Hydrophobic Natural Materials — The Snowshoe Bomber

It’s been a long winter for some, and a short winter for others.  Either way, spring is in the air over on this side of the pond!   Pretty soon the caddis flies will be fluttering and the streams will be booming with life, with trout waiting to take full advantage of it all.

To add to your boxes is a sized down variant of a popular atlantic salmon dry-fly, “The Bomber”.  This pattern however is tied using Snowshoe Hare’s foot, an extremely hydrophobic material that floats like no other.  It is a versatile material and is my ‘winging’ material of choice on a variety of dry flies.  From tom thumbs, to stimulators and various emergers, snowshoe hares foot has yet to let me down in terms of it’s bugginess and buoyancy.

These patterns work very well for our coastal cutthroat, “introduced” brown trout, as well as rainbow trout.  Fished on a dead drift, skated, or even ‘tossed in the chuck’ and skittered back for estuarine species, these patterns continue to produce and can at times provoke some phenomenal takes.

Snowshoe Bomber

Hook: TMC 100/100SPBL Size 10-16
Thread: Bennechi 12/0 Cream
Tail: Natural Snowshoe Hares Foot
Wing: Natural Snowshoe Hares Foot
Hackle: Grizzly
Body: Nat. Snowshoe Hares Foot dubbed

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Hydrodynamic Nymphs – The Quill & Sulphur

One thing I’ve found over time when tying nymphs for stream fishing, is a growing importance of hydrodynamics in fly design. The smaller the hook size, the more I cannot stress this enough. With all the modern techniques, tying materials, epoxies and tungsten weights available today, it is very easy to make a fly, even down to size 18-22 that will fish very well and find it’s place in the water column quickly and efficiently, even in the quick riffles that trout love to hold in during summer’s heat!

Below is a pattern that does just this; utilizing a streamlined epoxied body ribbed with stripped peacock, you get a very ‘suggestive’, durable and sinkable pattern that is perfect for any french nymphing rig, which can be fished by itself or in a team of flies and tied in just about every colour under the sun!

Quill and Sulphur Nymph

Hook: Hanak H200BL (Size 12-16)
Bead: Black Tungsten
Thread: Body – Colour of Choice, Thorax – Fl. White UTC 70
Tail: Coq de Leon
Body: Tying thread (UTC 70 or 140)
Rib: Stripped Peacock Herl
Thorax: Sulphur-Orange “Nymph Dubbing”
Epoxy: Bug-Bond Lite and One coat of varnish

Hopper Yellow/SLF Squirrel

Red/Sulphur, Red/Squirrel


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Rio’s Switch Line and Stalking Sea Runs

For me, the importance of using a small switch rod with a line that could cast well singlehand as well as spey cast at short and long distances became more evident than ever these past few months.  After trying a variety of “Scandi-Short” “Extra Distance” and “40+” lines for my 10’6 4wt Echo Switch rod, I finally came upon Rio’s “Switch” Line.


With a 55 foot head, the line spey casts effortlessly both at short and long distances, as well as overhand (singlehand) casts like a dream without leaving your arm’s feeling like spaghetti by day’s end. It’s front taper and long body allows the line to load perfectly and turn over flies with precision, accuracy and finess–not to mention how forgiving the line is!

This line really brings out the versatility of a “switch rod” and will take you from swinging flies on your favorite flow to stalking trout on the banks of your favorite lake or estuary all in the same day, with the same rod, with the same line.


The versatility of this line truly became apparent when fishing the estuary near my house for Searun Cutthroat trout. The trout would come in with the tide to feed on the herring fry and would feed in a figure-eight path of sorts.  I would make 40-60 foot singlehand casts using a buoyant deerhair dry-fly with the line, skittering the pattern across the surface slowly working the shoreline at a 30-40 degree angle to cover their feeding path.  However if I were to see some feeding activity out of the corner of my eye, the rod would allow a quick snap-t or single spey cast, which would pick up a good ammount of line and place it into the zone with finess in seconds!  Being able to do this accounted for the majority of the take’s I had and to be completely honest, I would not have been able to rise, hook and land three quarters of the fish I did without this system.


This line, technique and way of fishing is perfect for any angler who enjoys stalking trout from the banks and I honestly would give it 5-stars.  I have swung flies, skated dries, fished lakes, czech nymph’d and done just about everything I can with this rod and line match and since doing so, I have been extremely satisfied.


For more information on Rio Fly Lines and Echo Fly Rods, visit their websites by clicking the links below:

Rio Products

Echo Fly Rods (Rajeff Sports)

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We’re on Facebook!

This blog is slowly growing and has since adopted a lovely new spot on Facebook.  Click the “Facebook” link on the menu bar and be sure to click “Like” in the top right hand corner.

Feel free to post photos, share stories, and stay connected!

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“The Cutt Bug”, Buoyant Flies for Searun Cutthroat Trout

The Buck Bug (or Wingless Bomber) is a popular atlantic salmon dry fly, which is successfully fished by many. The pattern can also be sized down and tied accordingly to be skated for trout and other species as well on many streams.

However, as much as I do enjoy a well skated dry fly on moving water, one of my recent favorite methods of using this style of pattern is casting to feeding Coastal Cutthroat trout in saltwater. Cutthroat Trout are more than willing to take a well presented dry fly and it is by far one of the most exciting ways to fish for these species.


The deerhair body of this pattern guarantee’s a virtually unsinkable fly and the palmer’d hackle not only undulates in the water when stripped, but also aid’s in creating a small wake of sorts when retrieved.

Below is a variant of the buck bug that I use, which has been successful in bringing Coastal Cutthroat trout to rise. Hence, why I have given it the name “The Cutt Bug”.

The Cutt-Bug

Hook: Tiemco 100 – Size 8
Thread: UTC 140 6/0
Tail: Red and Gold Krystal Flash (3 strands of each)
Body: Yellow Deerhair (2 Clumps), Natural Deerhair (1 Clump)
Hackle: Burnt Orange Grizzly


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Brian Chan’s Stillwater Caddis Variant

Hook: Hanak H300BL – Size 8-12
Thread: Rust Brown UTC 70
Abdomen: Medium Amber V-Rib
Underbody: Fl. White UTC 140
Abdomen Rib: White Senyo’s Lazer Dub
Wingcase: Pheasant Tail
Thorax/Head: Peacock
Legs: Pheasant Tail


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Step-by-step Tying: Hotspot-Dropshot-Quill Nymph

Hook: Hanak H300BLG – Size 10-14
Weight: Hanak Drop+ Tungsten Shot
Thread: UTC 70 Rust Brown
Hotspot: 8/0 Flame Orange Uni-Thread
Tail: Coq de Leon fibers
Body: Peacock Herl/Quill (stripped)
Thorax: Hare’s mask spun in dubbing loop
Wingcase: Mottled Turkey Quill fibers
Epoxy: Bug-Bond Lite

Step 1:
Place a Hanak Drop+ tungsten shot on hook bend, leaving room for thorax/wingcase/hotspot. Secure it in place with a drop of super glue to ensure it stays put.

Step 2:
Tie in 8-10 Coq De Leon hackle fiber’s at the rear of the hook.

Step 3:

Cut a width of fibers from a mottle’d turkey quill feather equal to the width of the drop+ shot, and tie in facing forward.

Step 4:
Tie in a stripped peacock herl at the rear of the hook, and palmer it forward to the wingcase to form the body. Whipfinish or double half-hitch in front of the wingcase and trim off the thread.

Step 5:
Apply your Bug-Bond Lite to the quill body and cure it with UV light to add durability to the quill body (as well as give it some depth.

Step 6:
Re-attach your flame orange uni-thread in front of the drop+.

Step 7:
Create a dubbing loop and insert a sparse amount of fibers from a hares mask. Twist to form a dubbing rope.

Step 8:
Palmer the hares mask dubbing rope in front of the Drop+ shot, creating a buggy thorax.

Step 9:
Pull the wingcase forward to the eye of the hook and tie off. Build up a hot-spot/head with the UNI-thread. Whip finish and apply your varnish of choice to finish the fly.

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Woven Polish Nymphs

Polish Nymphs make a fantastic point fly in any czech nymphing rig (and also fish great by themselves!).  They sink fast and the contrast you get when tied correctly achieves a very buggy and effective fishing fly.

The body consists of two materials woven together (embroidery floss works very well), a lighter for the bottom and a dark for the top, usually contrasting with one another. Like Czech Nymphs, when tying these patterns, you are looking to keep the fly’s profile quite slender in order to allow a quick decent. This is especially important during the spring time in provinces where the use of 1 fly is permitted and winter runoff brings high water!

See below for photos/recipe.

Woven Polish Nymph:

Hook: Hanak H300BL Size 12
Thread/Underbody: Brown 8/0
Bead: 1/8 Gun-metal Tungsten/Faceted
Weight: Lead tape (Two layers, tapered)
Bottom-Body: Golden-tan Embroidery Floss
Top-Body: Claret-Brown Embroidery Floss
Rib: Wine Superfloss
Thorax: SLF Spikey Dubbing – Natural Fox
Wingcase: Dark Brown scud back





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Tying a Hot Butt ‘Midnight Fire’ Booby

Booby’s are very effective patterns on most stillwater’s.   The large foam eyes cause the wing to pulsate and the pattern to move side to side, triggering some very agressive strikes.

One method I have found to prove successful when fishing this style of fly is the use of a Type 4-7 full sink or sweep line, using a figure of eight retrieve with the odd pause and quick strip.  However, it is not limited to just that and can prove quite successful when fished on a dry line as well.

See below for recipe and tying instructions.


Hook: Hanak H200BL – Size 10
Thread: UTC 8/0 Black
Eyes: Superfly “Medium” Booby Eyes
Body: Midnight Fire Chenille
Hotspot: Lt. Orange Neon Floss
Tail: Black Rabbit Fur
Wing: Black Rabbit Fur
Collar: Black UV Polar Chenille (Twisted in dubbing loop)

Step 1:
Attach Booby Eyes to front of hook. Give several figure 8 wraps to ensure they are secure.

Step 2:
Take two strands of floss and double it over the tying thread to create a short hotspot/butt.

Step 3:
Cut a tuft of rabbit fur from a zonker strip or hare’s mask and secure it on top of the orange butt so it is extending roughly the length of the hook shank.

Step 4:
Tie in the midnight fire chenille and palmer forward to behind the booby eyes.

Step 5:
Take a larger tuft of rabbit fur from your zonker strip and tie in directly behind the booby eyes, creating a wing extending to the back of the tail.

Step 6:
Cut a 1-1.5″ strand of black UV Polar Chenille and create a well waxed dubbing loop behind the booby eyes.  Place the strand of chenille in the loop, spreading the fibers out and remove the braid from the fibers with a pair of scissors. Twist the dubbing loop, creating a rope with the UV chenille fibers.

Step 7:
With the dubbing rope, create a collar behind the booby-eyes with the polar chenille fibers.  Tie off and trim the fibers below the body, creating a veil. Whip finish the fly in front of the booby eyes.

For more patterns as well as step by step videos, be sure to check out the Flyblaster Blog Vimeo Channel.

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We’re on Vimeo!

I just wanted to take this time to let you know that Flyblaster “the blog” has setup a Vimeo fly tying database.  You can access it by clicking the “Vimeo” link on the menu bar at the top.


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