Santa’s Helper

Submitted By Skip Nault

Tyer Comments:

This simple caddis pattern is easy to tie and a great steelhead pattern. The metal fiber dubbing helps to get the fly down fast.  The pattern was designed by Mark Kasubik.

Hook: TMC 2457, 2X short, 2X heavy, #12-14 scud hook
Thread: 6/0 black
Bead: 1/8 inch gold brass bead
Abdomen: Spirit River Depth Advantage Dubbing, Chartruese
Thorax: Peacock Herl, 2 strands, or synthetic peacock

Rib: Small red or gold wire.

Tying Instructions

You will love this dubbing…it goes on like a dream. Be certain to taper the body from the bend of the hook, progressively getting bigger to the thorax. Order of tying on the beaded hook:

1. Cover hook with thread.
2. Tie on wire rib at tail end.
3. Dub abdomen.
4. Wrap ribbing.
5. Tie on peacock herl collar (thorax).
6. Whip finish

Can also be tied on smaller or larger scud hooks with appropriate sized bead.  This pattern resembles the green rock worm (caddis larva) found in many of Ohio’s streams.

Santa’ Helper

Aurora Nymph

Submitted By Skip Nault

Tyer Comments:  This is one of the best flies I have used to fool brown trout, especially in the spring and early summer on the Clear Fork River.  Also has worked well on rainbow trout wherever it has been fished, especially in PA’s Spring Creek. The pattern originally was designed by Michigan’s Dennis Potter. Updated 5/17/20



Hook: #12-14 scud hook

Bead: gold or copper tungsten

Thread:  8/0 black, olive, white or red

Body: medium opal tinsel

Rib: small gold wire

Thorax: 2-3 strands peacock herl

Wing cover:  medium (or large) opal tinsel

Tail & legs: mini rubber legs, any color

Tying instructions:

Wrap thread at base of bead to snug in, then wrap thread back to hook bend.  Tie in rubber leg material to form paired tail.  Next, tie in small gold wire length of hook to wrap forward.  Secure a length of tinsel near tail and spiral with overlapping turns up to just behind bead.  This is when it is nice to have a rotary vice.  Next, counter wrap the gold wire up to the bead.  Coat abdomen with UV epoxy and cure with UV light.  Now tie in a small piece of large tinsel to form the wing cover.  Wrap peacock herl to form a thorax 1.5 times size of bead head, then pull over large tinsel to form a wing cover.  Place a length of rubber leg material to form a set of legs on the far side of nymph and a similar length on the near side and secure with no more than three wraps of thread between the legs.  Tie 4 to 5 half hitches with a half hitch tool just behind the bead.

Note:  As an alternative, tie the aurora nymph on a barbless jig hook.  The jig hook rides hook point up and is much less likely to snag on the bottom of the stream.

  Both the gold wire and UV epoxy protect the tinsel when hook is removed from fish with forceps.

New Aurora Nymph


An Aurora Nymph tied on a jig hook.

Rainbow Warrior

submitted by Skip Nault

The rainbow warrior is a relatively easy tie.  The pattern was developed by Utah’s Lance Egan.  The fly works well in all sizes, but especially in small sizes to imitate midges.  The rainbow warrior works particularly well in Apple Creek during the colder months when trout are feeding heavily on midge pupae.  They can be fished under a strike indicator or in a dry/dropper combination using the Clown Shoe Caddis as the dry fly.

Tying materials:

hook: emerger #10-22

thread: red

bead: tungsten sized to hook

tail: pheasant tail fibers

abdomen & wing cover: medium pearl mylar

thorax: tan or rainbow scud dubbing

Tying instructions:

After placing hook with bead in vice, cover the hook with red thread.  Tie in tail.  Tie in tinsel behind bead and wrap tinsel back to base of tail and return thread to behind the bead.  Use overlapping turns of tinsel and wrap forward to behind bead.  Tie tag end of tinsel over top of fly and position to use as a wing cover.  Form a thorax with dubbing and then pull tinsel over the top to form a wing cover.  Tie a broad section of red thread behind bead as a hot spot and whip finish.  See video to tie Rainbow Warrior.

Rainbow Warrior

Eggstasy Egg pattern

Submitted By Skip Nault.

Tier Comments:  This pattern uses a next generation fiber, Eggstasy.  When wet, it gives a jelly-like appearance of a fish egg.  And it works especially well for recently stocked rainbow trout, and ought to work well on Lake Erie tributaries along Steelhead Alley.


Hook: Size 12 & 14, Barbless jig hooks
Thread:  Color to match or contrast with Eggstasy fibre
Bead:  Slotted tungsten silver bead to match hook size.
Body: Best colors are fluorescent cheese, fluorescent peach & pink salmon.

Tying Instructions

1)  Slide bead onto hook and place hook in vice.  Wrap tying thread from bead back to 1/3 of hook. Be certain to use tying thread to secure bead.  Cut a length of Eggstasy fiber several inches long.  The fiber is attached to a thread base.  Tie the Eggstasy 1/3 down hook to where you have tied in the thread base.  Wet fingers to pull fibers rearward, then wrap Eggstasy with 5 turns, ending at the base of tungsten bead.  Tie off there with several turns and whip finish.  You can apply head cement to the thread base prior to wrapping Eggstasy fiber.  For further instruction, I refer you to a video by Tim Camissa on how to tie this pattern.

Eggstasy egg pattern, dry
Eggstasy egg pattern wet

Purple Jesus

Submitted By Skip Nault

Tyer Comments:

One of the best flies over the years for steelhead.  The fly was designed many years ago by Jerry Darkes.  The fly imitates small to medium sized black stoneflies found in Ohio’s Lake Erie tributaries.  The fly also works well in inland trout streams.  Tying with tungsten bead gets fly quickly to bottom of stream.


Hook: Size 12-16 scud hooks

Thread: Black 8/0

Bead: Black tungsten, size matched to hook size

Tail: Black goose biots

Body:  Dubbed with Spirit River, light bright purple haze

Collar:  Black ostrich hurl

 Tying Instructions

1) Place Bead on Hook
2) Wrap thread to back of fly and attach biots
3) Twist dubbing on thread and wrap forward forming a tapered body.
4) Take 4-6 wraps of ostrich herl to form a collar behind bead and tie off.

Purple Jesus


Submitted By Skip Nault

Tyer Comments:

The original pattern was first tied by Jack Gartside many decades ago.  It was tied solely from the feathers of a partridge or ringneck pheasant skin.  Since then, tiers have created many variations of the pattern, some of which I will mention here.  This is a versatile pattern; it can be drifted like a nymph, swung through the water like a wetfly, or fished like a small streamer.


Hook: Nymph hook, #6-14, 2x long
Thread:  Black 8/0, or color to match pattern
Tail: Pheasant or partridge rump marabou
Body: Dubbing can vary from natural to synthetic
Collar:  Rump hackle

Head: Aftershaft feather

Tying Instructions

1) Tie in Tail, 1/4 to no more than length of hook.
2) Dub tying thread and advance forward with wraps that increase taper as body is built from tail forward.  You can add small wire to wrap over dubbing.
3) Use rump hackle to tie in collar to reach back to just beyond the base of the tail.
4) Tie in the aftershaft feather by the base of the feather and take several wraps to create a bushy head.  The feather is very delicate, the tip easily breaks off.  Be patient!  To add weight to the fly, add lead wraps over hook or a bead in front of the aftershaft head.

This sparrow was tied with feathers from a ringneck pheasant and gold wire ribbing.

This sparrow is tied with light purple iced and blue wire ribbing.