Discovering Fly Fishing
Jason Akl's Article Archive
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Building an Epoxy Drier
Red Barron Epoxy Minnow |
Canyon Pockets of Water
Organization Is The Key |
Madam X Hopper Pattern
| Softex Spawn
By: Jason Akl
In you were to get a sneak peak into
fishermans' fly boxes across the country, I am sure you would see a lot of
the same types of flies. Hares Ear's, Prince nymph's and Wulff dry flies
would definitely make up a large portion of flies in these boxes. Just as
I am sure that these fly boxes will be holding a bunch of classic fish
catchers; I am also sure that a few out of the norm patterns are present
for when all others fail. The swinger wet fly pattern is just such a fly,
a pattern to use when all others seem to be ignored.
The swinger pattern was originally designed to imitate adult craneflies (Tipulidae)
that had fallen to the waters surface. Craneflies spend most of their
lives feeding and living around woodland areas and water, so naturally
fish along with birds see these good-sized insects as a tasty treat. Of
course this pattern is not an exact imitation of a cranefly but it has
everything it needs to catch big trout. The soft dubbed body gives the fly
a realistic feel in the fish's mouth while the undulating stripped hackle
legs can entice even the most lethargic fish.
Fishing this fly is done much like any other wet fly. Cast the fly
upstream and across from your position, and create a drag free drift
downstream. It is preferable to keep the fly in the surface film if
possible, but if the fly sinks a few inches or so it won't lose any of its
fish catching potency. Adding a little floatant to the grouse soft hackle
of the fly will help to keep it riding high in the water column for hours
on end. Make sure that you let the fly finish its drift completely before
collecting and recasting you line. Many times fish will follow the fly out
of sight, and at the last minute near the end of the swing come up and
take the fly. Some of the best action produced from this fly is created
while the fly swings because the water currents help to give life-like
movements to the stripped hackle legs.
Even though craneflies are found only during the summer months you can try
using this fly anytime of the year when you are running into picky fish.
Chances are that fish in your local waters have not seen this fly pattern
or any patterns like it, so it might just have what it takes to get the
bite going for you.
Materials Used in the Swinger Fly Pattern
Hook: Mustad Size 12
Thread: Uni-Thread Size 8/0
Butt: Pale Yellow Rabbit Dubbing
Body: Tan Rabbit Dubbing
Legs: Four Stripped Grouse Soft Hackles
Hackle: Soft Grouse Wing Feather
Start this fly by placing the hook into your vice and securing it tightly
so that it does not move up or down. After the hook is in place, collect
four white tipped grouse soft hackles. Strip these four hackles so that
only the last 5-7 hackle barbs are left. Once the hackle stems are
completely cleaned; set these four hackles aside for use later.
Attach the 8/0 Uni-thread behind the hook eye and wrap down to the back of
the hook. Wax and pinch dub the thread with the pale yellow rabbit
dubbing. Wrap the dubbed thread half way down the hook bend and create a
small ball of yellow dubbing.
After you are satisfied with the yellow dubbing ball, clean your thread of
the remaining yellow dubbing and this time pinch dub the thread with tan
rabbit dubbing. Proceed to wrap the dubbed thread up the hook shank till
you reach the ¼ mark on the hook shank. The body of the fly should have a
slight taper towards the front of the hook and have nice thick dubbed
Get the hackle legs that you stripped earlier and set aside. Tie two legs
onto each side of the fly (on each side you should have one hackle leg on
the top and one on the bottom). Make sure that each of the hackle stems is
tightly bound down. Soft hackles have a habit of slipping out from the fly
just after you finish tying off the fly. A good idea is to place a drop of
head cement on the tie down point for the hackles just to be sure that
everything stays in place.
Select a medium sized grouse soft hackle for the fly and stroke the fibers
towards the top of the feather. Tie in the soft hackle tip first and make
a few hackle stretches to ensure the hackle will wrap smoothly in the
direction you want. Take two turns with the hackle around the hook shank
and tie off. Be careful of how far you wrap the hackle on the hook shank.
You want to end up with a spare hackle and a neat small head.
Clip the excess hackle stem and wrap the thread back onto the hackle to
create a swept look to the fly. Build a small head for the fly, whip
finish and cement.
Tight lines and Smooth threads