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Archive for the ‘Tube Flies’ Category

Streamers – tube bunnies

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AA DSC9922

And with the exception of my black flies, this is the gamut of tube bunny colours that I use.

For fly-fishing, I like to throw dry flies, but if the fish are not eating off the surface, I am more likely to move to streamers or wet-flies, versus the effective (efficient) nymph techniques that has been so well refined in the past 20 years.

I will catch fewer fish, but I seem to enjoy the hunt more, with throwing that large streamer in the pool or pocket, searching for that aggressive fish.

So what flies are critical to me, in this pursuit.

  1. Sculpzilla – Size 8
  2. Marabou Muddles – Size 4-6
  3. Conehead Muddles – Sizes 10-6
  4. Tube Bunnies – Tube flies <5cm.

There are other great flies out there – think the Deceiver, Clouser Minnow and anything articulated from Kelly Galloup.  If I was going to add more flies into my box, it would be a Clouser for mid-summer crawfish imitation or Galloups’s Heifer or Dungeon for the good big or go home events.

One observation from our last fishing trip – in soft water where you are stripping in flies – the rear weighting of a tube fly can result in an unnatural pause as the fly slides back with the rear hook weight. It is important to have weight in the head of the fly in these situations.

So here is how I tie my trout tube bunnies for soft water, where the fly may not always be under tension, when presented to the fish. (The alternative is to tie on a Sculpzilla). (Please note that I am experimenting with using an iPhone 6 as my camera for this SBS).

Using the Protube System, put on a medium bullet weight.

1. IMG_6634

Secure your thread, as bulk is important (or lack of it), I am using Danville Flymaster 6/0.

2. IMG_6636

Attach the X-Cut Rabbit for the under belly, at the front of the weight.  Sorry, for the picture, I am also showing a waste piece extending on the far side. This is not necessary.

3. IMG_6637

Using a Magnum (wide) Rabbit strip for the top, cut a 6cm strip,  Trim the tail end to form a blunt taper. This provides for a more natural profile, when being fished.

4. IMG_6639

Leaving 3cm for the rear, wet the front of the rabbit and pull forward to separate the fibers.  Then secure the rabbit  over the X-Cut, at the leading edge of the weight.

5. IMG_6641

Do a tight wrap forward of the under-belly – 3-4  turns, and secure. You should not have advance more than 15mm forward.

If using a plastic head, keep the underbelly to 10mm.

6. IMG_6643

Trim the top head to a taper. This is important to keep the bulk of the head down.

As we are concern with keeping bulk of the head to a minimum, we need to use good thread practices:

  1. No more than 5 turns to secure! I will use 3.
  2. Keep thread the flat – using Danville Flymaster.

7. IMG_6646

Trim the tag – excess. I will often use a scalpel to do this, but in this SBS, I have used scissors. You will also find having a small “trough” where the thread compresses the rabbit will help in securing the Lady Amherst fibers.

8. IMG_6647

Add the lateral line, with the material of your choice.

9. IMG_6650

With one turn of thread, add a clump of Lady Amherst Center Tails fibers that have been separated for the top half of the fly.

I like the colours to compliment the body, reflecting the natural I am “mocking”, but use the irregular pattern to break the uniformity of the rabbit.

10. IMG_6651

Use the bodkin and fingers, separate the feather fibers, while being head with one thread. This is a salmon fly tyers technique (shown to be my Scoville Stack), where he is using the weight of the bobbin to provide just enough weight to keep the father in place.

11. IMG_6653

Once fibers are in place, apply head cement to the top, and add a wrap.  Repeat for the bottom, and as illustrated, I have been able to secure the Lady Amherst on all sides with 3 turns of thread.

12. IMG_6659

Five (5) turn whip finish, then apply a little head cement. Here you can see, I have some bleed into the rabbit, but this will not harm the fly’s action, but avoid doing this.

13. IMG_6660

Pull fly out, apply head and trim the excess front tube, leaving

14. IMG_6664

Push the fly back onto the needle, such that the needle and tube end is flush. Then, use lighter to melt the plastic back to the head.

15. IMG_6665

Take the fly out and trim excess tube at the rear.

16. IMG_6667

I want the hook to set as closest as possible to the front, but not so close that the rabbit rear can foul (wrap) around the hook’s end.



Written by raspberryfisher

2017/05/05 at 02:38

Small Fly Fishing Kit

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Fly-Fishing can be a bulky endeavour – rods, waders, boots, and hundreds of flies. So I have been working to reduce-reduce and reduce, so I can take a small kit with me on my travels. So here is my current answer:

  • No Waders and Boots – so I must keep to the shore and the edges of water.
  • Jacket and Hat  – my regular Gore-Tex jacket.
  • Fly-Rods + Reel: 9′ 5pc (9wt and 5wt) – will fit in my regular check in luggage.
  • Fishing Bag, as below.

travel kit fish DWW_4690

Fishpond Bag – with the large back pocket holding:

  • Maui Polarized Sunglasses
  • Waterproof Camera
  • Buff – with sunscreen and hat provides the protection I need from sun and insects
  • Flies – Either tube bunnies or one box dry flies

On the bag’s side – floatant, tippet (2x-6x) and nippers.

On the bag’s front – a rare earth magnet – as previously reported a catch all convenience to hold flies on the stream as I can things around.

travel fish kit DWW_4702

The most open pocket holds:

  • Leaders for Dry Flies – 7.5′ (4x pocket water) and 9′ in (5x flat water).
  • Leaders for Streamers – often stubby dry fly leaders, conditioned
  • Furled Leader – 12′ Leader
  • Seaguar Fluorocarbon Tippet – 3x (streamer) and 5x (nymph)
  • Maxima Chameleon Tippet – 12lb 
  • 3x Glasses and Lens Cleaning Cloth
  • Scissors, Needle with a thread loop
  • Licenses

Streamers and Nymphs on the Foam Patch:

travel fish kit DWW_4710

tracvel kit fish DWW_4692

Moving to the outer edge, the front flap, we have tools used to support me when I need to release a fish:

  • Foreceps
  • Leahterman Multitool Juice S4 that includes pliers, siccors and a knife

fish travel kit DWW_4713

Under the flap are some stream side accessories

  • Insect Repellent
  • Weight – Tin Shot and Mud to treat nymph leaders
  • Floats – either home made or “pin” style
  • note picture shows the rare earth magnet

travel fish kit DWW_4693

And in the one dry fly box, given I do not know what water I will be on, I keep soe generic, but favourite flies that span a wide range  – starting in the top left and going clockwise – in varying colours and sizes:

travel kit fish DWW_4603

Is there anything missing, yeah, but right now the only thing I am wishing to add are:


Written by raspberryfisher

2015/09/13 at 00:51

Brown Trout

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and moving back to my favourite method of fishing – spey casting streamers. Here is my rabbit tube fly “brown trout” imitation when I am searching for bigger fish.

Side view

brown trout DWW_4231

looking down on the flybrown trout DWW_4208

and the view looking upbrown trout DWW_4212

and a couple of different heads to disturb the rabbit, as it moves through the water.

brown trout DWW_4222

brown trout DWW_4221


Written by raspberryfisher

2015/07/27 at 10:07

Tubefly – more play than for fishing

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I have been away from the vise for sometime and been noodling in my head this idea of a Snaelda Shrimp on a tube fly.  It took me 4 goes to get what I wanted.

I am not sure I will ever fish it, but it was something I wanted to create.

What is  the recipe, in order of tie in on a black tube using black Danville Flymaster 6/0 thread:

  • Polar Bear
  • Krystal Flash – White Glow in the Dark x2
  • Yellow, Orange and Black Schlappen feathers with most fibers stripped off, leaving just the tips (as feelers)
  • Mono-eyes on a stick.
  • Yellow, Orange and Black Schlappen collars (could be thinner).
  • Silver Veniard Tinsel – Medium.
  • Thread Body.
  • Veniard Varnish – 6 coats.






Written by raspberryfisher

2013/11/06 at 01:32

Posted in Fly-Fishing, Tube Flies

Next season’s tube bunnies.

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As noted earlier, my exploration with tube-flies has begun recently and I have been looking at rabbit variants suitable for bass, trout and steelhead to be cast from a 350 grain Scandi DH rod. To this need, I have recently tied for this winter’s steelhead season and next year’s trout-bass season are “tube bunnies”.



Whats left? Answer is a variant of the Snaelda (on a tube) and a few latex caddis nymphs.


Written by raspberryfisher

2013/11/01 at 01:30

Tube Bunnies

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I am still experimenting and developing my eye for tube flies, but I have been tying these “Tube Bunnies” for trout. They range from 2 to 3 inches.  Once done, I will have them in Grey, White, Black and a couple of Olives.  Been thinking about a “sunfish” version for Bass to.


I soon have to stop tying for a few weeks, so the series is not likely to be completed until November.  I have a heavy travel period coming up (LA, San Diego, Dallas, Hamburg, Chicago, Cleveland), and expected to be home for 3-4 days in all of October. What little free time I have will be to cut grass, rake leaves and get ready for winter.

Written by raspberryfisher

2013/09/23 at 18:11

more on Tube Flies

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Since, I am adding notes on Tube flies, I should point people to SBS (Step-by-Step) instructions from Mike (a surgeon) in the UK.  These are different from what I just did, but all the same, look really good. So here are some links to flies by “Mike” aka Speyducer.

For those who swing flies for salmon and steelhead, Enjoy


March 23, added a picture of my fly from Mike.

Written by raspberryfisher

2013/03/12 at 23:42

Posted in Fly-Tying, Tube Flies