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2023 Sowbug Roundup – Fly Tying Demonstrator

Sowbug Roundup is a three day fly tying and fly fishing show that is held in Mountain Home, Arkansas. The next event will be held Mar 23rd, 24th, and 25th, 2023.

As I have mentioned earlier, I will be a fly tying demonstrator at this year’s Roundup. The difference between this year and earlier years though, is that I have a plan! I prepared some presentation boards that show the topics and the flies I will be demonstrating. It really helps me when I plan ahead.

Day 1 – Tying Materials: Natural vs. Synthetic

On Day 1, I will be tying very similar flies, side-by-side, with one version containing mainly natural materials and one with mainly synthetic materials. There are no right or wrong tying materials but I will be highlighting the differences. The board below highlights those differences.

2023 Sowbug Expo Day 1

Day 2 – Winging Dry Flies

I commonly use five different methods of tying wings on dry flies. On Day 2, I will be demonstrating those methods. Some are old and some are new, some are easier than others, but they all produce a different look. The board below highlights the five methods I use.

2023 Sowbug Expo Day 2

Day 3 – Body Styles

I will only be demonstrating fly tying in the afternoon on the third day so the plan is pretty limited. Also, if you’ve been at Sowbug on Saturday afternoon the crowd clears out pretty quickly. I think everyone is just anxious to get their traveling underway.

Because of the limited time, I don’t have a presentation board prepared for Day 3 but I will be tying flies with two different body styles: Trimmed and Woven.


For the trimmed body style, I will be tying flies that are mainly constructed with deer hair that is trimmed to a shape that really makes the fly.

muddler minnow photo
Muddler Minnow
Dahlberg Diver


My “go to” woven fly is called a Polish Nymph. This fly is tied by weaving two different colors of floss, one on the top and one on the bottom, and creates a really realistic-looking caddis larva. The technique used is called a Shuttle Weave (I think!). One strand of floss is held in each hand and they are crossed over without ever letting go of them. It’s really amazing to watch.

Polish Nymph
Polish Nymph created by Vladi Trzebunia, the 1989 Polish Gold Medalist
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