October 31st, 2005
The Stimulated Madam X
I occasionally fish with people who have many more years
experience on the water than I have. They seem to delight
in giving "the youngster" advice. One of the things I've
been taken to task for is using flies which are too small,
especially in the summer when there's no hatch activity.
"What are you using those #18 dries for? Don't you know
that you need to offer the fish a good mouthful to get
'em to come up?" As usual, they were right. A big, bushy
searching pattern often does the trick. It was in response
to this that I produced the Stimulated Madame X, a large,
impressionistic searching pattern.
By Sheldon Seale
When looking for a pattern that works, it's not uncommon
to take particularly effective features from two or more
different patterns and combine them into something which
has the potential to be even more effective. That is the
origin of the Stimulated Madame X. This pattern combines
the back-end and legs of the Madame X with the head and
hackle of a Stimulator. The result is a very versatile
mongrel dry fly.
Like so many other large, searching patterns, the Stimulated
Madame X is not intended to imitate any specific food item.
In fact, it could be argued that it actually imitates nothing
and is merely a large attractor pattern. In either case, the
arguments are moot—for the fly works. Moreover, it's an easy
tie and features readily available materials.
1. Start 1/3 back from the eye of the hook and put down a layer
of thread along the shank to the bend, returning to the starting
point. Clip a small clump of elk hair from the skin. Remove the
short hairs and even the tips. Tie the hair in at the starting point
with the tips out over the hook bend and parallel to the hook shank,
so the tips will stick out about the length of the hook gap or less.
Trim any excess hair ahead of the starting point and return the
thread to that point. Tie in a length of floss at the starting
point, wrap it back to the tail and forward again, forming a neat
body. Secure the floss and trim any excess.
2. Clip a larger clump of elk hair and tie it in to form the wing.
It is best to even the tips of the hair before tying it in. The wing
should extend back to the end of the tail. Trim the excess hair at
an angle and wrap the ends down with the thread. Prepare and tie in
the hackle for the head. Next, tie in two lengths of rubble hackle
on the sides of the fly just forward of the wing, so that they
form an X when viewed from above.
3. Dub the seal's fur to form the head. Make sure that you take a wrap
or two at the tie in points of the rubber hackle to help separate the
legs. Now, palmer the grizzly hackle forward through the head. Be
sure to take one turn over the tie in points of the rubber hackle.
Secure the hackle at the front, trim any excess feather, tie off,
and coat the thread with head cement.
4. A fish's eye view of the configuration of the rubber legs.
The Stimulated Madame X is an excellent floater and is also very
durable. Fish it as you would any large attractor dry fly.
Besides being a good trout getter. It also makes a great
"slider" for smallmouth bass - it will even dive a little if
you give the line a good strip. This makes it an ideal pattern
for the "dry and dropper" technique. ~ Sheldon Seale
Credits: We thank the Canadian Fly Fisher for re-print permission!
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