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Suspender PMD
Fly and photos by John Mundinger, Helena, MT

As the name suggests, the Suspender PMD imitates PMD cripples and emergers. The pattern is similar to the Quigley Cripple. The principle difference is that the Suspender PMD incorporates a closed-cell foam post. The post replaces the distinctive, forward-facing hair wing of the Quigley Cripple.

The Suspender PMD is one of my preferred patterns for fishing the PMD hatch (Pale Morning Dun) on the Missouri River. I fish this pattern on a dead drift, either alone or as an indicator, in tandem with a soft hackle, 12 to 18 inches below the dry fly. I also tie the pattern in appropriate colors and smaller sizes as midge and blue-winged olive imitations.

Materials: Suspender PMD

    Hook: - Mustad 94840, #16.

    Thread: - Uni 8/0, light cahill.

    Post: - Closed cell foam, yellow.

    Tail/Shuck: - Antron, blue dun.

    Rib: - Crystal Flash, chartreuse.

    Abdomen: - Tying thread.

    Thorax: - Beaver dubbing, dyed pmd.

    Hackle: - light ginger.

Tying Instructions:

1. Pinch the barb and mount the hook in the vise. Attach the thread immediately behind the eye and dress the front quarter of the hook shank.

2. Cut a strip of closed cell foam to a width similar to the thickness of the foam sheet. Attach the strip of foam to the hook immediately behind the eye, with a short length of foam extending forward over the eye. Take a few additional thread wraps between the eye and the foam to slightly elevate the post.

3. Take a few additional thread wraps at the initial tie in point. Trim the rear portion of the foam strip and secure with x-wraps over the tag end of the foam post.

4. Bind the excess foam to the hook shank to form an underbody for the thorax. Spiral the thread to the bend in the hook. Tie in a length of antron.

5. Trim the antron to a length approximately equal to the length of the hook shank. Tie in a length of Crystal Flash.

6. Take one wrap of thread behind the rib and then wrap the thread forward to the base of the post to form the abdomen. Counter-wrap the abdomen with the Crystal Flash and tie off.

7. Tie in the hackle, convex side forward, at the junction between the thorax and the post.

8. Dub the thread. Wrap the thorax, beginning with one wrap in front of the hackle, wrapping rearward to the junction between the abdomen and thorax and returning to the point immediately in front of the hackle.

9. Take three turns of hackle and tie off.

10. Whip finish between the post and the eye to complete the fly. ~ John Mundinger

About John:

John is a former employee of the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, where he worked as a wildlife research biologist and in department administration. After taking an early retirement, he now is self-employed as a natural resource management consultant, specializing in collaborative problem solving. John got hooked on fly fishing at an early age but put fishing on stand-by while his children were growing up. Learning to tie flies fulfilled a childhood dream and rekindled his interest in fishing. His home water is the Missouri River. In addition to fly fishing, he also enjoys paddling a canoe. You can reach him at:

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

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