Video: How to Tie the Picket Pin

This variation features a beard and leaves off the ostrich-herl collar

The Picket Pin was developed by Missoula, Montana-based fly tier (and saloon owner) Jack Boehme, whose career spanned the 1910s to the ’40s. He was pals and partners with Norman Means, who created the Bunyan Bug, of A River Runs Through It fame. The original Picket Pin featured a wing of gopher tail, but Boehme eventually changed to squirrel.

In this great video from Tightline Productions, Tim Flagler demonstrates how to tie this classic fly, using older tools and materials that belonged to a friend’s father, Dr. John I. Green. (He was a remarkable outdoorsman and conservationist, as his obituary makes clear.) It’s a cool concept that adds something special to Flagler’s excellent instruction.

            Picket Pin
            Hook: 2X-long nymph/wet fly hook, size 12.
            Thread: Black, 6/0.
            Tail: Red squirrel tail or brown hackle fibers.
            Rib: Gold UTC Ultra Wire, small.
            Body: Peacock herl.
            Hackle: brown.
            Wing: Gray squirrel tail.

            Head: Peacock herl.
            Adhesive: Head cement.

7 thoughts on “Video: How to Tie the Picket Pin”

  1. Thanks for posting this! I recently uncovered a box of flies I tied when I was 12, which included a few of these. I for the life of me couldn’t figure out what they were, but now I know!

    Curious – what is the advantage of wrapping the hackle backwards from the head? Would think you could achieve the same effect wrapping forward, and have a more secure fly by tying it off with thread rather than the wire rib.

    1. The wire rib reinforces both the hackle and the peacock heart which are fraigal. I use copper wire on mine. Good Fishing! Enjoy!

  2. Lawyer in Canton 1964 – 1998. Now retired and still living in Canton. Great skiing and fishing friend of John Green. Usually tie the fly weighted and fish it as nymph or streamer with excellent results.

  3. This is one of my most productive flys.. I have caught brook trout too numerous to count with this pattern as a dropper and a buck tail streamer of my own design on the tail. I also caught landlocked salmon and a couple of Atlanics on this fly. I usually tie it on a size 12 and ” skitter” it at the surface… Then look out…takes can be vicious! Try it and good luck!

  4. Thanks for this video. I too inherited some old flytying tools and materials. From my brother’s friend in Omaha. It was his father’s. What he had collected is amazing!

    I also love the Picket Pin and was introduced to it by Bob Clouser. I usually fish it as a wet fly. There are days when it can just be on fire with this fly. I have not tied it with a gold rib but like the idea so will give that a whirl.

  5. I think it was the late 60s when I first tyed this fly it caught trout and salmon ,tyed on sizes 6 through 12’s a good one for a change up .

  6. The Picket Pin works great for bluegills and even some bass. The other day some slab bluegills were hitting it almost as soon as it hit the water. Any idea what it represents? Tight lines, Jack Harford @jacksflies

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