Austin Ties! - DuPage Fly Tying Class

I make no apologies for promoting Austin Adduci whenever and wherever possible. He is not only a good man but a hell of fisherman and fly tier. I do however like to bug him with my camera because he’s one of those honestly humble guys and isn’t big on being in the spotlight. Even though I like putting him in it.

He is doing a series of  tying sessions at DuPage Fly Co. and Brad and I went to visit (bug) him on the 17th of February.

Austin doesn’t do the “you sit and watch me tie then you tie” type of lecture. He hands out the materials and you tie as he ties. It fits in with my philosophy of tying, that is, if you tie while the instructor ties, you will learn faster. Muscle memory and small motor skills go hand in hand. Although if you’re tying a big stuffed animal fly-small motor skills aren’t a problem. He also ties more than one fly. Also a good thing.

Austin and the group tied up a couple of interesting and what I’d call guide flies: minimal materials, quick to tie, catch fish flies. So the first one was a damsel/dragon fly type of pattern. Tied on a streamer hook. X-large or large bead chain eyes, marabou tail, excess marabou wrapped up the shank and tied off behind the bead chain eyes, then a schlappen feather is wrapped like a collar behind the bead chain, tied off, add a whip finish and you’re done. About a size 6 hook, so you could tie it on a 4-8 sized 2x streamer hook and you could tie up a dozen in about an hour. Maybe more.

The second fly was quite unique and Austin was looking for a way to solve the problem of getting a weighted fly to sit horizontally on the bottom, weighted flies often sit up and there are times when you want the fly to sit flat and move along the bottom of the lake bed. The solution, tie on bead chain eyes in the front and x-small lead eyes above the hook point. Add a small amount of pearl crystal flash, Marabou tail, dubbing for the body, add a pinch of rabbit hair for a wing and a single strand of rubber for legs and you’re good to go.  Also tied on a 4-8 sized streamer hook. This makes for a small but bottom hugging fly with a lot of action from the rabbit hair and marabou.

These flies can be tied in olive, black, white, rusty brown, or brown and you’ll have effective patterns for smallmouth bass or your local carp.

Austin ties guide flies, he’ll go through a lot of them during the season, that is his clients will go through them and so when he designs or comes up with a fly his patterns remind of Bob Wyatt patterns, sparse, quick to tie and catch fish. So if you felt compelled to add a rib, sure, you could, or more flash, maybe or an extra rubber leg, but if you don’t need them, don’t add them as the more you add to the fly, the more time it takes to craft it and the more money you spend on it. Now if he’d just name the things.

Bob Wyatt said that he liked fishing more than fly tying so he’d made his flies as simple as possible. Austin loves to take people fishing, and so his job is to put you on fish. You do that by knowing the river, lake, the area, and the best places to fish. If you tie beautiful complicated flies, do you really want to fish them or think that the pea-sized brain of a fish is discerning about whether or not you have six versus eight hairs?

So check out DuPage Fly Co. at:

And check out Austin at:


And then come and tie with Austin or any of the tiers coming to DuPage Fly Co.



Stuart Van Dorn