This small Charlie Craven pattern could be anyone of many mayflies or midges. It is a pattern that is good in faster water as the two bead help to sink the fly quickly. Try using various body colors such as olive, tan or other.
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|Hook:||Various hooks such as the TMC 2499 or TMC 3769.
|Thread:||Brown 8/0 or smaller
|Wings Pad:||Medium Opal Mirage Tinsel
|Body:||Brown tying thread
|Tail:||Brown India Hen Back fiber or equivalent
|Rib:||X-SM black wire or 14/0 black thread
|Thorax: ||Rusty Brown Superfine dubbing
|Legs: ||Brown India Hen Back fiber or equivalent
|Coating:||5 minute epoxy
Fish under an indicator.
- Pinch the hook barb (so the small beads will fit over the barb) and slide two 1/16 or 5/64 tungsten beads onto the hook. Slide the beads up to the eye and start the thread behind the second bead. Wrap a smooth thread base back to the bend.
- Even the tips of four hen back feather fibers by pulling them out at a right angle to the stem of the feather. Strip the fibers from the stem, measure them against the shank so they are one half a shank length long and tie them in at the bend of the hook.
- Wrap forward over the butt ends of the tail fibers to the beads and clip the excess tailing. Tie in a six inch length of black 14/0 thread or black wire at the back of the bead on either the top or the near side of the hook.
- Wrap back over the black thread to the bend of the hook, then return the thread to the back of the beads, building a slight taper as you go.
- Spiral wrap the black thread rib forward over the abdomen up to the back of the bead and tie it off with a couple turns of thread. Clip the excess black thread.
- Move the thread back over the front of the abdomen to approximately the 50/50 point on the shank. Tie in a piece of medium Opal Mirage tinsel so it lies flat on the top of the fly at the fifty-fifty point.
- Dub the thread with a VERY thin strand of dubbing and build a small ball, about the same diameter as the bead, from the fifty percent point to just short of the back edge of the bead.
- Reach in with your fingernail and slide the second bead back tight to the front edge of the dubbing ball. Jump the dubbed thread forward over the bead to the space between the beads. The thread should cross across the bottom of the bead to help hide this bead in the thorax.
- Make several light turns of dubbing between the beads to build the shank diameter up a bit. It doesn't need to be as big as the beads are, but close to that is about right.
- Peel a generous clump of hen back fibers from the feather as you did with the tail, again, making sure the tips are even. Try to keep these fibers laying parallel to one another in a "sheet".
- Use the tips of your scissors to divide this "sheet" of fibers equally in half. Keep the fibers pinched in the tips of your thread hand fingers, using the scissors to separate the bunch.
- Now, place the sheet of fibers on the top of the shank with one half the fibers on either side of the shank. Tilt the fibers slightly toward you a bit to counter-act the thread torque when tied down so they stay centered.
- Measure the tips of the hen fibers so they reach back to about the hook point, then grab them with your material hand and hold them in place on either side of the hook (keeping them slightly off center toward you).
- Now, without removing your fingers from the fibers make a wrap over the hen fibers to bind them down behind the first bead. The thread torque should pull them a bit to center them on either side of the thorax. Anchor the fibers in place with several more tight turns of thread.
- If needed, pull the butt ends of the fibers evenly to shorten the legs.
- Carefully clip the butt ends of the hen fibers as close to the bead as you can.
- Pull the Mirage Flash over the top of the thorax and tie it down tightly with two turns of thread.
- Pull the remaining butt end of the flash back over the top of the fly and bind it in place again with another couple of tight thread turns. Folding the flash like this really anchors it down.
- Whip finish the thread and clip it. Now, nick the edge of the flash with the tips of your scissors and tear the flash across the top of the fly, rather than just cutting it off. Nicking it will make it tear along the radius of the bead and make a clean smooth edge.
- Place a drop of 5-Minute epoxy on the back of the fly, coating from the back edge of the front bead all the way back to the bend of the hook and base of the tail. Only coat the top surface of the fly, don't go down around the sides.
Flies or materials are available at T. Hargrove Fly Fishing, Inc.
Saint Louis, Missouri 63144
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