Fly Of The Week

Previous Flies
Fly Tying Terms

Hairwing Dun PMD
By Harry Mason,, CA

A balance, if any, between overkill and presenting just the right amount of information in each tutorial is a real problem. Who needs forty plus steps for what is seen by most tiers as a simple pattern? Well that's just the problem. It's only simple to those that know the steps. To most who tie, these "steps" have become somewhat second nature. So much so that they have forgotten how many they need to tie a bug. I found that out when I did the first tutorial, there are a lot of steps!

What I have found when building these things is that the more information and tips presented the more it makes sense. It's laborious to go through, I know, but my hope is that in each tutorial there is a little nugget or tidbit of info that makes thumbing through forty plus steps worth the time. After all, the "Art" of tying flies is the ability to accumulate and apply "tricks."

Materials: Hairwing Dun PMD (Pale Morning Dun)

    Hook: TMC 100,10-18

    Thread: To match body color.

    Body: Quill ,stripped from a Chinese neck, pale orange, light olive.

    Tail: Microfibbets,split.

    Legs: Hackle.

    Hackle: Light Dun.

    Wing: Elk or Deer.

    1. This is a stripped saddle hackle that has been dyed to a color approaching Pale Morning Dun. Soak these quills in water for about 10 minutes before using the fiber. Avoid Glycerin as a "moisturizer," it absorbes moisture.

    2. If you look close at these fibers after they have soaked, the tips have varying areas of solid material. Trim the very transparent part of the tips. Once you use these fibers you will see that the thickness of the files body will depend on how far down toward the butt you trim. For larger bodies on large hooks trim the tip more.

    3. Bind the Quill to the underside of the hook shank.

    4. Stop the tie in of the quill at the point above the barb. A barbless hook is shown but do end close as possible.

    5. Begin the quill wrap. Make about 3-4 turns on the hook forward toward the eye and then stop. Attach a pair of hackle piers to the butt end at this point and let hang.

    6. This is a view of the tips of a bundle of Microfibbets. It's tailing material similar to paint brush bristles.

    7. I have pulled four fibers from the bundle. This will give me two per side of the split tail.

    8. The point on the tailing labeled "A" is the tie in point that will be placed over the area on the hook labeled "B". The tail on this fly is a bit longer than most "traditional" dry fly tails. I use the "end" of the bend of the hook as an end point instead of the start of the bend when I measure the tail length.

    9. The two markers "A" and "B" are aligned. Note the thread position. The initial tie in will be there, behind the eye.

    10. Once tied in the four fiber can be manipulate and separated to form two tails of two fibers each.

    11. Trim the butt sections of the fibers.

    12. Separate the fibers as you wrap the thread down the shank. Alternate the pressure of separation from side to opposite side, pulling and separating the fibers as you wrap thread with your thumb and finger.

    13. Another view of the tie in and separation. We want to end up at the quill wraps.

    14. As you get closer to the quill it will become more difficult to maintain the separation. Placement of your thumb between the fibers as you wrap thread will help maintain the distance.

    15. About two wraps away from the quill, note the definite separation .

    16. The thread pressure against the quill has now forced the flare of the fibbets and locked them in place.

    17. Continue the forward wrap of the quill. To insure the tightness or closeness of the wraps of quill "roll" the on-going wrap off the top right of the previous wrap. This one motion will keep the wraps very tight.

    18. The on-going quill wraps. We want to leave some room for the hackle and the wing, so I'd say here is real close to the end point of the quill body.

    19. Cross the quill with the thread from right to left. Repeat 4 or 5 times. The quill is now in place.

    20. Trim and cover the cut quill with thread. A drop of head cement here is not out of the question as well.

    21. Wrapped trimmed and ready for the hackle.

    22. A trimmed and stripped hackle is placed vertically against the tye in area. We want to maintain the vertical position.

    23. By tying the tag end of hackle in like shown above you lock the hackle in place.

    24. Completed hackle tie in. The hackle face position is one of personal preference. This shot shows the hackle with the "shinny" side facing back toward the hook point. I have no real preference any more. Just avoid the flat faces being tied in facing you, the tier.

    25. Wrap as you would for a dry fly collar. Three to four turns is plenty.

    26. Third hackle wrap is finished. Note the thread placement and the space left for the wing.

    27. With the final hackle wrap pulled up on top capture the hackle stem as shown.

    28. Hackle is tied in and ready for the trim. I like to tie in and trim the hackle at the top of the hook like shown.

    29. Snip! As a rule,I would open the scissors a bit and just push the scissor blade to the stem and the cut would take place without closing the blades.

    30. Hackle is trimmed and the cut butts covered. Note the thread and where it sits on the head area ....Back.

    31. Here is a piece of deer hide. The hair is short and semi hollow.

    32. Cut Deer hair butts. Clean the under fur with a toothbrush or the like. With short hair do not forget to clean the tips as well. Just reverse your hold on the hair.

    33. Once the hair is stacked bring the hair within the stacker to the fly in the orientation you will apply it to the hook. The less you touch the stacked hair the better.

    34. Applying the wing is much like the wing of the Elk Hair Caddis. In this case make the tips even with the barb of the hook.

    35. Transfer the grip of the wing material to your left hand so you can see the tie in area. Note the room left between the eye and the thread.

    36. Make the first two warps somewhat loosely. Follow these with four of five very firm turns just like the Elk Hair Caddis wing.

    37. Wing bound in and flared.

    38. Pull the butts up and back to expose the head area behind the eye. I like to place five to seven wraps here.

    39. Thread wraps in place. This covers the eye wire return and prevents the tippit from being cut on any edge that may be present there.

    40. I have pulled the butts up to show the area you will want to trim for a head.

    41. I would normally hold the butts in place as I trim but that is hard to see with my thumb in the lens. Trim the butts at the same angle as the down bend of the hook eye.

    42. Completed PMD Hairwing Dun. ~ Harry Mason (bones)

Publisher's Note: Harry is a long-time supporter and Sponsor of Fly Anglers OnLine. We sincerely appreciate his sharing these tutorials with us. We know the time and effort it takes to produce one. Please visit his excellent website:

For more great flies, check out: Beginning Fly Tying, Intermediate Fly Tying and Advanced Fly Tying.

[ HOME ]

[ Search ] [ Contact FAOL ] [ Media Kit ] © Notice