Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Time To Tie The Hot Spot!!

I've had lots of requests for this fly which is one of my standards for the Swift. It is unbelievably easy to tie and works best in sizes 18 through 24. Here it is:

Hook - dry fly 18 to 24

Body - The first section is tied with brown or olive dubbing. The middle band is made of white or pale yellow dubbing. The final section is a repeat of the first section. Note: the middle section is the smallest section, nothing more than a band of contrasting color. Another note: This is a SLIM fly. I've seen some that were way too fat. Avoid that mistake.

I use synthetic fine dubbing for all of it. Natural dubbing gets too ragged after a few fish and reduces its effectiveness. It also makes the fly fat.

I saw on an other website (TU) a knockoff of this fly. It had wire ribbing and what appeared to be a lacquered body with a day glow band in the middle. It looked like it should be a component on a circuit board. TOO much stuff. Keep it simple.

It seems (my feeling) that the Hot Spot works best as it gets smaller. It has worked from the Bubbler Arm through the Pipe. It works all year.

Good Luck!!



Browntrout said...

You've piqued my curiosity with this fly. Is it your own personal design and if so, what specifically is it suppose to imitate? A midge pupae or a fish pellet? Also, have you ever had success with it on other rivers as well?

Millers River Flyfisher said...


I dream't this fly up six years ago to fish the swift. I believe that a contrasting color (the white band)gets noticed by the trout quickly. It doesn't represent any particular insect but it gets noticed. I believe that trout believe it's an insect of sorts.

I've caught trout on the EB and the Millers (always in riffles/fast water) in larger sizes around 12 and 14.


Anonymous said...


thank you for the pattern. Do you fish this as a dry, emerger or with weight?



millerbrown said...


This is a subsurface fly. I will use weight (micro shot 18 inches above) if need be. I never employ weight to the body.



thanks for the pattern recipe.

Curious of what brand synthetic dubbing you use. The reason being, there are many brands and types of dubbing out there, and would love to be as close as possible on your pattern.


Scott Nelson said...

Great Fly, caught my biggest rainbow to date below Rt. 9 on a hot spot, the brute charged right past two average fish to grab the fly. Ken, thanks for all the info, we still hit the Millers with some great success thanks to your help.

the Coach

Will said...

Thanks for the cool fly posts. I like seeing how others tie some flies, or simply, seeing other flies I've not thought of.

Have you ever tried the hot spot tied without dubbing? Just thread?

for example a thickly wrapped olive body (like 2-3 layers of thread "touching turns" so to speak), tie off that piece, then simply go to the middle of the body and tie in a hot spot of whatever color you want (yellow/orange/pink/red/chartruse/white) just like tying in the red band on the head of a Carrie Stevens streamer? Seems like it may be a way to really get the fly minimal, durable and slim - like a lot of those swift river bugs :) I'm going to tie up a few of your hot spots - so simple... gotta love that!

Dave said...

Many thanks for the hot spot recipe. Im going to whip up abunch this week while the temps are low and hopefully try them next week. Might play with the color combo's as well. Ill let you know how I make out! Cheers

Millers River Flyfisher said...


I don't remember what brand of synthetic dubbing I use. All I know is that it is an ultra fine dubbing. I think any brand would work.


Duh....why didn't I think of that!!!! Know I can get the hot spot down to sizes 26 and 28 and still keep it slim!!

Tony said...

I've tied the Hot Spot with Veevus thread in 14/0 only, layering the entire hook shank with the darker, whipping off, then adding in the center band of a lighter color...on hooks #24-#30!! Just layer up, the 14/0 threads are awesome! Layer up nice and don't add too much bulk. Like Will Said just "Touching Turns" (Must watch Davie McPhail's YouTube videos haha) and you'll be able to get a sleek, slim, or even tapered profile "Hot Spot"

Will said...

Ken, glad to spark your brain... and thanks for sparking mine when I read your blog :)

Tony - right on, good to hear it would be good. Your note on Davie is correct.. but you make me think - as Davie does on a few slim dries with thread bodies... why not tie the hot spot with yellow/orange or what not thread, but tie in, then use a marker (say tan) to darken the thread and make the body. End your wrap's mid shank, and at the end of what you have "stained". Just finish with the natural thread color for the hot spot and whamo - done.

I know what I'm motivated to mess with next now :) Thanks guys!

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Tony and Will,

I guess this blog has some good reasons to be around. Great comments!!

BWT - Davie is a hero of mine. Just tied up a dozen of his cdc mayfly/caddis emmergers in size 20,22 and 24. February at the Y Pool...


Tony said...

I love Davie McPhail's YouTube page! I'm certain I've watched all his videos, who couldn't! And I've tied most flies I feel would be applicable to freestones and our rivers here in Mass, and a few of his Salmon and Spey flies for fishing the Salmon River in NY.
I find myself sitting in front of the computer on slow nights watching his page for sometimes hours!!
If you Haven't already seen his page:

Will said...

Check out Han's Weillenman's page as well (hopefully I spelled that correctly). Davie Gaelic accent gives his videos an amazing energy... Han's is a super super dry northern european, so it's sort of like the teacher in "Ferris Bueller" tying... but man - what flies. Chris Sanford also is a great tyer and videographer: Time for me to go read your new post on snot Ken...

parkerjamesii said...

Thanks, Ken. I can see that much better.
To da bench!