Fly Tying Winter Activity
Inside the Outdoors, January 2
, 2015

There are two types of sportsmen, I believe, those who don’t mind bearing the cold and taking to the frozen surfaces for ice fishing or the mountain slopes for skiing. The other are the men, women and youth who prefer to stay indoors in warmer temps preparing for the activities when spring rounds the corner and one can again hike in the meadows and woodlands or fish in the lakes and streams.

For those considering the latter, one of the more favorite activities is fly tying. I received my initial instruction by such greats as Russ Mowry and Ken Igo, inventors of the Green Weenie, a proven imitation that has fooled trout throughout the United States of America, if not beyond the borders of our country.

I vividly remember the thrill I received catching my first trout on this fly to the point that upon returning home, I had to call Russ and report my success story. And to think that I was just one of many then, now and in the future that will feel that adrenalin rush with every toss of that fly into the waters.

One day while out at one of the area lakes, I came upon one gentleman who was physically challenged. He had a prophetic arm and hand. Yet, he was fly fishing with none other than the Green Weenie. I had to inquire as to the possibility of other lures used to catch fish. He stated he didn’t need any other imitation. This fly caught all the trout he desired.

Essentially, it may be said that anyone can tie flies. As part of editorial license, may I insert two more words and then the sentence with reveal its true sense – Anyone ‘with patience’ can tie flies.

There are a number of items one will need in order to make all insect, animal or reptile imitations. The basic ones include a vice, lamp, bobbin, bobbin threader, scissors, needle nose pliers, and whip finisher. There are others, but these will get one started.

If we are going to tie the original Green Weenie, for example, we will need dry fly hooks sizes 12 or 14, lead wire, 3/0 waxed mono-cord green thread, green chenille, gold beads and head cement.

“There are many variations of this fly,” according to the www.trails. com website, “but the original version is simple and has become the favorite of many anglers because of the results it has produced.”

These are the instructions:

  • Slide the gold bead onto the hook and press it against the eye of the hook;
  • Wrap a layer of lead wire starting behind the bead and ending just as the hook begins to curve;
  • Lay a base of thread directly over the lead wire, starting behind the bead and ending at the curve of the hook;
  • Press one end of the green chenille against the hook shaft right before the curve. Position the chenille so the free end is pointing behind the hook. Tie it into place with the thread;
  • Create a one-half inch loop in the chenille by folding it so it is pointing toward the eye and then twisting it once. Tie the twisted part off so the loop creates a tail protruding from the back of the hook;
  • Wrap the thread around the body once again to just behind the head and then tie it off;
  • Wind the chenille around the shaft to create the body of the fly; wrap it all the way up to the beard. Tie the chenille into place with the thread, whip finish and apply head cement to hold the knots in place.

Adding a catch material bag to one’s vice will help keep the clipping in one location and not on tables, clothes or the floor.

Like the writer stated, this is just one variation. Personally, I have done well just tying the black thread near the curve and then tying on the green chenille at its half-way point. I take the back part and make a loop bring it back to the point of origin and tying it off. I then extend the thread up to the eye and twist it around a few times so it holds its place. I then wind the chenille toward the eye and tie it off with the black thread. Presto, I have my green weenie. I have even tied them without the loop and caught fish that way. Like the author stated,” There are variations…”

The great thing about tying flies is that if the fly doesn’t come out as perfect as a professional may tie it, it’s all in the presentation of. If it looks like a fly and acts like one, something will take it.!


- Paul J. Volkmann
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