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generic czech nymph

Maybe one of the simplest of all nymphs, but certainly one of the most effective patterns ever. It´s specifically famous amongst competition anglers. That should not stop us though.

Materials needed:

  • CZ grub style or straight nymph hook – I prefer hooks with “big” eyes, as mine are getting bad. Hook size 16 to 10 approximately. I prefer this pattern in size 10 or 12.
  • Dyneema thread
  • “Flexibody” by Virtual Nymph products. In preparation you need to cut a 2 to 3mm wide strip off the card.
  • Dubbing
  • Adhesive lead foil
  • Copper wire

That pattern is very generic as well. Change the colours and materials ad lib.


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simple mayfly nymph

Here´s a little video on how to tie a simple mayfly nymph. The pattern is rather “generic”. Feel free to alter colours etc. ad lib.

Materials needed:

  • CZ grub style or straight nymph hook – I prefer hooks with “big” eyes, as mine are getting bad. Hook size 20 to 12 approximately.
  • Dyneema thread. I strongly advise this type of thread as anything else may be to weak and break easily. I avoid using glue. I hate the smell, and I believe the fish hate the smelle too. I try to solve all problems “mechanically”, like fixing the bead head for example. This requires a heavy handed tying.
  • A feather for the tail. Grey mallard works well as many other game bird feathers.
  • “Flexibody” by Virtual Nymph products. In preparation you need to cut a 2 to 3mm wide strip off the card.
  • A bead-head. I used the fancy ones by Flymen Fishing Company called NympHead. The eyes look cute on them.
  • Dubbing – I recently acquired a kit of dubbing from Jan Siman (Czechia) He has very interesting stuff for nymphs.
  • As for weight – I like the weight of this version. Should I need to fish deeper than the fly sinks I rather use a lead split-shot on the leader.


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the nymph box project – part 1

Winter has arrived. It started snowing.  For me that is a clear sign to get going with fly tying. That´s my way to adjust to the cold & dark season. sure, winter has it´s good sides and days, but just the transition is very hard as I feel I have not have had enough time to flyfish, even though I did it all summer. Still, it was not enough.

Anyway – my way out of my winter depression is to rethink all my flyboxes. Part 1 one is new small box I plan to fill with small nymphs in sizes 18 to 12. It´ll be a total of 96 flies in that tiny thing. One side with mayfly nymphs, the other with caddis & freshwater shrimp. The hooks I´m using are mostly Partridge CZ barbless. They are very strong and have a large eye, which I like.

Weighting is done with Flymen tungsten nympheads and I will be using quite a bit of the Virtual Nymph Flexibody I was given by Dale, the owner of VN. Brilliant stuff. Dubbing is “peacock” dubbing I got from Jan Siman. For some flies I use seals fur as well.

I´m going for scruffy as well as clean. However, the pic´s make the flies appear more scruffy than they are.

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Mikes salmon flies 06 – Rogans Fancy

The 6th and last instalment of the Mikes salmon flies series. The Rogan’s Fancy. It´s really a beauty and fishes exceptionally well according to Mike.

Here is Rogan’s technique of a mixed wing. You are going to have to give your self plenty of head room for this one. As you can see I have the body hackle run up. I also have two buddle’s of my under wing on.


Cut out 6 small sections in pairs. this is going to be your under wing. place all the materials back to back, so you have one bundle.


This is how I prep my Jay hackle, I flatten my rachis out with a pair of pliers. Then you will notice there will be a brown and white divide. I cut along the brown edge with a pair of sharp scissors. then place the hackle in a warm glass of water. This should soften up the pith and you can scrap out the pith with a needle point. You should be left with a U shape T. Now you can either with a scalpel or scissors trim up the rest of the rachis. As shown in the photograph this is not easy.


I have varnished the tying in point of my underwing. I have trimmed back all waste as neat as I can, I have now wrapped my j hackle around the waste butts. I have now placed on my left and right hand wings I have aloud them to slip down the side. I have now varnished once again and trimmed up my waste.


As you can see I have now trimmed up my waste butts. I have varnished like the last set of wings. I have now wrapped a red GP hackle around the waste butts. I have also combed out the wings now.


I have now placed on a heavy mallard roof. I have put on both sides at the same time. Once you are happy varnish in tying in point and trim neatly once again.


Here is a shot with the roof being combed out. You can play with this technique and get different combinations when you comb them out. Several combings of the wing can make a nice blended wing.


The last horns are now on. You can now varnish and finish of your head.


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Mikes salmon flies 05 – butcher built wing

Number 5 in the Mikes salmon flies series. The built wing of the “Butcher”.

I have placed one red breast feather and tippet back to back and moistened like the ranger wing. next step – marry up 3 small bundles, you notice I keep the rachis on. you’ll find this a god sent when working duck, G.P tail and powder macaw. next I stack one on top of another. preferably one pointing down the way ,one pointing up the way and one through the middle giving a fan effect.


Here I have tied on both bundles individual, you have a chance now to pull and shift them into position. When you are happy you can varnish the tying in point.


As you can see I have kept the rachis on again and capped my wing with mallard.


I have doubled up my king fisher again, positioned horns on and varnish my tying in point.


Trim back your waste carefully. A drop of varnish on the waste ends. Now you can bind it down.


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Mikes salmon flies 04 – Snow Fly

Number 4 in the the Mikes salmon flies series. The Snow Fly sporting a heral wing.

Here is a copy of a snow fry which I have 4 in my collection, You will notice the body is kept deliberately thin the tinsel is wound straight onto the hook. I have mounted my swan underwing first. Touch of varnish has been added to the tying in point and I have removed my waste.


Now I wind my heron hackle around the waste butts.


now you need to prep your Herl. you can see I’ve split an eye up the middle. now place them back to back keeping the tips even.


I have measured the wing for length  now change hands and tied on like a conventional married wing. This will collapse just like a married wing. This will stop your materials going side ways.


Now I have mounted my wing, you want the wing to be tight and not flared out in all directions. I have varnished the tying in point and you can now remove your waste.


Now I have prepped my jungle cock, you will notice I have trimmed up the fluff leaving about 1mm. You can either varnish this or leave this how it is. you will only get one or two attempted at mounting them correctly or you will need to start again.


Tie in your jungle cock along the sides, keeping them even at either side of the wing .


here’s a front view of what you are aiming for.


remove waste and whip finish again with at least 3 coats of varnish.




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Mikes salmon flies 03 – durham ranger

Number 3 in the Mikes salmon flies series. The durham ranger – feather wing.

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Mikes salmon flies 02 – achroid

The second fly in the Mikes salmon fly section is the achroid. This is two types of Dee wings combined. The tying instruction focussed on the wing.

pictures & descriptions by Mike Townend, Aberdeen.

When the body is done it comes to putting on the opposite wing on first. First I will need to reverse my thread. How I do this is by wrapping my thread around a needle and placing 3 wraps in reverse. Each wrap working backwards. Now I will tie my far slip with 2 wraps and reverse the thread back using the same method. If you are happy at this point you can cut off your loop. (If I was using a gut eye I would simply take the thread and place it between the gut and iron)


Here is a front on view. I know have my two wings tied side by side, now I will trim up my waste and leave a little on. I will put a spot of varnish on the waste ends and bind down with the thread.


This is the second style of Dee wing. I what I have seen on the old Dee wings is that they don’t have to meet on the top of the head. You will place this on exactly like the first one but this time the wing is tied on the side of the hook.


Now I have placed on my near side, repeat the same finish as the last Dee wing. This should make a robust wing.


This is my favourite style of wing, but totally useless when it comes to small sizes. As it just becomes a shell back. So I will suggest you uses this style for larger irons.


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Mikes salmon flies – 01 – Lady Caroline Spey

The first fly in the Mikes salmon fly section is the Lady Caroline Spey. Mike thinks you start with this one when entering the world of tying salmon flies.

pictures & descriptions by Mike Townend, Aberdeen.

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Mikes salmon flies


Mike Townend, the man – the legend. I met Mike for the first time at the German Fly Fishing Festival in 2014.

It was great event organised by Bernd Ziesche and his friends.Mike, should you not have heard of him already is an amazing salmon fly tier. Should you meet him (or have met him) you´ll find out that he is witty, very open minded and kind person with a very Scottish humor.

Mike is known for the sculptures he ties. Yes, you read correctly – sculptures.

Mike takes attaching feather to a hook to a whole new level. I had never seen any thing like it before.

I asked Mike to tell me a bit about himself and this is what he answered. Short and concise in his own words.

I was was born in RAF nocton hall and raised in Aberdeen. Started fishing at the age of 5, because i am a 3rd generation fisherman. Grandfather was a champion course fisherman, father was a big game sea fisherman.

I started on the trout fish. I started tying flies at the age of 12, i was intrigued by trout flies and back in the day we used to have fantastic evening rises, when you couldnt fail or so I thought.

With a number of years trying and fishing for trout i took up salmon fishing. I met a good friend Phil Glendinning who introduced me to classic salmon flies and a load of yankee style classics. It was a further 2 year before i met one of the last of the great tyers in britain.

He introduced me to many old ways and techniques. Some of the stuff I am going to show you are from him. I have worked as a joiner all my life.

My favorite type of music is varied but my favorite band is pink floyd and my favorite food is anything I can eat haha. I hope you enjoy the flies I have puten together for you.

Don´t hesitate to comment on the articles. Will try to answer as best I can.


Below pictures of Mikes art: