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Monarchos Horse Fly
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Monarchos - Horse Fly
By Thomas C. Duncan, Sr.

I think I'll call it "Monarchos" after this year's Kentucky Derby winner. As an added benefit, the Greek word Mona'rchos, from which the horse's name is taken means ruling alone. Modesty prevents me from elaborating on this point.

Terrestrial flies fall into "so many ecological nitches that it is impossible to catalog them all," according to Harrison R. Steeves III in Terrestrials. There are over 300 species of Horse and Deer Flies just in the U.S. and they are most commonly found in marshy or wet areas along trout streams. Do trout eat them? Of course!

Recipe: Monarchos - Horse Fly

Hook:   Dai-Riki #060 or equivalent.

Thread:  Black.

Body:  Iridescent Dubbing #46 Bronze Peacock.

Hackle:  Soft black.

Wing:  Mylar, cut to shape.

Eyes:  Burnt Amnesia Monofilament.

Head:  Same dubbing as body.

Tying Steps:

1. Burn a pair of mono eyes from bright red Amnesia monofilament. (Generally used as a running line.)

2. Attach the eyes to the hook shank using several crisscrosses and "posting" wraps. Keep some room between the mono and the hook eye for the head which will be made later. Superglue the eyes in place to reduce twisting.

3. With thread at the rear of the hook, load it with dubbing and move forward, creating a tapered body. If you want a dry fly, use natural peacock herl. The dubbing colour may be adjusted depending on the shade of the flies you will imitate. Some are mostly black, some are mostly green, and still others have predominantly green or gold highlights. The fly we are tying is black with bronze accents.

4. Tie in a soft black hackle and take two or three turns.

Cut Wing

5. Prepare the mylar wings by cutting a valentine heart from a piece of pearl-coloured sheet mylar. (You can use organza from the craft store, Flashback, Mirage Crinkle shown here, or other sheetings. The principle is to let some iridescence shine through.) The easiest way to do this is just like you used to make one for mom or teacher: fold a piece in half, and cut half a heart. Flatten the top and bottom a bit.

6. Tie the wing on caddis-style. It should reach slightly past the hook bend and lie low on the hook shank.

7. Dub lightly around the eyes to create a head.

8. Whip-finish and cement.

Monarchos Horse Fly


Dry Version

You can make a dry version of this fly by using peacock herl in place of the dubbing, and a stiff black hackle tied in after the wing. It is more effective tied wet, though, as most horseflies that will be in the water are not supposed to be there. After all, if God intended them to be in the water, they would have their own section in the pattern books as do mayflies, stoneflies, caddis, and midges!

You can fish the wet version dead-drift as a drowned insect, or with a twitch, like a bug that is struggling to escape from the water. Either way is productive. ~ Pastor Thomas C. Duncan, Sr. (pastortd)

Editors note from JC:
This fly if dressed well, will float like a cork, that is not above the water, but on it, and little in it; one of my 'go-to' flies when nothing seems to be working. ~ JC

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

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