Posts Tagged ‘Skip Morris


Swimmer Nymphs & Pheasant Tail Backstrap

The Swimmer Nymph: The slender bodied nymph that undulates to the surface film (as opposed to crawlers, clingers, borrowers). Blue Winged Olives generally fall into this category and are often considered, over all, one of the more important mayfly species to learn about. Below, Pheasant Tail fibers are an excellent material to help represent that slender, swimming body. It was also used here for the wing case and gives that fuzzy effect. The Pheasant Tail fibers were run back over the top of the abdomen and extended into the tail. I wrapped the wire ribbing forward over the top of the pheasant tail pieces to secure them (Skip Nymph technique for back strap over abdomen). Some, in a more exacting style, would opt for fewer pheasant tail fibers, say 3, in an attempt for matching the natural image (3 tails).


Fly Tying: Two Tone, Top/Bottom (Nymphs)

You most often see color/shade contrast in fly tying in the round on the pattern….a contrast of materials wrapped up the shank and by virtue of a contrasting ribbing of some sort the fly appears segmented and/or of different colors.

Another technique is to over lay the body (abdomen and thorax) with a darker material. This is seen in the Skip (Morris) Nymph, the Czech Nymphs and in this instance (my pic) a bead head pupa pattern. I didn’t tie the fly (not sure how I came by the few I found in a box’s compartment) but I noticed the backstrap and found the material (dark biot) interesting, if too sparse.

There is a backstrap, but it is minimal and does not aggressively provide a top/bottom contrast in colors (although this is likely a Caddis pattern, and the contrast is important for mayfly nymphs).

From this view, the biot backstrap provides a nice contrast

This is an example of pheasant tail fibers being used as backstrap (SwittersB)

Similar concept for Stonefly nymph (less contrast) SwittersB

You get the idea of the overlay of material creating a contrast (darker on top/lighter on bottom). Ribbing for the suggestion of segmentation is usually tied in at the same time as the backstrap material. The ribbing binds the material down atop the body material. This darker over light idea is frequently used for the wingcase over the thorax.  Pic of Callebaetis Nymphs, Upper Left


Fly Tying: Skip Nymph (Over Dubbing)

The Skip Nymph (Skip Morris) is designed to show a contrasting bodied nymph of dark over light, much like the real nymph. I hadn’t tied this in a few years, so the initial efforts (3-6) usually are a fine tuning effort. The pictures show the over dubbing, misaligned ribbing as well as a better effort with peacock for the abdomen.

Would the above fly fish ok? Sure it would. A size 14 fly, even with tier’s imperfections, would fish just fine. But, I do possess a little bit of interest in some uniformity and appearance.


Fly Tying & The Thread Head (Skip Morris Tips)

Regardless of whether you complete the thread head with a whip finisher or by the hand whip finish, it is important for aesthetics, balance and strength to pay attention to this last part of the fly’s preparation. Flies come apart at this critical point due to faulty thread wraps or weakly secured materials along the way on the shank. So, extra care at this final juncture to not crowd the eye or to not make loose, minimal wraps must be made.

Pheasant Tail Nymph by SwittersB (Thorax, Thread Head) Pheasant Tail Nymph (Thorax & Thread Head) by SwittersB

“Though simple in construction and function, thread heads are, to many tiers, a plague. But a bit of understanding and strategy can make them manageable–even make them pleasant to tie. And the result is a head that is neat, sound.”      Thread Heads by Skip Morris


Booby’s Down Deep (Stillwater Pattern)

Whatever..You Just Have to OK?

Whatever..You Just Have to OK?

“The basic method of fishing the Booby is very simple. Use a fast sinking line, I find a shooting head best, no more than 500 cm (24″) of leader to the Booby and cast it out. Give the line plenty of time to sink and pull the fly down to the bottom. Even in only 2 or 3 metres of water this can take 30 seconds or more. If there is any current at all it will take longer. Once the fly has settled retrieve the fly in short, 10 to 20 cm (12″) tugs, pausing between each tug. The pause is important, the fly must be allowed to float back up, because tugging on the line pulls it down.”

Basic Booby Fly

Basic Booby Fly

A basic nymph, a moving tail and the boobs. Several different ways to affix the boobs.  

 A similar technique can be used with the Skip Morris pattern, The Predator. I have used this pattern in B.C. and it works great. Bottom line get fly down to bottom with sinking line, the fly rises and the retrieve begins. I wrote about this because I recently saw Brian Chan produce a Booby Fly from his stillwater box as an option on a B.C. lake. Some how I had only associated Booby’s with Great Britain stillwaters. There was Chan with a Booby Fly…good enough for me.  

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