Whiskey Creek Fly Fishing

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Fly Days of August: Tups Indispensible

August 28th, 2009 · 2 Comments

One of my favorites to fish, but more to tell the story about the materials. The Tups Indispensable is a yellow wet fly. I’ve had good luck using these when PMDs or Yellow Sally naturals are about.

This was a very famous, and secretive, pattern in the early 1900’s in England. The recipe was a closely guarded secret, and the tiers held a monopoly on the key material (thorax).   Like many old-timey patterns, the material is rather specific and funny.

The secret thorax was tied with urine and red dyed wool, taken from a ram’s testicle. Apparently, the originators were also ranchers, and would have a sponge tied to the “working parts” of the male sheep. The sponge was soaked with red dye. In the morning, the ewe’s that had been visited (or tupped) by the rams were marked.

Now, its not easy for us to obtain wool taken from a rams nether regions, so a substitute is necessary (see the tying notes).  Fly Angler’s Online has a great series of articles called “just old flies and stuff”.

Tups Indispensible

Tups Indispensible

Tups Indispensable

  • Hook: Standard fly hook, wet or dry, depending on your preference
  • Tail: Blue dun hen hackle fibers
  • Body: Yellow Floss
  • Thorax: Urine & dye stained wool from a Ram’s testicle (or pink rabbit)
  • Hackle: Blue dun hen

Tying tips:

  • www.feather-craft.com sells angora goat hair dyed in the “Tups” color
  • You can add a wire counter-wrapped rib for durability. The floss comes apart after a couple of fish. Don’t worry too much, these still work even with hacked up bodies.
  • The Weekly Fly has video of Sylvester Nemes, the master, tying the Tups.

Tags: Fly Tying

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 fishing // Aug 28, 2009 at 9:14 pm

    Thats really amazing . This is a new article. I love this. Its like a story.

  • 2 Tim Barker // Sep 1, 2009 at 7:15 am

    This is one “really good” pattern!!! I love fishing this fly!!!

    PT/TB :-)

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