FOM Pumpkin Crunch 10 2017 360x360

Guest Blogger: Paul Beel, FrankenFly

FOM Pumpkin Crunch 10 2017 360x360In October we launched a new feature on our site, the Fly of the Month. The first fly we highlighted was the Pumpkin Crunch, a parachute dry fly that you can dead drift while fishing for browns, brookies or rainbow trout. Here’s how to tie it!

Hook: Mustad 94840
Thread: UNI-Thread 6/0 Dark Brown
Body: UNI-Floss Orange
Post: Hi-Vis – White
Hackle: Brown and grizzly
Tail: Turkey fibers

Steps for tying:

1. Place hook in vise and wrap a thread base down the hook shank and back up and leave thread hanging 1/4 of the way back from the hook eye.

2. Take a pinch of Hi-Vis and tie in near the 3/4 section of the hook away from the hook bend and 1/4 of the way back from the hook eye. Tie it down on top of the hook aiming over the hook eye. Then take the Hi-Vis and pull it straight up and make wraps of thread in front of the pinch of Hi-Vis to get the post of the fly standing up straight. Then start making wraps around the Hi-Vis post while holding the top of the Hi-Vis with the other hand. You may be able to make some easy wraps around the post once you get it started without holding the top. You will be wrapping hackle around this post later, so make the wraps go up the post about a 1/4 of an inch. This creates the section that you will wrap hackle around.

3. Now select one hackle of each of a brown and grizzly rooster cape. Use a hackle gauge to select the correct size. For example, if you are using a size 10 hook, use the hackle gauge to select a size 10 hackle feather.

4. Once selected, turn both feathers with the faded part of the feather toward you and place the brown feather behind the grizzly. With your scissors, clip the butts of the hackle off. Then trim about 4 or 5 hackle fibers away from each feather to give you a place to tie the feather down against the post.

5. Place the two feathers together, with the faded sides facing you, up against the post and hold them there while making wraps of thread around the post to hold the feathers in place against the post. Once the lower part of the stems are secured straight up with the post, use a little head cement or glue and brush around the post to secure it. Leave the feathers standing straight up for now.

6. Tie in 3 Turkey Tail fibers. You can tie them in while they are together and then use a bodkin to split the fibers apart after they are tied in. The three fibers should be split in the back to imitate the look of a mayfly tail.

7. Tie in Hot Orange UNI-Floss. Start where the thread is hanging over the barb of the hook. Make consecutive wraps of floss one after another until you get against the post we created. Tie off the floss and cut off the excess. Now place your thread on the other side of the post. This is the side closest to the hook eye.

8. Now take both of the hackle feathers we left before and bend them downward so you can start wrapping them around the post. It may help to hold the top of the Hi-Vis post while wrapping both feather at the same time. Keep the wraps of hackle next to each other as you work your way down the post until you meet the top of the hook shank. Hold both feathers and keep the wraps tight while you take the thread and make about 4 wraps of thread around the feathers and the post. Now be careful and take your scissors and trim off the rest of the feathers.

9. Use your thread to wrap the rest of the front of the hook near the hook eye. The section from the post to the hook eye should be all brown thread. Once this is wrapped neatly with thread, whip finish, place a dab of head cement or glue after you clip off your thread.

10. Finally, trim the top of your Hi-Vis post. It should be about as long as the hook. It should be sticking up visible above the hackle feathers, as shown in photo.

11. The fly is complete.


  1. Hi Paul, are you the man behind the vise for all the flies of the month and the ones in the print catalog? Appropriate color and name for October. I wanted to ask Mary Kuss if she had any box elder beetle patterns in her terrestrial selection and this fly was posted. It probably would make a passable imitation. We’re loaded with these beetles and lady bugs in October when they try to overwinter out and inside the house.
    Anyway, it’s a nice pattern but I wanted to ask you another question seeing you created that monster of a dubbing. When did all these dubbed head streamers come about? Is there one originator or are they an outgrowth of muddler and wool heads? Shane Stalcup had some nice fry patterns when ice dub came out. It seems to have grown into a style of streamer that a ton of tyers use around the globe from the salt to fresh water, both for cold and warm species. I think they’re beautiful, even if not in the classical sense. Maybe you can answer my question, I know you are pressed for time, managing your many “monsters”. But if you could it would be appreciated. Thanks Paul, I hope you had a Merry Christmas and I wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.

  2. Hi Joe,

    I did the first two Flies of the Month. As far as the print catalog, do you mean the cover? No, that wasn’t me. I do tie flies for J.Stockard from time to time though. So you probably have seen something from me here and there on J. Stockard’s web site. The beetles sound interesting for sure!
    I think all of the dubbed streamers had come about several years ago. It started with Russ Maddin and Kelly Galloup up in Michigan. They started fishing larger streamers for trout and were catching some big ones. Now it has really caught on and people are using this style of long dubbing, like my Monster dubbing, to tie streamers. I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions and I’ll try my best to answer. I hope you had a good Christmas as well and have a happy New Year!


    1. Thanks Paul, you probably hit the nail, I thought of Galloup, never heard of Maddin except for John. I’ll have to do a search. At first I thought of variants of Whitlock sheep series or someone combed out a Lite Brite minnow(lol). In fact I just watched Bug Wild tie a sloppy seconds articulated streamer that incorporates a zoo cougared zonker ( no muddler head, just the mallard flank covering a zonker strip and dubbing) tied on a hook. That then is attached to a shank with another zonker tied on that. I guess the transformers have invaded fly tying because I get dizzy thinking of the roots of the fly, the variants of that, and all the parts of different flies that make up the new one. Just like Frankenstein’s monster, that’s why I thought to ask you.
      Dizzy or not l love it, as much as I love fine art and Italian cuisine. And yes I did mean the js print catalog covers. So thanks Paul, you did answer my question and Christmas was great ( just finished the feast of the 7 fishes – too much for one day, god bless my grandma and her two sisters) and now it’s time to start the new year’s feast. Thanks again Paul! Happy New Year to you and yours!

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