Dry fly indicates that this type of fly is ment to float.


HOOK;---------- Dry fly size 10-18
THREAD:-------- Black
WING:---------- Wood duck flank (Sub: Mallard dyed wood duck)
TAIL:----------- Brown hackle fibers
BODY:---------- Dark gray dubbing
HACKLE:-------- Brown hackle fibers

The Dark Hendrickson flies not only imitates the dark phases of the genus Ephemerella, but also represents a number of other early season gray colored mayflies. The size of the pattern is important when imitating a particular hatch. For our purposes, we will tie our flies on a size 8 hook. It is easier and you will see the proportions better.

Affix a dry fly hook in your vise hiding the barb with in the vise itself.

1. Place the thread against the shank of the hook at an angle just behind the eye.

2. Wind the thread over itself. The winds should be made rearward to just be on the start of the bend. About six to eight turns around the shank. Now wind the thread back to the center of the base of thread you have just formed. This is the foundation upon which we will build our tail body and wing.

NOTE: All turns of the thread which tie in materials are made in a clockwise motion in turns winding away from yourself – unless otherwise noted.

NOTE: All directions are reversed for left handed tiers.

THE TAIL of the dry fly

1. Choose a fairly large brown heckle feathers. You need a feather with fairly long fibers protruding from the stem. As you did with the mallard flank feather, align the tips in the brown feather and hold them firmly between your left thumb and forefinger. Now cut a section about ¼ “ wide. The cut should be made next to the stem.

2. Manipulate the fibers so they form one compact unit and hold them just above the shank of the hook all most touching. The tips should extend past the bend and the tail (when tied in), should be as long as the hook shank. The butt ends should began about ¼ the distance from the hook eye to the bend on the shank.

3. Tie the tail fibers of this dry fly to the shank by running the thread up over the fibers pinching it with your thumb and index finger making a small loop and than down again pinching it with your thumb and index finger again, under the shank and than pull straight up and do a few more turns to the right. This should put the tail fibers on top of the shank.

If you haven’t clipped the butt ends before, now is the time to do so. Take an additional two turns of thread over the butt ends of the tail fibers (what you are really doing is getting off the Fly Fishing ''Fly Tying Basics'' Instructional Video - DVDtail and back on which makes for a more secure tie.) and then spiral the thread to the ¼ mark just down the shank from the eye. Let your thread dangle from the center of the shank for now.

THE BODY of the dry fly

The body of this dry fly pattern is formed by spinning dubbing onto the thread, and then winding the thread along the hook shank. An important rule to remember when applying dubbing fur is to use as little as possible. It is always easier to add more rather than have to remove an excess.

Hold the bobbin firmly and keep the thread taut between the hook shank and the bobbin. You may have to shorten up on the bobbin. In other words, try to keep the thread length between tip of bobbin and thread no more than 2 or 3 inches. It makes for easier spinning.

Place the dubbing against the thread and twist it around the thread with your thumb and forefinger. Always twist in one direction only. (Your finger should slide over your thumb as you spin on the fur. Don’t be afraid to use a little pressure.)

Try to keep the spun fur very thin on that portion of thread nearest the shank. It should become heavier as it nears the bobbin. Forming a rough taper now will save some time later.

When the fur has been spun on the thread, grasp the bobbin and wind rearward toward the bend. Time the arrival of your thread at the bend with the beginning of that section on which the fur has been spun. Now wind the thread forward to a point just behind the wings. (If you run out of dubbed thread, just add a mite more dubbing to it.) If you have performed it correctly, your body should look like the one in the illustration.

THE WING of the dry fly

Weather you tie the wing in first on your dry fly or last does not make it right or wrong. Exceptions to the rule are, a dry fly such as the Irresistible, which require a clipped and trimmed deer hair body. In this case, the wings would get in the way of the trimming. Normally the wing on the Dark Hendrickson (and other dry flies) is made from the lemon/brown flank feather of a drake wood duck. These feathers, however, are not as plentiful as mallard, and thus more expensive. We are going to use mallard flank, which has been dyed to a wood duck shade.

Grasp the feather in the center and fan the tips so that they are evenly aligned. Now hold them in that position firmly.

Cut a section of the aligned fibers from the flank feather. The width of the section should be approximately 3/8 “ to ½ “ wide. ( keep the tips aligned while you are cutting out the section.)Bunch the fibers together to form a clump. Place the clump of fibers on top of the hook shank with the tips extending out over the eye of the hook.

While you are holding the clump of fibers on top of the hook shank with your left thumb and forefinger, grasp your bobbin with your right hand and bring the thread up along the pad of your left thumb, over the top of the hook shank, then down against the pad of your left finger, then under the hook and, then up once more past and against your thumb pad and pull taut. To repeat, it is one and a half turns around the shank between your fingers and the final pull, which secures the clump of fibers to the shank. (Tension is eased slightly as the thread passes between thumb and finger). Now take two more turns of thread around the same area for security.

Once the clump of flank fibers has been lashed to the shank, the tips are raised vertically with the left hand digits and more turns of thread are taken directly in front of the clumped wing. The turns of thread in front of the clump are necessary in order to keep the clump erect.

The wing is now ready to be divided.

With your fingers, or with your dubbing needle, separate the fibers of the clump into two equal parts. (approximately equal).When they have been separated, hold the divided section neatest you between your left thumb and forefinger and pull it gently toward you. Grasp your bobbin and bring the thread through the division diagonally from front to rear.

Now grasp the far section of the wing and hold it slightly away from you. Bring your thread under the hook shank in back of the wings, up the near side, and then diagonally through the division from rear to front. Repeat the procedure one more time to securely separate the two sections. You have just completed a normal figure 8 for dividing wings.

Bring the thread in back of the wings once more and bind down the base of the butts directly in back of the wing. The excess butts should now be trimmed away. However, depending on the length of the tail to be tied in next, do not necessarily cut them off right behind the wing. In other words, if your tail fibers are too short, allow the butts of the wing to extend farther back along the shank so they will make a smooth connection with the butts of the tail. After you’ve tied two or three flies, you will know exactly where to clip the excess butts.

THE HACKLE of the dry fly

The hackle collar, along with tail, is what supports the dry fly. They should be in such proportion to each other that when the dry fly alight on the water (or a desk top) the hook barely touched.

Wing a hackle collar is easy. And, in a way, it’s kind of fun to watch the individual fibers radiate from the shank as the turns are being made. Pick up the brown colored hackle and choose two feathers. The radius of the hackle fibers should be about ¾ the length of the wing.

Determine where the major portion of the web part of the hackle ends and trim the fibers from both sides of each stem from the point down toward the butt. ( You will only need one quarter inch of this area for tying in.)

Place the two hackles back to back. (Shiny side to shiny side.) Place the trimmed butts against the hook shank slanting them diagonally downward toward the eye from a point just behind the wings. Take a turn of thread around the trimmed butts in the area just behind the wings.

Bring the thread in front of the wings and take two more turns around the trimmed butts. Now clip the excess butt material just before the eye of the hook.

Pick up your hackle pliers and grasp the tip of the hackle feather nearest you and lift it straight up. Now wind it around the shank of the hook in turns going away from. Take two turns of hackle in back of the wings and two turns in front. This is a generalization. (Sometimes I find that I may make more turns in back then I do in front. It all depends on how well and where the wing was previously tied in. You will find that you can cheat a little as your tying progresses). As you make the turns of hackle around the hook shank, don’t be afraid to twist the hackle feather from one side or the other in order to keep the fibers radiating outward at a near perfect right angle. Some hackles tend to fight you. Fight back.

When you have wound the first hackle the required turns around the shank, hold it up and take two turns of thread around the portion of the tip next to the shank. Now clip the excess tip. Wind the second hackle in the same manner. As you wind it through the fibers of the first hackle, give it a little wiggle so that it settles in between the fibers of the first hackle. (It will, in fact, bush them out slightly and make a fuller dry fly.) Again, when you’ve completed winding the second hackle… clip the excess tip.With your thread, take only enough turns around the head of the dry fly to smooth out any crevices or exposed materials. The head of the dry fly should never be built up with thread just to make a head. It should be as free and clean as possible.Instructions for the whip finish knot have been given separately. If you have practiced them… finish the dry fly, preferably with a whip finish knot. Snip the excess thread.With your dubbing needle, apply a touch of head cement to the final windings at the head of the dry fly.

The secret to successful fly tying is simply to tie as much as possible, to keep the fingers working until they become educated. It really does get so much easier as you go along and it follows that it also becomes more and more enjoyable. If you persevere and reach the point where you can tie the foregoing pattern reasonable well… you can automatically tie a number of other patterns. The only difference will be in the use of other materials or differently shaded ones.

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