Fly Tying Mondays Resume on November 26th, 2018

We will get another season rolling on Monday November 26th at West River Fly Shop. From 7 pm to 9 pm. members are always welcome.

Check out Brian and Phil's New Fly Fishing App! on the banner above to head over to the Brian Chan's and Phil Rowley's App!

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

IF4 Film Festival in Red Deer on March 28th at Carnival Cinemas

Hi Everybody!

The IF4 Film Festival makes a stop in Red Deer on Thursday March 28th. You can get tickets at West River Fly Shop or on line right HERE for $15!

See you there!

Monday, March 4, 2019

Slumpbusters with a Twist!

I have been a big fan of of John Barr's, Slumpbusters! They are a great little streamer that features pine squirrel strips as the main ingredient of the fly. I am also a big fan of ruby eyed flies and brill. Well put that those ingredients together and voila, A Ruby Eyed, Brill Slumpbuster. A small streamer that is a great fish catcher!  The original pattern uses flat braid for the body but I prefer brill as a variation!The cutthroat trout in the backcountry of Banff National Park loved them. I know they can be used anywhere there are trout! They have an excellent profile in the water and once wet, the pine squirrel is very enticing to the trout! Fish Slumpbusters on a sink tip or weighted to get down into deeper water! Many individuals weight the front end of their Slumpbusters and fish it with a floating line. Cast it to a bank and make it pitch as you retrieve it! Hold on tight!

Next week, Ralf Kuntzman returns as our guest tyer. I absolutely love Ralfs creative flies. Wayne McElderry will be our guest tyer on February 18th.

Finally, Willy, and his brother George Spyksma needs help during the Sportsman Show March 8 to 10th. Give Willy a call or text to help him! (403-392-1956). You are at a booth encouraging people/ kids tie a fly and watch a slide show or two! Always a fun time. You can e-mail Willy too at:

Ruby Eyed Brill Slumpbuster (A variant of John Barr's original)

Hook: Streamer 3XL or 4XL size 8
Thread: 8/0 colour to match
Conehead: Small with red glass bead
Weight: Lead substitude 0.025
Tail and Overwing: Pine Squirrel
Body: Brill or Flat Braid
Wire: Small, colour to suit your streamer

Monday, February 25, 2019

Aftershaft Feather Fly Patterns

You can always count on Doug Pullen to come up with a great theme for his fly tying presentations. Tonight Doug's theme was all about aftershaft feathers. Doug showed us three excellent flyt patterns that use aftershaft feathers. I have added some of Doug's presentation notes below. Thanks Doug for an excellent presentation.

Next week, we will be tying a variety of different Slumpbuster patterns. John Barr was the originatror of this great little streamer. You will definitely want to add some of these to your fly box!

Finally, Willy Spyksma needs help during the Sportsman Show March 8 to 10th. Give Willy a call or text to help him! (403-392-1956). You are at a booth encouraging people/ kids tie a fly and watch a slide show or two! Always a fun time. You can e-mail Willy too at:

Today’s fly tiers have many different materials to use for their fly patterns. Feathers; even though they have been used since the beginning of fly fishing, they are still very popular in contemporary fly designs.  

All birds have feathers and birds are the only animals that have feathers. Bird feathers are very complex in that each feather is made up of different parts. The center core is called the rachis. The rachis has barbs that extend from it and each barb has a shaft called a ramus. On each side of the ramus are barbules and barbicels which act in a similar way to velcro. This velcor effect allows the barbules of each barb to merry with the barbules of another barb.

This Velcro effect allows you to merry feathers together from different birds.
Birds have basically three types of feathers on their bodies.  These are the filoplume feathers which are sensory feathers, the contour feathers which form the visible body contour and plumage, and the aftershaft feathers which provide insulation to the bird.
Underneath just about every body feather, you'll find another feather, a downy, usually grayish and very soft feather. This is the aftershaft feather (hypor hachis) or insulating feather. This feather is sometimes misidentified as a "philo" or "filo" feather or plume. There is such a feather as the "filoplume," but believe me this is NOT it. True filoplumes are those hair-like (filo means hair in Greek) single-strands with a tuft (or plume) on them. Filoplumes are visible only when you've plucked the skin almost bare and are of little use to the practical flytyer.

Aftershaft feathers or naturally a gray colour but you can find aftershafts that have been dyed  other colours such as black, burgundy, purple and olive.
The drawbacks to aftershaft feathers are their length as well as being brittle and difficult to wind onto the hook like other feathers. These problems are eliminated when the aftershaft feather is put in a dubbing loop. As many of you know, I love using dubbing loops in many of the flies that I tie. Prepare the aftershaft feather by trimming the butt and plucking the tip of the feather before insertion into a dubbing loop.

When tying leech patterns you can use the same colour throughout the entire leech pattern or you can use different colour combinations to achieve a mottled look.
Most fly tyers use pheasant and partridge to obtain aftershaft feathers. On the pheasants these feathers are particularly useful because many of them are large, long and very regular. 

Patterns: Aftershaft feathers are often used for gills on nymphs either tied in flat or wound over the body, but also appears as hackles on wet flies and nymphs and in tags on some salmon flies.

The aftershaft feather when wound as a hackle can also suggest a bulky head. 

Aftershaft Balanced Leech

Hook: Mustad 32833BLN jig hook #10
Thread: 8/0 or 70 denier black
Bead: Gold 7/64 tungsten mounted on small sequene pin
Tail: Fluff from pheasant body feather
Body: Pheasant aftershaft feathers (x4)

Aftershaft Partridge and Orange Soft Hackle

Hook: Mustad 3906B #12
Thread: UTC 70 denier orange
Body: Orange floss or silk
Thorax: Aftershaft feather (x1)
Hackle: Partridge, gray (x1)

Aftershaft Hexagenia Mayfly Nymph

Hook: #6-3X long streamer hook bent at 1/3 mark
Thread: Lt Cahill 6/0
Tail: Emu fibers (x3)
Body and Thorax: Pale yellow yarn
Gills: Pheasant aftershaft feather (x1)
Back and Wingcase: Pheasant tail strip pre-treated with Fleximent
Rib: Fine gold wire
Legs: Cock pheasant body feather (x1)
Eyes: Small chain-link, black