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On this special fly tying page on the riffling hitch tube fly we will try to cover some general aspects on RH flies, and also show you how to tie our favorite RH fly the V-FLY Silver tippet

Tying hitch tube flies

Spellbound by riffling hitch

Riffling hitch anglers prefer some kind of consistency in the flies ability to stay on the surface  – and at the same time we want a fly that looks lively at the end of the leader – so obviously we can’t solely focus on the hitch fly´s ability to stay on the surface – we must compromise.

salmon flyFine details could be; make or break and I could illustrate this by comparing the art of Riffling Hitch fly design with that of building miniature boats or aeroplanes… Make a small alteration to your design – and it could have a big impact on the ability and potentials of your construction…

We cant solely focus on the hitch fly´s abilety to stay on the surface – we must compromise.

Hitch Micro Tube Fly Stoats TailIf we visit the world of fishing tackle design – one could very much draw a parallel to the design of the perfect plug or lure.

Super designed trolling bait like The Apex and Rappala plug are not designed to move in just one specific way all the time – They have to work with and also in the flow of water, and act somewhat unpredictable. To move in an unpredictable way is actually a hallmark of superior lures and something that also could be part of a specific fly design –  in particular, that of Riffling Hitch flies tied on a tube.

To move in an unpredictable way is actually a hallmark of superior lures

Importance of detail in Riffling Hitch flies

tube fly TyingTying salmon flies for + 40 years have taught me to pay attention to detail – There is no doubt that salmon can differ very much and flies are not always equally good. This is something that has become very evident to me in the time I have been fishing with riffling hitch flies – and you who read this and participate in this unique fly fishing form know exactly what I mean when I say that one specific riffling hitch fly can be particularly good compared to other seemingly identical riffling hitch flies

One specific riffling hitch fly can be particularly good compared to other seemingly identical riffling hitch flies

On a fly tying session I will normally sit down and copy the flies I consistently have caught fish on – something most fly tiers would do to get perfect flies – but with riffling hitch flies those perfect flies don’t come at a breeze. Experience tells me that some of the flies will be great but some of the flies simply won’t be that efficient

Even though I pay great attention to every detail on the fly like; measurements of tubing, length, and quality of hair etc. – I can’t always get it 100 % right – I simply can’t predict how the final result will work on the fish, or more correct; I simply can’t predict how the combination of material will generate micro movements and looks that will pull fish to the surface.

It may sound like a bunch of hocus-pocus and mumbo jumbo but the fact is that Atlantic salmon is the final judge and they seem to pay a lot of attention to details in RH flies – and probably also in many other artificial flies for that matter

Atlantic salmon will be the final judge and they seem to pay a lot of attention to details in RH flies. Riffling hitch is one of the diseplines in salmon fishing where the questions about flies and fishing – expose the fact that we know just about nothing when it comes details in salmon flies.

There is no middle ground between success and failure when it comes to tying Riffling Hitch flies on tube – They either work or they don’t – What it is that makes one fly very good and the next one less so is not always visible to the naked eye – at least not to this fly tiers eye (:

But we have uncovered some important details that will help you make a great hitch fly

Unpredictable micro-movements in Riffling Hitch tube flies

This short film shows some of the erratic movements that are the absolute hallmark of a good tube hitch fly. It is like the construction of the whole fly is keeling ower when the current hit it at a certain angle – micro-movements in a riffling hitch fly that is deadly for the Atlantic salmon. 

Tying the V-FLY

hitch fly on tube The V-FLY

The V-FLY is one of the most simple and yet effective riffling hitch fly patterns you can get. Used by 100´s anglers every season it consistently produce fish on the bank  – You will be surprised to see how this semingly neutral pattern will bring fish to the surface 

If you follow our outlining on this specific pattern closely – You will get one of the best salmon Riffling Hitch flies you can carry in your box.
The V-Fly ™ that you find tying instructions for below is cut into proportion to make a fly with all the right abilities.

Hole in the center of the riffling hitch fly - Use fly from both banks

Riffling Hitch V-FLY

The position of the hole for insertion of the leader makes this fly equally good from both banks. The dimension of the tube makes the Riffling Hitch fly leave a delicate and highly attractive wake behind.

Construction of the V-shaped wing and the soft squirrel hair will work wonders on difficult fish.

The inner diameter of the tube supports the hook thus giving you the possibility to leave the hook in your favoured position – Using single double or treble hook.

Hitch Tube (big) 3,2: 2,0 mm. - 1 meter

The perfect tube! – Low memory tubing

The tube that we use for our riffling hitch flies is made specifically for this purpose – Produced from a unique compound that gives us a tube that won’t split – but will support your hook (keeping it in place) The tube will eventually fall back into place after you ended fishing and have removed the hook.

silver tippet squirrel for hitch fliesHair from young squirrels works wonders

Hair from silver tippet squirrel is a unique material to lure salmon, steelhead and other kinds of trout with. Obviously these hairs can be quite diverse depending on where you cut them on the actual tail, and many different flies from tiny Smuts to big # 2/0 single hook flies could essentially come from one single tail – But squirrel tails also differ much in appearance and quality depending upon the age of the squirrel – and hair from young squirrels have the texture and quality that we have found to be prime stuff.

We have such tails from young squirrels in our shop 

Step by step tying instructions

V-FLY: One original that accounted for 24 fishTube to use for this Riffling Hitch V-FLY: Fishmadman Riffling Hitch Tube Buy salmon & steelhead flies

Outer diameter 3,2 mm. Inner: 2 mm. Length 12 mm. (0,47 inch)

Fly in the photo has caught more than 20 salmon – Full of teeth marks it is still fully functional.

How to tie riffling hitchThe position of the hole from the front of the head:  4 mm. Make the hole in the tube with a hot needle. Fix tube to

Fix tube to the needle. Make sure to put the entrance hole for the leader right opposite the centre of the wing. The tread I use is 12/0

How to tie riffling hitchTie in a little bundle of silver tippet squirrel app. 40 mm. (1,5 inch.)

Buy perfect squirrel tails  Buy salmon & steelhead flies


How to tie riffling hitchTie in a little bundle of Veniards Crystal flash Pearl Blue. A few strands double the length of the fly – The rest in the same length as the tube

Buy needle to tie Riffling Hitch flies on  Buy salmon & steelhead flies

How to tie riffling hitchAdd cheeks of jungle cock – Whip finish and use a bit of super-glue for the head

Ready spawned Riffling Hitch V-FLY

Hitchman riffling hitch tube

Small Youtube film on how we do pixel-heads on our Hitchman flies

What’s here on our Youtube channel

More on Riffling hitch design - Read an into depth story on the art of building riffling hitch tube flies

making a riffling hitch fly

Tying a riffling hitch tube is like building a miniature model

Engineers that build boats and aeroplanes rely on great computing power to make calculations on the many complexities that occur when an object is emersed in water or move through the air – maybe we could make a computer model that could show us the way to the perfect riffling hitch tube fly

Read about the many details involved in making the perfect tube fly

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