I have read about people making their own
dubbing. I have also seen recipes for it
on the net. I was in a "thrift shop" type
store and ran onto several small pieces of
craft and rug yarn. While I was looking at
this material, the manager of the store came
by and asked me what I would do with it. When
I told her that I would mix it up to make fishing
flies she was intrigued. She sold me all the
pieces for $1.00. While in the store I saw a
couple of pet brushes also and got those to
mix the dubbing up with.
I went back to my tying room and set about
cutting up the pieces of yarn. I decided to
start with a small batch. I would cut 6 to 8
pieces of the brighter colors and did about
twenty of the brown and 30 of the black yarn.
I picked up some of the yarn and started brushing
it across one of the pet brushed and then pull
it the other way. I quickly figured out that it
would probably be quicker it I undid the yarn so
each strand was separate. This did make it go
I have tried doing this in a blender and it did
not work for me. I ended up with a nice mat that
was twisted together and around the blades in
the blender. The colors did not mix at all. I
am not sure what I did, but this is a better
method for me.
After I had pulled the strand apart and mixed
it up, I thought it was still too bright, so I
added more brown to the mixture and a little
black also. Now it looked better. It was time
to tie a fly or two with this and see if it
I decided to go with a nymph type of pattern.
I had wanted to do some experiments anyway. I
was not sure if legs helped on a Pheasant Tail
Nymph or not. I would tie some of them both ways
with this material and see if it made any
I used size 10, 12, and 14 hooks. Some had bead
heads and some did not. I used pheasant tail (PT)
barbs for the tail. I rope dubbed the abdomen
with my dubbing. I tied in pheasant tail barbs
for the wing case. I dubbed the thorax with more
dubbing and then pulled the wing case over.
For the ones with legs, after tying off the wing
case I would pull the PT barbs down on each side
of the hook and pull the barbs back toward the
barb a little. I then wrapped thread over them
again and tied the fly off. I then cut each PT
barb with my fingernails and not scissors. I
just like the way the legs look then. They are
not as flat as when cut with the scissors.
I went out to the lake over my lunch hour to do
some experimenting. I tied on one fly on each pole.
One with legs and the other without. I would make
five casts with one rod and then five casts with
the other rod. I caught bass, crappie, green
sunfish and bluegills on these flies. I am not
sure that one worked better than the other. I
will keep experimenting with these.
The fun thing was that I caught fish on a fly that
I tied, with the dubbing I made, and on a rod that
I built. I will admit that it made me feel good
that this dubbing mixture worked. My wife did
tell me that I had to stay out of her yarn.
She could see it all disappearing.
I hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick