Montana Troutfitters is Bozeman’s oldest fly fishing shop Since 1978

Typing Tubes for Trout

John McPherson

Over the past year I got into tying tube flies. At first they were for fishing on my two handed spey rod. Since I don't get to go Steelhead fishing as much as I would like, my flies started evolving into trout patterns. Over time they looked more like baitfish and sculpins than a traditional tube fly. Just because these types of patterns were originally for two handed rods doesn't mean they can't be fished with a single hand rod.

Tying a fly on a tube instead of a hook does have a few advantages. Your first advantage is if you hook something on the bottom and get snagged. When this happens you usually have to break your fly off and start over. A tube fly has a loop knot for the connection between the leader and the hook. When you snag bottom and have to break off the leader will break in the loop knot, most of the time you loose the hook but you get your fly back. Your knot keeps the fly on the line. The second advantage is the size of your hook. With tubes you can tie a larger fly yet still use a smaller hook than you would have to use if you had tied the same pattern on a hook. The smaller hook gives you a better connection to the fish. a small hook is less likely to work itself back out compared to a larger hook. The third advantage is the added longevity of your fly. Once you have a fish on the line and it gives you a couple head shakes, the tube will release from the loop knot and slide up and down on the leader. With the fly not being in the fishes mouth during the fight it will last a lot longer.

This is one of the patterns I have developed this past year. She's called the Foxy Lady. So far it is tied in three color combinations but I have five more in the works. It is a very easy and quick pattern to tie. You can find an instructional video if you would like to tie some on the shops YouTube channel. Here's the list of ingredients.

Fly Pattern Suggestions


*Hook*: Pro Sportfisher Pro Nanotube: large, clear; Pro Sportfisher Pro Hook Guide: medium, clear

Thread: Danville 210 Waxed Flymaster Plus, white

Tail: Wapsi Blood Quill Marabou, yellow

Body: E.P. 1.5" Foxy Brush, yellow; Cascade Crest Mirror Wrap, chartreuse

Head: E.P. 3" Sommerlatte's Foxy Brush, olive/yellow

Eyes: Hareline Pseudo Eyes: large, chartreuse

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