light dun snowshoe hair
Body - tying thread
Post/Wing - white deer hair
Hackle - dun or ginger
Spent Poly Winged Caddis - Tom Deschaine states that Michigan is laying claim to this pattern even though no one knows who first tied it! It was first tied in the 1990's and can still be found in some Michigan fly shops and he says that he has not this pattern anywhere else in this country.
Hook - TMC 100, 16-20
Thread - green (or color of body)
Body - green superfine (or to match natural)
Wing - white poly, splayed across two sets of wings with back set shorter than the front set
Squirrel Back - Boyd Senter from Mio, MI designed this fly. Boyd was a professional musician who played with the bands of Jimmy Dorcey, Glenn Miller and Freddie Fisher. He could play 33 different instruments! Boyd was approached in 1959 by the Ford Motor Company to design 4 patterns for each of Ford's car models at that time - the Fairlane, Galaxy, Thunderbird and Falcon (posted earlier in this series). The Squirrel Back was designed as a generalized attractor pattern.
Hook - Mustad 94840 or 94833, 12-14
Thread - black
Body - peacock herl
Wing - grey squirrel body hair, tied down over body
Hackle - brown and grizzly, mixed (when he first tied the fly, Boyd used brown and grey, mixed)
Doesn't seem to be to many interested in bass flies here, but here's a few new ones
20220802 181824
20220806 080655
20220806 180408
20220809 185938
20220809 190021


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SRB (Secret Rubber Bug) - Designed by well-known Michigan tyer, Rusty Gates back in the late 1980'3 early 1990's to imitate a deer fly. To tie, first cut the foam to shape (think a double capital "P" shape with one of the P's backwards), tie the foam handle on the shank, wrap thread and peacock then wrap body, then pull foam over as a shellback and tie down, lastly add wings and hackle.
Hook - standard dry, 12-16
Thread - black
Shellback - 2 MM black foam
Body - peacock herl
Wings - grizzly hackle trips, tied spent and swept back
Hackle - grizzly
I've been postings for dries lately (my weaker area of tying!). Here is a combination of a dry and its related nymph wet fly. Again, from Tom Deschaine's fine work as a fly historian. Enjoy!

Strawman (dry) - Paul Young designed both patterns shown here in the 1930's. Paul was a recognized tyer and rod builder from Detroit. The nymph version was developed first and was to be fished either wet or dry. He saw that other fisher were having great success fishing the nymph dry that he developed this dry pattern. Each version can be tied in four versions - black hair with gold ribbing (shown on the dry), light hair with yellow floss ribbing (shown on the nymph pattern), brown with black ribbing, and white with silver ribbing. The only difference he made in the designs was a lighter hook and longer cut deer hair for the dry version.
Hook - dry fly, 10-14
Thread - brown
Tail - mallard flank fibers, tied long
Rib - gold flat tinsel
Body - black deer hair. spun with spaces between the spun hair for the rib and cut to ~ the hook gap length

Strawman (Nymph) - Similar to the above. Also, Paul originally tied this pattern without a rib and on a standard nymph hook. It is a variation of a fly from Canada that Paul's friend, W. O. Stoddard. Also, he originally fished this fly dry and changed to a wet after the pattern had taken on water. This pattern also could be tied in the four color combinations. This fly is a cased caddis imitation.
Hook - standard nymph hook, 12-14
Thread - brown
Tail - mallard flank, tied long
Rib - yellow silk floss
Body - light deer hair, spun (no separations here) and trimmed to about 1/2 a gaps length
Teacher - This simple pattern is from Boyd Senter. Boyd opened a sporting goods shop after his retirement as an accomplished big band and jazz musician - he played with Tommy Dorsey, Glenn Miller, and Freddie Fisher and led his own jazz band, Boyd Senter and the Senterpedes. He sold his own patterns in his store as well as repairing instruments for local high school bands. This is meant as an all-purpose tie with the larger sized flies for summer use and the smaller sized patterns for use in the fall for the BWO's.
Hook - Mustad 94840 or 94833, 12-24
Thread - black
Body/Tail - natural deer hair tied around the shank and extended beyond the hook bend as the tail
Rib - tying thread crisscrossed on the body
Hackle - brown and grizzly, mixed
Texas Hopper - Art Winnie designed this hopper fly in 1949. Though he never said what type of animal hair was used on the underwing, he did say that the material helped to make a rugged tie. Also, calf tail and squirrel tail were commonly used materials at that time. The fly got its name because the first big order Art got for this fly was from the state of Texas.
Hook - dry fly, 4-14
Thread - black
Tail - red duck quill, tied in a "V"
Body - white chenille, tapered
Underwing - red calf tail or squirrel tail
Wing - mottled turkey, tied down over body
Hackle - brown
Weed Seed - Created in the mid- to late 2000's by Mike Schultz, the owner and head guide of Schultz Outfitters of Ypsilanti, MI. This is one of those patterns that looks like nothing and everything. It's a typical guide pattern - a quick and easy tie that's deadly on the water!
Hook - dry fly, 8-14
Thread - tan
Tail - pearl Krystal Flash, 2 strands tied long
Body - deer hair, tied long past the bend of the hook and flared
Rib - crisscross thread
Head - clipped ends of the body deer hair. caddis style
Yellow Bellied Mattress Thrasher - Craig Perry, a river guide from Grayling, MI, designed this pattern in the early '80's. It is a general stonefly imitation.
Hook - 2 XL dry fly, 8-10
Thread - black
Abdomen - black dubbing
Rib - dark dun dry hackle, palmered on abdomen
Wing - deer hair, tied down over back
Thorax - yellow dubbing
Hackle - dark dun, palmered on thorax
Yellow Stone - Designed by Bill Koernke from Grayling Michigan. He was the owner of Bill's Fly Shop back in the 1980's and '90's.
Hook - Mustad 94840 or 94833,16
Thread - light olive
Body - 50/50 mix of yellow rabbit and olive rabbit dubbing
Rib - grizzly hackle, palmered
Wing - mottled turkey, single-tied flat and extended 1 gap width beyond the end of the hook
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