The Wired Ribbon Fly
By Tim Anderson, Panman

Previous Flies
Fly Tying Terms

I started to become aware of the world around me shortly after World War 2. Our family like many were somewhat short on cash but long on ingenuity and I soon learned how to get the most out of every nickel and dime. Even though that era is long past old habits die hard. I am constantly looking for a way to get more bang for a buck and that includes fly tying. In fact I have progressed, or regressed depending on how you look at it, to the point that I enjoy finding and tying flies for little or no cost except for the hook and thread.

Members of FAOL have contributed greatly in this quest with such items as punch yarn, boa yarn and various homemade dubbings to name a few. Here is my latest effort to tie a fly that will catch warmwater fish. I have not had the opportunity to field test the fly which I will call the Wired Ribbon. I am quite sure the bluegills and crappie will be receptive.

Wired ribbon is a ribbon used by florist in their creations as well as by other crafters for their projects. The ribbon is made from various materials with a thin wire along each side of it so the ribbon will hold its shape when making bows and other designs. Not all wired ribbon is suitable for tying flies but if you can find some that has a metallic sheen and a pattern it could very well make a good fly. Here is a picture of the ribbon used to make our fly. It is one and a half inches wide.

    1. Take the ribbon and cut it into lengths about 12 to 18 inches long. Then remove the wire from each side of the ribbon. The wire should pull out quite easily. This wire may have use for ribbing as I have found it in various colors such as copper, green and red. Now that the wire has been removed cut the ribbon into lengths of two to three inches. Take the ribbon and cut it in the middle by the long way. Now you can separate the metal like fibers that make up ribbon. Here is a picture of the ribbon after some of the fibers have been removed.

    2. The fly we are tying is being done with three ingredients:

      1. Hook: Mustad 3366 #10 or your choice.

      2. Thread: 6/0 Black UNI or your choice.

      3. The metallic strands from the ribbon.

    3. Place the hook in the vise, lay down the thread along the shank of the hook. Take 20 or more strands of the ribbon and tie in for the tail. Lay strands along the shank of the hook and advance thread forward to near the eye of the hook. If you desire you could put some dubbing on for a body but I don't think it is necessary.

    4. Now fold the strands back towards the tail, wiggle them a bit to insure they are all around the hook, create a head and whip finish. Here is the Wired Ribbon tied like a streamer.

    5. Here is the same fly clipped to make it more bluegill friendly.

This is my first attempt at submitting a fly pattern to FAOL and I wish to thank Rick Zeiger for his assistance in furnishing part of the photos and encouraging me in this endeavor. ~ Tim Anderson, Klamath Falls, Oregon

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

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