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Monday, February 7, 2011

Back Winged Scandi Tube

Tube flies are admittedly something I have not avidly pursued as long as other styles that I tie. I have of course tied up the odd bunch of tube leeches or Ice Mans over the last few years, but truthfully two things had held me back from really diving in hard and really becoming a student of the tradition and style wrapped up in tubes; cost and an adapter that does not allow the tube to spin. The cost of much of what is on the market for tube flies, both in materials and components, has been a significant barrier for me. More companies are starting to carry materials that are traditionally used on tube flies so that competition is driving costs towards the more reasonable end of the scale. As for the components, I happened upon a company out of Denmark called Pro FlyTyer that makes a very well thought out component system at a very solid price point as well as a well designed adapter that fits any vise. SCORE! That has allowed me to be able to spend my free time between orders learning the 'rules' so I can follow them for tradition sake and break them at will to push the boundaries. All I can say is that I am hooked. This first tube fly step by step from me covers a fly based on the traditional Scandi tubes.

Thread: UTC70 denier
Tube: Pro FlexiTube
Weight: Pro FlexiWeight
Body1: Finn Racoon
Body2: Schlappen
Body3: Ice Dub
Flash: Flashabou and/or Holographic Flashabou
Cheeks: Jungle Cock Eyes
Cone: Pro Soft SonicDisc

STEP 1: Start off the fly by firmly fitting the Pro FlexiTube on to your adapter or vise. In this case I have used the Pro FlexiNeedle which starts as a standard needle and transtions to a rectangular back. The shape and construction allow it to be used with any vise and firmly hold the tube so it will not spin.

STEP 2: Select the weight size you want for the fly and slide the Pro FlexiWeight on to the tube. Slide it all the way until it firmly butts against the tube transition.

STEP 3: Directly in front of the FlexiWeight tie in a clump of Finn Racoon to act as a back wing. Use a few tight wraps forward then wrap back right to the FlexiWeight to help cant the wing up just a bit.

STEP 4: Holding a schlappen feather by the tip, stroke back the fibers to give yourself a tie in point on the stem. Tie in the feather by that tie in point with a few tight wraps. This particular feather I chose is a 'IC Sub Funky Feather' from FeathersMC…John does some pretty wild dye jobs!

STEP 5: Dub in a base of Ice Dub for the shoulder of the fly. You will notice that the larger diameter of the tube, as compared to a hook shank, will increase the amount of dubbing necessary to appropriately cover the tube.

STEP 6: Fold the feather and tightly palmer it forward through the dubbing to form the shoulder; be careful not to trap fibers down as you wrap forward. This collar will give the fly some added body and help to keep the forward wing from collapsing.

STEP 7: Tie in a forward wing of Finn Racoon directly in front of the palmered schlappen. The length of the forward wing should extend all the way over the body and just past the rear wing so as to maintain a solid profile and taper.

STEP 8: Tie in some Flashabou and/or Holographic Flashabou of your choosing; I am partial to tying in three complimentary colors. Make sure that the first bunch is the longest, and each successive bunch a bit shorter to again maintain a proper taper. For this fly I chose a light purple, holographic pink and holographic cranberry.

STEP 9: For the cheeks you will tie in a Jungle Cock eye on each side of the tube. When tying this style it is imperative that you keep the materials tied in tight and the head small. The head I built up on this example would be far to big if I were not using a cone to finish off the fly.

STEP 10: I chose to cap off the front of this fly with a pink Pro Soft SonicDisc. It is a great injection molded piece that both forces water around the head as well as letting some through for even greater cavitation directly behind the cone. All the Pro cones also have a deep inner well so they can be used over a more bulky head and still be properly seated. Once the cone is seated use a razor to shave the tube down to just a millimeter or two in front of the cone.

STEP 11: To finish off the fly simply apply a flame to melt back the tube to the Pro SonicDisc. As the ProSonic disk is not metal you do have to be very careful as you melt down the tube not to melt the cone as well! The finished product will cast and swim like a charm.
If you have any questions about the pattern that were not addressed, please visit, or find me at the Anglers Choice Flies News Feed at
-mike schmidt