Fly Tying Club

Welcome to the Castaway Fly Tying Club. The club meets on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday night of each month at 7:00p.m. We meet at my office in the Earthlogic building 56 Main St. Essex Jct VT. We open fly tying season the first week of January and go until the time would be better spent on the water in the spring. Each week there will be two flies selected to tie. These flies will be posted the Monday before the meeting, along with their recipe so that club members can prepare for Wednesday and so anyone visiting the site can tie along or just to see what’s going on the vise from week to week. Go to the fly selection link for information on purchasing any of the flies posted here.

Mini’s for everything

by Brian Zinger on January 8, 2019

Tomorrow evening kicks off the 2019 fly tying night. I’m looking forward to seeing folks I don’t get to see much after fall fishing, telling stories and tying up a ton of flies. As usual I start off tying flies I use a lot and lose a lot.

The hottest fly in my box for last couple years has been a Muddler minnow. With so many other flies in my box, this older than dirt fly pattern made of naturally harvested feathers and fur still produces more tight lines and smillin faces than any other.

If you know me or read anything I write about, you’ll know that love tying thing in a mini version. Mini is mighty when it comes to Muddlers. #12’s are not commonly found in many a fly fishers box. I usually have a row dedicated to them.

The keeper of the Ausable

I was versed on Mini Muddlers by Fran Betters.  When I first moved to Vermont I fished everywhere and started fishing the Adirondack’s in NY. Any time I would fish the West Branch of the Ausable River, I would stop in to visit with Fran as he sat and spun up the fly of the day. One day he was tying up small muddlers, which was surprising to me as I only carried #4 – 8 back then. He told me of of their virtue and that was all I needed. I walked out with a half dozen fresh of the vise, as I always did. I fished them for the rest of the season with great productivity. Since then I have tied many patterns that you normally think to tie large and make them mini. Mini muddlers are a must have.



Muddler Minnow

Hook: Mustad 9671 #14 – #4

Tail: Tom Turkey tail feather section, with a “v” cut into it

Body: gold tinsel

Wing: Tom Turkey tail feather section, 2x length of hook shank

Head: stacked bunches of spun deer hair, 1st stack spin to make the collar add additional stacks of different neutral colors of hair.

Optional and recommended: gold bead head


Fly tying season

by Brian Zinger on December 28, 2018

Every year the fishing seasons come to an end, then hunting seasons comes to an end, then the Holiday season comes to an end and that’s when fly tying season begins. It’s the time when day light is at it shortest and air temperatures are at their coldest. It’s a great time of year to put another log in the stove and starting heating up the vise to get ready for next fishing season, which could be next week chasing steelie depending on your passion.



I’ve already started working on woolly buggers. Bugger are flies that are productive in many different colors and if you fish them tight to the bottom you loose a bunch. Also, they are a fly I like to tie in a mini version, size 12 &14. Picture are my favorite 4. It’s an an easy fly to get some rust off and get back in production mode. I have always tied them with 3 strands of crystal flash in the tail. This year I’m going to try different colors of flashabou can make a good fly better. I’ve noticed many anglers the days going away from buggers and opting more for zonker type flies.

The Castawayfly club will start getting into the season spirt beginning this year on Wednesday January 9th. This will be the 3rd year that club has been meeting at the Earthlogic building. If you are novice or experienced Tyer and have a portable light and materials to tie fly, and you can make it to Essex , you’re more than welcome to join us . No fee, just fun tying and talking fishing. Please contact me for more information. If you are a beginner and would like lessons. We can set something up for sure.


Get a lesson, give a lesson

April 13, 2018

This has been a fun week of tying flies. Everything from dry flies for trout, tiny jigs for panfish too 7-9 inch streamers for anything that can eat one. Kevin Ramerez stopped by Wednesday night for a lesson in not only how to tie these monstrous flies, but some knowledge on leader construction and knots […]

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April 2, 2018

This Wednesday I’ll be tying the X-caddis. The X-caddis is a pattern I found out about around 20 years ago during the 2nd Winooski River Duel Fly Duel. I was not in the 1st year of the duel, so I wasn’t privy to the fly that kicked ass that first year. Every returning contestant had […]

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Caddis week

March 19, 2018

There is an aquatic species that is abundant in VT and available to trout in one form or another all season long. Caddis flies don’t get the glamor of Mayflies. After the Hendrickson’s and March Browns have come and gone there will still be caddis. Trout love caddis flies in all phases of their life […]

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Keep it simple

March 5, 2018

Sometimes, great flies are simple to tie. Flies that only require 3 materials that are easy to work with, and only take 3-4 minutes are my kinda fly. The Mikey Finn is that kind of fly. Besides a hook and thread, Red and yellow buck tail, and flat tinsel is all that’s required. I like […]

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