Coal Car and Fly Tying Yarn

The next fly in my steel head series is the Coal Car, part of Randall Kaufmann’s “Railroad” Series. This fly was the adaptation of his famous Freight Train, turning the bright and vibrant fly into something darker. The fly has a good reputation as a dark day fly, with a strong black profile and just enough color to attract the fishes attention. Randall who owned a fly shop in Portland called Kaufmann’s Streamborn described the pattern as a great choice either morning or evening when the water is low and the temps are reasonable.


Thread – Danville 8/0 black
Tail – Hackle fibers black
Rib – Oval tinsel silver
Body – 1/4 orange yarn, 1/4 red yarn, 1/2 black chenille
Hackle – Black
Underwing – Krystal flash black
Wing – Calf tail black

The flies in the Railroad series call for yarn like many other flies from this time period. After reading forums and other sites I was having trouble deciding what kind of yarn, antron, poly, some ancient ingredient fallen out of favor? Many tiers now replace the yarn with floss or dubbing, but I wanted to try to be as correct as possible. I settled for using Lion brand yarn I stole from my wife. This yarn is triple strand so I simply unraveled the strands and used them for the flies. I’m sure that any yarn may work just as well but just wanted to pass along what I used in my set. 

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