Creative Fly Tying Inspired By The Postman - A Hot, New Nymph
Design That Will Up Your Catch Rate!
Fly, Photography and Text by Joe
For more than half a millennia
history has recorded the efforts of anglers who've labored long and hard
to create an artificial fly that will consistently fool fish.
There is no doubt that this quest started long, long before Dame Juliana
put her quill to parchment in the fifteenth century. Feathers from
the most exotic birds, fur from the fiercest animals and contrivances
from the hallowed halls of science have all been incorporated into the
vast library of fly patterns into which we so casually reach for the
magical offering to be tied to our tippets on the next outing. It
is truly ironic then that I bring you now a fly that is constructed of
parts that have almost no bearing on the sport we love so well.
The hook - the spine of form for this bug - is designed for a
Bassmaster's drop-shot technique. The body is the detritus of the
postman's delivery. The collar is scraps from a cheap stole I
purchased at a flea market years ago. Only the thread and bead
come from a fly shop. And yet, even with it's obvious lack of
pedigree, this fly calls to the avid angler. It looks good.
It looks productive. It looks "fishy"!!!
Hook: Mustad Ultra Point Octopus Beak 1x Fine
Wire 92604BLN or 92604R (red)
Thread: Black or Red 6/0 140 Denier
Body: Elastic band
Collar: Lightly dubbed natural rabbit, possum, mink or similar
Head: Medium copper or black bead
The form of a fly comes from the
hook you use. A classic full-dress salmon fly wouldn't look
nearly as impressive if it were tied on a stainless steel saltwater
hook, and a caddis pupa imitation loses something when it's tied on
a straight shank hook. The hook is the spine of the fly,
choose the skeleton carefully and the fly will show the results.
Here I am using the Mustad Ultra Point Octopus Beak hooks. Normally
used by bass fisherment employing drop shot techniques, this fine
wire, ultimately sharp design is a perfect foil for the fly tyer.
Look in your local fishing emporium in the department where plastic
worms are sold!
The irony of the Irony is that
it won't cost you much. The only material necessary is an
ordinary elastic band. I used the elastic bands that come
wrapped around the piles and piles of junk mail I get every day.
They work just fine and are FREE. Experiment with different
colors and thicknesses for different effects.
Here I am tying the Deep Irony. The bead
head will help this fly fish lower in the water column.
Without the bead it's just Irony. On a red hook with red
thread it's Bleeding Irony. I suppose one could use red
thread, a red hook and a bead resulting in Deep Bleeding Irony!
Place the bead on the hook and start your thread. I like to
use three or four turns of lead wire to help center the bead.
Cut the elastic band in half.
Then trim one end diagonally. This is the point you will tie
in to the shank of the hook.
After catching the elastic band
under the thread, pull it tight and continue to wrap thread all the
way down the bend of the hook. This fly gets its shape from
the hook, so you should use as much of the hook as you can.
Pulling the elastic band taught minimizes bulk.
Bring the thread back to a point
right behind the bead. Start wrapping the shank of the hook
with the elastic band. Use a lot of pressure to stretch the
band in the beginning and slowly release the pressure as you wrap
forward. This will result in a very natural taper to the body.
Ensure your wraps overlap by one-third the thickness of the band to
get a nice ribbed effect that looks like the segments of a grub's
Here I am half-way wrapped.
Note how the body is starting to taper due to the changing tension
on the elastic band. Also note the segmented effect from
The body is completely wrapped.
Pull the elastic band tight and secure it with three or four tight
thread wraps. Pull the tag end taught and clip it close to the
thread, the elastic will pop right back under the thread leaving a
clean tie-off point.
Add some dubbing to the thread.
Just a little will do, you want to suggest gills and legs, not give
the fly a hairdo. Here I am using a little bit of mink
underfur that came from a moth-eaten stole I purchased at a yard
sale for under a dollar. Fly tying materials are where you
Tie off the thread with a whip
finish. Use a piece of Velcro to rough up the dubbing and provide a
fuzzy collar. Go fish!!!