Guide Tie: The ATO Bishop

By popular demand, we give you the ATO Bishop, by far the hottest fly of the season. -ak

One of the first things I learned in art school is that art… is dead. Every good idea has been thought of and the challenge of an artist is to take what has already been done and adapt it into something that is fresh and unique. Through this process, art lives on. I believe the same can be said of fly tying. One of the things I like to experiment with is taking classic patterns and using new materials to spice it up a bit. After all, variety is the spice of life, and the spice of the artist, as my fundamentals instructor Robert Krajecki used to beat into our heads.


With that in mind, The ATO Bishop is a direct descendant of one of my favorite prospecting flies, The Prince. I was looking to create an anchor fly that would get the fish’s attention. Little did I know, the ATO Bishop was to become an assassin! The biots give the fly just enough action to entice a hit. Even at a size 10, the fly always seems to produce… and big fish!


Most people who I’ve shared the Bishop with have been skeptical of it’s effectiveness. I admit, it’s not the most beautiful or stylish fly in my box, but, if you give the Bishop a chance, I promise you will find a place for it in your box! I have even caught Steelhead on the fly. I fish the Bishop Czech style has an anchor fly with a Dutchie 18” above it, leading through deep runs and swinging it through riffles. 

Hook: Jig hook (Orvis 1P2A or Hends BL120) size 10 -12

Thread: UTC Fluo Red 140 denier

Bead: Tungsten Slotted Gold, 5/32”

Tail: Pheasant Tail Fibers

Body: Green Diamond Braid or Emerald Micro Chenille 

Rib: UTC Ultra Wire Gold size Medium

Wing: White Goose Biots, Flared

Hotspot: Orvis UV Red Ice Dub.


Step 1: Slide bead on hook and place in vise. Start thread behind bead and wrap slightly down the bend.

Step 2: Tie in 4-5 Pheasant tail fibers. Same length as the hook. Flare down hook.


Step 3: Tie in a 2” section of medium gold wire, and a 2” section of green diamond braid.

Step 4: Wrap diamond braid snug up to the bead.

Step 5: Wrap gold wire up to bead, opposite direction as the diamond braid.

bish4 (1).jpg

Step 6: Tie in goose biot on each side of the hook. Flare the biots out.


Step 7: Cover thread with UV Red dubbing for 4” and wrap a 2mm hot spot against the bead. Leave bushy.


Step 8: Whip finish and fish!!


Check back next week and we'll show you how to fish the Dutchie/Bishop rig.