Posts Tagged ‘Hans Weilenmann


Fly Tying: Original Pheasant Tail Nymph

Looking at the original Frank Sawyer Pheasant Tail Nymph you see a different look than many of the PTN’s today: no thread, more copper wire and no peacock herl.

Frank Sawyer's Original Pheasant Tail Nymph tied here by Tom Sutcliffe

Looking at the Pheasant Tail (Russian Artist Vladimir Fedot)

Tom Sutcliffe’s How To’s on Tying the Original Sawyer Pheasant Tail Nymph with some informative background.

 Also, check out the comment section for a fine video by Hans Weilenmann c/o Norm Frechette.


The Fly, The Lens, The Neurotransmitters

Many images evoke all manner of satisfaction. The pleasure derived from the perfect form, or combination of colors or suggestions of movement, texture etc. Well, you know all the ways these adjectives can go given the subject matter. For me and many of you, the ability to tie a ‘beautiful’ fly and then photograph it to share is one of the grander pleasures of the endeavor. Many can tie well, but not as many take the camera and capture the beauty of the simplest to the most complex fly patterns.

Whether it is the ornate art of Atlantic Salmon flies, as depicted in this years exquisite Full Dress Calendar 2012 (by Prud Fishing Products) which I was blessed to receive, or the more traditional Trout/Grayling patterns, the photograph of the finished fly offers many layers of satisfaction and enhances our pursuit of tying better….at least it does for this messy, impressionistic fly tier.

I offer a handful of what I consider to be highly inspiring fly tier/photographic works that routinely challenge me to tie a better fly…not necessarily for the fish, but to perfect the techniques.


Lucian Vasies at Fly Tying Romania

Albino Olive by Hans Weilenmann

Blue Quill by John Newbury

Jean Paul Dessaigne

Jean Paul Lipton, the Carpinator

I am sure there are other equally gifted fly tier/macro photographers out there and I would like to learn about them, so share. Explore the above tiers and their consistent excellence and be inspired to improve your tying or macro work. I know I am; I have macro envy. Oh, and I in no way mean to exclude the beauty of Steelhead, Salmon, Pike etc. patterns.  


Fly Tying: CDC Review & Moustique’s

CDC is one of those fly tying materials that has seemingly magical properties.  CDC is a fragile feather that imparts life like movement and flotation to fly patterns. Remember the admonitions to never add floatant materials to the CDC as this will destroy the natural buoyant properties. Hans Weilenmann writes at the Global Fly Fisher (GFF) about Tying With CDC. There is a great deal of information and links re CDC in the GFF post.

As I was studying up on CDC, I saw references to the Moustique style of fly pattern. This style of pattern uses a hackle collar of CDC at the front of the fly (as you would wrap a normal hackle in a dry fly or wet fly, you wrap the CDC feather). Normally, I have used a CDC plumes or puffs as a swept back underwing on wets and emergers. I have on occasion wrapped it once beneath an overwing of Elk Hair on Elk Hair Caddis to suggest legs.

The Moustique pattern is a simple pattern and the wing is one to two turns of CDC only. Check out the link at Rackelhanan re a simple Moustique Pattern


Fly Tying: The Klinkhåmer Set Straight


Klinkhamer Special Tying Stage (Photo by Hans Weilenmann)

An older article that provides an excellent tying tutorial and the why’s & how’s of the fly’s origin and mutations.


Fly Fishing: Yellow Quill Mayfly Emerger

Recently, I was fishing a beautiful stretch of water in Oregon. I had worked my way down to where the riffles converged with perfect seams, edges and rolling riffles. Fish were caught and the afternoon was winding down well. As I stood knee deep next to a twenty yard long riffle, my attention was drawn to mayflies hovering six inches to a foot above the riffles. They were bright yellow, about 1/2″+ long in the body. There were also two long tails, well beyond the length of the body. The mayflies were emerging out of the riffles; just appearing and hovering. There was no surface activity, although I could see some trout slashing beneath the surface next to the riffle. I had some success with a smaller tan emerger pattern. Also, I ran a dark nymph down through the riffle and caught a couple of trout.

So, I left the river wondering what that mayfly was. I am not adept at identifying all the mayflies beyond a few common, prolific ones. So, I queried Westfly and Troutnut and there seemed to be some likelihood the mayflies I saw (given the size, color, hatching location, actions) might be a ‘Yellow Quill’ or a mayfly from the genus Epeorus. The pictures and descriptors really seemed to match my observations. What stood out was the advice that this insect is best presented by a subsurface pattern, an emerger pattern that depicts an emerging mayfly well below the surface, unfolding and rising….trying to escape the current and ultimately the surface film.

A little query here and there lead to UK Fly Dressing, which had a nice discussion on the ‘yellow may spider’…a wet fly presented for a bright yellow mayfly. Within the forum discussion, the renowned Hans Weilenmann of Danica fame, provided additional information for a yellow wet fly pattern and a wonderful tutorial. Beautiful patterns and visuals for sure.

Mindful of the riffle I had observed (depth and velocity) I thought I might concoct a little pattern that would suggest the color, emerging wings and sink to the needed depth. So, I came up with a pattern I am most excited to try. I suspect it will work for other insects as well.

Pattern Information:

Black 8/0 thread; Size 12 TMC 3761 Nymph hook; gold bead, yellow Nature’s Spirit Peacock stick; trailing tail is Fly Tying Specialties Hare & Ice Dubbing (Tan); underwing two CDC feathers; hackle two turns of brown hen hackle.


Hans Weilenmann (Great Imagery and Fly Patterns)


I recommend Hans’ collection of flies that are quite suitable anywhere, but the NW is my focus. Unfortunately, I cannot download his pics as a teaser, as Hans seems to be concerned with PicPiracy or FlyForaging (understood). Take a look at his pics and enjoy. They will certainly provide inspiration and his photography is good as well.



Elk Hair Caddis with CDC


I have seen this pattern tied several times at tying shows. It is the standard Elk Hair Caddis, but the CDC is tied in and wrapped forward instead of a dubbed body and palmered hackle. This causes the fly to float flush in the film and the wing still allows for visibility. The wrapped CDC causes tentacles of CDC fibers to undulate in the water suggesting life.  A dab of floatant only to the wing or some false casting should keep the fly floating fine…but should it sink…that would be ok also. Impart some action to it as it is retrieved.   Hans Weilenmann has written several times re this fly and the picture is from a recent article in Flyfiserman.

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