Do you love big bluegill?
I stopped off at the pond at work today. I started off with a popper, and caught a Hybrid sunnie, a Bluegill or two, and missed at least one fish. Decided to switch over to a "Flicted Damselfly" pattern I found a couple months ago. It's an extended body nymph tied with marabou, and bead-chain eyes.
The fish went wild over it! I actually saw at least one wake of a fish rushing in to eat this bug. I caught a couple more big Hybrid Sunnies, and several Bluegill, with several missed fish or fish that came unbuttoned. They were absolutely INHALING this bug. I had to get my forceps out to remove the fly several times. When the Hybrid sunnies would hit, I actually thought I had a LMB, from the pressure that was being exerted on my 8wt!
I didn't get any pics of the fish. I need to tie up a few more of these flies. When I did my initial tie of this pattern, I only did three, and have since lost two to the weeds and brush.
It's all the same feather. I make the tail with the tip of a marabou feather, but don't cut the rest off. Half-hitch around the feather on the needle to secure the thread (it's to big for my whip-finisher). When I attach the tail to the hook, I lay the feather shaft on top of the hook, just past where the tail is gathered together. Once I've secured the feather to the hook, then I twist it to form a marabou "rope". If you tie the tail to the hook, where it's been wrapped together on the needle, the tail will be rather stiff; by securing it to the hook where I do, there is a little more flexibility, and the tail can "wag" a bit, like the actual nymph does when swimming.
This fly looks great! I want to try to tie this. What is a cheap source for some marabou? And can bead chain be found at craft stores?
Bead chain is extremely cheap, either from a hardware store (by the foot), or just go to Wally World, where the ceiling fans are, and pick up a section of bead chain. I'm using the dark nickel-finish here.
You can get packages of really cheap marabou at Micheal's, Hobby Lobby, etc. However, you have to be careful with it. Most of that marabou has really short barbules (fibers), and a rather long, thick, shaft. In the pic I posted, I was using some premium fly-tying marabou that I got at BPS. The barbules (feather fibers) are longer and fluffier, and the shaft is shorter and thinner. This makes it easier to make a marabou "rope" with the feather, as well as palmer the feather when I'm custom-dressing treble hooks.
No, and no :)
When I tie the tail up, I tend to wrap it rather tightly, compressing the feather fibers. When I remove it from the needle, those fibers will fluff up a bit, filling the thread wraps. The trick is known how tight is "just right" so that the tail stays flexible, instead of stiff. You want the tail to waggle a bit when the fly is twitched.