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The Jelly Bean
A Dremel pattern by Jim Hatch

Since first tying this pattern several years ago, it has become a top water favorite for both warm and cold water fishing. The fly imitates a fry and can be tied in colors to imitate any fish. White with a dark back and white grizzly hackle has proven most effective for me. But feel free to swap colors or tailing to suit your needs. I often tie this pattern with arctic fox tailing and a bit of crystal flash.

Materials for the Jelly Bean:

    Hook: Mustad Aberdeen Hooks (size 8 shown).

    Head/Body: White flip flop.

    Eyes: Darice half bead plastic eyes (3mm).

    Paint: Flat black spray enamel.

    Tailing: Grizzly hackle or arctic fox tailing material.


    Black and red markers

    Small brushes

    Round toothpicks

Tying Instructions for the Jelly Bean:

    1. Cut plugs from flip flop using a hollow core punch or piece of tubing of appropriate size for desired body.

    2. Shape body by spinning foam plug on dremel and sanding with emery board. Use the course side first followed by the smooth side for a neater finish.

    3. Insert round toothpick into body for ease of handing for the remaining steps.

    4. Prick half bead eye with Exacto knife and touch bottom to a small dollop of CA adhesive.

    5. Apply quickly to foam body. Blow on the eye while moving the Exacto knife handle up and down to quickly release the knife leaving the eye in place. You can use any style eyes desired. The half beads are available at many craft stores in various sizes. These are 3mm and were $.59 for 225 eyes.

    6. Wrap a piece of sheer curtain fabric over body and hold with an old pair of needle nose while giving the top of the body a quick spritz with the flat black enamel. Hold can 18 to 24 inches from body. Do a test spritz first.

    7. Add gills with black marker and highlight them with red marker.

    8. Mix a small amount of epoxy and brush it on the bodies with a small brush. Stick toothpick holding body upright into a piece of Styrofoam to dry. There is no need to spin as the epoxy will flow smoothly on the body. Take a break at this point while the epoxy cures. You may even want to finish up the following day depending upon the curing time of the epoxy you are using.

    9. After the epoxy has cured, you will discover that the flowing material has seized the body onto the toothpick. This is quickly resolved by inserting a cut-off wheel in your dremel and making a shallow cut around the toothpick at the base of the body. At this point it is a good idea to run a bodkin through the hole in the body to ensure it is epoxy free. Your bodies are now completely finished and it's time to dress your hooks with the desired tailing material.

    10. Do a thread wrap on your hook and tie in a grizzly hackle as shown. Do 4 to 6 wraps of hackle and tie off.

    11. Apply a scant drop of CA adhesive to the thread wrappings and slip the body quickly in place. You only get one chance so you may wish to do a dry fit first to ensure it fits as you would like it to.

    12. The finished product.

    13. Alternate tailing material (artic fox).

It takes me about an hour to from start to finish to make a dozen Jelly Beans excluding drying time. They have proven quite effective and cast easily on lighter rods. The arctic fox in particular is very easy to cast on 0 and 1 wt rods once the tailing is wet. The fly is very light and streamlined. Does the detailing really add to the catching power of this fly? I can't say and the fish ain't talking. Use your own judgement and just apply what you are happy with. *G* There is more info on Dremel bugs here: Creative Foam Fly Tying. If you have any questions please feel free to email me at: ~ Jim Hatch

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

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