Sunday, September 4, 2011
Fly Box Dad
Hook: Tiemco 8089 (Size 10)
Thread: 6/0 Uni (Camel)
Claws: Pheasant Rooster Tail
Head/Body: Brown Leech Yarn
Shell: Pheasant Rooster Tail
Segment: Medium Copper Wire
Weight: Small Hourglass (Flattened)
This is my version of Skip's Dad by famed fly tyer Skip Morris. Joe Cornwall first made me aware of this pattern in his book Fly Fishing Warm Water River. Under a strike indicator this one is deadly!
First off I loved the pincher's because they are small. Pheasant tail fibers are the perfect choice to form the claws, the key is to keep them from looking too menacing.
At the vise I had a few problems with the original pattern. The body in the original craw was dubbed, but I found it to be hard to bulk up. My flies always seems to look too thin for my liking. I grabbed you stash of brown leech yarn and quickly solved the problem. Leech yarn is buggy, cheap and bulletproof, perfect for the Fly Box Dad.
I also took a ball peen hammer to the hourglass weight and flattened it out! Now the craw sits perfectly flat on the bottom of the river. Take your weight, put it on a smooth surface (anvil) and give it a few whacks. You'll be left with a flat weight that will always ride correctly. You can see the difference in the picture if you look closely. One weight is left round and the other is flat. This is a small improvement to the original, but I think it is important.
Lastly, I didn't like the hook in the original pattern. Once the body was fattened up it tended to crowd out the gap. The Tiemco 8089 always solves my hook gap problems. The 8089 is a fantastic choice for smallmouth flies!
Lastly, I have been painting my weights lately - something I just never took the time to do in the past. My wife's nail polish has "accidentally" made a home in my fly tying box. The stuff is cheap, comes in a million colors and as far as I can tell pretty durable. Nail polish dries extremely fast too! Ward Bean uses nail polish on his poppers, so I thought why not use it on my crawdads.
This is not a new pattern - I am not claiming to be the creator. It is my rendition of a classic fly that is a killer. The pincher's are kind of a drag to get right at first, but once you get a few under your belt it is a breeze.