Way back in 2011, Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions showed us how to tie the Brassie, a classic wire-body fly invented in the 1960s. Three decades later, Scottish/Canadian fly tier Ian Colin James created the Ian’s Brass Ass–a slimmer, sleeker version of the fly–to use on Great Lakes steelhead, and it has become a favorite of trout anglers, as well. Sadly, James passed away suddenly in 2015, but his website is still up, and it’s full of cool patterns and great information.
In this excellent video, Flagler walks us through the deceptively simple steps for creating the Brass Ass, which uses just three materials and a whole lot of UV-cure resin. The keys to creating an attractive, clean Ian’s Brass Ass are to get the wire wraps tight, position the cheeks correctly, and layer the resin. Flagler’s techniques shown here should be useful for creating many other flies, as well.
Ian’s Brass Ass
Hook: 2X-short emerger hook (here, a Dai-Riki #125), sizes 10-18.
Body: Copper Ultra Wire, brassie size.
Thread: Black, 8/0 or 70-denier.
Cheeks: Orange Sulky Holoshimmer.
Coating/thorax: UV-cure resin.
Tools: Xacto knife, bodkin, sticky-note pad.