Reader Favorites – Summer 2019

A Very Special Reader Favorite

[by Dave Klausmeyer]

I’ll tell you a secret: Editing Reader Favorites is the last thing I do when preparing Fly Tyer magazine for publication. After all the editing and taking many of the dozens of photographs that appear each issue, it’s fun to dive into my mail inbox and open the letters and packages of flies you send for this fun column. It’s great seeing what patterns you are tying and fishing. Jordan Etele, of Sidney, British Columbia, submitted this very special Reader Favorites fly. Jordan is obviously a fledgling young tier possessing excellent skills. Receiving his fly was a joy, and I think his letter speaks for itself!

Would you like for your fly to appear in Fly Tyer magazine? Send your favorite fly, along with the complete pattern recipe and a brief description of how you tie or fish it, to: Reader Favorites, Fly Tyer magazine, P.O. Box 131, Ellsworth, ME 04605. (Sorry, but all flies become the property of Fly Tyer. Hey, I have to have something to fish with!)

Reader Favorites


Hook: Long-shank streamer hook, sizes 10 to 6.
Thread: Size 6/0 (140 denier) in your choice of color.
Body: Pieces of art foam board glued to the hook shank and then wrapped with thread.
Head (optional): Roll back and glue the end of the body to the hook.
Tail: Flashabou and deer hair wrapped together with thread.
Eyes (optional): Adhesive eyes work great.
Back: A tuft of barred rabbit fur, Flashabou, or feather fibers.

I only began tying flies in the winter of 2017, and have had great pleasure making almost 800 flies since. I removed my golf plaques from a wall near my desk and hung a rack for fly tying supplies, feathers, and accessories. Here are four of my dragonflies. I live on a lake, and the bass just eat these up. I purchased dragonflies that would last only one afternoon because the bluegills hammered them, but the monofilament wings on my flies eliminate these nuisance strikes; the bluegills can’t get their little mouths around them. The bass, however, are another story! Jon McKee Germantown Hills, Illinois


Hook: Mustad 9671, size 8.
Head: Small or medium gold cone.
Thread: Black 3/0 (210 denier).
Tail: Rabbit fur with two strands gold and green Krystal Flash on each side.
Underbody: Black wool yarn.
Body: Peacock herl and one strand of gold, green, and wine Krystal Flash.
Hackle: Black.
Rib: Fine gold wire.

I conceived of this pattern about 20 years ago while in Louisiana for Mardi Gras. So far I’ve caught 19 species of fish using it.
Jim Edwards
Santa Ana, California


Hook: Daiichi 2720, size 3/0.
Thread: Size 6/0 (140 denier) in your choice of color.
Weed guard: 50-pound-test hard monofilament.
Tail: Black and orange barred rabbit Zonker strip.
Body: Black, orange, and yellow deer hair.

I’ve fished with deer hair bugs that looked like frogs for my whole life. I did very well, but nothing to write home about. In the past five years, I have been making bugs that look like a favorite water snake found in my area. This fly catches bass!

Armand Courchaine
Marlborough, Massachusetts


Hook: Mustad SL53UBL, size 2.
Thread: White 8/0 (70 denier).
Tag: Flat gold tinsel.
Tail: Golden pheasant crest.
Butt: Black ostrich herl.
Body: Yellow floss and black Hareline Steelhead Dubbing.
Rib: Oval silver tinsel.
Wing: Red-crested pheasant breast feather, a yellow breast feather, a peacock feather, and a slip of bronze mallard.
Throat: Blue guinea fowl. Cheeks: Jungle cock.

This fly is intended to be a Spey-style Jock Scott. The wing consists of red-crested pheasant and peacock feathers tied similarly to the wing of a General Practitioner.
Jason Dobbs
Conway, Arkansas


Hook: Mustad 9672, size 12 or 10.
Thread: Orange 8/0 (70 denier).
Tail: Ring-necked pheasant tail fibers.
Abdomen: Tying thread.
Rib: Narrow gold wire.
Thorax: Hare’s-ear fur dubbing.
Wing: Lemon wood duck.
Head: Peacock herl.
Head cement: Orange paint.

In 1995, my wife and I began our 11-year residence in Southern California. I began scouting streams in the San Gabriel Mountains. The fish in a particular stream were overly resistant to my offerings, so for that stream, I designed a fly that contains only natural materials. Keeping with the natural theme, I use Pearsall’s silk thread and floss.
Tom Cody
Vicksburg, Mississippi


Hook: 2X-long nymph hook, size 10 or 8.
Thread: White 3/0 (210 denier).
Weight: Lead-free wire.
Tail: Golden olive marabou.
Body: Pearl braid.
Wing: Golden olive marabou and peacock Krystal Flash.
Lateral line: Thin gray marabou.
Belly: White marabou.
Throat: Golden olive marabou.
Head: Olive and orange permanent marker.
Eyes: Black permanent marker.

Tui chubs are important forage fish in alkaline lakes. You’ll find them in Pyramid Lake.
Matt Pinsonneault
Chico, California


Hook: Long-shank saltwater hook, size 6 or 4.
Thread: Tan 6/0 (140 denier).
Tail: Beige calftail.
Antennae: Two strands of Super Hair or Supreme Hair.
Eyes: Melted monofilament.
Body: Beige chenille.
Legs: Beige hackle.
Shellback: Beige Thin Skin.

This is my imitation of a sand shrimp. I fish it in the Bras d’Or Lakes on Cape Breton. These lakes contain brackish water. So far this fly has caught Atlantic salmon, brook trout, rainbow trout, brown trout, striped bass, white perch, and more.
G. Osmond
Pipers Cove, Nova Scotia


Hook: Kamasan B 100, size 14.
Thread: Yellow 6/0 (140 denier).
Abdomen: Closed-cell foam.
Hackle: Female black grouse
Thorax: An equal blend of brown SLF dubbing and brown Glister Sparkle Dubbing.

Cut a two-millimeter-wide strip of foam. Twist and release the foam so it doubles onto itself, and then tie the abdomen to the hook and complete the fly. It is essential that this pattern floats in the surface film.
Bengt-Olof Eriksson
Lesjofors, Sweden


Hook: Tiemco TMC 5263, size 1.
Head: Skull Bead.
Thread: Black 3/0 (210 denier).
Body: Black Haute Fur Yarn.
Legs: Rubber legs.

Chuck this bad boy anywhere largemouth bass are lurking. Let it sink, strip and twitch it back in, and bingo bango, fish on! Look for Skull Beads and Haute Fur Yarn in your local crafts store.

David Bagley
Lees Summit, Missouri


Hook: Tiemco TMC2488, size 22 or 20.
Thread: Brown 8/0 (70 denier).
Head: Coffee-colored small tungsten bead.
Tail: Root beer Krystal Flash.
Abdomen: Tying thread.
Rib: Small black wire.
Wing: Pearl Krystal Flash.
Thorax: Black Ice Dub.

I use the Morning Coffee Midge in the morning when the sun is warming Colorado’s cold tailwater rivers. Fish this pattern as a midge emerger or a dropper behind a dry fly.
Scott Trainor
Littleton, Colorado


Hook: Tiemco TMC2457, sizes 16 to 12.
Thread: Black 8/0 (70 denier).
Head: Copper bead, size to match the hook.
Tail: Dark mottled turkey tail fibers.
Abdomen: The excess butt ends of the tail.
Rib: Copper wire.
Thorax: Black Ice Dubbing.

As a guide, I sometimes had to sit down in the evening and cobble together a few flies for the next day of fishing. We call these “guide flies,” and most of the time you won’t find them in a fly shop, because they aren’t sexy enough to sell. This pattern worked well on the North Yuba, Truckee, Lower Sacramento, and McCloud Rivers in California.
Ralph Wood
Grass Valley, California


Hook: Mustad 78580, size 4.
Thread: Black 6/0 (140 denier).
Tail: Black marabou.
Body: Silver Crystal Chenille.
Throat: Red saddle hackle fibers.
Wing: White and black bucktail.
Eyes: White and black enamel paint.

A classic wooden lure inspired this pattern. It is my best trolling fly. Use it with a sinking line when fishing lakes and other deep water.
Pierre Henrichon
Saint-Hippolyte, Quebec


Hook: Regular dry fly hook, sizes 18 to 12.
Thread: Gray or black 8/0 (70 denier).
Tail: Moose body hair or brown artist paintbrush fibers.
Egg sac: Fluorescent orange thread.
Body: Adams gray dry fly dubbing.
Wings: Gray calftail.
Hackle: Grizzly.

This is an effective, easy-to-tie variation of the venerable Adams. The calftail wings are far less expensive than hackle wings.
Martin Amsel
Ossining, New York


Hook: Regular dry fly hook, sizes 20 to 16.
Thread: Black 10/0.
Legs: Micro rubber legs.
Body: Herl from a peacock eye.

Lob this fly onto a stream and fish it with a dead drift. The current will give the spindly legs action that initiates strikes.

John Brookes Randall
Racine, Wisconsin


Hook: Regular wet fly hook, sizes 18 to 12.
Thread: Tan 8/0 (70 denier).
Body: Cream fur.
Rib: Copper wire.
Hackle: Ginger variant.
Hot spot: Orange yarn.

I tie this pattern using fur from my dog, Buddy. This basic wet fly has proved effective, and I carry eight variations in what I call my go-to fly box.
Steve Arenholz
Brighton, Colorado