Don's Fly Tying - Fred's Improved Fly

[Fred's Improved Fly]

Again we will defer our Atlantic Salmon fly series to look at a real winner for Okanagan high altitude lakes! Thankfully I did not win the High Lakes Telephone fishing derby for the fourth year in a row as the task of organizing next year's derby will rest with Gerry Leamont. However, Fred McCrae again took second place honours in Doreen Lake with a variation of his spun deer hair dragonfly nymph featured in the August 2004 article. This year his fly was trimmed smoother with black felt pen eyes. We will now review what I refer to as an improved version of Fred's fly that features burned eyes made from nylon "weed eater" cord. This fly has proven to be a winner for Fred year after year so it deserves much closer inspection!



Before placing a hook in your vice, fire up a butane torch in a well ventilated area. Cut a piece of weed eater nylon and with a pair of needlenose pliers, touch the cord end to the flame to make a "bulb" at the end. Then cut the cord very short and burn a bulb on the other end. The nylon now connecting the two bulbs or eyes will only be about 1/8 inch long, just enough to show the eyes on both sides of the hook eye when tied in. After tying the nylon eyes across the hook eye perpendicular to the hook shank, re-attach your thread to the shank near the hook bend. Cut a piece of mule deer hair and spin it to the shank. Half hitch your tying thread just forward and spin on another clump of deer hair. As you continue spinning clumps of deer hair onto the shank, push each piece tightly back towards the hook bend. Keep spinning more clumps until the shank is filled right to the nylon eyes just behind the hook eye. Now the fun begins! Trim the deer hair carefully to form a long, slim dragonfly body! Fred tells me that the small fish seem to leave this fly alone but the big ones attack it with a vengeance!

Your comments are welcome at "dhaaheim at telus dot net"

Http:// -- Revised: July 5, 2005
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