How to Tie a Scud Using a Plastic Bag [Video]


In todays fly tying video I show you how to tie a basic scud pattern using a plastic bag for the back of the fly.  Scuds are a pattern that every fly fisherman should have in their box and can range from size 14 up through as tiny as you want to go.

Click Here to see the video on tying a scud:


The Scud Fly Material List

Thread:  Size 70 Brown Ultra Thread

Hook:  Mustad C49S Size 14

Tail:  Olive Antron Dubbing

Rib:  Small Copper Wire

Body:  Olive Antron Dubbing

Back:  Plastic Back Cut in 1/8″ Strips


The importance of scuds for fish and fly fishing cannot be overstated.  They are in almost all water bodies and can be fished easily.  Take a look at this article that describes more about the scuds life history.

There are different ways to fish a scud but dead drifting on the bottom is the most common.

Please check in if you have any questions and click the link below if you like this video and want more like it delivered to your inbox.


How to Tie a Size #20 Serrendipity Fly Pattern


In todays fly tying tutorial I show you how to tie a super small size 20 serrendipity.  The serrendipity is a classic pattern that I first saw back in my college days.

We fished it effectively back then for large browns under an indicator.

Click here to watch the fly tying tutorial for the serendipity:


Fly Material List for the Serrendipity

Thread:  Size 70 Red Ultra Thread

Hook:  Mustad C49S Size 20

Body:  Small Red Uni Floss

Wing Case:  Deer Hair


The serrendipity can be fished effectively on a two fly setup.  Take a look at this link for a little more information on this series of flies and how to fish it.

Click the link below to get the 33 Fly Tying Tips PDF Guide:


How to Tie The Boss Steelhead and Salmon Pattern [Video]

the boss

I show you how to tie the Boss steelhead fly pattern in todays fly tying video.  The Boss was originated by Grant King to fish the Russian River but has been used in many other rivers and for other species around the country.

Click here to watch the video of the Boss:


The Boss Fly Material List

Thread:  Size 70 Ultra Thread

Hook:  Dai-Riki #899 size 6

Tail:  Black Calf Tail

Rib:  Gold oval tinsel medium

Body:  Black Chenille

Hackle”  Red Schappen

Eyes:  Bead Chain Eyes


This pattern can work great in faster sections where you need to get your fly down a little quicker.  Although designed for steelhead orginally, this pattern has been used and become as common with salmon fisherman.

There are a bunch of different colors, sizes and variations so experiment and try out different things.

Click the link below if you want to subscribe to receive new videos delivered to your inbox plus a pdf guide with 33 fly tying tips.


The History of Fly Rods in the 20th Century

fly rod history

Do you know your fly rod history in the last 100 years?  Yeah, I didn’t either.  But I listened to a great podcast recently and wanted to share that with you.

In this episode of Anchored with April Vokey you can here the history from Gary Loomis’ perspective

There are a bunch of great stories on fly rods and how graphite came to be.

Did you know Gary patented the ferrule?  Yeah, pretty cool stuff.

Here’s the link to the episode:

Gary Loomis – Life on the edge


I will follow up with you on the history of the fly rod in a later blog post but wanted to get this out there so you can have a nice listen on your way into work.

In this episode Gary talks about how Fenwick was the big company in the 70’s and first came out with the fly rod of the future.

fly rod history

He also talks about how he came up with some new inventions and ideas during is days at Lamiglas.

My first steelhead rod was a Lamiglas which I still have.

If you want to dig into the history of fly rods a little more take a read of the article below on fly fishing and rods after the war.

Fly Fishing History Post War Era


fly rod history
Freebridge on the Deschutes River


I hope you have a chance to listen to the episode above with Gary Loomis and that you get as much enjoyment out of it as me.

Click the red button in the side bar to get a free fishing guide.


The Flash Fly Fly Tying Tutorial [Video]

flash fly

I show you how to tie the flash fly in todays fly tying tutorial video.  The flash fly is a great summer or winter steelhead pattern.  I tie it sparse and in the traditional steelhead hair wing style.

Take a look below at the video and the fly tying recipe.  It is almost entirely flashabou and super easy to tie.

Click Here to watch the flash fly video:


Flash Fly Materials

Hook:  Dai-Riki #899 Size #6

Thread:  Size 70 Ultra thread

Tail, body and wing:  Purple flashabou

Hackle:  Dark Purple hackle


There is no question that purple is one of the best steelhead colors.  When you combine purple with a ton of flash you have yourself a special fly.

Click the link below to get your free fly fishing tool box that includes 5 great steelhead resources from the pros:


7 Easy Wet Fly Fishing Tips – A Perfect Technique for the Beginner

wet fly fishing


Wet fly fishing on rivers may seem a little old school to you.  You know, the wet fly swing?

Just hear me out for a moment and I’ll make it worth your while.

(Scroll below if you want direct access to the the 7 super rich tips – 8 isn’t really a tip but a call to action)

I’m standing in a large river almost touching the bank in a rifflely pocket run watching my fly swing across the waters surface.  

As it slows down on the swing by catching a current change, I feel the tug of something heavy.  This is the first time today fishing this run so my confidence has just been elevated.

Game on **@@%!!  That was pretty frickin simple yo (Yo?)

That was a world record yo.

ok, I just made a cast out across and down at about a 45 degree, made a little mend and then followed the line across the water with my rod tip.

Kaboom biaatch!  There was another nice fish.  This time the fat shoulders turn into the current and it’s time to battle.

You’ve probably heard a little about dry fly fishing and nymph fishing?  Wet fly fishing is one of those techniques that has taken a back seat for some of the newer flies and techniques.

Maybe wet flies are not sexy enough anymore.  Kind of what your dad used to do right?

I’m going to try and change your mind just a little bit today.  Just think of me as yoda and you are Luke Skywalker.  I need to show you the wet fly force so you can defeat the eval trout empire.

Ok, maybe that was a little far but I do love Yoda.  and he does have a point that there are times when unlearning may be the best route (or does that even make sense)?



Click here to see more Yoda Memes.


I’ll walk you through the basics of the wet fly swing so you have a techinique you can use to catch a fish regardless of your skill level.

I’m not shitting you.  Dry fly fishing takes a nice cast.  Nymphing requires you deal with getting snagged and breaking off flies.

But the wet fly is in the surface film so it’s worth a read to think about getting started.

By the end of this article you’ll have a new technique you can use to catch your first fish this week.

Note:  I am not talking about steelhead here.  If you want to learn about swinging flies for steelhead you can click here to check that out.

I am focusing on trout fishing here so let’s get into it.


Typical fly fishing gear

One of the great things about fishing the wet fly is that the gear setup is very simple.  No big indicators or weight and no dry fly floatant to worry about.

You can use a 9 foot 5 or 6 weight rod with a 9 foot leader and you are good to go.  You can adjust your rod weight with the size of the species you are going for.

Take a look here at other basic gear you need for fly fishing.  Because the wet fly swing is so simple there will be a lot of gear you won’t need at the start.  This is why is such a great beginner tactic.


How to cast a Fly Rod with the Wet Fly Swing

wet fly swing

This screenshot is from Orvis and a video that covers the basics.


Typicallly you are casting downstream and across at about a 45 degree angle to the current.  Look for riffle type habitat that has a uniform current and isn’t too deep.

Take a look at this short video that describes the swing:  swinging wet flies

You can see from the video how effortless casting a wet fly is with this technique.  If you use heavier streamer type flies things will get a little more challenging.  But, when starting out just use soft hackeled type flies (see below).

This is a great way to cover water when you aren’t sure exactly where the fish are holding.  See the Technique below for further clarification.


The Technique – Wet Fly Swing

The wet fly swing is exactly what it sounds like.  Swinging your fly across the water in a very methodical fashion to cover all of the water.

If you don’t know where the fish are in a run then this is a very effective method.

The Steps to covering a run:

wet fly swing

Figure 2 is from a great Midcurrent article.


  1. Start in close to cover the water right out in front of you first.  (note:  On large rivers, many newbies step right on and over fish heading out towards deeper water).
  2. For each cast, make it out and downstream and across at about a 45 degree angle.  See the photo above at Step A and click here for the article from MidCurrent.
  3. After you make your cast downstream and across, much of the time you will want to make a mend in the line to decrease the line speed and drag.  See the video below.   Controlling the speed of the fly is the key to the game so make sure to utilize mending to make sure your fly is presenting naturally to the fish.

4.  After making your mend, keep a tight line on the fly as it swings so you feel any touch from a fish.

5.  After the current swings the fly line and fly down below you make sure to let the fly dangle for a few seconds.  Fish can take the fly on this dangle or hand down so be ready.

6.  After a few seconds of the dangle, take a step or two downstream, pickup the line and make a similar cast out at a 45 degree angle.

7.  Repeat these steps until you finish the run.

8.  See the Tips sections on some other good reminders.

Take a look at Davy Wotton’s summary in this PDF for the teqhnique and a little bit of the history.


The Bugs (aka – entomology)

What is really going on with the wet fly and how is it different than a dry fly or a nymph?

This video describes a little about the mayfly life history.  There are a wide range of species and life histories but the important thing to note here is you are imitating that stage just before they get to the surface of the water.

I had to list one other resource from a mentor who is known very well in the west.  Here’s Rick Hafele’s bug blog.

One of my favorite books from Rick is Western Hatches.  It’s got more worn pages then bibles in Silverton.  

Take a look at the flies section below to see some of the common patterns to use while fishing the swing for trout.

rick hafele

Photo:  Rick Hafele photo on his website showing his classic style.


The Wet Fly Patterns 

The soft hackle flies are pretty much the standard for the wet fly swing.  That video shows you one of the all time classic soft hackled flies.  

A fly I have really come to love over the years for the wet fly swing is the dark tied down.  Take a look at the video:


You can use any of these wet flies when fishing the swing.  You don’t have to worry about setting the hook as the fish will do it for you.  Just keep your rod tip down and hold on.

Streamers can also be fished on the wet fly swing.  Kent at Gink and Gasoline provides a good summary on fishing streamers on the wet fly swing here.    if you are able to fish out of a boat an anchor above the deep slot this can prove to be very effective as noted in the post.


From Gink and Gasoline on Fishing Streamers on the Swing.


Reading the water

Look for areas that appear to have broken water or cover within larger runs but still allow your fly to swing naturally.


7 Rich Tips for the Wet Fly Swing

  1. Keep your rod tip low and follow your fly across the swing.
  2. For larger fish use a shock loop.
  3. Use a double fly setup to improve your odds – Clint does a good job covering it here.
  4. Add a little flash to flies or a little UV to make them attract – Not a must but purple, pink and hotspots seem to be the thing today so why not try it on your next old school pattern.
  5. Mend when needed to keep a natural drift – This helps to create a more natural swing
  6. Let your fly dangle (aka hangle down) – See The Technique section above
  7. Find the Buckets and stay with them – Once you fish a run and find the pockets where you hooked up, make sure to note those and spend more time on them next time.
  8. I challenge you to not catch a fish – My final tip is to always challenge yourself.  What are you going to try that’s new today?

two fly setup

The 2 fly setup from


Conclusion for Wet Fly Fishing

As noted in this post and many of the links throughout, the wet fly swing is one of the most effective methods for catching trout especially when you are brand new to fly fishing.

That’s because much of the extra gear, fluff and trash talk is not included.  The wet fly swing is an old traditional method which makes it all the better for me.

Have you done your research on the past fishers who put fly fishing on the map.  Do you know who paved the way for you to discover it?

Take the time to understand this and you will catch more fish and have a better connection with the sport.

Try to implement just one of my tips on your next trip and let me know how it goes.

Click the link below if you would like to get the Free PDF Guide to Fly Fishing.


Posting Fly Tying Photos on Instagram for the Fly Tying Challenge 30

fly tying photos

I’ve been getting a few questions from some on how to setup and post your #flytyingchallenge30 fly tying photos on Instagram.  If you haven’t seen the challenge you can click here to check it out.

I’ve really enjoyed connecting with everyone and we are only getting started.  I’ve been posting a new video everyday as well as my own little personal challenge.


Setup and Post your Fly Tying Photos on Instagram

  1.  Sign up for Instagram if you haven’t already completed that step.  click here and take a look at a quick video.


2.  After you have created an account and signed into Instagram you will need to post all photos on your phone.  Although there are programs that allow you to post via your desktop if you want to dig into that.  You can check out for more information on using your desktop.


3.  See the first iphone screenshot below that shows you which button to push to publish your first photo.



4.  After you click on the plus symbol the next screen will allow you to add a photo from your phone.  Click next after adding a photo (see photo below):



5.  After choosing the photo in step 4, you next need to write a caption and then click share.  Make sure to use the hashtag:  #flytyingchallenge30 so that everyone can see your fly pattern.

You can also add other # tags that relate to your pattern.  For example, if you were posting a euro nymph, you might use #euronymph, #flyfishing, #nymphing, etc.



6.  That’s all there is to it.  Send me a message here if you still have questions.  Let me know if a video would be helpful.  Click on the link below if you want to join the fly tying challenge!

Click Here to Join the Fly Tying Challenge


The Summer Crush Summer Steelhead Fly Pattern

summer crush steelhead fly

I was reminded of the Summer Crush steelhead pattern recently and loved to my classic flies list and the fly tying challenge.

Click here to see the video for the Summer Crush:


Summer Crush Fly Tying Material List

Hook:  Mustad #36890 Size 4

Thread:  Black size 70 Ultra thread

Tail:  Red Hackle

Rib:  Medium Silver Tinsel

Body: Burgundy Yarn

Hackle:  Red Schlappen

UnderWing:  Burgundy Bucktail

OverWing:  White Calftail



How to Tie a Chaddock Variation – Guest Fly Tying Video


I am happy to share a guest fly tying video from Darren at Piscator Flies.    Darren shows us how to tie the Chaddock which was a pattern created by Karl M. Haufler.  A great pattern to imitate leeches and is great for lakes and ponds.

Click Here to check out this guest video on the Chaddock:


Fly Materials for the Chaddock (variation)

Hook: Mustad 38941 #4-8 or 4-6xl hook
Thread: Black 6/0 140d
Butt: Red wool or chenille
Rear Collar: Peacock black schlappen
Ribbing: Medium silver oval tinsel
Body: 4-6 peacock herls
Collar: Peacock black schlappen

Chaddock Summary

The pattern was created by Karl M. Haufler of Edmonds, WA. The fly was designed to mimic a leech and is quite effective in lakes and ponds whether leeches are present or not. It is said to be especially effective with brook trout and the Lahontan cutthroat subspecies.
The original pattern uses a dark green phase peacock breast for the collars, but I’ve replaced this with natural black schlappen which is easier to obtain. Black hen hackle (whiting American) may also work for this purpose.
I wanted to give a big thanks to Darren for taking the time to post this great video.  Please click here and thank Darren if you get a chance.
If you like this video and want more fly tying videos delivered to your inbox, click on the button below and leave your email.



How to Tie the Green-Butt Skunk Dark

Green-Butt Skunk Dark

I show you how to tie the Green-Butt Skunk Dark in today’s fly tying tutorial.  The green butt is a classic steelhead fly and today demonstrate the classic hair wing style.

This fly works great swinging for summer steelhead but is an all around killer steelhead color (click here to see a post that describes steelhead fly colors).

Click here to watch the video for the Green Butt Skunk Dark (one update on hackle:  I use Teal Flank Feathers, not Guinea for the tail and hackle – Oops) 🙂


This video is part of the 30 Day Fly Tying Challenge.  If you want to check it out goto Instagram and search for #flytyingchallenge30 

You can check out more challenge details by taking a quick look at this post.


Green-Butt Skunk Dark Fly Tying Material List

Hook:  Dai-Riki #899 Size 6

Thread:  Black size 70 Ultra thread

Butt:  Small chartreuse chenille

Tail:  Teal Flank Feathers

Rib:  Medium Silver Tinsel

Body: Polar Dub Black

Hackle:  Black Schlappen and Teal Flank Feather

Wing:  Black Krystal Flash and Black Calftail


Thanks for checking out the pattern and sorry for the confusion on the Guinea and Teal feathers.  If you have any other questions about this or any other patterns please let me know.

Click the link below and subscribe with your email if you want the next fly tying video delivered to your inbox.


30 Fly Tying Tips and the Challengefly tying challenge


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