O.K., its December…..I can reveal this fly and hopefully forget that I did by the time spring rolls along….
What, a standard dry fly? Yep. I’ve tried for years to prove this fly wrong. Yes, I know males are different in color than the females. I don’t like this fly for all the wrong reasons. Its not one of the deer hair or CDC-winged flies I love to fish so much…it uses hackle, and lots of it…its a traditional Catskill-type of fly. This spring I tried, for what will likely be the last time, to prove this IS NOT the best hendrickson dry….how COULD it be anyway? Well, for the fourth year in a row, I set out to design a better hendrickson dry than this. I caught several samples, dyed dubbing/goose biots, tied CDC and deer hair-winged comparaduns, parachutes, Klink-style ties, crippled emergers….all of the above with and without trailing shucks in pale and dark (to match the nymphs) Z-lon trailing shucks…I tried every idea I came up with and thought I had covered all the bases. On a very memorable day fishing the Credit, a few decent-sized browns began rising to the growing number of hendricksons that were drifting past. Time to unleash the GENIUS born on the vise mere days earlier. What a blow to the ego! They were TOTALLY refusing the fly in favor of the naturals. There were plenty on the water…OK.."time your cast Rob, wait until they’ve gone a minute or so without seeing a natural in that slow-moving bend in the river." Still, no takers. They were not all big, but I could tell there was at least one small trout splashing around. Even THAT fish would have nothing to do with….my…genius. Panic. Lots of risers, just what you dream of all winter long….and these were big Credit browns! I began searching for inspiration in my box of odds and ends and there it was~one slightly-chewed standard tie I pinned there last year. Desperate, I tied it on. The first cast through that slow pool and BAM! The brown charged out of the pool towards me, thought i’d lost him in an effort to keep him hooked~stripping line in as fast as I could. Releasing the fish, I still thought it HAD to be luck. Second cast, another rise~missed him. This was getting VERY interesting. Like it ot not, it was the fly of the day and each day I fished that hatch this year. Tie some up for next spring….or simply forget you read this!
Tying The Hendrickson Dry Fly Pattern
Hook:Tiemco #100 size #12-#14
Thread:Rusty Dun 8/0
Wings:Mallard flank~rust color
Tail:Spade hackle fibers-med. dun
Body:Nature’s Spirit-Hendrickson dubbing
Stroke the fibers of a well-barred mallard flank feather toward the tip, aligning the tips. Tie in as shown
Trim the butt-ends and an angle and wind the thread back. Tie in some spade-hackle fibers forming the tail, slightly longer than one shank length.
Wind the thread forward, stroke the mallard fibers together and back. Make a few wraps of thread in front as shown.
Separate the mallard fibers into approx. two equal groups. Make several figure-eight wraps to keep them separate and upright.
Dub a tapered body as shown and select a feather for the hackle. Cut the barbs from the tie-in point and tie in as shown. Make about 3 wraps of dubbing in front of the wing and begin wrapping the hackle forward. I make about 3 wraps behind the wing, and 3 in front.
Some amazing scissors, the Dr.Slick SB35B Bent shaft 3-1/2" long.
Vise by www.peakfishing.com