I’ve been at the fly tying desk lately working hard filling customer fly orders as well as the provider box. I thought this week’s post would highlight a few flies that have been coming off my vise. Some of the popular requests lately have been Clark’s Lady Stone, Improved Sparkle Dun – PMD, Hemingway Caddis, and IOBO Humpy. I’m happy to tie these flies, because they are highly effective flies and most are a staple in my fly box. In addition to these flies, I’ve received several requests to tie a fly pattern I’ve never heard of.

2 Dozen Heindl Dry Flies | www.johnkreft.com

The image above shows two dozen flies called the Heindl. I’d never heard of this fly, but a customer sent a picture from his phone and I was able to replicate the fly fairly well. They are in transit now. Perhaps I’ll get a fishing report in the future.

Here is a closer look.

Heindl | www.johnkreft.com

These flies will be fished in the state of Virginia. That’s all the way across the country from where I live in Oregon.

It’s interesting to me how people find me. Sometimes it’s word of mouth. Other times, they have located me through the results of a Google search with “custom flies” as the topic. I work with them to determine if I think I can tie the fly they are after. I’m willing to try most flies, although I have said “no” on occasion.

I attribute my fly tying skills from repetition and tying so many flies in recent years. This might be a banner year as I’ve tied over 1,200 flies since the first of the year. The number keeps growing each week.

Recently, I’ve had some positive comments about my photography skills. Since we’ve decided to comply with the stay home and stay safe directive, I’ve been trying a few new techniques. Here is a series of step-by-step images for the Hemingway Caddis.

Body with hackle and counter-wrap rib in place.

Hemingway Caddis - Step 1 | www.johnkreft.com

Positioning Wood Duck underwing over body.

Hemingway Caddis - Step 2 | www.johnkreft.com

Selecting Mallard quill wings.

Hemingway Caddis - Step 3 | www.johnkreft.com

Aligning wings and positioning over body.

Hemingway Caddis - Step 4 | www.johnkreft.com

Ready for soft thread wraps around quill wings. Holding firmly very close to fly.

Hemingway Caddis - Step 5 | www.johnkreft.com

Wing secured on hook.

Hemingway Caddis - Step 6 | www.johnkreft.com

Checking wings are aligned directly on top of fly.

Hemingway Caddis - Step 7 | www.johnkreft.com

Attaching hackle.

Hemingway Caddis - Step 8 | www.johnkreft.com

Wrapping peacock herl for thorax.

Hemingway Caddis - Step 9 | www.johnkreft.com

Wrapping hackle through peacock herl.

Hemingway Caddis - Step 10 | www.johnkreft.com

Finished fly.

Hemingway Caddis - Finished Fly | www.johnkreft.com

Finished fly – top view.

Hemingway Caddis - Tip View | www.johnkreft.com

I better update my Hemingway Caddis fly pattern sheet with these images.

I thought these images turned out pretty well. I learned to pay attention to the background. I didn’t realize the Daiichi hook package was there. I could have retaken the photos but decided to move on. As I said earlier, I was practicing a new-to-me technique.

Enjoy…stay home, stay safe!

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  1. John, what camera are you using? Seems to work well but I was curious if you were using a GOPRO seeing it is showing from the tyer’s prospective.

    1. Hi John

      I use 2 different cameras for my images. The step-by-step images were taken with my Nikon 7100 with a Tokina 100mm macro lens. It’s the first time I tried taking pics while I tied. That’s the setup I use most of the time for taking pics of flies. The other camera I use exclusively on the water is an Olympus TG 6. It replaced the TG 4 I had for a couple of years. It too has a great macro function and I use it occasionally for a quick shot. In fact, the images of the Heindl fly in this same post were taken with the TG 6. I’m very pleased with both of them.


  2. First, I want to say how much I enjoy your postings. Very few gain my attention so regularly and even fewer do I share with friends. just wanted to introduce myself.
    Last fall I just missed you at Blue Ribbon Flies. Dang.
    Secondly, I am a retired advertising photographer (fashion and product) and am currently tying and teaching tying here in Charlotte. I have about a dozen proprietary patterns at the local Orvis store and am currently co-authoring a book on Southern Appalachian patterns with Alen Baker. Enough about me, I just wanted to introduce myself.
    That all said, please feel free to ask about any photography questions. My career included aiding the growth of many professional photographers. Photography is a passion for me only rivaled by fly tying.
    This all seems quite uppity to me, and please don’t be put off with my directness.
    Tom Adams

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