I consider myself a practical or utilitarian tier. I surely fall on the craftsman side of the spectrum in the “Is fly tying an art or a craft“ debate. I am a problem solver and a tinkerer by nature and also by training. Two engineering degrees will do that to a person. My approach to fly tying typically involves identifying and defining a specific problem to solve, a fish to catch, or a hatch to match. I then apply all the experience, knowledge, tools, and skills I’ve accumulated during my fishing life to arrive at what I hope is both an effective and simple/elegant solution. When I find that solution, I will often experiment a bit more with it and try to “dial in” a final version that I have a lot of confidence in for a given fishing situation. When I find that confidence in a fly, I put a dozen or three of them in my box.
So it is with this pattern. No smoke and mirrors here. Dubbing loops have been an important part of my steelhead fly tying for many years. EP fibers, flash, and natural materials mix well in dubbing loops and Enrico recognized that when he created his brushes. These products have really opened up a lot of doors for tiers from beginner to expert, and I’ve enjoyed using them on many different types of patterns. Here, the EP Foxy Brush and EP Sparkle Brush are used to create a buggy, bulky, and wispy flash collar that takes the place of traditional feather Spey fly “feelers”. The bodies are basic floss and wire creations, and the wings are Amherst pheasant.
Wrap a few up this spring or summer and let me know how they work for you.
Take Care and Fish On,