Saturday, February 27, 2010

Zudweg's EZPZ Wiggler

If you have been Steelhead fishing for anytime at all, you know how effective a Hex nymph can be, especially a Jointed or "Wiggle" Hex. The problem is, they can be time consuming to tie and thus, a heart breaker when you lose them to a snag. "Zudweg's EZPZ Wiggler" is a super simple jointed hex that is quick to tie, quite realistic and steelhead find it irresistible.

Step 1: Place a Daiichi 1750 size 10 hook in your vise and wind tan 6/0 Uni thread to the rear of the hook. Next tie in a Grizzly Marabou Feather (Sand color) by the tip and return the thread to the front of the hook.

Step 2: Wind the Marabou Feather to the front and tie off just behind the eye. Whip finish.

Step 3: Pull off all the long fibers so the rear body looks like this. This part of the fly is complete.

Step 4: Place a Daiichi 2571 size 6 hook in your vise and tie in a pair of large black mono eyes about 1/16" behind the hook eye.

Step 5: Tie in a 1" section of 15lb. monofilament on top of the hook, wind to the rear of the hook and add a drop of Zap a Gap to help secure the monofilament in place.

Step 6: Thread the rear body onto the 15lb monofilament, create a loop and wind the thread over the mono all the way up to the eyes, then return the thread to the rear of the hook. Trim any excess monofilament.

Step 7: Marry two Grizzly Marabou Feathers (Sand color) and tie them in together by the tips, (this will cover the joint between the hooks). Wind the thread forward leaving it just behind the eyes.

Step 8: Wind one of the marabou feathers forward and tie off just behind the eyes (this will act as the legs). Advance the thread to in front of the eyes.

Step 9: Pull the second marabou feather over the top of the eyes and tie off. Whip finish. The above photo is what your finished fly should resemble. To make them go even faster I usually tie a handfull of the rear bodies at a time.
Matt Zudweg guide's for Feenstra Guide Service and also owns BoneYard Fly Gear. See more of Matt's work at

Friday, February 19, 2010

Zudweg's "The Baby"

"The Baby" is a super simple, but highly effective imitation of an Alevin. A great pattern for early to mid spring when steelhead are feeding heavily on young Salmon and Steelhead Sac Fry. Most of the time I will fish this as the bottom fly on my nymphing rig with an egg being the top fly. Very often steelhead will take when the rig starts to swing at the end of the drift.

Step 1: Place a size 10 Daiichi X510 hook in your vise, attach thread and tie in a pair of Large Mono eyes (black) just behind the hook eye. Be sure to place some tight wraps around the base. This will bring the eyes to the top side of the hook and will keep them from interfering with the hook set.

Step 2: Lash down a sparse clump of Olive Ice Dub just behind the Mono Eyes.

Step 3: Fold the front half of the Ice Dub back and place a couple thread wraps just behind the Mono Eyes to secure the Ice Dub in that position.

Step 4: Rotate the fly upside down and tie in your favorite color McFly Foam just behind the Mono Eyes. Whip finish in front of the Mono Eyes.

Step 5: Trim the McFly Foam as you would on a small egg pattern.

Step 6: Turn the fly right side up and add a drop of Dave's Flexament in between the eyes. Bam, Balam, you're done! Tie up a few and give them a try on your favorite Steelhead water this spring.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Zudweg's "Darth Hopper" Tying Instructions

If you love fishing hoppers for large trout, this pattern is a must for your box. I've caught some of my largest trout on this pattern! It is also very effective with tan or kelly green foam. Regardless of the foam color, the body and leg colors should remain the same. It has also proven to be very effective on bass when tied larger and bluegill when tied smaller.

You will need 3mm sheet foam (found at most hobby stores) and Hareline's Beavertail Body Cutter (size medium)

Step 1: Stamp out a body from the foam about 3/4" from the foam edge, then using a razor blade (or x-acto knife) cut a sleeve to the foam edge. This sleeve will be used to form the head.

You can see from this photo how the foam body should look.

Step 2: Place a Daiichi 2461 (size 4) hook in your vise, wind black thread (I prefer "Big Fly" Uni Thread) to the back and dub a body of Hareline's Ice Dub (Olive) about a third of the way toward the front.

Step 3: Place the foam body on top of the hook with two snug wraps between the middle and rear body segments.

Step 4: Place two of Hareline's Grizzly Barred Rubber Legs (orange/black) on top of the thread wraps with two more wraps.
The legs should hang off the rear by about 1" and off the front by about 2 1/2".

Step 5: Continue dubbing a body up the hook, finishing about 1/16" behind the eye.

Step 6: Tie down the foam body at the next body segment just behind the hook eye with two snug wraps.

Step 7: Tie in a clump of Hareline's Stiff Pearl Krystal Flash using two more wraps. (If you're going to be bass fishing at night use glow in the dark flashabou as a substitute).

Step 8: Fold the sleeve back to form a head and tie off with two snug thread wraps. Step 9: Tie in the remnant of the rubber legs on the top using two snug wraps, then pull the head back and whip finish just behind the eye of the hook.

Step 10: Cut the legs in the center and shimmy each of them to the sides of the body. Cut the legs 3/4" to 1" in length. At this point you should also cut the pearl wing even with the foam body. The sleeve should also be cut shorter as seen in this image.

Step 11: Using a white paint marker, place a spot on the head and sleeve of the foam for better visibility.

At this point the fly looks finished, but there is one more very important step.

To make it durable, you must add a drop of Dave's Flexament to the tie in point of each leg. Do NOT use anything for this step except a Flexible Cement or it will distort the rubber legs. Also, be sure the legs are positioned exactly where you want them before cementing.
If done properly this fly will be durable enough to catch many trout. To purchase this pattern and many other of Matt Zudweg's patterns visit

Friday, February 12, 2010

Something New for 2010

Hello and thank you for visiting my blog. I am Matt Zudweg. I make my living as a Fly Fishing Guide for Feenstra Guide Service on Michigan's Muskegon River. Before beginning my official guiding career in 2004 I made a living soley as an artist. My art consisted of hand painted antiqued signs and fish carvings, mostly for large restaurant clients such as Max and Erma's Restaurants. Although I still make a few vintage style signs here and there through my website most of my creativity these days is unleashed through my line of fly fishing products found at . Through this blog I intend to feature fly tying tutorials for my original fly patterns, but I may even throw in some other creative things or thoughts once in a while. Enjoy.