Fly Tying Recipes, Info, and More



The last 4 to 6 years the streamer category, in terms of types of flies, has probably seen more innovation that all other types of flies and methods in existence.  There’s been a revival or renaissance of streamer tying and fishing like we haven’t seen in decades or even a half century.  New materials, new methods, many new fly patterns, and I have been honing this craft, something I have always done, all along the way.  There are many new flies that are built on a platform so to speak, articulated, that is with one or more connecting sections, either using shanks or wire or backing loops.  They all catch fish like crazy, and I must say these flies have put the largest brown trout ever in my net or boat.

This pattern is a variation on a pattern I developed years ago that I call a Locked n Loaded.  Its articulated, has lead eyes, a hair head, and is a great pattern for trout and bass.  It is among the best brown trout flies you can throw.  Its essentially two flies connected by a wire loop.


Rear 1/2 of fly

Hook:  Gamakatsu B10S sizes 2-6  size 6 if you are tying a 3.5 inch fly, size 4 if a 4.5 inch fly, 2 if a 5-6 inch fly.  This fly I am using a size 6

Thread:  UTC 70 Hopper Yellow

Tail:  Marabou, Very light yellow

Body:  small copper crystal chenille

Hackle:  Grizzly neck hackle, tied in tip first, then palmered over the wrapped chenille body

Wing:  Hareline Rabbit strip, sand variant color, tied on top 1.5 times hook length

Overwing:  Dyed Mallard flank feather tied on top like a ‘hood’ …..wood duck flank is fine too

Connecting Material

Beadalon 7 strand Bead stringing wire  .024″

Three 5/32″ metal beads (gold)

Front 1/2 of fly

Hook;  Gamakatsu B10S  size 4 (size 4 for 3.5 inch fly, size 2 for 4.5 inch fly, size 1 for 5.5 inch fly

Thread:  UTC 70 Hopper Yellow , for all the body except for the hair head

Thread: for finishing the by hair spinning G.S.P 100 in white

Wing:  Marabou, light yellow same as rear of fly

Body:  small copper crystal chenille

Hackle:  Grizzly, tied in by its tip, palmered

Eyes:  Lead, Med, painted Chartreuse with black pupils

Wing:  Deer Hair Grayish brown

Legs:  4 sili legs, 2 amber/gold and 2 brown/glitter, tied in so there’s 2 of each color down each side of the body

Head:  Stacked deer hair, brown on top, natural on bottom

Tying Steps

We often are using the streamer patterns we fish with a sink tip or sinking line.  Here’s a pretty good video from one of our line suppliers, and which I am an ambassador for, RIO PRODUCTS.

Streamers Inc from scumliner media on Vimeo.

Our fly company has produced flies for over three decades…..patterns can be tied to order….small batch, high quality, tied by a guide with over 30 years experience in the industry both from a guide and a fly tying standpoint.  Follow us here on Instagram….  click here


Tying A Jeff’s Dead Squirrel

Though certainly not a new pattern totally, it is a very effective one for trout, bass (large and smallmouth), and panfish.  Essentially a wooly bugger hybrid that I have used to great success, particularly with large fish, and typically fished dead drift as well.    It can be fished dead drift or stripped or a combination of the two, but in my opinion on this one dead drift is king.  It is a deadly fly on the larger fish in the private waters I guide folks on.  For whatever reason, dead drifting any streamer is a bizarre concept for some, but we catch some of our largest fish this way……fish over 5lbs that won’t move to hit a fly presented any other way.  This is especially true on hard fished waters or winter fishing where a large fish isn’t going to move far for anything, and almost never UP to hit something.  They feed more on a horizontal plane….laterally I surmise……and that’s another reason I use a tungsten bead on this bug.  It gets to the bottom.

This fly, simple as it is,  was our most requested custom tied patterns of the past 3 seasons.

Made of incredibly tasty components, are those components are….:


Hook:  Daichii 1560 or 1530 sizes 10-14

Thread:   UTC 140 Red

Head:   1/8 Tungsten bead, gold

Tail:   Pine squirrel strip tied short, natural I like, black is a good #2

Ribbing:  Silver wire on natural version, copper wire on black version

Body:  Peacock Herl on Natural Version, Black Diamond Braid on Black Version

TYING DIRECTIONS for Jeff’s Dead Squirrel Strymph (Streamer-Nymph)

Install the bead small hole first and push it against hookeye. Then start thread just in back of it.

Wrap about six turns of .010 lead wire and jam the wire forward to fill the backside of the bead hole. Trim the ends. Trim tag engs of lead

Jam the lead wraps up into the hole in the bead, then overwrap with thread, then create a ‘cone’ of thread as in above. Then lay a thread base all the way back to the end of the hook shank.

Tie in pine squirrel strip just back of the bead and wrap all the way back to the rear, stopping where the hook shank begins to bend down.

Wrap thread back over as shown. Leave thread positioned here.

Tie in two strips of flashabou on each side of tail

Wrap thread back to front and tie in several strands (4-6) of peacock herl as shown.

Wrap back over the squirrel strip to the rear as shown.

Tie in a grizzly hackle by its tip as shown. Secure and then trim the tip off.

Tie in a 3-4 inch piece of silver wire.

Tie down wire , secure , trim excess.

Wrap peacock herl forward to form body. Tie off right at the bead, trim excess.

Wrap hackle forward to bead, tie off, trim.

Now wrap the wire forward going the opposite direction, or backward, spiraling the wire through the hackle fibers…wiggling back and forth as you make wraps will help the wire to navigate between the fibers. Only make 5-7 wraps of wire and evenly space them out. Tie off wire and trim excess.

Make several turns of thread, creating a red line behind the bead….just like an accent wrap. Whip finish and cement.

The finished fly…. To catch fish just add water….

I also frequently tie a few variations of this pattern, one of which is a black version with a diamond braid body.  Here’s that fly in a step by step recipe as above:

Since tailing the fly is the same as above, with no variation except changing the tail color to black, we’ll start there. Position the thread as shown.

Tie in a 3-4 inch piece of black diamond braid, can also substitute chenille, yarn, or like body materials, secure with several tight turns, then bring thread back to rear as shown.

Tie in a grizzly hackle by its tip, then a piece of wire, and secure both with several tight turns of thread.

Wrap body material forward to the back edge of the bead, then tie off and trim excess.

Wrap hackle forward, tie off. Trim excess.  Whip finish and cement.

Here’s a Testemonial from a former flyfishing class student on the Dead Squirrel…

Hi Jeff,

My name is David Horky and I took your fly fishing class the fall before last.  Since then I’ve been tying and fishing your dead squirrel pattern from your web page.  I’m sure you know better than any one this fly is amazing.  I’ve probably caught 90% of my trout and bass on this pattern.  However, the picture that I’ve attached is my wife’s first trout.  It was caught last Saturday on a Jeff’s dead squirrel none the less.  Thanks for passing along your knowledge and experience of the sport.




My oldest son Ben with a huge rainbow that found a Dead Squirrel very much to its liking.

Here are some other great patterns…….make note for NC waters articulated patterns can only have 1 single hook and be legal.

Galloup’s Articulated Barely Legal

Galloup’s Articulated Boogey Man

Galloup’s Articulated Bottoms Up

@copyright 2020      All Rights Reserved     Jeff Wilkins Fly Fishing         all  text and photos by Jeff Wilkins 2020