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Two Feather May
(Extended Body Mayfly)
By Clyde W. Watson, New Hampshire

Originally, I came across a similar fly at the Maine Guide Fly Shop in Greenville, ME and modified it to this pattern. The original was a Wulff style pattern with the extended body added between the hackle and the body of the wulff. My version is much simpler and in my opinion more realistic. The pattern can easily be scaled from imitating large hex and coffin flies down to the tiniest BWO's by adjusting the color and type of the feather used for the extension. The smallest I've tied this in is #22 using body feathers from a ruffled grouse.


Materials List:

    Hook: Dry fly, your choice.

    Body, Tail, Wings: Symmetrical Flank Feather.

    Hackle: Slightly oversized hackle.

Instructions - Two Feather May
(Extended Body Mayfly):

1. Prepare the flank feather:

a. Cut stem near tip of feather, resulting in a "V".

b. Trim stem of feather to just slightly longer than the desired length of extended body.

c. Remove small section of long hackle fibers near base.

2. Tie in the long section of hackle fibers from 1c. at the bend of the hook and wrap forward forming the underbody of the fly. This is a great alternative to dubbing, and can be twisted to form a mottled segmented body. Often I omit the underbody on this pattern on smaller flies.

3. Now take the prepared flank feather, stroke the hackle fibers towards the base of the stem. Then take a needle or a bodkin and separate two fibers from the rest on each side of the stem at the tip to form the tail of the extended body..

4. Pull the remaining hackle fibers tightly towards the base of the stem and with the concave side up, tie in where the underbody ended.

5. After the extended body is secured, stand up the excess hackle fibers with additional thread wraps to form the wings of the fly.

6. Tie in and wrap hackle. Then trim the wing to desired length.

Top View of finished fly. ~ Clyde

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

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