Fishing Fly tying

Fly tying: The Casual Dress

I love fly patterns that incorporate a bit of inventiveness, or include some new tricks that I never considered at the vise. Polly Rosbourough’s Casual Dress is one of those patterns.

Not only is a fairly simple endeavor to tie a few of these small streamers up, but the tying itself incorporates some nifty procedures to do it just right. For instance, muskrat under fur used for dubbing, and then spun tightly on a flat thread will created a nice segmented body, as you’ll see from Tim Flagler’s vide below. Couple that with the separation of the tying thread to tie in more muskrat fur for the collar, and you’ve got the makings of a fly that’s fun to tie and, frankly, will impress those watching you do it.

Tim’s use of the muskrat furn in its natural color gives the fly a drab, baitfish look. When I saw the pattern, I immediately thought what it might look like tied with a bead head in olive green—in a size 12, it would be an ideal imitation of a damselfly nymph here in Idaho’s swampy backwaters for carp, or for summer trout in our high lakes.

Muskrat fur isn’t the easiest material to find in varied colors—note Tim’s comments at the beginning of the video. But you can see why it’s used for this pattern, and why I’ll be wandering through the aisles at Jimmy’s All Seasons Angler in the next week or so, looking for some. I’m excited to give this pattern a shot.

— Chris Hunt

By Chris Hunt.