Lee Wulff is a legend in fly fishing and his flies really are icons. I have mentioned earlier that I love american classics. Lee Wulff tied the first ones all the way back in 1929, and this style of tying has inspired thousands of fly tiers around the globe. The style of tying are numerous,but they always have the wing in common. As always there will be discussions on how the Wulff really ought to look like,as with all variants of patterns. I have taken the liberty to change the material for the tail. I mainly use moose mane,rather than bucktail. The reason is purely aesthetic. I use and tie the many of the established variants in the series,and have added a few color variations for myself. These flies are excellent searching patterns,and they work especially well on fast flowing rivers. I find them both beautiful and efficient for a great deal of fishing situations.
The Stimulator is one of the best known attractor patterns there is. The fly is tied in a great number of variants and colors. It can be fished as a stonefly or a caddis pattern,as well as a general searching fly. I use it mainly when the weather is rough or the river runs high. Tie it in any color to suit your needs.
The grey/white variant pictured below is my choice in the autumn,when big moths constantly crashes into the water in the evening. It works exceptionally well in my local river at that time of the year. It is supposed to be scruffy and roughly tied.
I very rarely fish stonefly patterns. But sometimes they can appear in large numbers. If you experience this,you will most likely have a great time fishing. They take to the water to drink. The Dinocras Cephalotes is the largest stonefly here in Scandinavia.
This pattern originates from Staffan Lindstrøm,and it is essential when fishing the great river Rena here in Norway. These are quite large insects and the fish will not let this meal pass. I use Staffans 123 yarn for the body,a mix of organza and antron yarn for the wings. Then use a paper clip and mix a few colors of cdc to create the head and legs on the imitation.
The Daddy Long Legs is a crucial pattern when fishing in Scandinavia. When fishing high altitude lakes and stillwater in general it will also work very well as an attractor. The fly can be tied in numerous ways,with a vast variety of materials,and they´ll probably all be great fishing flies. The legs can also be made from many different materials. I do not think it is necessary to tie knots on quills,but it looks very nice. I have a great little tool for this purpose. Here´s a few suggestions…
This is close to the original pattern. Sort of the classic english tying style. Legs from pheasant,wings from hackle tips and a turkey quill body. I use the thread as ribbing to secure the quill body.
Here is a version with extended abdomen made from micro-chenille,japanese organza for the wings and cdc hackle. The legs on this one are made from ozark turkey quills.
Being an old dj I like to mix things up sometimes. And yes,I´ve got a hang up on emergers and it is again caused by inspiration. The first is Dave Wiltshire´s Cdc Emerger and the second one being The Sparkle Dun Variant. Now,blend in some Gary La Fontaine and you´ve got these two all mixed up patterns. My guess is that these will fish quite well. Hook is the brilliant TMC 212Y.
I very often look to Mike Valla´s brilliant book “Tying Catskill-style Dry Flies”(2009) for inspiration. Everyone who is serious about tying and fishing Catskill-style patterns should read this. The last couple of weeks I have been occupied tying for a local shop. That means tying at least 20-30 of the same pattern every day,but I´m not good at keeping the numbers up anymore…(starting to get old). This morning I just had to tie something else. Tying flies inspired by this style has a relaxing effect on me. All tiers have their own style and their own way of doing things,and patterns develop around the world. I tend to tie my Catkills with a shorter hackle and they are dressed a bit more “bulky”. I also often tie them in darker colors. That´s simply because that style suits my fishing better. I tie them this way for the same reasons the Catskill-style developed inspired by english tying-styles. That is to make the flies suitable for and effective in my area or region of the world,or wherever else I might be fishing. Hooks here are TMC 531 sz.13 and TMC 100 sz. 12.
Tying and fishing ant patterns is great fun. It all starts in late spring/early summer here in Norway. When the sun starts heating the forest bed and the stones around the lake ants start to move around. They crawl around on the warm stone often falling down into the water. Sometimes they are caught by the wind. The fish are always interested in an ant. They are an easy prey besides being an important source of protein for the fish. I use several different patterns for this kind of fishing situations. Flying ants are the largest and it seems like the fish prefer them to the common ants. Here is a few of my patterns…Ants also work great as a general attractor all season.
This one is made with standard Fly Rite and a spun body of cdc and rabbit guard hairs. Clear antron for the wing.
The classic style of tying the common ant. Black Fly Rite and brown rooster hackle with rusty UNI. Black flying ant with hackle clipped top/bottom. It is hard to get the right kind of foam for this fly.
Brown flying ant with legs of brown deer hair. Wing of clear antron.
The Mikulak Sedge
Nelson Caddis (Elk Hair style)
My “original” Nelson Caddis. Wing made from norwegian roe deer.
The last few days a number of people have found my site searching for the Nelson Caddis. My earlier post on this fly has a tiny photo,so I thought it would be good with a new one. The Nelson is a great pattern for the larger caddis. It works on both stillwater and running water. I am not sure of the origin of this fly,but the style of the wing makes me think of some steelhead patterns I’ve seen. While browsing the net the other day I came across a very similar pattern named Mikulak Sedge. The creator of this pattern is a canadian named Art Mikulak. He created the fly in the 70’s. He cuts the hackle top and bottom,ties in a tail and uses seal’s fur for the body. He also leaves a stub of the elk hair in the front,like on the Elk Hair Caddis. This style of fly is very durable altough it takes time to tie compared to other caddis/sedge patterns.
In my early years of fly tying I thought that parachute patterns was the best imitation for the dun stage. That was also what I learned from the magazines,books and the more experienced anglers I knew. The truth is that a parachute fly really imitates the change from nymph to dun. It also works great as a drowned dun in rough waters or weather conditions. I find myself fishing the emergers and spent spinners way more than I do the dun stage. To our eyes the parachute may look as the perfect imitation for a dun, but it’s really not.
That’s why I carry a bunch of classic hackled flies in my boxes,in addition to parachutes and all the other oddballs I may create during the winter. I absolutely prefer the Catskill patterns for this purpose,but using ordinary dubbing and antron yarn in the wings makes it easier and faster to tie. I find this style of flies to be very durable as well as easy for the beginner. I normally tie the wing using V-style, but don’t make them to thick, as this will disturb the balance of the fly. If desireable one can use fluorescent color for the wing. It seems to mean nothing to the fish…