Saturday, March 29, 2014

Twisted Sally

Twisted Sally by Darren Dunbar

The Twisted Sally is my own creation that was largely a result of not wanting to tie a Clark's Stonefly and an excessive amount of yellow poly yarn laying around that I wanted to make use of. The pattern is meant to mimic the "Yellow Sally" or small Golden Stoneflies. I'm quite sure there is a number of similar patterns out there; nevertheless, what makes this pattern unique is the body formed by twisting the yarn. I cut about a 3 inch strand of poly yarn, tie one end on the hook, and twist the other end at least 15 times completely around. Once the twisting is complete, you sort of loop the loose end towards the tie in point and immediatedly, with the help of your fingers, the two strands begin to fuse together, which gives you a braided or segmented look. Once I have completed the fly, I like to soak the poly body in a silicone solution that will maintain effective flotation of the fly. Regards ~ D2

Twisted Sally by Darren Dunbar

Twisted Sally Recipe:

Hook: Standard Dry Fly #14
Thread: Brown UTC 70 Denier
Body: Pearl Holographic Mylar
Wing: Elk Hair
Abdomen: Yellow Poly Yarn
Thorax: Golden Stone Hare - Tron Dubbin
Hackle: Brown Dry Fly Hackle

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Last Chance Cripple - Baetis

Last Chance Cripple - Baetis by Darren Dunbar
The advent of the Last Chance Cripple can be traced back to Idahoan Rene Harrop. Harrop designed this Bob Quigly-esque fly to fool the finickiest trout of the Henry's Fork in Idaho. The fly captures the essence of the sometimes unsuccessful transformation from aquatic nymph to Mayfly Dun, which trout seem to key in on.  Some major characteristics that make this fly effective include a biot abdomen, an emphasized thorax, an Antron shuck, and don't forget the visibility and flotation offered by the CDC and hackle.

Last Chance Cripple - Baetis by Darren Dunbar

Here are a few tips that you may consider when tying the Last Chance Cripple - Baetis version.

TIP 1: Try to limit bulk on the hook prior to wrapping the biot by limiting your eye to hook bend wraps to three passes when securring your tailing material.

TIP 2: Tie in your biot on the opposite side of the hook, tip nearest the eye, so the convex or curve of the biot faces up. This enables a nice wrap of the biot and a rough segmented effect.

TIP 3: I found that whip finishing the fly on top of the CDC puff is often neater and alot easier on smaller flies rather than trying to finish from underneath.
Last Chance Cripple - Baetis Recipe
Hook: Size 16 Dry Fly
Thread: Oive UTC 70 Denier
Tail: Mallard Flank & Antron
Body: Olive Goose Biot
Thorax: Blue Wing Olive Superfine Dubbing
Wing: Natural Dun CDC
Hackle: Grizzly Dry Fly Hackle
Regards ~ D2

Thursday, March 20, 2014

A Cleaner Bodkin

If you're like me, you've probably spent a rather large chunk of time scraping gunk continuously off the bodkin.  Frankly, that extra bulk at the business end can be a real pain, especially when you're faced with precision placement of your tying cement. Consequently, many of us have no choice but to take on the sometimes painful and time enduring ritual, which often involves scissors, files or anything close by that can be used to do the deed. Well, look no further because a small plastic bottle, a drill, and some steel wool can save you time and plenty of heartache.

Homemade Bodkin Cleaner

Find an empty pill bottle and drill a small hole through the cap...

Drill Baby Drill

Then stuff the bottle with steel wool, close the cap and you're done!

Stuff It Good
To clean bodkins!!! Thanks, D2

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Hollow Tube Dry Fly - BWO

Usually when I think of extended bodies on dry flies, I immediately begin to think of larger adult Mayfly or Stonefly patterns such as the Western Green Drake or the monstrous October Caddis. However, I wondered about the possibility of a smaller extended body version that would be suitable in replicating the minute Blue Wing Olive (BWO). My research led me to a very well done Web page by Steve Schalla that fed my curiosity. Steve lays out an explicit tutorial on a BWO dry fly constructed of hollow plastic tubing.  After my review, I just had to give the pattern a whirl.

Hollow Tube BWO Dry by Darren Dunbar

In contrast to Steve's Pattern, I switched the use of a hen cape hackle wing with closed cell packing foam, which I think looks equally good or even better. One major concern I had when I got through my first couple of flies was the gluing and proper splay of the microfibbet tail. Consequently, I came up with a solution that entails needle nose pliers and a wooden matchstick as seen in the photo. Generally, I would let the tube sit for at least 30 minutes, which may vary depending on what adhesive you choose. In this case, I used Zap a Gap.
Setting up for a Nice Splay
In my own fly tying, I have often found that it can sometimes take about a dozen completed flies before I completely understand a pattern. The most challenging element of the Hollow Tube BWO Dry was the body segmentation, which is completed by squeezing the hollow tubing with heated serrated pliers. In his tutorial, Steve Schalla suggests the use of a Leatherman. However, I opted for a thinner metal surface offered by a hemostat, which allowed quicker heat distribution. I found that holding a match to the hemostadt for about 8-10 seconds procurred optimum results. Regards ~ D2
Hollow Tube BWO Dry by Darren Dunbar

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Extended Body Parachute Adams

I was recently cruizin' a Cabela's Fly Fishing catalog and came across a fly by Rainy's called the X- Fly Parachute Adams.  In a nutshell, the fly is a Parachute Adams with a bit of realism attached; that is the fly has an elevated tail which protrudes upward from the thorax region with all inclusive life-like tail antennae. The pattern largely differs from an Adams or a Parachute Adams in that it largely suggests a more specific Mayfly presentation. All in all, I was very intrigued by the pattern and had to give it a go on the vice.

Extended Body Parachute Adams by Darren Dunbar

I was quite dumfounded when it actually came time to construct the extended body of the fly. A Google search for "dry fly extended bodies" resulted in a tutorial that encompassed a drill, a needle, some silicone and your choice of toppings. I have to admit that the end results were very impressive. Nevertheless, I was not prepared to drag in my shop tools and mash silicone between my fingers. Conversely, I came up with a different plan that entailed a modified 3xl dry fly hook and Wapsi Stretch Tubing. You can also choose to use an appropriate size embroidery needle.

Modified 3XL Dry Fly Hook

After I slide the tubing on the hook, I lock in my thread by using medium tightness on the wraps - not too tight and not too loose. Trust me, you will have a rough time when it comes to sliding the end product off the hook if you crank down on the thread!

Completed Extended Body - Dunbar Style

When comparing the X-Fly with my own version there are two not too significant differences when it comes to materials. For instance, I replaced a microfibbet tail with deer hair; albeit I would ordinarily prefer the stiffer microfibbets for improved durability and flotation. Secondly, I used poly yarn for the parachute post, rather than foam. At any rate, I enjoyed the added challenge of the extended body and the bit of realism added to the fly, which may turn finicky trout not sold on more traditionally tied fly. Regards ~ D2

Extended Body Parachute Adams by Darren Dunbar

Extended Body Parachute Adams Recipe:

Hook: Standard Dry Fly
Thread: UTC Black 70 Denier
Thorax: Adams Grey Superfine Dubbing
Parachute Post: While Poly
Parachute: Brown and Grizzly Hackle
Extended Body: Wapsi Stretch Tubing Sz. Small (wrapped with dubbing)
Antennae: Deer Hair