Dry Flies: Tying Dry Fly Patterns

– Designed to ride in, or on the surface film. Dry flies are usually understood to be patterns imitating the adult stage of aquatic insects like mayflies, caddisflies, stoneflies, or midges, but may very well include an incredibly diverse menu of organisms~other aquatic insects like dragonflies and damselflies…terrestrial insects like spiders, ants grasshoppers, caterpillars, moths..
Fly Tying Dry Flies Latest Article

Triple Wing Caddis Pattern

I have come to the conclusion that there are some caddis fly patterns that I just plain LIKE to use. Sometimes they catch fish, sometimes they don’t.
Triple Wing Caddis Step By Step Fly Patterns

Grand River Fly

If you fish the Grand River in Southern Ontario with any degree of regularity, chances are you've run up against some of it's big lock-jawed browns sipping caddis on, or near the surface.

Adams Dry Fly

Adams Dry Fly
If ever there was a dry fly that needed no introduction, it is the Adams fly. This American fly pattern (designed by Len Halladay of Michigan in 1922 at the request of his close friend Charles Adams) was believed to have originally been a down wing pattern that more closely imitated a caddis.

Crane Fly Pattern

This is one tricky bug to imitate! One look at the naturals leaves most tiers wondering how to achieve the appearance with an artificial. At least DanJ and I wondered! Earlier this season I gave him one of my extended-body cranes to try out. Until this year, most of the cranes I experimented with were dubbed-bodied parachutes with over-sized hackle.
Fly Tying The Crane Fly Pattern - Step by step fly tying patterns with Rob O'Reilly

Mr. Rapidan Dry Fly

As time goes by, I think I have more faith in the “fishing” than I do in the fly. That is to say, I’m having less faith in the “magic” pattern being the key to more fish, and more in how its used. Its not been an evolution really, I’ve always loved attractor-patterns and […]

Griffith’s Gnat Pattern

A fly that has always found a home in my fly box is the Griffith’s Gnat. Created by one of the founding fathers of Trout Unlimited (George Griffith) the pattern imitates tiny midges, midge emergers, midge clusters..even tiny mayflies. Its a simple pattern, but very effective.
This fly has saved the day for me more […]

Blue Winged Olive

In the darkest corner of one of my dry fly boxes lies a blue winged olive pattern that catches lots of fish, and is pretty darn ugly. Well, ugly might be a bit harsh but it certainly lacks some of the pretty characteristics of say…Catskill patterns. A quill-bodied, beautifully hackled, split-winged pattern…..nope. […]

Hendrickson Dry Fly Pattern

O.K., its December…..I can reveal this fly and hopefully forget that I did by the time spring rolls along….What, a standard dry fly? Yep. I’ve tried for years to prove this fly wrong. Yes, I know males are different in color than the females. I don’t like this fly for […]

Trico Dun & Spinner Pattern

Depending on the river you’re fishing, you can expect to see these little devils anytime fron mid-July until almost the end of September. A bonus for tiers is that imitations need only be the right proportion, and close in color.I suppose you can say that of almost any dry fly, but i’ve seen […]

Grand River Caddis Pattern

Having now spent a great deal of time collecting samples and watching the caddis doing their thing on the upper Grand, I hit the tying bench with both live caddis samples and fresh memories of trout rising to within inches o my fly…..and NOT take it! That scenario is all too familiar to […]

Ant Fly Pattern

For the fly fishers I know best, the ant is pretty much a "marginal" pattern. While terrestrials in general fall into this category for many fly fishers, the ant is one that deserves a bit more attention. From a tying standpoint, there are few flies that are easier than the ant. […]

CDC Caddis Dry Fly

I’ve always liked the CDC Caddis Dry Fly pattern, but always struggled with the trimming of the CDC feathers. Somewhere in my mind I’m stuck on the thought that to use this material, the aligned natural tips of the feathers should be the outer extent of the wings. I think can say […]

Dandelion Fly Pattern

The deeper I get involved in fly fishing, the deeper my sense of familiarity grows with the sport’s tools and tricks. Every new pc. of equipment seems like either an innovative product answering a real need, or a better version of something that exists now. "New" flies tend to fall into the […]

CDC Biot Comparadun

This terrific fly improves upon a great fly by the substitution of a goose biot for the abdomen, and CDC for the wing. There are many theories as to why this fly is such a favorite among fly fishers. My personal belief is that it’s slender, low-riding profile (coupled with the very […]

Fishy’s Hopper Pattern

I would hazard a guess that there are few tiers who have not heard the name Jay "Fishy" Fullum. Author of "Fishy’s Flies" and a columnist for both American Angler and Fly Tyer magazines, Jay has a well-deserved reputation for innovative, fun patterns for warm, cold and saltwater gamefish. My experience with […]

Herl-Bodied Dry Fly

Like many of the flies I’ll likely include on "O’Reilly’s Tying Bench," the herl-bodied dry fly is of mysterious lineage. I found this pattern a number of years ago in one of the fly fishing magazines. After an hour or two of searching, I’ve given up on finding the article. The […]

Klinkhamer Dry Fly

In 1984, Hans Van Klinken (a Dutch fly tier) developed this fly about 15 years ago in an attempt to mimmic the caddis larva he found in the grayling he fished for in Norway. The result of the 4 months of development he invested to perfect it is the fly below, the Klinkhamer […]