Published Feb 3. 2010 - 7 years ago
Updated or edited Nov 17. 2015

Phar Side Phly

A basic saltwater pattern, which can be adapted to your needs... easily downsized... easily modified... no rules... just a progression of basic steps...

Finished phly - Notice the length of the hackle feathers and the herl as well as the color blend of the feathers. You can very the combination and size of all elements, but keep each additional layer fairly skinny to keep the fly slender and mobile.
Pete Gray

It's been a while and winter has driven me inside... 'playin' around with the camera as I made my way up a hook shank...
My basic philosophy it to design a fly to suit my needs and compose as I go...
When I look at someone else's fly for the first time, I tend to visually de-construct it and then try to figure out the original tying steps...
I have my "favourites" and they seem to form the basis [foundations] for follow-on notions...
This is one of my favourite fly foundations... easily downsized... easily modified... no rules... just a progression of basic steps...

In an attempt to achieve a higher level of "self importance" I prefer to "categorize" my flyz...
They all start out as PhuzzieNotions [R&D ideas rattling around in my noggin and looking for a place to happen]... and then materialize into PharSidePhlyz [as in the PharSide of the canal]...
Then they are designated BigEyez... Tubez... DualTubez... Shrimpz... whatever...
This particular exercise falls under Naturalz [predominately phur n'pheathers with spartan application of phlash]... My FAVOURITE catagory!
SinThetics would be "plastic" and acrylics... evil but very tempting and seductive... and so on and so on...


I'll have to start wearing my "official" MAKO ADVISORY STAFF fishing shirt 'cause, if I'm going to be impotent, I gotta dress impotent!

But I digress...

My techniques are refined basics ['been doing this for a LONG time]...
My technical eye is self trained and perhaps even gifted...
My former life [AVIATION] encourages attention to detail...
I have developed good control over the thread and material... and I combine and overlap these basic techniques to obtain a desired effect and overall insinuation...

An artist has a pallet and canvas... I've got my phur, pheathers n'phlash... 'just looking for an unsuspecting hook [or tube] to hang 'em on...

Colours are thoughtfully blended as material is added and subtle flash is lightly infused so as not to overwhelm...

My goal is to create an illusion with inherent motion... properly selected and applied materials speak for themselves... The FISH always have the last word!

By nature I am a lazy animal with time tested convenient habits that simplify my daily activities...
After years of wandering around with open eyes, I've arrived at my foundation station... 

'trains mostly depart from the same tracks and are customized to suit their intended destination...

Phar Side Phly
Pattern type: 
Cold saltwater fly
Pete Gray
Saltwater, short shank 2-2/0
White salwater hackle (4-6 feathers), clear flash
White bucktail and more flash
Chartreuse bucktail
Varying colors of saltwater hackle, from dark to light (Olive, blue, gray, purple hues will work)
Large Jungle Cock feathers
Peacock herl
Tying thread with varnish or epoxy
See image sequence below

Step 1: thread

Step 2: tail

Step 3: bucktail

Step 4: flash

Step 5: color

Step 6: more flash

Step 7: top & bottom

Step 8: herl and JC

Step 9: finish

Pete Gray

This "NATURAL" exercise typically kicks off with the same starter steps to get me going and then follow-on steps divert to suit my current needs and intended goals...
Call them starter recipes... even though I tend to not rely on written recipes... they are, after all "PhuzzieNotions"...

This is supposed to FUN [or should that be phun?!]...


Another striper - Yet a striper enticed by a Phar Phly
Comparison - Different Phar Side Phlys compared. A long and colorful version on top, a couple of slightly smaller and less flamboyant ones below.
Phather? - PeteGray, Over and Out<br />
Phly and phather
Pete Gray

Pete on the PharSide of the Canal... das People's Republik of Taxachusetts


Pete Gray's picture

Phlatwing... Sort'a... Thanks...
It starts off with vertically oriented hackles tied in near the bend then progresses with high/low tied splayed buck tail and culminates with flat and tented hackles tied in without the classic "pillow"...
I mix and match basic techniques to create the desired size and profile... and enjoy playing around with material management to achieve a balanced and pleasing result... the hook is a canvass and the pheatherz 'n phur my pallet... being able to share the results is part of the challenge and pleasure... phlatwing... sort'a...


Nice Phlatwing

Pete Gray's picture

Thanks... I think...
A predator mugs my fly, thinking that it's a meal, and line goes tight...
Quickly brought to hand, I have just caught my dinner but, I hasten a release and send the fish back into deep water to fight another day...


Thanks Pete, for sharing, also from Italy.
A sense of irony is, in my opinion, guarantee of freedom... and, to my eyes, some of your 'freestyle' tying are full of sense of irony!


Peter is the master of alot of great flies! He actually catches BIG fish on them, which is even cooler!!

Pete Gray's picture

I learned early on that there are only so many ways to hang phur n' pheathers on a shaft and "claiming" anything as "my own" was a terrible idea...
Perhaps the closest I've come to an "original" might be a certain DualTube fly that seems curiously off the beaten path...
The way these Naturals are tied incorporates a smattering of material applications... some of the feathers might be tied down flat and/or tented and/or whatever suits the desired profile...I don't employ the suggested "pillow" technique to rest the flat wings on... and frequently I'll forgo the jungle cock and spot weld on the head material and 3D eyez with the new light cured acrylic [which probably makes true purists cringe...] Should we call this "freestyle" tying?! Whatever...
Anyway... I'm just trying to share some style variations with folks who might appreciate my efforts... the photos, while pleasing to my eye, aren't the best and certainly aren't the worst... perhaps "not bad" might work...
The only thing that I claim these days as my own is a nice steaming turd in the morning, after my starter coffee... both of which are short lived and soon flushed... Cheers!


Martin Joergensen's picture


I don't see Pete claiming to have invented the flatwing anywhere. Telling people how to tie it is no offense, or...?

We have a widespread international audience, and a lot of them will love to learn the techniques used in flatwings, and this general pattern is an excellent starting point for them.

Try traversing the web for flies looking like Wooly Buggers, Egg Sucking Leeches, Muddler Minnows, Elk Hair Caddises and whatnot, but being called something else, and you can fill pages up and pages down with "reinventions".

We reinvented the Woolly Bugger at least a dozen times on this site alone... and no harm done in that if you ask me!

Pete will be contributing more flatwings in the future, and we will be very happy to host his flies - new or reinvented.


Wow. Pete reinvented the Flat Wing.

Log in or register to pre-fill name on comments, add videos, user pictures and more.
Read more about why you should register.