Tying with Ostrich, including Videos on Tying Bubbas Callibaetis and Stalcup's Gilled Nymph Fishing Flies

Ostrich is an overlooked material.

by Chris NAugust 14, 2023 in Fly Tying Videos

Stalcup's Gilled Nymph Fishing Fly

We idolized Shane Stalcup when learning how to tie. His book, Mayflies, is a classic. The Gilled Nymph was, according to Mt Stalcup, his favorite. The original technique is to wrap the ostrich forward and then rib with wire. Then, a bodkin is heated and the top and bottom ostrich fibers are singed to create a flat body while leaving "gills" on either side of the body. It is not a difficult technique. That said, Mr Stalcup was also a fan of V-Rib (also known as D-Rib).

Regardless, the star of the show is the ostrich. The ostrich creates gills, which come to life in the water. Here's our take on the gilled nymph:

Bubba's Callibaetis Fishing Fly

Here's our take on Bubba's, which is a callibaetis pattern with a devoted following of lake anglers throughout the mountain west. We think it probably works everywhere.

The Mottled Turkey tail fibers make a great body. The barbs create gills and the coloring is....well, natural. That said, this type of body can be fragile. To help durability we add a drop of glue on the hook shank before wrapping the turkey forward. We also counter rib with gold wire. An alternative is to use a tight, slim dubbing noodle of Hare's Ear.

But, the real star in our opinion is the Ostrich. Ostrich is a great material with really good movement in the water. Here's how we piece together Bubba's:

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