Drag Free Queen Jig

Fri May 24th 2024

For many years I mostly just used a gold bead when tying my nymph patterns, in recent years many other colors of beads became available. I have become convinced that rainbow beads seem to attract trout better than most other bead colors. There are times when I can swear that trout are becoming used to seeing nymphs in gold, copper, black and rainbow is novel and unexpected. This may seem very unscientific, but on streams with high fishing pressure where trout are caught and released several times they might learn to key in on certain fly patterns or even colors of beads. This past September I had great success fishing this about two feet under a Fat Albert on two different rivers in Southern Alberta.

This exotic jig is actually quite simple to tie and you are wrapping the body with the peacock side of Uni-Mylar Peacock orange. Hareline produces two shades of rainbow dubbing- light and dark. I prefer the dark shade as it is more colourful than its light counter part. As for the the rib you can realistically choose any colour of wire as rainbow is composed of several different colors. I tend to use red most of time and occasionally copper. There is a lot of debate as to the size of the bead one might use when tying jig nymphs. I mostly fish this pattern in sizes 14 and 16 and use a 3.3 mm and 3.0 mm slotted bead respectively.

Hook: Ahrex 540  sz 12-16 60 degree jig hook

Thread: Uni-Thread 8/0 or 6/0 black

Bead: Rainbow slotted bead

Body: Uni-Mylar peacock/Orange- Peacock side

Thorax: Rainbow scud dubbing Dark Shade

Legs: Rainbow colored krystal flash

Rib: Red or copper fine wire

Tail: Rainbow colored Krystal flash

Phil's Stillwater Flies

Fri May 24th 2024

I have had the good fortune to pursue fish in both fresh and saltwater in various water types. If you asked me to limit my fishing to just one water type for the rest of my life, my answer would be easy. Lakes. I hope these bonus patterns from my Summer Stillwater Primer article in the Summer issue of Fly Fusion ignite the same passion and encourage you to try lakes.

Tequila Booby
Pearly Damsel
Peacock Woolly Bugger
Fly Craft Fullback Flashback
Balanced Leech – Bruised

Fully Dressed Bonus Patterns

Fri May 24th 2024

King Charles

Hook: Partridge 8/0 blind eye

Eye: Silk gut

Tag: round gold twist yellow silk

Tail: golden pheasant crest with indian crow on top

Butt: black ostrich

Body: black silk on one half of the body with embossed gold tinsel x-wrapped ribbed, butted with black ostrich, round diamond studded bead

Forward Body: purple, burgundy, and black seal, ribbed with round gold tinsel

Wing: buzzard guinea, black with white center underwing layered over with three peacock pheasant feathers

Cheeks: Bronze Impia feather under chartreuse neck feather

Veiling: golden pheasant

Head: black wool

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Editor's Choice Time-Tested Review | Smhaen Material Guard

Wed Apr 17th 2024

Flytyers are a clever and innovative group of people. We often make do with what we have in order to simplify or enhance our techniques. Occasionally, a new material or tool comes out to either fill a gap or improve on some work around. As part of my tying editorial, I plan on showcasing some of these innovations and share with you my thoughts on them. The first product in this series is from the good folks at Smhaen. This Danish company best known for their high-quality bobbin holders and scissors, has come out with a tool that will make you ditch your mini hair clips. The Smhaen Material Guard is a purpose made clip that holds material back and out of the way while working on the head of a fly. What makes this tool better than the mini hair clip work around is that it holds the hair equally tight no matter the size of the fly. The clip’s arms are completely round and remain round as it clamps down on the material, keeping an equal tension all the way around the fly. It is also incredibly easy to get on and off without disturbing the hair. Last but not least, the handle on the tool is offset from the clamp itself, allowing for a greater amount of room towards the front of the fly. I found this very useful on smaller flies such as a PMX or balance pine leech. This is a huge bonus feature over the hair clips that have a large wide grip right over the clamp. Overall, I really like the tool and it will have a permanent spot on my bench.

Reviewed by: Frank Brassard

April is Fly Shop Local Month!

Fri Apr 12th 2024
Fly Fusion’s history is rooted in an idea born while sitting on a barstool in the back of Robert’s Fly Shop a couple of decades ago. Over the years we have found that a helpful tip about a local hatch, tweak on a casting technique, demo on the latest gear or hand-drawn map can change your day on the water. But, the conversations and connections made within the walls of a fly shop can ignite a passion for fly fishing that lasts a lifetime!
Join us this month in celebrating the fly shops that keep our lines wet and our dry flies on top of the water!
Here are a few ways you can participate AND qualify for chances to win weekly draws for gift cards to the Fly Shop of your choice…
1. SUBSCRIBE to win weekly draws for a gift card to your local fly shop. When you subscribe, renew or gift a subscription to Fly Fusion in the Month of April, we will enter you to WIN a gift card to your local fly shop! Draws will take place weekly each Sunday with a Grand Prize draw on April 30th! PLUS, we’ll send you a half dozen our our favourite Spring flies for FREE as an added thank you!
2. VOTE for your favourite shop to win Top Shop 2024. Nominate your favourite Fly Shop to win! Top Shop will receive some serious love from Fly Fusion magazine and your nomination will qualify you for extra entries into our weekly draws to win a gift card to your local shop!
3. FIND everything you need at these Top Shops!

2024 Stimmies Awards Submission Open

Mon Apr 8th 2024

Fly Fusion magazine, in partnership with the International Fly Fishing Film Festival, the world’s leading fly-fishing film event, has launched the 5th annual Stimmies Awards.

“The world of fly-fishing films and the quality of the stories being told is expanding, said Chris Bird, Fly Fusion’s Editorial Director. “The role of The Stimmies Awards is to recognize top emerging and professional filmmakers and encourage creative films that celebrate story and the fly-fishing community.”

Beginning April 1, filmmakers have had the opportunity to submit their projects into one of two categories – short and feature-length film – via the award’s submission platform at: Entries will be accepted until May 31.

“The top films will be selected by committee and then will participate in a month long public vote, supported by a massive social and web campaign, reaching thousands of voting anglers around the world.” said Bird.

The winning film will take home bragging rights, a prize package, and will be considered for inclusion as an Official Selection of the 2025 International Fly Fishing Film Festival.

Competition is open to all fly-fishing films. The winning film will be announced the first week of July, he concluded.

The Feather Mechanic | Gordon van der Spuy

Mon Feb 26th 2024

We are ecstatic to feature a handful of patterns from Gordon van der Spuy’s latest book.  The Feather Mechanic II: Beyond the Pattern is a coffee table book, a keepsake and a manual all wrapped into one.  And Gordon is an artist to the core whether using a pen, canvas or vise.   As Conrad Botes writes in his testimony on the back cover, “Gordon’s drawings were created to serve a purpose, namely to explain the mechanics and nuances involved in the act of tying a fly.  It is the kind of drawing you keep looking at, even after it has done its job of explaining to you how to tie a fly.” We highly recommend you visit to snap up a copy today!

In the meantime, check out these featured patterns from The Feather Mechanic…

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2024 Editor's Choice Time Tested Reviews

Mon Feb 26th 2024

Each year, the Winter Issue of Fly Fusion features the latest and greatest Fly Fishing Gear put to the test by our editorial staff.  These guys and gals receive a boatload of products to use and abuse for the season before giving their honest opinion on durability, performance and bang for your (hard-earned) buck! The thing is, these fly fishing manufacturers keep raising the bar, making new and innovative, eco-friendly tools to up our game and this year there was just far too much to cover in the pages of the magazine!  So, here are a few more of our Editor’s Choice for 2024 products to check out!
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Orvis Releases New Helios™

Wed Feb 7th 2024

Orvis, the family-owned and operated outdoor retailer that pioneered the modern fly rod, announces its next generation of Helios rods. The new Helios is four times more accurate than its ground-breaking predecessor the Helios 3 (H3) and is 25 percent stronger and 10 percent lighter in hand. The result is an intuitive fly rod that is defining a new era in fly rod manufacturing. “Helios rods are what people think of when they think of Orvis innovation and leadership in fly fishing,” said Orvis President Simon Perkins. “We had something really special with the Helios 3, and we wanted to challenge ourselves with something better. Because the team in our Rod Shop is the best in the world, the result is revolutionary.”

Conceived and built by designers, engineers and rod builders in Manchester, Vermont, the new Helios is the most advanced fly rod in fishing and an unprecedented leap forward in the industry. The new rod displays dramatically increased hoop strength and a radical reduction in rod tip displacement when casting. The result is a rod that is able to deliver a cast that is measurably more accurate than the competition, tracking four times better than the industry-leading Helios 3. It is endorsed by Orvis’s vast network of professional guides and anglers many of whom part of the official testing process across seven countries.

“The new Helios is a reimagining of what’s possible in a fly rod and its ability to deliver the best experience for an angler. Four times more accurate than the industry-benchmark H3 is not hyperbole,” said Shawn Combs, director of fishing design and development. “We’ve built the tools to quantify what’s been measured historically in our industry through feel. This rod is where instinct and innovation meet. The result is the most accurate rod in the world. We know it when we cast it, and we see it in the data.” The Helios is available in two distinct series, Distance (D) and Finesse (F). The D-Series offers increased line speed, lifting power and stored energy and is available in a variety of sizes, from 4-weight for small stream trout to 14-weight for billfish in saltwater. The F-Series features increased sensitivity optimized for delicate presentations and tippet protection and is available in sizes ranging from 2 weight to 8 weight.

“It’s fun to think of Orvis as a start-up in the 1850s and how Charles F. Orvis wanted to give someone the tool that would introduce them to the natural world in a way that would change their life,” said Perkins. “That’s really what this new generation of Helios does. It makes any angler their best. And when you’re your best, you want to get out and live for more unforgettable moments on the water.” The Helios fly rod collection (MSRP $1098-$1198) is available online and at select independent fly shops and Orvis retail stores. To explore the Helios collection, please go to

Announcing Fly Fusion's Trout Tour

Tue Jan 16th 2024

Announcing Fly Fusion’s Trout Tour. Tickets now on sale! A well formed excuse to get together with fly-fishing friends. Take in an epic collection of trouty fly-fishing films from Gilbert Rowley, Phil Tuttle, The Braker Bros, Todd Moen, RA Beattie and Fly Fusion Films. Premiering in Sundance this March, the films will make their way around the American and Canadian West.

Limited cities, limited tickets and monster trout. Click for tour dates and tickets!

In association with the International Fly Fishing Film Festival. Presented by: Scientific Anglers, St. Croix, Skwala and Yeti.

IF4™ Announces 2024 Official Selections

Thu Dec 14th 2023

Producers of the International Fly Fishing Film Festival (IF4) are excited to announce official selections; the most coveted collection of new fly-fishing films from around the world.

IF4, presented by Bajio and Orvis, will touch down in 175 cities, feature nine official selections and is a well-formed excuse to get together with friends. Among the official selections are Pinawaca, a jungle adventure, led by popular angler and guide, Jako Lucas, in search of legendary and oversized peacock bass; Vivid Dreams, a breathtaking film about a group of friends in search of oversized sea-run brown trout in rugged landscapes; Tunulik, a northern adventure to Nunavik in search of trophy brook trout, arctic char and Atlantic salmon; The Runaround, a high-energy film following a group of friends on an adventure from Walker’s Cay to the famed everglades; Tension, a cinematic tale celebrating legacy, conservation and the American West; and A Ride with Clyde, an unforgettable, unconventional and memorable trip with salty friends into the Tennessee hills. Others include Kendjam, a tale of Bolivian adventures and; The Golden Ride, an unforgettable fly-fishing trip centered around a community of friends as they travel south to Argentina in pursuit of aggressive Golden Dorado.

Tickets can be purchased through the IF4 Online Box Office or at participating fly shops. Fly shops wishing to participate can e-mail For more information on the film festival, featured films, filmmakers, dates and locations, visit

About: IF4™ is the world’s leading fly-fishing film event, consisting of films produced by professional filmmakers from all corners of the globe and showcases the passion, lifestyle, and culture of fly fishing. It is the gathering place of the fly-fishing community and a celebration of friendship, fly-fishing stories and stoke.

International Fly Fishing Film Festival announces winning films

Fri Dec 1st 2023

The International Fly Fishing Film Festival (IF4) today announced two films, Dollar Dog and Father + Nature as the winning films of the 2023 run of the festival.

Dollar Dog, a film from award-winning filmmaker Tim Myers, tells the story of the most unlikely of fish bums – Ella. A four-legged vagabond whose love for Atlantic salmon rivals that of her angling counterparts. A well-crafted story – a tale – of the place and the fish, from which legends, like Ella, are born.

“What an honor to have Ella with us as this collection of films traveled around the world”, says IF4 Executive Producer Chris Bird, “the team behind Dollar Dog, led by renowned filmmaker Tim Myers, captured a special story that touched the hearts of audiences in every city. Ella’s star shines brightly and she will forever have a home in the room of angling legends.”

Father + Nature, a film from award-winning filmmakers Hilton Graham and Lucas Krost, tells the story of a ranching family located along the Snake River in Grand Teton National Park; one of the most beautiful river corridors in the world. The film celebrates John Turner, a conservation icon who changed the landscape of the West, who helped conserve over thirty million acres around the world and who was instrumental in the founding of Earth Day.

“The story of the Turner family in Father + Nature reminds us, as did A River Runs Through It, that deeply woven through the soul of fly fishing is faith, family and friendship”, says IF4 Executive Producer Chris Bird, “Through his example, John Turner reminds us that anglers are the valued stewards of conservation and the waters in which we play. He provides an incredible example that one person can make a significant difference; and a challenge to protect things wild for many generations to come.”

Bird goes onto say that, “It has been incredible to watch as audiences returned in large numbers to celebrate the films and shared passions. We are excited about the future and, most importantly, about the fly-fishing community that a new collection of films will create.”

About IF4The International Fly Fishing Film Festival is the world’s leading fly-fishing film event, consisting of films produced by professional filmmakers from all corners of the globe and showcases the passion, lifestyle, and culture of fly fishing. It is the gathering place of the fly-fishing community and a celebration of friendship, stories and stoke.

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