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Tying flies with Boise's best

Steve Liebenthal ties flies with Nate Brumley
Posted at 3:15 PM, Apr 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-04 15:12:13-04

In a special Idaho Backroads, we are with a local angler who is also an expert at tying flies, Nate Brumley from Dry Fly Innovations.

"What we're going to tie is what's called a colored emerger, Steve," says Brumley. "It doesn't look like much, but it is one of the deadliest flies on the river right now."

We start by making the insect's body with a very specific material from the wing of a goose, called a biat.

"We're gonna wrap this all the way down the shank of the hook and, as you do it, the wrap has got to be overlapping," says Brumley. "Because what's going to happen here is every turn is going to create a black and gray striation. It is the trigger on this particular tie that makes it fishy."

Next, another very specific feather from a duck, that Nate calls a CDC, is used.

"It's the most floaty material in dry fly," says Brumley.

And it must be attached to the hook perfectly. Then a very common material called dubbing is used to build the thorax.

"And what I'm going to do is just spin it," says Brumley. "So you're going to hump it up right next to the abdomen."

Then we tie off the head of the fly and prepare for the most critical moment--cutting the CDC wing to the perfect length.

"You're gonna slide your scissors right in and measure and do a clip," says Brumley. "You want that to be maybe a quarter-inch."

"That's my tie-on bug right there," says Brumley. "You betcha."

So next week we are going to take these flies to the Oyhee River, and see if Nate can catch a fish on my fly and see if I can catch a fish on Nate's fly."