Shop Vac Fly

Thursday, February 12, 2015 , 11 Comments

I was introduced to the Shop Vac fly a few years back and it has since become one of my staples. A unique fly that is part emerged and part nymph it is an excellent trout fly in a number of situations. It was originally designed for use out west in the Yellowstone area as a Mayfly imitator but I have found it works well and is generic enough, similar to Hares Ears and Pheasant Tails, to work in a multitude of locals. I oversize the bead for the size hook and use tungsten as I want this fly to get down fast near the bottom, after its drift I let it swing and rise to the surface and give it a brief pause at the end, thus fulfilling the role of both a nymph and an emerger utilizing the antron. Simple to tie and effective, I really think you guys will find a lot of utility from this pattern. I fish this pattern in hook sizes ranging from 14-10. 


Hook: Size 14 Emerger/Scud
Thread: Olive
Bead:  Tungsten Gold 1/8"
Body: Pheasant Tail, Antron Yarn, and Peacock Herl
Ribbing: Green Ultra Wire

Step 1:
Add bead & put base layer of thread on hook covering just over 50% of the bend.

Step 2:
Tie in Green Ultra Wire (I prefer to use a more chartreuse green in my flies).

Step 3:
Tie in 5-6 strands of Pheasant Tail.

Step 4:
Palmer Pheasant Tail forward, tie off and cut.

Step 5:
Palmer ultra wire forward leaving a slight space in between wraps. Wrap in a counterclockwise direction from your Pheasant Tail. 

Step 6:
Cut piece of Antron Yarn. Tie in at middle of yarn segment. 

Step 7: 
Tie in four stand of Peacock Herl behind back Antron strand. Following this advance thread to just behind the bead. 

Step 8:
Proceed to wrap Peacock three times around back of Antron yarn then continue three more wraps in front of yarn. Tie off and cut. Placing the Peacock both in front and behind the Antron will help stabilize the post. 

Step 9: 
Trim Antron to 1/2 length of hook. Finished. 


CARF said...

Great looking pattern! I'm going to need to tie up one of these. I do not have any antron, what's a good substitute...any suggestions?

One of my favorite nymphs...nice looking fly.

Hibernation said...

Ill have to make a few up, looks like a really solid fly!


I am really impressed with this pattern; a tight lining or Euro technique would be deadly using this fly. Which size do you find the most effective? Thanks for sharing

Atlas said...

Justin you can buy Antron yarn online for $1.75, I can post a link on your blog.

Atlas said...

Bill, I generally fish a size 14. I like to get it deep quickly, the tungsten helps with that as well.

Kollman said...

Nice looking tutorial on how to tie the ShopVac. Like the look of your site now with the upgrade. Thanks for demonstrating at tying night!

Atlas said...

Thank you sir, I was a touch nervous teaching a fly tying class for the first time but I really enjoyed it.

I've been meaning to tie some of these and never do. I just might get them done this weekend. Good project with more snow on the way. Thanks for sharing.

Mel said...

I have heard of, but not used or tied this pattern before. Don't think an angler could go wrong on this pattern. Pheasant tail and Peacock are a deadly combination. Add the bead and the antron should make it a classic. Thanks for the tutorial!

Unknown said...

Excellent post! The receipt and images of the steps were rock solid. It is sweet when you find that one fly that has been field tested and consistently produces in a variety of conditions in a variety of locations. Those are the flies I like to put in the box. Thanks for sharing. Tightlines.