The Fluff

Published Jan 17th 2010

Fish are stupid - they must be to take this simple and efficient pattern


Sea trout

How simple can you tie a fly - and still catch fish? History has shown us lots of examples - even a "bare hook nymph". And for seatrout we have the Copperbully here in Denmark. And you can find many other patterns with few or only one material.
The Fluff is also rather simple, and actually started out as a kind of joke about the stupidity of fish.

You can catch fish on a hook with a little dubbing. Why make simple things complicated, when fish are more stupid than we can even imagine?

Lots of flies take a long time to tie, because the patterns are far too detailed. Fish won't notice, and the time can be used better at the water, fishing. So why not make a "Fluff" fly, the name referring to the piece of yarn often used for casting practice.

All colors

The fly we tied that day (and have tied in the same way since then), is made with a blend of SLF (Synthetic Living Fiber) and a little flash - making the fly dusty greenish - just like a little baitfish, the sand eel, that is one of the favorite "meals" of the Danish seatrout as well as many other predatory fish around the world.
The material is dubbed on the tread or wound in a dubbing loop. Tie in and whipfinish - and that's it.

Fluffy impressions

And best of all is, that the fly is very efficient. In the springtime it is on my leader most of the time - and when I retrieve it quickly, I'm sure, that the fish will bite hard and almost swallow the fly.

Fish are stupidů

User comments
From: Mikael · mikael_thorsen·at·  Link
Submitted April 3rd 2010

This fly made my fishing trip! Tied a Tan-coloured fluff with STF and a dubbed butt of black hair (to imitate shrimp's eyes/head) and the fish loved it. I like the stf-dubbing's shimmering effect in the water. Thanks for the pattern.

From: Per Gade · pergade·at·  Link
Submitted April 3rd 2010

Hi Eelke. I'm sure, you can buy STF, when you come to Denmark - or in a Danish webshop, that can send the material to you in the Netherlands. The best Fluff is made of a blend of colors tan, gray olive, light olive and a little olive + a little flash (green/gold). You can mail me for further information. Per

From: Eelke · ebuiter·at·  Link
Submitted April 2nd 2010

I can't buy the Synthetic Translucent Fibre in the Netherlands. Is normal dubbing also possible?



From: upstate tj · tj.savidge·at·  Link
Submitted February 23rd 2010

I agree that our fly's have become overboard. I think there are flies for fishing and flies for hobby (consuming time, like that Canadian winter.) I enjoy taking my time at the vise, never wanted to be a production tyer. The average tier like myself, I cannot tie elaborate patterns anywho, so I enjoy keeping things simple.

From: Pike · pike007·at·  Link
Submitted February 22nd 2010

I tied similar fly but instead of STF I used saltwater SLF dubbing in shrimp color. Same as Vanuz I attached epoxy shrimp eyes. I hope I will test it soon. I like simplicity of this pattern a lot.

From: David Anstey · danstey·at·  Link
Submitted February 1st 2010

The problem with this fly is that people will take a shine to it and instantly start making modifications. I'm already thinking the fly would be nice if it had a butt of a different colour. Kelly Green dubbing with a red butt, sort of like the Green Machine colours. I jest of course - your article hammers home a point: Our flies have become so elaborate that a return to the basics almost seems revolutionary. The only drawback I can see to this fly is that you could make a hundred of them in a couple of evenings - which would leave an angler a long Canadian winter with nothing to occupy his time.

From: Per Gade · pergade·at·  Link
Submitted January 29th 2010

No, I haven't tried it for mullet - only trout and garfish. In both cases it has been very efficient.

From: ferris · ferrismclaughlin·at·  Link
Submitted January 25th 2010

Have you tried this fly for mullet?

From: vanuz · gvanuz·at·  Link
Submitted January 23rd 2010

I have used a simmilar fly just adding a pair of shrimp eyes. Works fine. Simple. Yet it cuts the tying time to a minimum, which works for me also.

From: Per Gade · pergade·at·  Link
Submitted January 20th 2010

I have to correct myself. The material used for the Fluff isn't SLF - but STF (Synthetic Translucent Fibre). Sorry - sometimes not only fish are stupid :-)

From: Ulrik · ulrik·at·  Link
Submitted January 17th 2010

And it works!!!!

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