Thursday, February 9, 2012

"The Muskytoe" Tutorial

Check out this sick tying tutorial from Fin Pusher... If you ask me, the Muskytoe could work for bass too.


Hook: Owner, 5103-151 Straight Worm Wide Gap, size 5/0

Thread: Uni, Big Fly (Olive)

Tail: Bestway, Super Hair (Smoke, Lavender, and Golden Rod)

Tail: Steve Farrer’s, Flash Blend (Rainbow)

Body: Hareline, UV Polar Chenille (Dark Olive, and Silver)

Skirt: Do-it, Silicone Tabs (Carolina Blue & Green Pumpkin)

Skirt: Strikezone Lure Co. EZ-Skirt (Smokin Shad)

Gills: Whitting, Schlappen (Red Grizzly)

Head: Hareline, Extra Select Craft Fur (White)

Eyes: Montana Fly, Fishlze 8mm (Dark Iridescent)

Markers: Sharpie, Permanent Markers (Yellow, Orange, Spruce Green, Purple)

Musky share the water with a myriad of bait and that was the driving force behind the creation of the Muskytoe. On the menu locally we have blue gill, perch, crappie, trout, and bass to name a few and this pattern can mimic all of them. For musky I needed to create a fly that would move naturally through the water when retrieved fast and pulsate with movement when twitched slowly. Skirts offer both these attributes and come in any color combo you can think of.

Using a Craft Fur head gives the tyer endless color and pattern options where you can really let creativity run amuck. At first I started off using several different colors of Craft Fur dubbing brushes, but I quickly realized the vast majority of the time regardless of what fish I am trying to imitate that white works the best. From behind the white Craft Fur head looks like the inside of a fishes gill plates when it flares during pause. In the water with the red Schlappen tied in behind it simply produces. Because of this I now use white or chartreuse 100% of the time. Standard length for this critter is 5 to 6 inches but it can be tied down to as short as 3 inches on smaller hooks. The standard color Muskytoe fishes well as a perch, blue gill or crappie. In the standard color I leave the markings light so it may be darkened with markers if needed. Other very successful color variations are chartreuse/white, red/white, and pink/purple.

Step 1: Clip off about 40 strands of (golden rod) Super Hair and fold it in half to find the midpoint. Place it at the back of the hook shank and wrap in one side and then fold the other over and secure it creating a cone shape with the thread. Pinch about a half inch width of Flash blend out of the pack and follow the same process as above securing the material slightly forward of the Super Hair on the hook shank. Clip off about 40 strands of (Lavender) Super Hair repeating the process above, again with the Flash Blend and finally with the (Smoke) Super Hair. Each application of material should be slightly forward of the material tied on before it.

Step 2: Tie in the (Dark Olive) UV Chenille and palmer forward tightly about 3/8 of an inch and then tie it off. Wrap back over the Chenille about a sixteenth of an inch securing it tightly.

Step 3: The Silicone Skirt Tabs come in sheets and should be separated in half from end to end. Tie in one end of the skirt with the long end to the eye of the hook and then tie in the other end on the opposing side of the shank forming a loop with the skirt. Pull the looped skirt toward the back of the fly and wrap back over it forming another cone of thread locking the skirt down. You can cut the loop in half evenly now if you like but the fly is much easier to tie if you wait to cut it until the fly is completed.

Step 4: Tie in the (Silver) UV Chenille and palmer forward tightly about 3/8 of an inch and then tie it off. Wrap back over the Chenille about a sixteenth of an inch securing it tightly.

Step 5: Find a nice wide magnum Schlappen and (making sure the “cupping” of the barbs is toward the eye of the hook) tie it in about mid way up the feather where the barbs measure at least 1/2 per side. Working from the narrower end of the Schlappen tightly palmer it forward a ¼ inch creating a nice gill pack. Tie it off leaving a large cone of thread, whip finish and cut off thread.

Step 6: Strikzone EZ-Skirts have glitter and coloring applied to one side of them. This is the side you want toward the rear of the fly leaving the rubber flange at the center of the skirt, facing the eye of the hook. This putts the business side of the skirt toward any investigating fish and the flange will be tied over with the dubbing brush eliminating the gap it would leave otherwise. Slip the skirt over the eye and push it up onto the thread cone. If the skirt is not snug take it off and add to the thread cone until it fits tightly. Apply a small drop of Zap-A-Gap to the thread cone and push the skirt onto it making sure the red gill strands of the skirt are down and aligned with the hook point. Build a ridge of thread on the shank in front of the skirt flange and work back toward the skirt flange. As the thread builds up the skirt flange will start to bulge as it tightens in place. Begin to warp thread over the flange securing it in place. (Be careful not to twist the skirt during this process miss aligning it).

Step 7: If you do not know how to make dubbing brushes it is very easy. You can look it up on line and even watch videos of the process on YouTube. Your finished dubbing brush should be six inches long and 1 1/2 inches wide. Tie in the Craft Fur dubbing brush over the skirt flange and palmer it forward toward the eye of the hook creating a nice full head. Clip off any excess, brush out any loose Craft Fur and finish the head.

Step 8: Attach the eyes with a drop of Zap-A-Gap and press them tightly so they adhere to the core of the fly and not just the outer layer of Craft Fur. If you need too you can lift up the Craft Fur under the eye and apply a small drop to accomplish this. Using your markers start with yellow and color the entire area of the head you intend on having color. Now apply orange in the desired areas. Use the spruce green marker to make the bars on the crown of the head and then apply some purple over the top of them. This gives an iridescent look and ads dimension to the markings. Now using your fingers blend the colors on the top of the head between the bars. Lightly feather over the top of the head with the spruce green marker blending the green and purple between the bars and down onto the cheeks. Finally apply epoxy or high quality head cement and crimp the barb.


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