Fly Of The Week
The Santa Claus Fly
The Santa Claus Fly
George E. Emanual, aka Muddler

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Fly Tying Terms

The Santa Claus Fly

My job generates a great deal of pressure and stress. Occasionally this leads to a bout of creative overload. The Santa Claus Fly is a direct result of this phenomena.

A few weeks ago, finding it necessary to take a sanity break, and daydreaming of the coming holiday season, I suddenly found myself with a huge smile on my face.

From nowhere in particular came the idea to create the "Santa Claus fly." After all as a tier I have an ego, as anyone who knows me will tell you. And any tier with a sufficiently large ego would like to invent a new pattern so that he can be known for posterity as having made a significant contribution to our art.

I am no different, am I? Well, again if you knew me the way some of our members here at FAOL do, you would realize the answer to the question is an unqualified yes, "he really is different."

That aside, my chortling at the prospects of the Santa Claus fly was consumed in designing the details, and led to the production of this new, never before seen pattern, which you are seeing here on FAOL for the first time anywhere. (My thanks to FAOL for tolerating my, shall we say, eccentricity.)

This is my gift to you and may your Christmas be as Merry as possible, and your New Year see you and yours healthy and enjoying such prosperity as the Creator may see fit to bestow upon you.

Now the Santa Claus fly.


Hook:  6X or 8X long shank hook.

Thread:  Black 8/0 thread, White 8/0 thread, Red 8/0 thread.

Boots:  Black Ostrich Herl.

Santa Suit:  Red floss.

Trim on Santa Suit:  White Ostrich Herl.

Belt on Santa Suit:   Black Ostrich Herl.

Santa's Beard:   White Bucktail.

A bit of patience.

Tying Steps:

OK lets start dressing Santa Claus.

We are going to do this backwards as his "boots" are going on first. Take your black thread and tie on behind the eye and wrap your way in open wraps to a point just opposite the barb.

Next tie in a piece of Black Ostrich Herl and take two turns around the hook at the rear and tie off. Trim the excess herl. (or leave the excess trail forward and wrap over it.)

Tie in your Red Floss about 1/3 up the hook shank from the barb and wrap down to the boots and back all the way to the hook eye, and tie off. You have just put on Santa's pants.

Now as I recall from the many trips which my grandmother and I took to the Department Store when I was a kid, no malls were not invented yet, I recall Santa had a white furry bottom on his tunic, so we need to replicate this feature.

At a point about mid shank tie in and wrap once or twice around the shank a furry ruffle of White Ostrich Herl. Wrap to the Ostrich, and back to the eye with the Red Floss, and tie off.

Now Santa needs a belt. This I can attest to as having a shape somewhat similar to his I can tell you the pants will not stay up without a belt, and no one wants to see a "flashing" Santa Claus.

Tie a Piece of Black Ostrich Herl just above where you tied the white leaving a bit of the Red Floss showing between the two Ostrich bands.

We now have Santa's pants secure, thank you very much.

Now we want to build up a bit of heft as is found in our inspiration, in the belly and chest area. This is what we commonly refer to as the thorax, but it just doesn't seem right suggesting that Santa has a big thorax. Somehow the picture is not one we need to envision.

So build up with the Red Floss a healthy belly and chest area on Santa and tie off the floss and cut it off.

Santa needs a beard, and a fairly long one at that. One long enough to wave gracefully over his shoulder as the sleigh flies like the wind behind his team of faithful reindeer.

Tie in a sparse bunch of White Bucktail for the beard. Again we fly tiers have our own vocabulary and refer to this particular feature as a wing. We really must find out why Santa needs reindeer when he, at least according to us has a wing. Anyway for our purposes or perversion here, it is a beard tied on top of the fly as opposed to the beards more traditional place, which is under the shank.

Now we need a hat. Tie off your wing and cut the black thread loose. Tie in the Red Thread and build up a hat on Santas head, also further securing his beard as you go.

Tie off and cut the Red Thread, and tie on the White Thread, which will make the little white puffy at the tip of Santa's hat. Tie off and cut the White Thread.

Congratulations, you have now completed tying up "Santa Claus," errrr, a "Santa Claus Fly" sorry.

Technically this fly would be called a streamer, but somehow the picture of Santa as a streamer carries a suggestion of something very strange.

Will this thing catch fish? Of course it will, at one time didn't he catch each of us?

And please next time you see Santa at the Mall, refrain from bellowing forth, "Santa Claus, I have seen your fly."

Now, the next challenge is the Reindeer, guess I'll start with Rudolph, let's see, hooves, long skinny legs . . . .

Merry Christmas to All! ~ George

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

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