Saturday, November 30, 2013

Woodcutter ~ A Palmered Wetfly

Woodcutter tied by Steven Bird

     For a long time a simple dark-olive & brown Wooly Worm, no tail, was one of my staples, especially when fishing freestone streams, where it serves to simulate many of the larger nymphs: drakes, stoneflies, dragonflies, & also sculpin & crayfish. Good as the olive & brown Wooly is, I can never resist tampering with things &, one day, I was looking at some plates of  palmered Irish wetflies & thought the style might lend itself well to my old favorite. A few misconceived trials &, it eventually did – the result being somewhat more elegant laying in the box, as well as a reliable hard worker in the water. Though I designed the Woodcutter with local freestones in mind, the Irish fish this style in stillwater (‘loughe flies’) as well, & I can attest it does work to simulate dragonfly nymphs in lakes, trolled or stripped; & in a #10, it fishes for the big Traveling Sedge of Northwest lakes; so the Woodcutter is versatile.  


Hook: #8 TMC 200R

Thread: Yellow

Tag: Copper tinsel

Rib: Copper wire

Body: Wapsi Superfine BWO blend dubbed on a loop of the tying thread – build up the underbody to a nice cigar shape with yellow sewing thread (or lead wraps) – when I want bulk, I save time & expensive tying thread by mousing with sewing thread – works for dubbing on larger patterns, as well

Palmer: Brown shlappen – 5 turns evenly over the body (Saddle hackle can be used)

Hackle: Two turns of speckled brown hen (I used Welsumer hen on the sample in the foto, but I also like brahma or pardo coq-de-leon hen for this one) - & finish.        

Welsumer Hen
Flyfish NE Washington with Steven Bird:


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Rich. One of my staples for freestones. Good one this time of year.

  2. awesome fly steve i used it a couple of weeks ago and got a nice brown trout and a fallfish on it thanks for the pattern

  3. Thanks for the report, Rich! The Woodcutter is a good brown trout fly. Pardon my ignorance, but what is a "fallfish"? (Methinks you must be fishing outside the U.S.)