July 3, 2019Elliot Brass, Tying Flies

Some flies catch fish, Some flies catch fishermen.

Some flies catch fish, Some flies catch fishermen – By Elliot Brass.

“Some flies catch fish, Some flies catch fishermen” I often hear this quote when discussing fly designs with fellow fishermen. One thing that comes up time and time again is that simple is always better!

My passion is salmon and steelhead flies. I am fortunate to share this passion with a few friends who are guides, I also discuss fly tying online often with other people who enjoy tying flies. Over the past few years I have been hearing a lot more people exclaim “I only fish tubes now”.  Guides love them because they are relatively simple to tie , you can rig the hook as far back as you like, you can stack 2 tubes if the water is dirty. When the fish takes the the fly the tube will slide up your line and by doing this it does not get chewed up by the fish. When you are fishing tubes you do not need a bulky fly box. A zip lock bag is better than anything you can buy in a store…

I personally love tying and fishing tube flies. My only problem with them is they generally do not look as cool as other types of flies. Well don’t judge a book by its cover. This year I found a new pattern online and it has proven to be my new favorite fly. It takes some great qualities from other flies I like and combines them into this tube version. Also I enjoy finding new products that will help me catch fish. I have included a few newer products in this fly.

Here is my version of the Silvenator.

Pro tube tube 40/40 orange
Thread Danville utc 240 white
Black bared groovy bunny strips pink orange and white
Pink crystal flash
Barred ostrich pink-black
Schlappen Shrimp pink
Dubbing Ice dub shrimp pink mixed with cinnamon
Pro fisher flex bead large pink

Trim your tube and place it on the Mandrel

Start your thread just in front of the center bump

Tye in your strip of bunny

Tie in your crystal flas on the side facing you

Fold it back on the far side and tie in a few wraps of thread

On the side facing you tie in 3-5 plumes of the barred ostrich

Do the same on the the other side. Trim off the excess.

Prep a schlappen feather. You want the webby maribou end of the fly.

Tie it in and slick back the fibers

Wrap about 3 wraps of the schlappen and tie off

Grab some dubbing this is a blend of 2 similar colors, shrimp pink and cinnamon


Place your Flexi bead on the tube so you can gauge how much dubbing you will need. Spin the dubbing on your thread it does not need to be super tight.

Whip finish

Trim the tube. Just leave a few millimeters of tubing exposed.




Burn the end of the tube. The heat will cause the plastic to mushroom out and hold everything in place.

Pick out the dubbing and five the fly a good brush.

You can tie this fly in a variety of color the sky’s the limit.

An egg sucking leech pattern has been working very well this year!

Bull trout are also big fans!

Happy tying and see you on the river!

Elliot Brass

When Elliot is not fly fishing, he is most likely on the bench tying flies. After all, tying flies to him is as rewarding as it is hooking into a chrome fish. Always full of stoke and good times, Elliot loves swinging flies and talking about fly fishing. His favorite lucky cap is the Strike Pro Model .

Follow Elliot Brass on Instagram at: https://www.instagram.com/elliot76/