Aside from the awesome name, this fly has proven itself on western waters as a very effective attractor and indicator. It has the trifecta of floatation devices; long, bushy hackle, synthetic wings, and elk hair. It also sports a flashy krystal flash tail and ice dubbed body drawing the fish’s attention. It does everything you want and more because it looks like a down-wing caddis or even a mayfly from the right angle. It’s one of the more fun “jewelry box” flies to tie and it’s work keeping a couple in your box for those days where nothing is hatching.
Begin with the thread just behind the eye and wrap rearward stopping at the 1/4-of-a-hook-shank mark. For my synthetic wing, I use white McFlylon. Cut a 2-3″ length and using scissors, make sure all of the strands are separated. I double-over the McFlylon around my thread and make two cross-wraps over the wing to bind it to the hook.
Then, I take two wraps UNDER both wings to lift them up off of the hook shank a little before making one more cross wrap. I like a nice, tight base to my wing so I’ll make two wraps around the base (where the wings meet the hook) to make them nice and neat.
I’ll then take my thread rearward to just behind the wings. Using a single strand of krystal flash, I keep doubling and halving it until there are approximately eight short, individual strands. I begin binding them to the shank building up a nice tail.
Starting at the krystal flash tie-in point, I’ll dub the thread and make wraps forward toward the wing. Some will argue a slightly tapered body looks nicer while others will tie a uniformed-thickness body. It’s an attractor and I don’t really think it matters.
With your thread just behind the wing, cut a pencil-width clump of elk hair. Clean the hair really well and stack it so the tips are all aligned. The McFlylon will pose a problem if you tie the hair in before trimming it. I’ll measure the hair to extend behind the hook bend and then trim it. This gives the hair a nice squared off head in which you can wrap through with your thread. This will later serve as a nice base for the hackle.
Once the hair is tied in and a base formed for the hackle, tie in a slightly oversized hackle. Trim off the stem and then advance your thread to just behind the eye. The key to making this attractor float so well is to build a dense hackle collar. Try to get three complete turns of hackle behind the wing and then three in front.
Capture your hackle behind the eye of the hook and trim the excess. Then, while pushing the hackle back, make a nice neat head with the thread and snip it off close to the eye.
For durability, you can use a drop of head cement as I have done.
The best way to describe this fly is if Elton John got a hold of a Royal Wulff fly and put his own twist on the idea. As you can see, it’s big, will float, and will get the attention of anything in its path.
Thread: UTC 70, Red
Hook: R50-94840 Size 12
Tail: Krystal Flash (Red Pearl or Solid Red)
Body: Ice Dub (Peacock)
Wing: White McFlylon
Down-Wing: Ginger Elk Hair
Hackle: Grizzly (Size 10)