Thank you for visiting our fly tying blog! Here you will find free step-by-step instructions for fly patterns that we have found to be very successful while fishing on the Tributaries of Lake Erie known as " Steelhead Alley." You will also be able to see step-by-step instructions for warm water, tube, trout, and destinational fly patterns. If you would like to request a pattern tutorial that you do not see,please send requests to

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Mike's Guppy

If your definition of a 'guide fly' is an effective fly that is a quick tie using only a few materials, then this fly fits that description wonderfully. Using only bead chain eyes, grizzly marabou, and Australian possum the Guppy is a fly that you can knock out in short order but is a go to type fly in low and clear water conditions.

STEP 1: With your Daiichi 2461 size 4 in the vise, get your tan 140 denier thread started at the head and then wrap one third of the way back down the hook shank.

STEP 2: Using figure eight wraps tightly secure the bead chain eyes to the top of the hook shank, then wrap your thread to the back of the hook.

STEP 3: Even up a pair of Grizzly Marabou feathers by the tips and then tie them in as a tail. The feathers should hang off the back of the hook approximately the length of the hook shank. Once they are tied in continue to wrap forward to the eyes, spinning the feather around the hook shank with your thread to form a quick and dirty underbody, then return your thread to the tie in point at the back of the hook.

STEP 4: Stroke back the fibers of a third Grizzly Marabou feather and tie the feather in by the tip.

STEP 5: Fold the feather and stroke back the fibers so you do not trap any at the tie in point, then carefully palmer the Grizzly Marabou feather forward to the eyes to form the body of the fly.

STEP 6: Advance your thread up to just behind the eye and tie in a chunk of Australian Possum. The best hair for this is taken from the rear half of the skin as that hair has far more underfur, and so creates a much more dense head.

STEP 7: Whip finish your thread just behind the eye of the hook, then trim the Australian Possum to a conical 'sculpin' shape. The bead chain eyes allow for a soft entry to the water but are enough weight to invert the hook. Having the head shaped in this manner forces the fly to low in the water column. Once wet the marabou really slicks back and forms a slender profile behind the thicker possum head.

If you are dealing with low and clear water then big and flashy flies may simply be too much for the fish to handle. When dealing with conditions like that I like to go with downsized flies, whether they be nymphs or streamers. These low water patterns are generally tied with little to no flash and natural coloration so that it mimics food without giving the fish cause for alarm. The Guppy is a undersized streamer that can be dead drifted, twitched, or swung to entice a bite. The marabou on this pattern allows the fly to breathe in even the slowest of current. In addition to steelhead this fly has proven to be equally effective when chasing carp or river smallmouth. To order this pattern or my other patterns, or if you have any questions about the pattern that were not addressed, please visit