Dry Fly Swap Flies
Tied by Ben Benoit (Antioch TN)
Hook: Orvis, X-Fine Dry Fly, #1523-00, #14
Thread: Danville, Yellow, 8/0
Post: Orvis Turkey Flats, #0194-00, White, #67
Tail: Microfibetts, Cream
Hackle: Grizzly dyed yellow, Rit dye
1. Make 3-4 turns of thread at post tie-in position (60% mark on
shank). Cut turkey flats about 3/4 of an inch and even tops to form post
by adjusting with your fingers. Tie post on shank with soft loop with
ends extending out over eye. Make 2-3 wraps of thread around the front
and back of post and while holding post upwards. Make 5-6 turns of
thread around and up and down the base of the post to reinforce the
same. Snip excess turkey flat butt ends. Burn off or trim short in a
taper to the shank. Apply a drop of head cement with fly in upward
position. Do not let cement flow onto turkey flats.
2. Wrap thread to rear of shank and stop just over the barb of the
hook. Make a small dubbed ball crisscrossing thread 2-3 times. Lay three
microfibetts in splayed style the length of the body and tie in with a
soft loop, then reinforce them with 2-3 quick turns of thread.
3. Apple dubbing sparsely in a tapered shape on thread. Dub a
small body up to and around the post with a final wrap around post. Size
and trim the fluff fibers of a dyed yellow grizzly hackle. Tie the
hackle on catching the shaft of the hackle before and after the post.
Snip the excess butt end. With the dull side upwards, make 2-3 turns of
the hackle around the post keeping each succeeding wrap below the
previous one. Tie the hackle off around the shank at just below the eye.
Snip excess hackle tip. Trim the bottom of the fly and any loose dubbing
fibers. Apply a thin drop of head cement at the eye.
4. While holding the post upwards, trim the top of the post to the
Tied by Joyce Westphal (Provo UT)
Full instructions may be found in Flytiers Masterclass by Oliver
Edwards, pp. 166-177. In order not to infringe copyright laws, I'll
describe the steps in my words.
Hook: I use TMC 200R, or any fine dry fly hook
Thread: olive, tan, black 6/0.
Cement: Dave's Flexament or Shoe Goo II (red label) diluted with
Toluene or Oops, all purpose remover found in the paint section at Wal
Body: tan or brown deer hair dubbed between two loops.
Wing: whole neck, saddle or flank feather glued to nylon stocking.
(Pheasant saddle works wonderfully).
Glue for wing: PVC 700 quick set thin for PVC pipes.
Shoulder hackle: (optional) standard dry fly Antennae: deer hair
or fine mono or stripped hackle (optional..I don't put them on. The
trout don't care and they tangle in the leader).
1. Prepare wing: put nylon stocking single thickness in an
embroidery frame, stretched as tight as you would as if you were going
to actually do embroidery.
2. Go outside. This stuff is hard on your liver. Then, using the
dauber that is in the PVC cement, paint the stocking and let it dry.
3. Now using Dave's Flexament, carefully glue the feather to the
stocking face or shiny side up. It's okay to leave some of the webby
bottom on, just smooth it down.
4. When this dries, cut out the feather and shape to form the
shape of a caddis wing. (length depends on who you listen to and how you
want it. Some say it should be hook length and set back of the hook
shank when you tie it in. Others say it should stick out the back end
1/3 of the hook shank. Suit yourself).
5. Put hook in vice, put on thread and make a dubbing loop at the
bend in which you place fine deer hair (leftovers from trimming muddlers
work fine). Dub to a tight twist. (see Davy Wooton in Fly & Field on the
6. Wind dub to the front leaving room for eye and hackle. Bind
down with soft loop, then tight loop.
7. Place wing, bind down with 4 good loops taking care to center
it in the center and not spin it off to one side. A drop of Flexament
under the wing before you bind it down really helps.
8. Hackle in standard style only with dull side going forward as
this helps the fly sit on the top of the water better. (see Darrel
Martin, Dick Talleur).
9. Trim and cement head.
10. Fish with great fun. The nylon reinforced wing lets many trout
have a great time with this fly without tearing it apart.
It works well dead drifted as well as jumped from weeds or bank as
a grasshopper imitation. Enjoy.
Tied by Joe Libeu (Long Beach CA)
Hook: Tiemco TMC 101 size 20-12
Thread: UNI Thread Black 8/0
Abdomen: Wapsi Camel hair blend, color to match natural
Parachute Post: White turkey flat
Wing: Fly Sheet by Fishaus Tackle
Hackel: To match natural
Comment: I have found this fly to be effective in all light
conditions and especially low light. Size #12 very effective in early
morning and late night conditions. Excellent caddis silhouette from
below. Down wing material can be adjusted to give larger or smaller
silhouette. Camel hair very fine and great for dubbing. The down wing
materal is the best feature of this fly. I orginally used turkey wing
but as all of us know, after one or two fish, the wing is destroyed.
This material can be used for not only Caddis, but Hoppers, Mayfly etc.
Try it and let me know. If you can,t find the material at your local FF
shop, email me and I will get you the telepone # so you can order their
1. Tie in and post turkey flats, make sure you wind thread around
post for hackel support.
2. Wrap thread back to bend of hook and dub in Camel Hair to
front of turkey flat post.
3. Cut down wing material to size(Fishaus Tackle has stamping
dies that work great). On the front end of wing cut a "V". Place "V"
so that it slides outside of Turkey flat post and tie in down wing by
wraping thread in front of turkey flat post and one or two wraps behind.
Behine the turkey flat post, fold the wing in half and cut at a angle to
size of natural. By flating or folding you can adjust silhouette as
viewed from below.
4. Dub small amount in front of post and back to cover up thread
that secures down wing.
5. Tie in hackel and wrap same on post. Wraps should begin up on
post and move down to base.
6. Whip finish
Tied by David Leschinsky (State College PA)
HOOK: Tiemco 531,down eye,2x fine,2x short,size 14
THREAD: Uni-thread 8/0, lt. cahill(yellow)
TAIL: light to medium blue dun hackle fibers
WING: flourescent white antron
HACKLE: light to medium blue dun
BODY: Umpqua superfine dubbing, sulphur orange
(1) I like to tie the tails in first. Use whatever method
you like best to split them.
(2) Wind the thread two thirds up toward the eye. Tie in a
strand of antron approx. 1" long as you would a spinner wing. Use a
minimum number of wraps to figure 8 it in place, then take one turn of
thread in front of it.
(3)Grasp both ends of the wing and rotate it 180 deg. so
that it now lies in the same spent position, but UNDERNEATH the hook
shank. Pull both ends of the wing together into the vertical position
and wrap up the column to form the post. Be sure to wrap high enough
that a small part of the post will stick above the dubbed body when it's
applied. Finish the wrap at the base of, and in front of,the wing. Leave
the wing untrimmed for the moment.
(4) Select an appropriate size hackle and strip away the
fibers from the stem where it will be tied in.(One of the things I like
about the parachute style is that it allows a little flexibility in
choosing hackle length.The standard sizing techniques apply, but erring,
especially on the slightly long side will still work.) Tie the hackle in
vertically, tight against, and in front of, the wing base, with the
shiney side facing you. There should be a length of stripped stem
between the hook shank and the first barbules equal to the height of the
wraps on the wing post. Keeping the hackle vertical, pull it to the far
side of the wing. Wrap the thread clockwise around the wing post and
the hackle stem to the top of the original wraps,then back down and
around the hook shank again behind the wing.
(5) Dub the body, building a gradual taper to the wing
base. Take a few turns of thread forward to the eye of the hook and then
dub back to the wing base. Take one turn of thread clockwise around the
wing post so that the thread is hanging down in front of the wing and on
the side of the hook facing you.
(6)Wrap the hackle clockwise around the post, working down
to the body. (3-5 turns is usually enough) The last turn should end on
your side of the hook. Keep the hackle tip pulled straight down and take
2 or 3 turns of thread, also clockwise, around the post to tie the
hackle off and end with the thread on the far side of the hook, behind
the wing. Pull the thread out of the way and snip off the excess hackle
(7) One long spiral turn of the thread gets you to the eye
of the hook. Build a small head and whip finish.
(8) Trim the wing to proper length and barber to suit your
NOTE: depending on your views on cement, there are three places it
can be used to make the fly a little sturdier-(1)to fix the split
tails;(2)at the wing base/post before the body is dubbed; and (3) on the
COMMENTS: At first glance this is just a standard looking
parachute pattern, but there are a couple of things that make it just a
Using a #14 short shank hook gives the body size of a #16
but with a bigger bite. The flourescent antron wing is also a departure
from the traditional colors. The naturals have a medium gray wing. Here
in Pa. this hatch takes place in the evening, with the activity steadily
increasing 'til dark. The last 10-15 min. before dark are often the most
fast and furious. The white poly is more easily seen at this time. In
fact, I'm told by some others who have tried it that flourescent yellow
stands out even better because it can be distinguished from the white
flecks of foam also floating down the stream. As long as the size and
shape is right, the trout don't seem to mind the different color wing.
I've used the white with much success. I haven't tried the yellow yet.
I'll report on that next May.
The method I described for making the wing post and tying
in the hackle is also different from more traditional techniques. One of
the reasons I decided on a parachute pattern for the swap was because it
was a style I don't usually tie very often. I didn't tie it much because
the method I learned(from Eric Lieser's book, eons ago) made tying off
the hackle very awkward. In a search for more info I talked to Doug
Wennick, at Flyfisher's Paradise tackle shop here in State
College.(Yes,that's a plug for the shop and also a byline for Doug!...
standard disclaimer here- no affiliation except for the cash I leave
there on a regular basis.) Doug showed me the technique for making the
post and tying the hackle off to it instead of the hook shank. It wasn't
hard to learn and really simplifies this tying style. I asked, and he
was glad to share this with us.
Tied by Wally H. Lutz (Edson Alberta CAN)
HOOK: Mustad #94840 #16 to #8 and for tying in the inverted
position, 94842 #14, #16.
THREAD: black or match body colour
TAIL: dark brown breast feather from a Mallard drake.
RIB: (optional) monofilament or tying thread; (fly works fine
BODY: two slips of light brown flank feather, from a Chinese
HEAD: tying thread.
1: Optional rib, leave a longer tag end in the tying thread,
(for the rib) when making the fly's thread foundation on the hook shank;
not something I do often, but does make it more durable.
2: Peel the fluff off the stem of a Mallard breast feather,
down to where the dark brown starts. On each side of the stem, pull
barbules back against the stem, against the grain. Leave the "V" tip of
the feather as long as the length of the flies body. Hold the feather in
this position and attach to the rear of the hook; so that the part
pulled back against the stem sits out beyond and over the rear of the
hook. The extending "V" shaped feather tip requires trimming. Be careful
to leave one barbule on each side of the feather stem attached to the
rear of the fly, as tails.
3: Secure 1/2 inch section of pheasant flank, by the tips, to
the top of shank, at the point where the tail meets the hook.
4: Turn hook over in vice.
5: Secure another 1/2 inch section of pheasant flank to the
bottom of the hook shank; at the point where the tail meets the hook.
6: Attach a single dry quality hackle feather, on the shank
below where the barb ends, and wrap it to the head of the fly.
7: With the hook still in the inverted position separate the
hackles and fold the pheasant flank between the hackles to divide them.
Tie off bottom slip of pheasant flank at head.
8: Turn the hook over and separate the hackles. Fold the
pheasant flank between them and secure the top slip of pheasant flank.
The fly should now have a very definite separation in the right and left
sides of the hackle. Wrap in the rib. Whip finish with a double whip,
(do the whip twice) turn the fly over in the vice, I like to sharpen it
now; seems that if I sharpen it before I usually end up cutting the
thread on the sharpened hook.
My contribution fly is called "Smoky May," its inspiration
came from several sources: "The Stillborn" patterns by Swisher &
Richards, and the "Unfinished Fly," pattern by Vincent Marinaro.
Combined here is the unique, life like buoyant tail, of a "Stillborn,"
with a wing that duplicates the "Unfinished Fly," by creating "light
condensers" for a natural surface view. Further research found other
authorities referring to the same type of hackle configuration and it's
productive abilities. Richard Talleur presents the "Hendrickson V
Hackle" fly in his book, Mastering the Art of Fly Tying. During
construction, this fly has the body dubbing wound through the hackle to
separate it into two distinct sides on the thorax, just like Marinaro's
fly. Talleur describes it as "a truly convincing fly." Leonard M. Wright
Jr. in Fly-Fishing Heresies, refers to Vincent Marinaro's fly, and
agrees that it "produces a more realistic light pattern, also a more
accurate representation of the natural fly's spraddled legs." His
pronouncement is "extremely killing especially in the smaller sizes."
Randall Kaufmann's new book, Tying Dry Flies refers to Marinaro's fly
and introduces a fly called "Olive Thorax." Constructed, with the hackle
cut out from the bottom of the thorax in an inverted "V," by design the
fly "presents a bolder body outline." The "Compara-spinner" found in
Hatches II by Al Caucci & Bob Nastasi, is also a hackle only fly, that
is clipped into shape. Al and Bob's conclusion is; "Through the years we
have found that the ovipositing or spent spinners of the various mayfly
species usually produce the most reliable rise of trout." Guide to
Aquatic Trout foods, by Dave Whitlock, is our source for "Dave's Fallen
Spinner," it utilises a hackle trimmed away on top and bottom of the
thorax. Whitlock asserts that it is an "improved design." Ernest
Schwiebert in his epic Trout, analyses several patterns that through
construction methods or judicious scissor work clip the hackle from the
bottom of the fly. A pattern by Harry Darrby mentioned in Trout , also
used the extended feather body in conjunction with clipped hackle. I
found the fly in Poul Jorgensen's Modern Trout Flies and how to tie
them, called "Jorgensen's Hackle spinner." It is tied the same way as I
tie mine, but with only one feather strip on top of the body, none on
the bottom and no rib. So what I thought was original thinking on my
part, only turns out to be another version of a fly that should be in
everybody's fly box.
The Smoky May parallels the hackle configuration of each of
the mentioned examples; in all of which, it is the hackle construction
that is the key to the fly's success. The Smoky is a simulator pattern,
as opposed to one that more directly imitates a specific species of
ephemeroptera. I have exploited this dry fly for five seasons, and it is
now my first choice Mayfly simulator/spinner pattern. It consistently
produces throughout the creek fishing season in my area.
Tied by Pat Orpen (Jonquiere Quebec CAN)
Thread-Orange Fl.(Uni 8/0)
Rib-Fine Copper Wire (sub. 4X mono)
Body-Royal using Fl. Orange Uni Stretch
Palmer-Furnace (sub chocolate Dun)
Hackle-Grizzly (wind thru thorax-spaced)
Thorax-Fl. Orange Antron (can sub Fl. Orange Stretch)
I have found best sizes locally 12's & smaller
Tied by Doug Melville (Thunder Bay Ontario CAN)
Hook: Mustad 94831 or equivalent, #10-#16
Thread: Fluorescent single strand lime floss, then 6/0 pre-waxed
Body: Lime floss
Wing: White calftail
Hackle: Barred ginger palmer style over body, brown at head
1. Tie in floss one third the way behind the eye of the hook and
wrap back to the bend. Create a tag part way down the bend. Tie in a
barred ginger hackle. Wrap the floss forward to the tie in point.
Continue wrapping the floss back and forth along the hook building up a
full well-tapered body. Control width of floss strand by twisting it
from time to time.
2. Palmer the barred ginger hackle forward and tie it off with
the floss. Tie in the olive thread.
3. Tie in the white calftail, tips extending slightly beyond the
bend of the hook. Cement wraps before trimming excess. Trim excess on
a slant to reduce bulk. Wrap well so none of the white calftail shows
and to create an even base for the next step.
4. Tie in the brown hackle at the same point as the wing. Select
an under sized hackle that will compensate for bulk at this point yet
will still cause the fishied fly to tilt slightly backwards. Wind in at
least five or six turns and whip finish.
The Lime Trude is one of the family of highly visible Trude
attractor patterns that includes the Royal, Adams, Brown etc. with many
new versions constantly being added. In addition to its use as a
searching fly, the pattern is useful during caddis hatches and hatches
of Lime or Yellow Sally Stoneflies.
Tied by Chris Knight (Syracuse NY)
Hook: Daiichi 1100 (wide gape, big eye, 1X fine) or equivalent
Thread: Yellow 8/0 Unithread
Tail: Mixed grizzly and dun hackle fibers
Body: Medium olive dubbing.I used either (or both) beaver or
Wing: Grizzly hackle tips (the tiny feathers at base of neck
Hackle: Mixed grizzly and dun.
(1) With #22 OBAs (and any other tiny fly), any extra or wasted
wraps of thread/material become a hindrance. If the fly starts
getting out of proportion or lumpy, it's best to stop right then
and fix the problem or you'll have helluva time finishing the
(2) My experiences fishing with 22OBAs strongly suggests that
wings are optional. If you have problems tying them in, just omit
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This page compiled by Rick Lalliss for the FF@ Dry Fly Swap.
Copyright 1995, Rick Lalliss and Respective Authors