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

Friday, March 11, 2011

Wiley's Suspender Minner

Hook: Gamakatsu SP11 #2
Thread: 6/0 Uni-Thread
Tail: Schlappen Feather
Body: Ice Dubbing, Polar Chenille
Flash: Holographic Flashabou
Collar: Mallard Flank Feather

Step 1: Start by placing a Gamakatsu SP11 #2 In the vise. Wrap a layer of 6/0 Uni-Thread back to just before the hook point.

Step 2: Secure two schlappen feathers on either side of the hook shank.

Step 3: Place a small clump of buck tail on either side of the hook shank and secure right on top of point were the schlappen was tied in. This help hold the schlappen from crossing each other.

Step 4: Next, tie in a strand of UV Polar Chenille. Then dub some Ice Dubbing on the thread.

Step 5: Dub the Ice to about ¼” from the eye of the hook. Then wrap the Chenille to the same point, secure and cut the excess.

Step 6: Tie in a mallard flank feather at the same point the chenille was tied off at.

Step 7: Wrap the feather forward two to three times, tie off and cut excess.

Step 8: Next tie in a large clump of buck tail reverse style. Measure the clump so that the tips will extend just past the bend of the hook when folded back.

Step 9: Once the buck tail is folded back secure it with a few strong wraps.

Step 10: Next, take four to six strains of flashabou double over and secure on top of the fly. Wrap a nice bullet head, whip finish, cut thread off and glue. You can also place some eyes on at this time as well.

I came up with this pattern a few years ago when I was dealing with low waters on the Huron River. The whole concept was to make this fly with as few materials as possible and still have it still hold a bait fish profile. I wanted it to be weightless so I could throw it in to the shallow waters at that time. I have since found that this fly has much more uses than just a go to low water fly. The sparse and buoyant materials make for a fly with lots of movement when fished on a weighted fly line. Also this fly will almost suspend perfectly in the water column when you need a more wounded bait fish action. This fly has earned a permanent place in my fly box for smallmouth bass, trout, pike and anything else that crushes minnow. Tie one on and get bent!

Aaron guides for Schultz outfitters in Ann Arbor Michigan. If you have any questions e-mail him,, or check out