2023 FLY OF THE MONTH
AFF's Fly of the Month is a long tradition of a fun competition where members can show off their tying skills and creativity. Don’t be put off if you think you are not advanced enough. These patterns are selected not only because they are great patterns for fish catching but they will also help tyers hone their skills.
If you participate, you will be a better tier. Guaranteed.
If you are new to a pattern…or even fly tying…you will find that while the competition is on, there is a lot of camaraderie and our members have a willingness to share skills and experience. A great place to meet many of these great tyers is at AFF’s Sipping & Tying the first Monday of the Month at Flyway Brewing.
The rules are pretty simple. The pictures below are just to give you an idea of the fly….each tyer should have their own interpretation and variances, but the tyer must use the appropriate hook size designated. Flies are judged by club members and guests during AFF’s monthly meeting & each individual can vote for one fly. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd are awarded based on the points received during that month’s challenge. 1st gets 3 points, 2nd gets 2 points, and 3rd gets one point. The tyer with the most points at the end of the year wins.
January: Midge month – any dry midge adult pattern – size 18 or smaller
February: A Fly for all Species. This is simple to tie, nameless pattern that reminds of a dragon fly nymph. Use the basic pattern to create an original pattern of your own, using different dubbings, tail feathers, and maybe a bit of flash. Rubbers legs might also liven it up a little.
March: March Brown Soft Hackle
April: Tribute to Dave Whitlock- In honor of club founder Dave Whitlock, this month will be any pattern designed by Dave, in any size.
May: Bluegill Month – Any bluegill fly of any size
June: Pink Squirrel Size 10-16. Created by John Bethke (circa early 2000s) of Westby, WI, the Pink Squirrel has found popularity throughout the Driftless region (and the west in general). A simple but effective fly, the pattern is thought to be a general attractor nymph or possibly even a scud.
July: Llano Bug – size 8 - 10. Foam bodied bugs are especially effective in the warmer months, and this is a good one. The combination of foam and deer hair make this little killer almost unsinkable.
August: Lightning Bug – Size 12-14
September: Elk Hair Caddis – Size 12 – 16. The Elk Hair Caddis brings us into the world of dry flies. Dries are more proportion dependent than nymphs as the proportions affect the way the fly sits on the water. The body taper and diameter, the hackle size and density and the length and density of the wing are all things to keep in mind. Make the body no thicker than one-third the gap width, and tapered from back to front. Hackle that is too large or dense makes the fly appear bigger than it really is. Hackle serves two functions on this fly; flotation and the appearance of legs.
October: Material Tie – Rabbit – Any pattern of any size incorporating rabbit in any form. Rabbit is a wonderful material that lends itself to so many fly tying applications. Rabbit dubbing is easy to dub on the thread to create the smoothest wet fly bodies you’ll ever wrap. And we all know about zonker strips and the wonderful sayst can easily be tied into streamer patterns. And don’t forget about fur right off the hide as a great material for dubbing looped bodies.
November: Gold Bead Rubber Leg Crystal Bugger – Size of your choice. This is a lively fly that is very effective for large trout and bass. The rubber legs make this fly very tempting for the wary fish. Holds together very well with lots of use.
December: Stimulator Size 6-8. Stimulator fly pattern great attractor with huge amounts of float-ability. This well dressed pattern is for fishing rough fast flowing water, where it can be seen easily at distance and it floats like a cork. Stimulators are versatile, and although look difficult, are relatively easy to tie. It’s all about proportions!