Easy - economical - effective
This fly was a mistake. I was trying to tie a simple impressionistic perch streamer when I cut the wing way too short. For some reason I kept it instead of stripping the hook and it has become a favorite for searching the slower back waters of Michigan Rivers in May and June. I don’t know if trout take it for a hex nymph, a damsel nymph or just a big slow swimming meal but it works. I had to think of a name for it when I tied it for the Al Campbell memorial auction and I thought that Al would have liked the idea of an easy economical and effective fly. Besides from the top it looks a lot like the view of my muddy hunting boot when looking down.
- #10 four times long down eye streamer hook (Mustad 79580 used here)
- .025 lead free wire
- Danville’s 3/0 thread
- Dark olive/yellow variegated chenille
- Fine gold wire
- Fine oval tinsel
- Olive zonker strip
- Speckled brown soft hackle feather (grouse, partridge, Indian hen back etc.)
Place hook in vise and wrap lead or lead free wire over the front 1/3 to 1/2 of hook leaving plenty of room in front to tie down materials. This gives the fly a jigging action when retrieved.
Start the thread at eye of hook and wrap back to bend being sure to get some wraps into gaps in weight. It is not necessary to smooth the wraps out or taper the transition from the weight with the chenille body.
Strip the fibers from a bit of the chenille and tie the exposed core to the hook at the bend
Advance the thread one thickness of the chenille forward
Tie in the fine wire and oval tinsel on the far side of the hook with the wire against the hook shank and the tinsel against the wire
Advance the thread to the end of the weight and wrap the chenille to that point being careful not to trap the ribbing
Take a zonker strip and cut the end into a point and trim the fur from the point. This reduces bulk at the tie in point and the fur can be saved for dubbing.
Tie in the zonker strip at the end of the body
Pull the strip tight and cut it off at or a bit before the bend of the hook
Pull strip tight again and grasp the wire and tinsel together. Work them down through the fur with the wire staying on the bottom to make the first wrap. Spiral them forward to the front of the wing and tie off. At this point you can add a few strands of flashabou or crystal flash as a topping if you wish.
Select a soft hackle with fibers about twice the hook gape. Pull back the fluffy fibers at the base and trim them as close to the stem as possible.
Tie in the feather concave side toward the hook. Cut off excess stem.
Make one or two wraps of hackle while stroking fibers back as needed. Tie down, snip off tip of hackle and form tapered head. Whip finish and coat head with Sally Hansen’s Hard as Nails.
In the slower water where this fly works best I cast tight to the bank and retrieve with quick very short strips, not more than a few inches at a time. Between those holes I use a little faster retrieve with longer strips and it does catch fish there too.
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