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Creative Fly Tying Inspired By The Postman -  A Hot, New Nymph Design That Will Up Your Catch Rate!

Fly, Photography and Text by Joe Cornwall

For more than half a millennia history has recorded the efforts of anglers who've labored long and hard to create an artificial fly that will consistently fool fish.  There is no doubt that this quest started long, long before Dame Juliana put her quill to parchment in the fifteenth century.  Feathers from the most exotic birds, fur from the fiercest animals and contrivances from the hallowed halls of science have all been incorporated into the vast library of fly patterns into which we so casually reach for the magical offering to be tied to our tippets on the next outing.  It is truly ironic then that I bring you now a fly that is constructed of parts that have almost no bearing on the sport we love so well.  The hook - the spine of form for this bug - is designed for a Bassmaster's drop-shot technique.  The body is the detritus of the postman's delivery.  The collar is scraps from a cheap stole I purchased at a flea market years ago.  Only the thread and bead come from a fly shop.  And yet, even with it's obvious lack of pedigree, this fly calls to the avid angler.  It looks good.  It looks productive.  It looks "fishy"!!!

MATERIALS

Hook: Mustad Ultra Point Octopus Beak 1x Fine Wire 92604BLN or 92604R (red)
Thread: Black or Red 6/0 140 Denier
Body: Elastic band
Collar: Lightly dubbed natural rabbit, possum, mink or similar

Head: Medium copper or black bead
 

 

STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS

The form of a fly comes from the hook you use.  A classic full-dress salmon fly wouldn't look nearly as impressive if it were tied on a stainless steel saltwater hook, and a caddis pupa imitation loses something when it's tied on a straight shank hook.  The hook is the spine of the fly, choose the skeleton carefully and the fly will show the results.  Here I am using the Mustad Ultra Point Octopus Beak hooks. Normally used by bass fisherment employing drop shot techniques, this fine wire, ultimately sharp design is a perfect foil for the fly tyer.  Look in your local fishing emporium in the department where plastic worms are sold!

The irony of the Irony is that it won't cost you much.  The only material necessary is an ordinary elastic band.  I used the elastic bands that come wrapped around the piles and piles of junk mail I get every day. They work just fine and are FREE.  Experiment with different colors and thicknesses for different effects.

Here I am tying the Deep Irony.  The bead head will help this fly fish lower in the water column.  Without the bead it's just Irony.  On a red hook with red thread it's Bleeding Irony.  I suppose one could use red thread, a red hook and a bead resulting in Deep Bleeding Irony!  Place the bead on the hook and start your thread.  I like to use three or four turns of lead wire to help center the bead.

Cut the elastic band in half.  Then trim one end diagonally.  This is the point you will tie in to the shank of the hook.

After catching the elastic band under the thread, pull it tight and continue to wrap thread all the way down the bend of the hook.  This fly gets its shape from the hook, so you should use as much of the hook as you can.  Pulling the elastic band taught minimizes bulk.

Bring the thread back to a point right behind the bead.  Start wrapping the shank of the hook with the elastic band.  Use a lot of pressure to stretch the band in the beginning and slowly release the pressure as you wrap forward.  This will result in a very natural taper to the body. Ensure your wraps overlap by one-third the thickness of the band to get a nice ribbed effect that looks like the segments of a grub's body.

Here I am half-way wrapped.  Note how the body is starting to taper due to the changing tension on  the elastic band.  Also note the segmented effect from over wrapping.

The body is completely wrapped.  Pull the elastic band tight and secure it with three or four tight thread wraps.  Pull the tag end taught and clip it close to the thread, the elastic will pop right back under the thread leaving a clean tie-off point.

Add some dubbing to the thread.  Just a little will do, you want to suggest gills and legs, not give the fly a hairdo.  Here I am using a little bit of mink underfur that came from a moth-eaten stole I purchased at a yard sale for under a dollar.  Fly tying materials are where you find them!

Tie off the thread with a whip finish. Use a piece of Velcro to rough up the dubbing and provide a fuzzy collar.  Go fish!!!