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Poundmeister Pattern

I started my fly-fishing adventure using nymphs because I was use to bait fishing and nymphing techniques seemed natural to me. Also because fishing with dry flies had a mystique about it I wasn’t ready to attempt at the time. I later realized fishing with dry flies was actually easier but by then had developed considerable knowledge about the behavior of nymphs so consequently I still prefer nymph fishing the majority of the time.


I have always been interested in trying new patterns. One of books I purchased was a book written by Taylor Streit containing detailed information about New Mexico trout streams. Included in his book were several fly patterns he recommended. One pattern that intrigued me was the Poundmeister. Taylor developed this pattern to imitate a crane fly larva. I’ve known Taylor for a number of years and during the course of one of our conversations he told me “this fly only catches big fish.” I tried this fly fervently using the normal nymphing techniques to no avail and realized it was time to learn about the behavior of the crane fly.


The crane fly is a “true fly” of the Tipulidae family in the order Diptera, and like caddis flies goes through a complete metamorphosis. They are found in the pupae stage and adult stage but spend most of their existence in the larval stage.  The size of these larva ranges between one-half to 2 inches in length. The larva live in the silt near the banks and also under the small gravel bottoms of streams and can even be found in heavy riffled runs. The insects seem to come alive from their hidden world under the gravel and silt when the water is stirred by runoff or after summer rains. When the water recedes and begins to clear the insects are most vulnerable to an opportunistic trout.


The preferred angling method is to allow the fly to roll along the stream bottom in runs and along the banks or the edges of pools. Fishing in the deep pools doesn’t seem to work as well. Some anglers weight the hooks but I prefer to use the split-shot method because it allows the fly to rise slightly above the bottom where the natural is most vulnerable in its natural state.


One important characteristic of this pattern is the body shape is tubular. I prefer to use gray chenille for the underbody because it holds its shape well. However, wool is another good material. I like beaver fur for the thorax but muskrat fur also works well. The second ribbing can be either pearl crystal flash or gold wire.


The Poundmeister is a tedious pattern to tie and to use but the more you fish with it and understand the habits of the natural the more likely this fly will bring fish to hand. I don’t catch as many fish with this pattern as I do with other patterns presumably, because the natural is hidden so much of the time but Taylor is right about one thing. I have rarely landed a small fish with this fly and after using it for several years now I have come to realize it actually does seem to catch larger fish




Hook: Tiemco 200R or 9395 (bent) sizes 6-10

Thread: Black 6/0

Underbody: Gray Chenille

Thorax: Beaver fur or Muskrat

Rib: Dun hackle and pearl Crystal Flash

Shellback: Peacock herl

Head: Peacock herl


Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Set the hook in the vise and start the thread at the eye. Wrap the thread back to the bend and tie in a length of pearl crystal flash at that point. Tie in 6-8 strands of good quality peacock herl. Tie in medium dun hackle.

Wrap thread forward to about one-third of the hook length back from the hook eye to mark the front of the thorax. Tie in gray chenille at the front of the thorax and wrap the thread over the chenille back to the bend of the hook. Create a long dubbing loop.

Wrap the thread forward. Wrap the chenille forward, tie off and trim excess. Using the dubbing loop, wrap beaver or muskrat fur evenly forward forming a tubular thorax. Tie off dubbing loop and then trim excess.Wrap the thread forward. Wrap the chenille forward, tie off and trim excess. Using the dubbing loop, wrap beaver or muskrat fur evenly forward forming a tubular thorax. Tie off dubbing loop and then trim excess.

Step 4

Step 5

Step 6

Palmer the dun hackle forward to form the ribbing. Tie off and trim excess hackle. Grasp the strands of the peacock, pull forward on top of the hook and tie off at the front of the thorax but do not trim excess hackle yet.

Grasp the pearl crystal flash and palmer forward over the peacock herl shellback at the same wrap locations of the dun hackle to complete the ribbing. Trim excess crystal flash.

Grasp the tag ends of the remaining peacock herl at the thorax and twist the herl to form a rope and wrap forward to form the head and tie off at the eye of the hook. Trim off excess herl and whip finish with a few wraps. As Taylor Streit says “a pain to tie, but effective.”

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