Fly Tying Videos

Black Jack Steel – Steelhead Nymph Pattern

Steelhead flies are a blast to tie. They are big, colorful, and look really fun in a fly box. Each spring I reserve a considerable amount of time at the vise for these colorful creations. Among my favorites is the Black Jack Steel. About five years ago I created a trout fly that I named the Black Jack. It is a Prince Nymph variant with a thread body that is coated with Sally Hansen’s Hard as Nails as the center piece of this pattern. It has found great success for trout throughout the Western United States. While dabbling at the vise with that fly in mind I came up with a steelhead variation that incorporates a hot pink (or chartreuse) bead, and a Semi-Seal dubbing collar. I have now fished this nymph for steelhead for the past four seasons, and done very well.

Steelhead Nymph - Black Jack Steel

The two colors I fish this fly in are pink as a first choice, and chartreuse coming in second. I’m not sure why, but it seems to me that steelhead are typically more willing to take nymphs with pink on them over other colors. I’m sure that is not the case everywhere, and it is probably just the rivers that I fish. Either way, I always have a multitude of colors in my steelhead boxes. I think it makes it more fun that way!

Black Jack Steel - Chartreuse

Black Jack Steel - Pink

There are multiple factors that make this a winning pattern including it’s ease of tying, durability, and it’s ability to catch steelhead. Give it a shot!

Idaho Steelhead

Hook: Dai-Riki 135 (Sizes 8)
Bead: Hot Pink or Chartreuse Tungsten (Size 5/32)
Weight: Lead Wire
Thread: Black UTC 140 Denier
Tail: Black Goose Biot
Rib: Fl. Pink/Chartreuse (depending on variation) UTC 140 Denier
Glue for Body: Sally Hansen’s Hard as Nails
Collar: Black Semi-Seal (Pink) or Peacock Semi-Seal (Chartreuse)
Wings: White Goose Biot

Tungsten Embryo – #1 Egg Pattern for Steelhead and Trout

The Tungsten Embryo has caught everything from Steelhead to Bull Trout to Alaskan Rainbows, dollies, and grayling. Not to mention just about every other salmonid species in the western US. It is an egg pattern with a tungsten bead embedded in the center to add the weight necessary to get the egg near the stream bottom where it belongs.

Steelhead Caught on Tungsten Embryo

Steelhead Caught on Tungsten Embryo

Bull Trout Caught on Tungsten Embryo

Bull Trout Caught on Tungsten Embryo

Alaskan Rainbow Caught on Tungsten Embryo

Alaskan Rainbow Caught on Tungsten Embryo

If you are wondering how to tie flies that quickly get into the feeding zone of fish, tungsten is the answer. In the past I wasn’t a huge fan of the ever successful glo bug because it had no weight to it, and required significant amounts of split shot to get it down. Soft otter eggs fell into this same category of trout/steelhead egg patterns, and after years of moderate success I finally came up with an egg pattern that I have found to be significantly better. I’ve now been fishing this pattern for four years now and have found great success with it. It is extremely durable, and without a doubt either the hook will dull, or you will break off before the body of this pattern will fall apart.



Loon Outdoors has a product called UV Fly Paint. It is a UV curable material that comes in three colors, red, orange, and yellow. All three can be used on this fly, but red and orange are my preferred colors. I’ve also tried many different colored tungsten bead under this material, but silver has a very subtle shine from beneath the material that I personally prefer regardless of the outer material used.

Give this pattern a shot, you won’t be disappointed.

Hook: Dai-Riki 135 Sizes 8-12
Bead: Silver Tungsten 1/8-7/64 depending on hook size
Thread: UTC 140 FL Pink
Egg Material: UV Fly Paint (Red, Orange, or Yellow)

Rowley Stone – Fly Tying Instructional Video

Trout feed on stonefly nymphs year round. This has been the best producing stonefly pattern I’ve fished. The hotspot collar along with the combination of durable materials formed in the outline of a stonefly are a proven success. It has been the #1 producing stonefly in my box for years now.

Brown Trout Stonefly Pattern

Wet Rowley Stone

Wet Rowley Stone

The size of the naturally occurring stonefly varies depending on species. The largest stoneflies are the salmonflies (Pteronarcys) with the golden stones (Hesperoperla and Claassenia) coming in second regarding size. I typically fish the Rowley Stone in a size 6 to represent both species. I will adjust between the dark Rowley Stone and the Golden Rowley Stone depending on which of the larger stoneflies is more present in the river I am fishing. The only other adjustment I make is regarding the weight of the fly. For deep swift currents I fish this fly with a heavy tungsten bead (5/32 for a size 6). If I find myself on a small stream where large stoneflies are found to be the food source of choice I fish it with a brass bead. My box is never void of both the tungsten version, and the brass.

Golden Rowley Stone

Golden Rowley Stone

Golden Stonefly Nymph

It has been fun to experience the development of this pattern. This fly was in the R&D stages for over four years before I was finally content with the final product. Along the way it has caught many fish regardless of the version it was tied in. Creating and developing flies that become irreplaceable pieces in your fly box is just one more reason to spend time at the vice.

Brown w/ Rowley stone

First Version Rowley Stone Four Year Ago


Dark Rowley Stone
Hook: Any nymph hook size 6-8 (Dai-Riki 135)
Bead: Gold Brass or Gold Tungsten (for added weight)
Thread: Black UTC 140
Weight: Lead wire .020
Tail: Black goose biots
Rib: 3x Monofilament 
Back: Dark Brown Net Back Grading Foil (Link Below)
Abdomen: Bronze Peacock Semi-Seal dubbing
Wing case: Dark Brown Net Back Grading Foil
Thorax: Bronze Peacock Semi-Seal dubbing
Legs: Black Krystal Flash and Black Turkey Flats
Collar: Bighorn orange Sow-Scud dubbing
Golden Rowley Stone
Hook: Any nymph hook size 6-8 (Dai-Riki 135)
Bead: Gold Brass or Gold Tungsten (for added weight)
Thread: Camel Uni 6/0
Weight: Lead wire .020
Tail: Natural Brown goose biots
Rib: 3x Monofilament 
Back: Dark Brown Net Back Grading Foil (Link Below)
Abdomen: Mercer’s Crystal Buggy Dubbing Golden Stone (Link Below)
Wing case: Dark Brown Net Back Grading Foil
Thorax: Mercer’s Crystal Buggy Dubbing Golden Stone
Legs: Rootbear Krystal Flash and Natural Pheasant Tail Fibers
Collar: Yellow Hare’s Ear Dubbing

I purchase the Net Back Foil from the Blue Quill Angler Here.

Mercer’s Crystal Buggy Nymph Dubbing also comes from the Blue Quill Angler Here.


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