PFD Rusty Spinner tied and photographed by Tim Flagler

PFD Rusty Spinner

Many different may fly spinners are rusty brown when we see them floating dead in the surface film, so I'm sure almost all of us carry some rustys in different sizes in our fly boxes.  One of the problems with rustys is that they are often difficult to see.  This pattern with its white pfd, as in personal flotation device, makes it much more visible; not to mention the fact that it should take this pattern much longer to get water logged.

  • Hook:         dry fly in sizes down to 18
  • Thread:      rusty brown
  • Tail:            dun microfibbets/mayfly tails
  • Body:         thread or dubbing
  • PFD:           white craft foam sheet
  • Wing:         your favorite white winging material

The body can be made by building up the tying thread but you might want to use dubbing for large sizes.  The craft foam for the PFD usually comes in 1/8 inch sheets and should be cut into a strip slightly larger than its thickness for a size 14 hook.  While this will probably hold true for sizes 10 and 12 too, you will have to use your judgement when cutting the width for sizes 16 and 18.  As for the wing Flager likes to use wool yarn but poly, antron, or your favorite winging material will work.  Tim also demonstrates some tying techniques that may be different from what you usually do.  For a demo of Tim tying this fly go to: