Fiery Brown and Black Beetle

Another fly from the latest swap.   On a roll!

Fiery Brown and Black Beetle


Size 14 hook

Black thread (I used 6/0)

Fine gauge copper

Crow feather fibres (I also used deer hair, but the feathers have a much more beetle like texture)

Fiery Brown dubbing – I mixed this batch up in my coffee grinder (permanently nicked from the kitchen) with a mixture of brown super possum and some hot orange nymph lifecycle.   Seals fur is the norm if you can get it.


The Tie

  1. Start your thread – I usually leave a bit of a gap at the eye as I tend to crowd it otherwise…   Wind on a little past the bend, and come back halfway.  The idea is to leave a bit of a tag.
  2. Tie in your wire ribbing, don’t forget to leave a bit of a tag.
  3. Tie in half a dozen of so crow feather fibres by the ends – adjust amount as required for larger hooks or according to taste.
  4. Dub on your body – aim for a bit of a bulge in the middle.  Stop when the thread stops (remember, you left a gap for visual cue didn’t you?)
  5. Wind your ribbing wire forward, tie it off and trim/break off the tag.
  6. Carefully pull the crow forward to the eye – you’re trying to keep them parallel to each other.
  7. Tie it off – I usually start a little back from the eye, wind forward to the eye to trap it, then fold the ends back, wind back a couple of turns and then trim what’s left.
  8. Whip finish.




Tom Jones (variant)

Typically the Tom Jones is tied with wallaby fur for the wing, but I reckon subbing it with rabbit fur might give it a bit more zing.  Here’s my version :-
Size 14 nymph hook
6/0 black thread
Black hackle fibres for tail
4 wraps of 0.15 lead (or lead free sub)
Fine copper wire
Fish scale tape
Olive super possum
Olive rabbit


  1. Mount hook in vise – debarbed or not per preference or location
  2. Wrap four turns of lead wire 2-3mm from the eye
  3. Start your thread, trapping the lead in place and then wrap down to in line with the point
  4. Tear off and stack a small bunch of hackle fibres for the tail
  5. Tie in the tail, length 1/3 to 1/2 shank length according to taste
  6. Tie in your copper wire in-line with the start of the tail
  7. Tie in the fish scale tape at the bottom of the shank
  8. Dub in a small amount of dubbing from the tail to be inline with the point
  9. Cut/tear of a small hank (slightly larger than a match head) of rabbit from the hide, and cut/remove the underfur (usually keep the leftovers to turn into more dubbing later)
  10. Tie the rabbit to the top of the hook facing back towards the tail – length about same as tail
  11. Dub over the butt ends, same length as step 8
  12. Cut/tear of another small hank of rabbit from the hide and tie in per step 10, maybe a mm or two longer
  13. Dub to the end of lead/start of the head area
  14. Pull the fish scale to the head area and tie off
  15. Carefully wrap the wire up, with out running it through the rabbit
  16. Tie a neat head and you’re done.



Nymph Fly Swap

Last year just in time for the start of the new season, some of the guys on the Flylife forum held one of their infamous fly swaps.   I’d been in one previously and embarrassed myself a little with a tad too much tardiness, but figured what the hey, let’s try again.   The theme was early season nymphs for the river season opening.   I’ve mentioned previously that I’d created a new pattern called the Harey Maclarey.   Finally got around to taking photos of all them and reckon the otherguys did a stellar job – any shortfalls are my crappy photography.  Now that they’ve been recorded for posterity, into the box they go!


Blowfly ~ Higa’s SOS
Blowfly ~ Higa's SOS

jas b ~ stick caddis
jas b ~ stick caddis

Stephen Hill ~ hare and copper
Stephen Hill ~ hare and copper

Herry ~ f/b peacock dubbing nymph
Herry ~ f/b peacock dubbing nymph

Flyfisher78 ~ drought breakers
Flyfisher78 ~ drought breaker -2
Flyfisher78 ~ drought breakers -1

crabby ~ woven nymph
crabby ~ some sort of woven nymph

blackfish ~ hairy scary pheasant tail nymph
blackfish ~ hairy scary pheasant tail nymph

jano ~ Daiwl Bachs
jano ~ Daiwl Bach

hingrock ~ UV pheasant tail nymph
hingrock ~ UV pheasant tail nymphs

newfly ~ Double Standard
newfly ~ Double Standards

SkyeWarrior ~ Harey Maclarey
11. SkyeWarrior ~ Harey Mclary

Matt H Gippsland ~ mayfly nymph
Matt H Gippsland ~ mayfly

Derek McKenzie ~ Promiscuious Peacock nymph
Derek McKenzie ~ Promiscuious Peacock nymph

Top view, the whole box.

No Ukes?

Got one of the best presents the week before Christmas – a cute little starter ukulele.  I’d been sniffing around these for a little while after being asked by one of the kids at church if I knew anything about his and nearly restrung  it on the spot as it was “wrong”.  Fortunately I didn’t, and was curious enough to find out more.  String instruments and I haven’t really been associates, and anyone who knows me well knows that I’m a little more familiar with wind instruments.

Have to say that at this point it’s heaps of fun.  I can’t recall the last time I did anything new musically.

Now I just need an aloha shirt.  See you all “Somewhere, over the rainbow”.


Confession Time

One day, I would like to go fishing with this person, see the remarkable country in BC and hopefully learn something :-

Yes, she’s easy on the eye.  Ain’t got nothing to do with it.  Believe it or not.  Kath will be there with the camera rolling!

Dream trip right there – BC, onto Montana to fishing around Bozeman and on the Blackfoot river, and then on up in Alberta to see George and maybe play a few tunes at The Slice.   It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen.

Here comes bass season

Here in Australia, bass season starts at the beginning of spring, and opens again at the end of autumn (or fall for my American readers 🙂 )     The Australian bass is technically a catadromous fish, meaning it lives in freshwater, but migrates to the saltwater lower reaches of their home river in order to breed.  Typically the downstream migration starts during autumn, with the bronze battlers heading into the salt for winter to satisfy the itch they can’t scratch back home, and then returning upstream at the beginning of spring.

Sure, not all of them make the trip – they don’t feel the call or they’re in the wrong spot when the trigger gets fired.   I suppose it’s a drop in temperature and an increase in rainfall the get’s the juices going.

In any event, for us bass fishos winter is a time of reflection, maintenance, pondering and reminiscing.  In my case a few flies get tied for the new season to come, and catch up on some bream fishing if we can get organised.   For others, it’s a time to hit the dams where there is no closed season (don’t forget the catadromous bit) and some heated discussion of the fishing regs and how they relate to the closed season, presumably to keep warm.

In any event, anticipation is a wonderful thing.  Usually the long planned, eagerly attempted first trip of the season results in the inevitable doughnut, with the fish really starting to wake up right about now – October.  Come to think of it, had a pretty nice trip last Saturday – one of those trips where everything seems to work, and the standouts on the day were a modified gurgler fly (first and best fish of the session), a buzz bait, and a now released Ecogear CK40 that felt more at home in the scrub than in my tacklebox and so stayed on after I left.

Cest la vie….