sexyloops fly tying school part 29 - Stonefly Nymph

sexyloops fly tying school part 29 - Stonefly Nymph

t.z. | Friday, 6 May 2016

Tying realistic flies is another world really. It is taking fly tying to the extreme. It´s becoming art at a mad scientist level. I am fascinated by it and like to look at these creations, but never felt the urge to sit down and work on one fly for sever days or even weeks.

However, the fishing flies such masters tie are quite interesting too. A such in between the disciplines pattern is the stonefly nymph by Swedish master tier Leif Ortenholm. Try it yourself and impress your peers ;-)

Leif Örtenholm has tied flies since he was a kid - maybe he still is a kid like we all ;-) - sure is that he is one of the most influential fly tiers in Sweden. Leif is a very versatile and shrewd fly tier. He portfolio reaches from realistic spiders and the occasional dragon to particularly amazing fish flies.

Leif`s Stonefly

the tying is more stariaght forward than would think
Materials needed:
- a straight eye grub hook
- lead wire
- Virtual Nymph Flexibody
- prcupine pins for the legs
- Virtual Nymph Synthetic Quills
- fine synthetic dubbing
- some marker pens

stonefly - 1
set the hook in the vise "sideways" and cover with lead wire as shown

stonefly - 2
tie in 4 syntehetic quills for tail and antennae

stonefly - 3
cut a strip of Flexibody and taper at the end

stonefly - 4
tie in flexibody at the bend

stonefly - 5
and wind on to the hook in overlapping turns

stonefly - 6
secure the abdomen part with thread

stonefly - 7
cut a wider strip of flexibody

stonefly - 8
cover the end of the abdomenwith a bit of dubbing

stonefly - 9
take two porcupine pins and tie them in

stonefly - 10
the roots should point backwards

stonefly - 11
snipp off remains

stonefly - 12
cut a piece of flexibody as shown

stonefly - 13
and tie it in so it overlaps the legs tie-in spot

stonefly - 15
repeat the porcedure for the next pair of legs

stonefly - 16
tie in the wider strip of flexibody pinting backwards

stonefly - 17
tie in the last pair of legs and cover the tie in spot with dubbing

stonefly - 18
flip the flexibody strip forwards

stonefly - 19
form a nice head with dubbing

stonefly - 20
and flip the felxibody back again
stonefly - 21
tie off in the "neck" of the insect and snipp off remains

stonefly - 22
pnch the legs into the desired shape 

stonefly - 23
and paint the upper side of the fly with adrak pen

stonefly - 24
go over with a lighter pen to "wash" out the colours a litt bit

stonefly - 25
mark the legs on the underside

stonefly - 26
the bug in Leif`s thumb

stonefly - 27
another nymph tied in a simila manner - - Leif Örtenholm, tier

stonefly - 28
and another - a mayfly clinger type - Leif Örtenholm, tier

The key to these type of flies is the right synthetic materials. Many use the products of a company called "Virtual Nymphe". A safe buy because the resukts are good, but should you not find these products n your local store, you can start looking around in all sort of latex and other stretchable plastic foils.  

I also tried my luck .... not too bad I think.

stonefly by t.z. 

baetis nymph tied with flexibody


I would like to thank Leif for his great contributions to the fly tying and fly fishing world. 



picture by Al Pyke 

Thomas Züllich, or - “t.z.” as most call him - is a German flyfisher & flytier living in Norway. His flydressing is based on old traditions as well as very modern and innovative methods of creating flies. You can book Thomas for guided trips, flytying classes and presentations. He regularly gives speeches and demonstrations at fly fishing fairs. Thomas is member of the ProTeam at Partridge of Redditch as well as Regal Vises.

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