Nick Pionessa, a professional fly tyer from New York, takes us on a journey today of becoming a full-time production fly tyer, tying over 100 dry flies for trout a day. We hear about the story of how he got started fly tying and eventually made a living out of it. Nick walks us through some of the most effective and requested dry fly patterns.

This episode is loaded with a bunch of dry fly tying tips. You’re going to want to stop what you’re doing and get on your workstation while listening to this.

Discover Nick’s Top 5 Dry Fly Patterns! If you love fly tying, you gonna love this one!


Click below and listen to the Dry Flies for Trout Podcast with Nick Pionessa:

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(Read the Full Transcript at the bottom of this Blog Post)


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Dry Flies for Trout Show Notes with Nick Pionessa

04:13 – One of Nick’s first fly rods is an Eagle Claw fly rod

04:28 – Nick took a fly tying class in high school with Jim Keech

05:15 – He does a little guiding in the great lakes

06:00 – Rick Kustich used to own a fly shop in Albion Oak Orchard, NY – his partner Bob Morrisey gave Nick his first fly tying order

10:37 – When Nick worked in a fly shop, he tied 100 trout flies a day

18:15 – Tim Flagler was on the podcast at WFS 279 and he shared some great tips on fly tying


20:01 – Nick’s flies go as far as Alaska

21:27 – Last year, Nick’s most popular fly was the Peacock Emerger

flies for trout

26:26 – Parachute Spinner

flies for trout

31:59 – Nick describes his technique in tying the Peacock Emerger

35:19 – Nick describes the Para-Spinner technique

36:46 – Most of Nick’s parachute patterns have poly yarn material for the wing

39:55 – Calf tail is his least favorite material to work with

40:55 – The Disabled Dun Hendrickson

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46:47 – If Nick could only have one dry fly, he would choose the Sparkle Dun (Craig Matthews original)

48:52 – One of the dry flies that Nick fished with the most is the Yellow Bodied Stimulator

50:10 – The Thorax by Mike Lawson lost some of the points that its originally known for

55:06 – The big no-nos in fishing the fish that are actively spawning

58:10 – For steelhead, Nick tied and used the Bill Spey a lot

flies for trout

1:01:40 – Collins Hackle in New York is recommended for the second time – Tim Cammisa recommends them too

1:02:30 – Nick gives some tips on tying small dry flies

  • You have to see what you’re doing – have proper magnification, proper visibility, wear glasses if necessary
  • Use proper thread
  • If you’re a beginner tier, use half of what you started with as far as the material – try to keep everything as thin as possible
  • Get some good photos of the actual bug that you’re trying to make a fly pattern of
  • Be as familiar as you possibly can be with what you’re trying to imitate

1:03:30 – For threads, Nick recommends Veevus 16/0

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1:06:34 – Nick describes how he does his shanks


You can find Nick here on Instagram @magogsmelt

Website at

Nick’s Guiding Service Crew at

flies for trout


Nick’s Top 5 Dry Flies for Trout Patterns

  1. Peacock Emerger
  2. Parachute Spinner
  3. Sparkle Dun (Craig Matthews original)
  4. Yellow Bodied Stimulator
  5. Bill Spey


Related Podcast Episodes

WFS 277 – Advanced Fly Fishing Tips for Steelhead with Rick Kustich

WFS 279 – Tim Flagler on Tightline Productions, Fly Tying Tutorials and Youtube

WFS 285 – 21st Century Materials for Fly Tying with Tim Cammisa from Trout and Feather



Read the Full Podcast Transcript Below

flies for trout

Dry Flies for Trout Conclusion with Nick Pionessa

Nick Pionessa, a professional fly tier from New York told us his story of how he became a full-time production fly tier, tying over 100 flies a day – how he got started fly tying and eventually made a living out of it. Nick mentioned some of the most effective and requested dry fly patterns.

We discovered Nick’s Top 5 Dry Fly Patterns! Now we feel so much more motivated to get on that vise.