How to tie the Traffic Light Buzzer Stillwater Fly


THIS simple but very effective buzzer pattern arrived on the competition scene a couple of seasons ago and has become one of those ‘must haves’ in the fly box.

It derives its name from the traffic light effect, flashing green to red and back again as the pattern drops through the water. This effect is achieved by the clever use of flat pearl green tinsel which is laid over the top of red holographic tinsel, giving a two-tone effect, depending on the angle you view it from.

As you twist the tinsel back and forth at the vice the effect is really good, but it literally jumps into life when viewed in the water!

It must be the standard flat pearly green tinsel used over the top, as Mirage and many of the others just don’t achieve the same results.

This effect is not just limited to the wingcase but can be used for the cheeks as well, or just as cheeks on their own. The popular Traffic Light Cormorant uses the tinsels as a rib along the length of the black body to great effect. Experimentation with different holographic tinsels under the pearl tinsel shroud produces some startling results.

Generally, these patterns are dressed on competition heavyweight hooks from size 10 to 14 and they should be reasonably streamlined dressings without too much bulk at the thorax. Once finished give the fly three or four coats of a high gloss varnish like Hard as Nails or Liquid Glass for a glassy, translucent and hard-wearing finish.

Hook: Size 10-14 competition heavyweight or

heavyweight grub Thread: Black UTC 70

Abdomen: Black UTC 70 thread Rib: Stripped

natural peacock herl Thorax: Built up black UTC 70

thread Wingcase: Medium red holographic tinsel with

medium pearl tinsel tied in over the top Cheeks: Fluo

orange goose biots. The whole fly is coated in two or

three coats of high gloss varnish to finish


1 Lay thread foundation, tie in stripped peacock herl at bend. Run thread back in touching turns, wind peacock herl up shank in open turns.

2 Secure peacock herl with thread, trim waste. Tie in two goose biots by the tips, one each side of the hook shank for the cheeks.


3 Tie in a length of pearl tinsel and then red holographic tinsel on top of the thorax to form the wing case.

4 Trim waste tinsel and goose biots facing over the eye of the hook, and then use the thread to build up a neat thorax.


5 Pull forward both lengths of tinsel and stretch over the thorax, then secure with thread. Trim waste tinsel.

6 Pull forward the goose biots in the same way and secure with thread and trim waste before whip finishing.