Hook: Streamer style, sizes 6 - 10. My first choice
is 3xl Tiemco streamer hooks, size 6. The length of the
shank seems to best fit the length of the woodchuck fur.
Thread: Danville 3/0, yellow. Though the sample
here was tied with white thread, I prefer yellow.
I did switch to yellow when completing the head.
Tail: A few orange feather barbs. Mine were from
an Whiting hen neck. Cut the butts off so as to leave room
for a lead wire underbody, if desired.
Lead Wire: About 20 wraps of .015 lead wire. Cover
about one-half the length of the shank. Leave bare shank
behind the eye (about 1 1/2 to 2 hook-eye lengths).
Wire Rib: On top of the shank (over the tail fibers), tie
in a length of medium diameter copper wire.
Thread Body: Cover the entire underbody with thread
wraps to create an even thickness overall. Finish this
step with the tying-thread hanging where shown below:
Tinsel: Tie in a piece of tinsel. With two-colored
tinsel, the gold side should face the tier. When wrapped,
this will create an underbody of silver.
Body: Wrap the tinsel rearward to create a first
layer and then reverse directions to form the second
layer. A few wraps of thread are used to tie down the
tinsel in front, as shown below. Snip off any excess
tinsel and bind down the tag end.
Tying Tip: Before wrapping the tinsel body, I like
to spread head cement along the top of the shank for
Rib: Wrap the copper wire forward. This will reinforce
the tinsel and provide some additional weight.
Wing: Snip a small clump of woodchuck hair and
tie it in, creating a wing.
Tying Tip: Like squirrel tail, woodchuck fur is
slippery and bulky. Therefore, at the tie-in point
I put a healthy dab of head cement on the body before
applying the fur. Shown below is more head cement being
applied after the first couple of thread wraps.
Base For Hackle: Create a tapered base of thread
all the way to the eye, tightly binding the fur. Below,
I have switched to yellow thread for this step. When
the base is completed (not shown), the thread taper
will cover the shank all the way to the eye.
Hackle: Tie in an orange hen neck hackle, by the
tip, as shown. Snip off the tip and bind down the end
to create a smooth platform for wrapping the hackle.
Collar: Shown below is a collar made with three wraps of hackle.
Head: Complete the Woodchuck Special with a strong
head of yellow thread, finishing off with a couple of whip
knots and a coat of head cement.
Here are some of the original and varations of this fly:
~ Peter Frailey