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Thread: #32 late-phase emerger SBS

  1. #1

    #32 late-phase emerger SBS

    Just re-registered, thought I'd better add a little content....

    Here goes...

    This is a simple design - and a robust, surface drifter. Tailing adds stability and a dense, palmered hackle keeps the fly up-top. Footprint is everything at this scale and this design produces a messy dimple with blood red microfibbets and the barred teal barbs providing subtle, effective triggers. It's also broadly generic and covers late-phase emergence of most flies, including Diptera despite the inclusion of tails. I'll add wings in #20 - #26 to cover duns. Match colours for local requirements, you know the drill....

    It's a quick and simple tie in #32, and one of the simplest micro-flies to fish. The light dun hackle is visible up to 15' against a dark backdrop - either fading light or the heavily brushed streams I hang out on. Varivas 8X Super Midge tippet is rated 2.05lb so you should be able to fish with confidence on most small, wild streams across the UK and Ireland. Can't speak for our cousins Stateside...?

    Hook: TMC 518 #32
    Thread: Uni Trico 17/0
    Shuck: Teal barbs x 2
    Tailing: Blood red microfibbets
    Hackle: Whiting Bronze Grade midge saddle, light dun

    I like to start at the eye, and lay a bed of thread to the bend, like priming a canvas or greasing the cake tin. Catch in two teal barns with a single trun of thread.

    Next, catch in two microfibbets over the teal. These are drawn between thumb nail and pad of forefinger to add some curve. And I don't line them up, make one a little shorter. Not all triggers demand flash, pop or fizz.

    Catch in your hackle concave edge down, or shiny side up and bring the thread forward level with the point. Take care with every wrap, if you brush the point you'll shread 17/0 thread.

    Lightly dub natural mole and a touch of Fly-rite clear antron. The antron binds the dubbing and adds a hint of flash. If you dub mole very lightly it adopts an almost spikey finish, like the heavier furs used in Czech nymphs - but in microcosm.

    Form a neat profile as you dub the body. Abdomen and thorax are one and the same on this design. And keep the eye clear, the hackle has yet to be tied off.

    Palmer the hackle forward just short of the eye, the stem adds subtle segmentation to the body so keep the turns tight but open.

    Darken the thread with permanent marker before lashing down the hackle and whip-finishing, 2 or 3 turns is fine if you tease the finish tight. You could leave it at that but genetic hackle is stiff and the gap is crowded so I'll trim the under-side to open things up and improve the footprint.

    This basic design covers maybe 90% of my fishing in sizes #20 - #32. I still fish #24 - #28 paraduns because they are so pretty, and #26 - #32 spent spinners because at last light it just feels right. But I could likely fish an entire season with this basic design. It's all I've fished so far this year, so......

    Next project involves a Sage TXL 363-3 blank and some custom fittings... my lips are sealed :-X

    Hope you're all well.


  2. #2
    Another fantastic piece of tying Andy !!!!!!!!! Will have to put a few of these Andy Baird Specials in my Midge box !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. #3
    I hope you dont mind me asking the actual measurements of that spec of fluff , and what sort of size trouts that eat it . Ive never tied below an English # 20 , and only used # 20 once in NZ ( A couple of times in the USA)

  4. #4
    Hi willowgrub - sorry for the late reply, good question. A #20 is a uniquely versatile scale to fish almost anywhere to close-range trout. I've had to fish more high water this year than usual. As soon as the colour drops, you can cover most hatches - a small fly (with a well executed footprint and drift) among larger naturals is a magical trigger. Same philosophy of approach applies when fishing #32's through a spinner fall of true #26-#28 naturals. I think the TMC518 #32 has a shaft of approx 1.5mm, I've heard it called a short shank #28...

  5. #5

    I really appreciate the qualities and the craftsmanship of your flies. I'll tie up a selection of this pattern in different colors, are you familiar with Nature Spirits Bleached and Dyed Peacock Herl...come in a large variety of colors. These are perfect for stripped quill bodies. My friend John Larson talks very highly of you, can't wait to see the flies from the swap.

    Tight Lines,
    Rick Takahashi

  6. #6
    Hi Rick - thanks for that, made my evening.

    I'll look up the stripped herl from Natures Spirit. I've only had access to dyed herls that do need some treatment with Dilly Wax to avoid splitting during the wrap.

    I'll work on a fly set for you through the Spring and Summer. The first set of swap flies are still out there somewhere, so the back up set were a touch rushed....

    You know, I still dip in to Modern Midges most weeks. There's always something new that has been overlooked during previous visits to those glossy pages. A brilliant work.

    Thanks again, enjoy the Spring.


  7. #7
    Nice fly may have to add some to my midge box

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