View Full Version : Flashy wing-cases on beadheads

05-17-2012, 08:16 AM
Seems that most tiers "tweak" patterns to their own liking and experiment; I am no different.

This Spring I tied up my usual arsenal of reliable nymphs and then tied my "experimental" nymphs. Fish seem to see a lot of our flies drift past on some heavily fished waters.... so throwing something a little different in my mind makes sense.... then again I've been told that I think like a brown trout too many times... okay call me "pea brain" if you must.

Many tie BHPT with flashback and some flies feature flash wing-cases as well on various nymphs. I decided to try making the wing case from very small tubular pearl mylar (the stuff with cotton inside that you remove) as it seemed like it would sparkle in many directions (instead of one direction, straight back) and they are working like gang busters! I have seen a few nymphs like this online, you might give it a try.

Been making these on Partridge's version of Klink hooks (15BN size 16) that have a long sweep instead of the usual "bent design" other hook makers provide. I tie them with gold plated beads and use small size gold oval french tinsel for the ribbing as it doesn't get "lost" in an abdomen of Pheasant tail or dubbing like wire or mylar tinsel... the segmentation is awesome.

For some other nymphs I have been using "after shaft" feathers from ruffed grouse as collars on some bead-heads in larger sizes like 10 and 12 with dark tung beads with good results.... (I was actually "out" of hungarian for soft hackle as Lucky ate the entire cape a couple months ago before he died of old age.) These feathers are also called PHILOPLUME. Unfortunately I have exhausted my supply of these philoplume feathers and the only wat to get them is to shoot a ruffed grouse or see one dead on the road.... a common thing in Maine but not in East TN.

Another (new to my use) material for under the wing case this year has been SLF (synthetic living fiber) originally produced by Davy Wotton; I pick it out on each side and it just seems to come alive when I drift them past me in the river to see what they look like. For some reason the fish love light olive. Good size trout on the Holston have been gobbling them up very well. Sometimes I also "cut in" a bit of black Ice Dub and these are also deadly effective on sizes 12 and 10. I have been using SLF for years as trailing shucks and using it in dubbing loops... I think it's a blend of two or more different fibers.

So great fishing to all and I hope all your "experimental" stuff is proving it's value this season.


05-17-2012, 01:49 PM
Corbo, here are a couple of variations i like on the traditional BHPT pattern.

Grizzly hackle palmered through the thorax

White floss, hair, or any other material pulled over the wing case and tied down at the bead. I think it gives it the air bubble effect that Walter Babb uses on his George Nymph.


I don't have a picture handy, but the "Double Standard" nymph has become one of my favorites and is really easy to tie.

05-17-2012, 06:59 PM
Unfortunately I have exhausted my supply of these philoplume feathers and the only wat to get them is to shoot a ruffed grouse or see one dead on the road.... a common thing in Maine but not in East TN.


Grouse feathers are fairly easy to come by here, you won't find them in the road, but I can hook you up if you wish. I don't have any now, but next winter remind me and I can give you a ton.

05-17-2012, 08:10 PM
Shoot me an email for grouse feathers.

No Hackle
05-18-2012, 10:35 AM
Very well tied flies. Some people tie with a crispness and you have that .Nice.

05-19-2012, 09:49 AM
Thanks guys for offer of feathers; I have grouse feathers but no more "philoplume" grouse feathers. Also known as "aftershaft" they are smaller feathers that ride along next to regular feathers and are flexible like hackle but are body feathers. Hard to describe them.

They are also called filoplume or after feathers; they keep the birds warmer in winter.