Dennis Collier Fly Illustration - Copyright Dennis Collier 2015Fly Patterns

Dennis Collier ©2015Third Eye Enlightenment – Fly Patterns

Click here for the "Third Eye Enlightenment for the Stillwater Angler" article.
By Dennis P. Collier

  • DC's QD Boatman

    Hook: TMC 3761, size 10 to 14
    Thread: Yellow 8/0
    Eyes: Black pre-colored and melted 30# Mason's Hard Nylon
    Shellback: Bustard Thin Skin
    Kicker Legs: PMD goose biots
    Body: Silver/Gold Quick Descent

    Note: Dub rear 1/3 of body with silver QD to represent the air bubble, complete the body with gold QD. Fish this fly in the shallow areas of lakes and ponds and use stout tippets - this fly can draw savage strikes!


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  • DC's Wing & Flash Minnow

    Hook: TMC 811S, size 4, 6
    Thread: Cream 3/0 Monocord
    Tail: Two matched and mated Badger hen neck hackles
    Body: Pearl Flashabou wrapped over hook shank
    Rib: Small silver UTC wire
    Throat: Pearl Wing & Flash plus 4 strands of Pearl Firefly
    Wing & Flash stacked: Medium brown, Yellow, Medium brown, Dark brown
    Eyes/Head: Small gold self-adhesive eyes coated with 5-minute epoxy

    Note: This pattern is effective fished in the shallow littoral zones of lakes and ponds where schools of baitfish congregate. Fish early morning/late evening behind a larger streamer pattern for best results.

  • Hot-Head QT

    Hook: TMC 3761, size 10 to 14
    Thread: Dark brown 8/0
    Tag: Gold Mirage Mylar Tinsel
    Rib: Gold X-small UTC wire
    Under Body: Rusty brown dubbing
    Body: Peacock herl
    Hackle: Yellow died or natural grizzly hackle – fore and aft

    Note: The QT is a decades-old Wyoming standard. I've added an eye-catching hot orange or yellow bead to kick it up a notch. This fly catches more than it's share of fish so don't leave home without it!


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  • DC's Bunny Muddler

    Hook: TMC 5263, size 4 to 8
    Thread: Camel 8/0
    Body: Gold Diamond Flat Braid
    Rib: Small gold UTC wire
    Tail: Mottled turkey wing
    Under Wing: Orange Wing & Flash or Fox Squirrel
    Wing: Mottled turkey wing
    Collar: Gold Variant rabbit fur from Zonker strip tied 360 degrees around hook
    Head: Gold Variant rabbit fur from Zonker strip spun in a dubbing loop and wrapped to form the head, trimmed to shape

    Note: The venerable Muddler Minnow is a "must have" pattern for the stillwater angler. By using rabbit fur for the collar and head instead of deer, I've achieved a very slow sink rate when the fly is left unweighted. Fish shallow on a slow sinking Stillwater fly line early and late in the day, and well into the night for big meat eating trout!

  • DC's Puddle Bug

    Hook: TMC 3769, size 10 to 14
    Thread: Camel 8/0
    Tag: Gold Mirage Mylar Tinsel
    Rib: Gold X-small UTC wire
    Body: Peacock herl ribbed with chartreuse Ostrich herl
    Collar: Grizzly hen neck – the softer the better

    Note: The Puddle Bug was a spur of the moment creation, made while waiting for fishing partners to arrive on a trip to Wyoming's Diamond Lake several decades ago. I'm not sure what it imitates but it ended up saving that trip and has resided in my stillwater fly box ever since.


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  • DC's Puddle Bug Variations

    Hook: TMC 3769, size 10 to 14
    Thread: Camel 8/0
    Tag: Gold Mirage Mylar Tinsel
    Rib: Gold X-small UTC wire
    Body: Peacock herl or rough dubbing in a variety of buggy colors
    Hackle: Hen neck to match the color scheme of the fly
    Collar (optional): White hen neck

    Note: The Puddle Bugs are a family of impressionistic flies utilizing various materials and color combinations to represent various insects and crustations. Use your imagination to create your own favorites.

  • DC's Hedgehog

    Hook: TMC 3769, size 10 to 14
    Thread: Grey 8/0
    Tag: Gold Mirage Mylar Tinsel
    Rib: Silver X-small UTC wire
    Body: Grey dubbing with a lot of guard hair included for spike
    Hackle: Dun hen neck
    Collar (optional): Dun hen neck

    Note: The Hedgehog is an impressionistic pattern that does a good job of imitating scuds and sow bugs. It can also be tied in olive or tan to match the naturals.

  • Squirrel Leech

    Hook: TMC 9395, size 6, 8
    Thread: Dark brown 8/0
    Weight: 12 to 15 wraps of .010 lead wire
    Body: Brown squirrel strip
    Wing: Brown squirrel strip

    Note: Bend the hook shank slightly upward about one-quarter inch behind the head. Fill this space with lead wire to give the fly an undulating action. This fly is also called the Cowboy Leech up in Wyoming.


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  • Biot Scud

    Hook: TMC 3761, size 10 to 16
    Tail: Natural Partridge breast hackle fibers
    Back: Olive, Grey, Tan, or Orange Turkey biot
    Rib: Gold, size Small, UTC wire
    Body: Olive, Grey, Tan, or Orange dubbing of choice, picked out to represent legs

    Note: This is just another version of the prolific scud patterns which equal in number to the crustation itself. I just like the looks of turkey biots versus other materials. Coat the biot with Sally Hanson's Hard As Nails polish to add durability.

  • DC's Serenpupaty

    Hook: TMC 2499 SPBL
    Thread: Dark brown 8/0
    Weight: Black Tungsten bead
    Body: Dark brown 8/0
    Rib: Ginger, size Small, UTC wire
    Wing Sprout: Extra fine deer hair
    Collar: Brown dubbing with a lot of spike, picked out

    Note: Suspend a brace of these fast sinking chironomid pupae imitations beneath a strike indicator during those "buzzer" hatches, then hang on!


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  • DC's CDC Crippled Buzzer

    Hook: TMC 200R, size 12 to 16
    Thread: Black or Dark brown 8/0
    Body: Underbody of tying thread, over-wrapped with clear D-rib or Micro-tubing
    Wing Case: Dark grey Swiss Straw
    Thorax: Dark grey dubbing
    Legs: Dark Dun CDC hackle, palmered over the thorax
    Optional: Wing sprouts of white fluorofiber extending from behind the wing case
    Antennae: Dark Dun CDC hackle – trimmed very short over hook eye

    Note: Drift a brace of these patterns just under the surface on a floating line, when the "buzzer" hatches start coming off hot and heavy on your favorite stillwater venue.

  • Pat's Rubber legs (a.k.a. The Pickle)

    Hook: TMC 5263, size 6, 8
    Thread: Camel 8/0
    Weight: .010 lead wire entire shank length
    Tails/legs/antennae: Golden brown Sexi-legs or Flex Floss
    Body: Brown or gold chenille

    Note: This pattern is just the old Girdle Bug revisited, but utilizing a slightly different material for the legs. It is also a recent addition to my stillwater fly pattern collection, and has already accounted for many nice trout. The last fly I probably would have chosen for lake fishing, in retrospect it probably does a better job than many for imitating large dragonfly nymphs. Only the fish know for sure, but carry and fish some, you might be pleasantly surprised as well.


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  • DC's Motorboat Caddis

    Hook: TMC 100SPBL, size 12, 14
    Thread: Tan 8/0
    Tail: Moose or elk mane
    Body: Tan 2mm foam, colored with orange Magic Marker on both sides
    Wing: Tan yearling elk
    Hackle: Grizzly

    Note: This fly floats like a cork and draws savage strikes when "high-stick" skated across the surface chop during those prolific stillwater caddis hatches. Put a Wickham's Fancy on a dropper a couple of feet below this fly to add even more fish enticing allure.


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  • TBH 1870 Hornberg

    Hook: Daiichi 1870 or TMC 200R, size 4 – 8
    Thread: Camel 8/0
    Weight: Tarnished gold or black Tungsten bead, sized to match hook
    Body: Gold Mirage Mylar Tinsel, or tier's choice
    Rib: Small gold wire
    Under Wing: Orange or yellow 4-strand flat floss, trimmed to hook shank length
    Wing: Mallard breast dyed wood duck, or natural mallard
    Cheeks (Optional): Starling hackle, Jungle Cock nails, or tiers choice

    Note: The Hornberg is a timeless and wonderful fly pattern fished both dry and wet. Add a tungsten beadhead and it becomes a deadly bait fish imitation when presented in the shallows during the low light hours of dawn and dusk.

  • Green Bomber

    Hook: TMC 5263, size 10
    Thread: Olive 8/0
    Tail: Two strands peacock herl, splayed and trimmed
    Abdomen/thorax: Olive size small chenille, olive thread or flat floss
    Hackle: Grizzly, palmered through thorax

    Note: This has been a Wyoming damsel nymph standard for decades. Unorthodox in appearance when compared to more realistic patterns, however, if I had a dollar for every fish caught on this fly I'd be a wealthy man!


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  • Wickham's Fancy

    Hook: TMC 3761, size 10 - 14
    Thread: Camel 8/0
    Tail: Brown hackle fibers
    Body: Gold Mirage Mylar Tinsel
    Body Hackle: Brown saddle or dry fly hackle, palmered front to back
    Rib: X-small gold wire, woven back to front to secure hackle
    Wing: Lemon wood duck breast or flank fibers
    Legs: Brown hen hackle

    Note: This is an "Old World" pattern that does a great job of imitating several insects in the emergence phase. I use it in a "cast" of two or three flies during a Motorboat Caddis (Traveling Sedge) hatch, or as a dropper below a DC's Motorboat Caddis. Wyoming rainbows in excess of eight-pounds have fallen for this fly during "the hatch."

  • Duck's Arse Damsel

    Hook: TMC 220R, size 10, 12
    Thread: Olive 8/0
    Eyes: Olive pre-colored and melted 30# Mason Hard Nylon
    Tail: Olive grizzly marabou
    Abdomen: Olive/brown D-rib, wound in open wraps, then secured with super glue
    Wing Case: Olive Swiss straw
    Legs: Olive CDC hackle palmered over thorax
    Thorax: Olive rabbit with guard hair

    Note: The CDC hackle on this fly gets that "oily" look when wet, and adds a lot of pulsating action when the fly is given a short stripping action.


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  • Hamill's Killer

    Hook: TMC 5262, size 6, 8
    Thread: Black 8/0
    Tail: Black dyed squirrel tail (Optional: Golden Pheasant tippets over squirrel)
    Body: Pearl Mirage Mylar Tinsel or Pearl Diamond Flat Braid
    Wing: Mallard flank dyed wood duck or pale yellow orange
    Collar: Black hen neck hackle

    Note: This is my bastardized version of an old New Zealand standard, but it works just as well here as it does "down under" – especially in many of the Wyoming reservoirs where yellow perch (ring perch) reside in abundance. The original pattern called for an orange wool body but I prefer to add a little fishy sparkle under the wings. Big browns, in particular, really like this fly!

  • TBH Albino Minkzonker

    Hook: TMC 5262 or 5263, size 6, 8
    Thread: White 8/0
    Body: Pearl Diamond Flat Braid
    Rib: White, size Small, UTC wire
    Wing: White mini-mink Zonker strip
    Collar: White hen back hackle

    Note: Yes, I know, the name is a mouthful – but more importantly, it's a big juicy mouthful for those meat hungry lake and reservoir trout. I like to fish this fly in early spring and late fall when there's a good surface chop on the water. White Zonkers are a "must have" fly pattern in any serious stillwater arsenal, so don't leave home without them!

The following flies...

also represent some of my favorite stillwater patterns, but in the interest of keeping things simple, I've elected to direct you to the "pattern archives" link on this web site for recipe's and tying instructions. Each of these flies has also been represented in accompanying articles which may be viewed in the "article archives" link.
  • DC Leech

  • DC's Bunny Damsel

  • DC's Crippled Callibaetis

  • DC's Flash-back Callibaetis Nymph

  • DC's Flash-back Callibaetis Soft-hackle

  • DC's Stillborn Callibaetis

  • DC's Doo-dad

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