The Blue and White Temple Dog Tube Fly by John Nagy

A Blue and White Temple Dog tube fly tied by John Nagy
The Blue and White Temple Dog Tube Fly combines the innovation of a tube fly design and the beauty and effectiveness of a Scandinavian Temple Dog style wing. Temple Dog wings incorporate soft materials like Temple Dog fur, Arctic fox tail, Russian silver goat and T’s Fur into the wing and are characteristically long, tear-drop shaped and angled high and away from the body (to maximize profile and movement in the water).

These materials also allow for bulk and volume at the front of the wing and then taper nicely to form a pointed tail (tear-drop shaped). The taper of the wing is formed by layering small amounts of hair, of different thicknesses and lengths, from bottom to top.
The wing is very light and translucent allowing for light penetration and reflection while absorbing very little water. Small amounts of flash material add subtle reflection, color and movement throughout the Temple Dog wing. The lightness of the wing in combination with a short, light wire tube hook (like the Partridge Nordic Single) makes the fly very easy to cast as opposed to a fly tied on a standard streamer hook with a heavier, wind resistant, water absorbing wing like a rabbit fur strip streamer. At the same time it maintains the full baitfish silhouette.
The volume or fullness of the wing is achieved by interspersing it with sparse layers of flash material like Angel Hair, Fire Fly or Krinkle Mirror Flash which provide a delicate support structure for the wing. Collared hackle throughout the wing and a long stiff tail also help to support the wing as well as small amounts of stiffer materials like T’s Hair or buck tail in the bottom wing layer provide added support also.

The silhouette of the wing and the movement provided by the soft wing materials with added jungle cock cheeks (suggesting eyes on a baitfish) make the Temple Dog fly design very effective for imitating Great Lakes baitfish. Coupling this with the advantages of using a tube fly system makes it incredibly effective steelhead pattern design.

The Blue and White Temple Dog utilizes a Eumer brass Tear Drop tube body (available in 8 colors) and a front plastic liner which makes tying a tube fly pretty easy since dubbing the body is optional.

The upward slanting, front taper of the Eumer Tear Drop tube helps keep the wing pointed up and helps prevent it from entangling with the hook. Tying on the front liner (made of thin diameter, hard plastic) results in very little tying bulk and small, finished heads (Scandinavian patterns characteristically have heads 2mm or less). The liner also acts as a sleeve protecting the leader from abrasion.
The tapered design of the Tear Drop tube puts the center of gravity beneath the wing which balances the fly and keeps it swimming level on the swing. This is problematic with straight metal tubing which can experience rear “hang-down” on the swing.

The Blue and White Temple Dog works particularly well on sunny days due to its predominately white coloration and flash that reflects sunlight. The blue in the top wing layer is an under-used color on the Lake Erie tributaries that steelhead just love. Hold on because the takes can be brutal!


Tube: Eumer Teardrop brass tube (large/silver) and stiff plastic tube liner (.07 inch/outside diameter).

Hook: Partridge Nordic Single tube fly hook, # MM3STBN, size #8, connected to rear of Eumer Teardrop Tube with clear vinyl or silicon junction tubing (1/4 inch). By making junction tubing connection longer you can locate hook further back for “short-strikers”.

Thread: Bennechi, white, 12/0.

Tail: Red or orange Fluoro Fiber.

First wing layer (bottom to top): silver Angel Hair, white T’s Hair or buck tail, silver Fire Fly, stiff white saddle feather, silver Angel Hair.

Second wing layer (bottom to top): white temple dog fur, silver Fire Fly, stiff white saddle feather, blue Krinkle Mirror Flash.

Third wing layer (bottom to top): kingfisher blue T’s Fur, peacock Fire Fly,
Kingfisher blue teal flank feather.

Forth wing layer (bottom to top): dark blue T’s Fur, peacock Fire Fly, black ostrich herl.

Cheeks: Jungle cock.
Notes: Eumer tube bodies, tube fly vise adapters and tube tying starter kits are available at: http://hycreek.com/eumer.wcs. The Irish Angler (http://www.irishangler.com/) and the Canadian Tube Fly Company (http://www.canadiantubeflies.com/) also have tube fly tying accessories and materials.
Fluoro Fiber is available at:
http://www.irishangler.com/. T’s Fur and T’s Hair are available at Tube Fly Tech at: http://www.tubeflytech.com/

Tying steps

Step 1: Assemble the tube body by inserting the plastic liner into Eumer Tear Drop tube (coat liner with super glue first) leaving at least 1/2 inch of liner in front of the tube for tying the fly on. Prior to inserting liner into tube, slightly melt one end of liner with flame to form lip. This end of liner will snug against rear of Eumer tube after insertion into tube.
Insert assembled tube body onto Eumer tapered tube pin (which can be secured into Eumer tube tying tool or vise jaws directly). Tie in Fluoro Fiber tail (1 inch long) onto rear of the Eumer tube body with tying thread (super glue in place) leaving 1/8 inch space for ¼ inch junction tubing connection to be added later. Tail is angled high and tapered to a point with scissors. It can be tied in thin or wider in profile for more stained flows. The long tail supports the wing and helps prevent wing from getting tangled around hook.

Step 2: Assemble first wing layer in this order (start just in front of Eumer tube body on plastic liner): 6 strands of silver Angel Hair, white buck tail (1 ½ inches), 4 strands of silver Fire Fly, stiff white saddle feather (tube body length), 6 strands of silver Angel Hair. All wing layers should be angled high like tail.

Step 3: Assemble second wing layer in this order: white temple dog fur (2 ½ inches), 4 strands of silver Fire Fly, stiff white saddle feather (tube body length), 4 strands blue Krinkle Mirror Flash.

Step 4: Assemble third wing layer in this order: kingfisher blue T’s fur (3 ½ inches), 4 strands of peacock Fire Fly, kingfisher blue teal flank feather (tube body length).

Step 5: Assemble fourth wing layer in this order: dark blue T’s Fur (3 3/4 inches), 4 strands of peacock Fire Fly, 3 or 4 black ostrich herls (3 7/8 inches).

Step 6: Attach jungle cock eyes (slightly over 1 inch) angled up along wing. Remaining plastic liner in front of unfinished fly head is then cut to approximately 1/16 inch and then melted to form lip (use bottom of flame from lighter to do this). Head is then finished with thread wraps. Fly finishes out at about 4 inches long including head.

Tying notes: “Double” wing flash materials by stroking back extra material at tie-in point and tying in again. Also “taper-cut” wing flash materials with the longest strands slightly over the length of the ostrich herl topping (3 7/8 inches). Use a dubbing brush on all wing materials to remove under fur and guard hairs prior to tying in to reduce tying bulk.

More detailed information on Scandinavian style tube flies (as well as conventional style designs) for Great Lakes steelhead can be found in John Nagy’s book "Steelhead Guide, Fly Fishing Techniques and Strategies for Lake Erie Steelhead".