Created by John Scott, Rigby Idaho
Layout and Photos by Buzz Roach

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Fly Tying Terms

The t.c.t.k. emerged from scooping stuff out of a small central Idaho river with an aquarium net last year specifically, midge larvae. I found a hook of the appropriate size and a type and color of thread that would represent what I knew to be a favorite food of the bows and brookies in this little river a little river with some pretty big fish in it, and tied up some examples.

About a month ago, while sight fishing to an 18" rainbow in this same river, I drifted three patterns by it without moving it. I decided to give the t.c.t.k. a shot. On the first cast, the bow took the fly. Many more fish went for it that afternoon. A couple days later, I was fishing the same river, sight fishing to another good sized rainbow. He was near the opposite bank in a pocket of soft water with instream cover above and below him with a hard current between us. On my third or fourth cast, I got a good drift right on the edge of the hard water. As my dry fly indicator floated past the bow, I saw him turn and then move into the faster water and chase down the t.c.t.k. he chased it a good six feet before he caught it.

Since then, I've fished this fly several more times on its river of origin, a couple times on a small spring creek in the central mountains of Idaho, four times on Southeastern Idaho's South Fork of the Snake River, and once on a Spring Creek in the area where the fish have all the time they want to look at what you are drifting by them. Many bows, browns, brookies, cuts, cuttbows, and mountain whitefish in these various waters have fallen prey to this simplest of flies.


Hook: Size 16 Dai-Riki 135 .

Thread: UTC 70 denier Brown Olive fly tying thread.

Tying Instructions:

    1. Debarb hook and place in vice.

    2. Start thread behind the eye. Wrap down into the bend of the hook and back up to behind the eye to form a smooth thread body. A second trip down to the bend and back to behind the eye is optional.

    3. With the tying thread, form a bump behind the eye, about as long as the eye of the hook and two to three times the diameter of the hook shank.

    4. Whip finish. Head cement is optional.

On smaller, slower or shallower water, I fish this beneath a dry fly. On larger, faster or deeper water, I'll trail it off a weighted stone fly nymph. On a recent day on the South Fork, fishing the t.c.t.k. behind a brown rubber legs, I took 15 browns, 10 cutthroat, and 15 mountain whitefish in about five hours in a variety of water. Two thirds of them preferred the midge to the stone fly.

Oh yeah t.c.t.k. stands for "twelve cent trout killer. ~ John Scott

For more great flies, check out: Beginning Fly Tying, Intermediate Fly Tying and Advanced Fly Tying.

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