Bill Nation was very careful in his fly tying research. He tested many variations before he was satisfied that his patterns would be productive flies, not only for himself, but also for his clients. The pattern that we will examine for March was meant to resemble the red dragonflies that are very common to many BC Interior lakes. The fact that these insects are usually hovering over the water surface did not seem to matter to Bill and in fact, when I have used this pattern, it indeed did catch fish! I will leave it for you to determine this for yourself but I have a feeling that you will not be disappointed!
Tie in a thin tail of brown barred mallard breast feather, not more than half the hook shank length. Place a piece of silver tinsel at the hook bend and then wind a second piece to make a silver wrap at least half way through to the hook eye. At this point, wind red wool or floss through to the hook eye and tie off. Now rib the silver tinsel hook bend to hook eye using 5 to 7 turns. Next, tie in a wing of brown mallard parallel to the body at the hook eye. A bit tricky now is the side wing of red goose. I find it easier to tie in the goose on each side of the wing as an individual step. At this point, using original black tying thread can be quite cumbersome as a much neater job can be done if modern day invisible mending thread is used instead. The final step is a full hackle with two or three turns of badger. Cement, tie off and you have completed one of Bill Nation's well known classic flies, Nation's Red.
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