I’m very pleased to have finally conviced Rob McKay to post this pattern on O’Reilly’s Tying Bench. Rob is a modest man who has a less than romantic approach to the delicate art of fly tying, Rob’s flies are usually based on two factors; First~what he is able to scrounge from the lint trap of his clothes dryer and Second~how many dirty, faded chicken feathers he can find in the bargain bins at the fly shop! Materials……well, if they like to get cozy with numerous wraps of lead~they’ll do! The first few times I fished with Rob I quickly recognized his love for nymphs that landed with an audible “plop” sound and tackle that could launch them…
As he has mentioned before, he is all business on the river. He is the only angler I know who uses roll casts (and exceptionally good ones at that) regardless of whether or not there is ample casting room. He is not burdened with any temptaion to false cast. Not my style, but he gets results. I watched him fish an amazing hendrickson hatch last year. While I was hooking and landing some decent-sized browns using dries, he was launching McKay Stonefly into what I considered to be "dead" water. Silty bottom, no structure, nothing rising. BAM! Fish on! Had to be luck. Five minutes later, another fish that dwarfed the ones I was catching. Floating duns everywhere, lots of risers…and Rob is chucking these nymphs. I had to see it for myself. I walked over to where he was fishing. "You gotta’ see this" the smiling McKay uttered. The (roll) cast landed about six feed shy of the opposite bank, drifted about three feet when suddenly a large, dark shape bolted out and attacked the fly. I clearly remember the pale color of the big brown’s belly as it turned to make its first of may attempts to get back to its hiding spot. I’ve been asking him to tie these for me ever since.
I’d like to thank Rob for sharing this pattern on O’Reilly’s Tying Bench and look forward to seeing how much the big browns in New York like it this fall!
I have posted a few river reports with reference to large nymph patterns and it’s about time I posted the recipe for the damn thing!
Like myself, it’s been called all kinds of names, most can’t be printed here, but this fly works. Some of the more tame names are, the B52, McKay Special, McKay’s Minion, That, Thing? and so on..
Not sure if it’s been tied before, most have said, "nope, haven’t seen that before, YIKES!" I know I have not seen this tie, so from here on in, I have decided to call it the McKay Special, I mean the McKay Stonefly. Now if someone digs-up another pattern with this name, I will quickly edit, make the changes necessary and apologize profusely and keep everybody’s toes three dimensional.
This tie combined with this read, Small Stream, Fast Water Nymphing, equals, fat browns and big brookies.
I tied several of these flies that varied in colour, size, materials and found that this recipe produced more than any other. By the second or third cast, this fly lures the big guys out of their lair.
This is a stonefly nymph tie. I would love to show you how it undulates and moves in the water, but you will have to tie it and see for yourself. This thing really comes alive when wet, pulsating xxxly, it almost looks like its breathing! Down right scary!
As for materials, toenail clippings and ear hair are optional.
Tying The The McKay Stonefly Pattern
Hook: Big! Wet Nymph, Size #6, #8 or #10. (#6, my favorite).
Thread: Rust. Brown 6/0 (Orange also works well)
Weight: Med. or small lead wire. Sometimes two wraps!
Tail: Brown Goose Biot
Body: Dark brown rabbit dubbing or chocolate UNI-Mohair. Keep it messy.
Rib: Narrow size 1/32" 077 DK TR Amber Swannundaze or the like
Gills: DK. brown Bill’s Wooly Bugger Maribou Chenille or the like
Hackle: Grizzly Hackle, I mean grizzled!
If you have midge jaws in your vise, change it now!
Tie in your lead and use the thread to build a taper at both ends. Wrap the thread down and form a thread ball for biot separation. Tie in the biot
Tie in the Swannundaze or the like and then start dubbing messily. Or use UNI-Mohair. Personaly, I like using the chocolate Mohair.
Wrap the Swannundaze.
Now tie in the hackle and then a length Maribou Chenille, in that order.
Wrap the Maribou Chenille (3 or 4 wraps) so it looks like a cheap toupee. Give a few thread wraps for security.
Now wrap the hackle forward. You might have to fluff up the chenille after each wrap. You do not want to flatten this chenille hair-do! Tie it all down, your done!
Thanks Mr. O’Reilly