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.

Change of Venue

by Brian Zinger on March 19, 2019

Instead of meeting at Earthlogic tomorrow evening, some of the castaway fly tying crew will be heading to the Jericho Cafe and Tavern. I’ve been going there for years for there amazing food and spirits, so it will be nice to do that and twist up some flies with friends.

At JCaT I will be tying up a pattern that goes back over 25 years when Paul”Brown Dog” Brown Jr. was my fly tying mentor. We would get out of work Wednesday morning, go to his house and tie up flies that Brownie thought were “got ta have” flies or something we saw in a magazine. One week he told me we were going to tie a fly he saw in a book from a tyer out of Maine. Brownie liked it because it was said to work well on brookies. The author said “1st time I used it I caught 88 fish”, so he called it the 88. We sat down to tie it when Brownie realized he didn’t have some of the correct materials. What we wound up tying didn’t look much like the picture in the book.

The first time either of us gave the fly some water time was on a trip to the NE Kingdom with a couple of friends. By the end of day one all four of us were using the fly. By day 4 we wished we had more. The following weekend, I entered it as one of my two flies in the Winooksi River Duel fly duel. I was the only angler with that fly (Obviously). I wound up in 3rd and actually couldn’t believe anyone caught more because that fly crushed it.

We never gave the fly another name because we felt that it was equally as productive as the original was touted to be. They are easy to tie and even easier to fish.  This fly is a “got ta have” in sizes 12 and 10, 14 optional. I’ve caught fish trying to change some of the materials but the recipe I give you is all you need.




Hook: Mustad 9671 #12 & #10

Thread: uni Camel

Abdomen: med gold wire

Thorax: uni stretch green

Wing: Mallard flank

Hackle: couple turn of 2x Grizzly


3Rivers Minnow

by Brian Zinger on March 5, 2019

This Wednesday at Earthlogic, I’ll be tying up 3 River minnows. I have not been fortunate enough to go to the 3 Rivers Lodge in Labrador to fish for giant brook trout, however I have been fortunate enough to fish with Robin Reeve, the owner of 3 rivers lodge , a couple of times over the past several years in the Adirondacks.The 1st time we we met he showed me a fly that he suggested I start to fish. He had no name for it, but for the next couple days he showed me why he has so much confidence in it.

I have dozens of flies that I have confidence in and get me through a day of fishing. I attained some of these flies initially out of a book or magazine trying to gain new skills or techniques. The other way, was from friends and other fishermen who showed me a fly they like and showed me why they like it on the water actually catching fish. Now a days that’s the only way I tie a new fly. I have to be shown how well it catches fish. The 3 river minnow is a fly that I have shared, like all of the flies I tie, with friends, guides and anyone who reads anything I write. The folks that have fished it have given great feedback and keep plenty in there box.

The oringinal pattern is as simple as it gets. I like a fly that is simple and productive. I’ve added one other material that I believe makes it more productive and makes it more of something that I own.  This year I am going to add one more material to make them two tone and add variety. we’ll see how that goes.

3 River Minnow

*Hook: Mustad #12 9671

*Thread: white

*Tail: single grizzly neck hackle

*Body: 1 white marabou wrapped around the shank while pushing fibers back.

new this year is a different color marabou feather wrapped in front of the white one.

*Shoulder/eye: mallard flank tented over the top.

*bead head


If the weather has you down, bust your slump

February 17, 2019

This week the club is back on home turf at the Earthlogic building in Essex. This week Jamie Eisenberg will show us a fly that was very productive for her last year, the Slump buster. It’s a zonker style fly that has a ton of action and a larger profile, like a woolly bugger. If […]

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Moving on.

February 12, 2019

Last week the club meeting at Berdas got iced out, but Aaron and I still showed and got a couple flies tied over a couple of brews. We will be back to Berdas for sure. This week is the clubs week off from meeting, but that doesn’t mean we stop moving on with tying.   […]

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Can’t have enough nymphs

January 25, 2019

The most productive way of catching trout is with nymphs. Whether they imitate a specific hatch or an attractor pattern, the ability to fish them well is key to bringing more fish to the net. Two that are important and I have been tying recently are a Red Headed Prince and March Brown nymph. Growing […]

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You can’t beat a red headed prince

January 21, 2019

Last weeks trip to the Blackback Pub for fly tying night was a treat. I’m looking forward to similar changes of venue in the future. This Wednesday it’s back to the home court and tying flies you gotta have. If you are going to bounce flies on the bottom, you have to give a red […]

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