Biot Nymph

As fellow anglers know, the go to flies such as GRHE’s, PTN’s and Hotspot Nymphs are sometimes ignored for reasons only known to fish. When this happens, try this one. It is easy to tie and the materials used are readily available.

1. Hook: Kamasan B175 #14.
2. Thread: Olive 140 denier or 6/0. Use thread that splits easily such as Ultra Thread from UTC.
3. Tail: Fibres from hen hackle.
4. Abdomen: Goose biots, olive. For larger hooks use turkey biots.
5. Thorax: Hare’s dubbing dyed olive with plenty guard hairs.
6. Wing case/flashback: Saltwater flash cut smaller lengthwise.


1. With the hook in the vice, start the thread behind the hook eye and cover the shank with thread. Stop above the barb. The last wrap should be on top of the second last one to create a small bump, as can be seen at the left end of the hook shank above.


2. Select about 10 fibres from a feather. Tie in on top of the hook shank with the first wrap just on the hook eye side of the little bump. Put just enough tension on the thread to flair the tail fibres a little.


3. Cover the fibres with thread till behind the hook eye and cut off the excess. Wrap the thread back to the tail to form a smooth under body.


4. Tie in a goose biot by the tip with the nick at it’s base facing the hook eye. Wrap the thread to the thorax area.


5. Wrap the biot in overlapping turns to the thorax area, tie off and cut the excess.


6. Tie in the flash on top of the shank in the thorax area.


7. Split the thread and add a sparse noodle of dubbing to one side for about 70 to 80 mm. Make sure to include plenty guard hairs.


8. Spin the thread clockwise to form a tight rope.


9. Wrap the dubbing to form the thorax, fold the flash over to the hook eye, tie off behind the hook eye and cut the excess. Form a small head with thread and tie off.


10. Add some head cement and you are done! Tight lines!

– Herman Loubser

Crafty Bunny a.k.a. “Die Muishond”

Step by step tutorial for tying the Crafty Bunny a.k.a. “Die Muishond”

HOOK: Gamakatsu B10S, #4 or AWA SHIMA 42-8714, #2
140mm Ultra thread in black or olive
4mm Ufudu real dumbbells – tied underneath the hook shank
2cm black zonker strip
Hairline ICE DUB Minnow back shimmer flash
Dubbing loop craft fur brush


Step 1
Cover the shank with a layer of thread and figure of eight a pair of real
eyes to the bottom of the shank about 4-5mm from the hook eye. We mostly use 4mm “Real Eyes” obtainable from UFUDU.

Prepare the hook

Die Muishond – Step 1

Step 2
Tie in a loop of 20-30 pound mono to the rear end of the hook to act as a
tail wrapping guard. I use 30 pound Maxima.
You can also attach a short piece of the same Mono to the front by flattening a
4mm section pushing the Mono through the eye and wrapping over the flattened
section to act as a weed guard. You can also postpone this step till later. This
is also the time to include some turns of lead wire behind the eyes if you are
aiming for a heavier version.

Die Muishond - Step 2

Die Muishond – Step 2

Step 3
Tie in some flashy material above the weed guard and then tie in a Rabbit
strip of approximately 3cm. In this picture I have pushed the weed guard back
into the eye to keep it out of the way for the following steps.


Die Muishond – Step 3

Step 4
Double up your thread to create a dubbing loop and insert your dubbing


Die Muishond – Step 4

Step 5
Cut up a few pieces of flash to mix with the craft fur. Insert craft fur mixed with flash of your choice and spin to form a Craft Fur Brush and comb it out with a dubbing brush, copper brush or comb.


Die Muishond – Step 5

Step 6
Wrap the brush forward whilst continuously stroking it backwards and
combing to loosen trapped material. If you have omitted the weed guard tie it in
before you wrap over the eyes, if already tied in then wrap over the eyes with
the brush in a figure of eight fashion, once under and in front of the eyes and
tie it off. Keeping the weed-guard at an angle.


Die Muishond – Step 6a

Brushing back the fur with your fingers.

Die Muishond – Step 6b

Step 7
Trim the fly to the desired shape (I like a fairly tightly trimmed
bullet shape).

Trim the fly

Die Muishond – Step 7

This pattern is nothing new and merely combines a few of the traits of several
Largie favourites in one attractive package. Most other Largie streamer patterns
would probably have delivered the same results but it has been very effective
this summer and has accounted for more than 60 Largemouths and many big
Smallmouths between 3 anglers since January. It should be a welcome addition to
any Largie hunter’s arsenal.


Crafty Bunny a.k.a Die Muishond

Black has been our favourite colour mostly due to the relatively poor visibility
in the river the whole season but olives and combinations of olive and black
have been equally effective. More natural colours such as whites and greys and
grizzlies would probably be effective in clearer conditions as well.



Nice Smallie with the “Muishond” dangling from it’s upper lip.


Another victim of the “Muishond”.


lm c

A nice Largemouth which fell victim to a Tungsten eyed Muishond

The Pheasant Tail Nymph (PTN)

As a Smallmouth fly-fisherman, if there is one fly you should be very familiar with, it will have to be the PTN (Pheasant Tail Nymph). Mastering this very simple and basic nymph will help you tremendously, laying a solid foundation for all your other nymphs. It is not flashy and fancy, but it is effective in both still water and rivers and it is very easy to tie.

I’m aiming this SBS at the novice fly tier and I hope the novice can learn something out of this, saving a lot of time on future attempts at the vice!

If we look at a nymph pattern you can divide it into three parts:
The thorax, the body and the tail section.

  • The tail should be at least, but no more than one and a half times the length of the body of the fly.
  • The body should cover about half the shank of the hook or a little more.
  • The thorax should be clearly defined and should be thicker than the thickest part of the body.


For the PTN we are going to need the following:

  • Nymph hook of choice (I’m using a #14 R72 Mustad hook in this step-by-step)
  • Ringneck Pheasant center tail feather
  • Peacock herl
  • Fine copper wire
  • Tying thread: 6/0 Danville waxed brown thread


  •   Brass/tungsten bead and lead wraps to weight the fly.

Step 1
If you want to weight your nymph a bit you can place a brass/tungsten bead on it and give it a few lead wraps.


For this SBS I’m going to tie an unweighted PTN.
Tie in your thread and also secure the copper wire at the base of the hook. When tying in your thread, wrap it till it is in line with the barb on the hook. Further than this and you run the risk of tying on the bend of the hook and not on the shank.


Step 2
Take about 5 strands of the pheasant tail barbs, making sure they are long enough to cover the whole shank when we are going to wrap them later.
Tie in the tail. A tip is to tie in the tail too long, wrapping it once with your thread only to hold it in place. Now take the barbs at the thick base part and pull them into place till you are satisfied with the length of the tail. Wrap it again once to secure it into place. Be mindful not to use to much thread turns here otherwise there will be a bulge near the tail which we would want to try and avoid.


Step 3
Wrap the pheasant tail barbs forward, forming a tapered body as you move towards the thorax area. A tip is to spread the barbs our in the beginning to ensure a tight thin tail section and to bunch the barbs together as you move forward making it easier to add volume and form a tapered body.


Step 4
Wrap the copper wire in the opposite direction than you wrapped the barbs in, overlapping the barbs securing and strengthening the somewhat fragile pheasant tail barbs.
Wrap the wire loosely and evenly spaced, around 5-6 wraps (depending on the hook size) would do nicely. Secure the wire with a couple of thread wraps and remove the waste.
You can use a thicker wire to create a more ribbed effect and even tie it with different colours, gold and silver wire also being very popular.


Step 5
Take 2-3 peacock herls, snip of a centimetre or two from the tips removing the most fragile part of the herl. Tie in the herl at the tips.


Step 6
Wrap the herl towards the eye of the hook forming a nice dense thorax. For trout flies one can strengthen the herl by first covering the shank with head cement or super glue, or take one or two loose wraps of thread through the herl to strengthen it. I found this not a necessity for Smallmouth Yellowfish since they have a very soft mouth and very, very rarely rough up a fly.


Step 7
Bring over the rest of the pheasant tail creating a wing case. Try and flat it out as much as possible to create a well defined wing case. One tip is spread the barbs out like a fan and try and secure it like this with one or two thread wraps.


Step 8
Tie off the thread, half hitch or whip finish, and snip of the excess as close to the wraps as you can without cutting the thread. A drop of head cement to secure the wraps and you are done.


Like I said in the beginning, this is the foundation for almost all nymph patterns, like the orange hot spot, flashback nymphs, etc.


Happy tying!

Gold-Ribbed Hare’s Ear (GRHE)

SBS for a GRHE
by Herman Loubser

The Gold-Ribbed Hare’s Ear (GRHE) is a very old pattern and is without doubt one of the best flies ever! As far as I am concerned, it is also one of the best for nymphing the Vaal. During the summer months Smallmouth Yellows will seldom refuse a GRHE provided it is well presented.

1. Hook: Kamasan B175 #12.
2. Brass bead 3 mm. I like to use a bead when nymphing the Vaal. A tungsten bead can be used if more weight is desired.
3. Thread: Tan, 140 denier or 6/0. Use thread that splits easily such as Ultra Thread from UTC.
4. Lead wire 0.025” (optional).
5. Rib: Ultra Wire size brassie.
6. Tail: Guard hairs from a hare’s mask.
7. Abdomen and thorax: Dubbing taken from hare’s mask.
8. Wing case: Three to four strands of peacock herl.



1. Slip on the bead. Wrap lead wire to cover the thorax area. Wrap thread over the lead and rest of the hook shank.


2. Cut a small bunch from a hare’s mask and remove as much of the underfur as possible.



3. Tie in the guard hairs to form the tail.



4. Tie in the ribbing material.


5. Split the thread and add some dubbing obtained from a hare’s mask to one or both strands. Spin to form a tight rope (see no. 10).



6. Wrap the dubbing rope towards the hook eye to form the abdomen.


7. Counter wrap the rib and tie off.


8. Tie in the material for the wing case on top of the hook shank.


9. Split the thread again and add dubbing. Make sure to include plenty guard hairs.



10. Spin the thread to form a tight rope and then wrap forward to form the thorax.


11. Fold forward the peacock herl to form the wing case and tie off.


12. Add head cement to prevent the thread from unravelling.


13. Admire your work of art and don’t forget to try it out!