This pattern is featured
in Randall Kaufmann’s book entitled “Tying
Nymphs”. In his introduction to the tying instructions for
this pattern, Kaufmann states that “Hexagenia
are the largest mayflies found in North America and attain a length
of 1 ½ inches….’Hex,’
as they are referred to, prefer slower stretches of streams, lakes,
and ponds with silt bottoms, which they burrow into.” From
personal experience on the Fall River, this hatch attracts the very
largest of a river’s resident trout. I have also found them on my
own ponds, and locally in Lake Natoma. The hatch occurs just before
and through dark. However, the nymphs are active for several hours
before dark, and fish will take them on or near the bottom, and up
through the water column as night approaches. To fish the nymph, a
sink tip line is best where the water is deep; where the water is
shallow, a floating line may do the trick. The just-hatched duns are
huge, and light yellowish to white in color. Even so, they are hard
to see after dark, necessitating “fish by feel” tactics, with
casts to suspected locations of splashes made by trout taking the
adults on the surface. As of this writing, the hatch is occurring at
Lake Natoma. Check the GBF web site’s bulletin board for details.
There will also be a picture of this month’s featured pattern on
the web site.
1. Place hook in
vise and smash barb. Wind 8-10 wraps of lead at thorax area, leaving
plenty of room between lead and the hook eye. Flatten lead with a
pair of smooth jaw pliers.
2. Cover the
hook shank and lead with thread; cover all with a good coat of
3. Tie in the
marabou tail; it should be about 1/3 of the length of the shank. At
the same point, tie in the a strip of turkey tail, the filoplume by
its tip, and the copper wire. Reverse the filoplume and secure it.
(Hint: try tying a knot in the marabou when it is still long and
before tying it on the hook. This will cock the marabou off to one
side, and cause the fly to “wiggle” when stripped.)
4. Dub the
abdomen. It should have a good taper and be relatively heavy. Leave
the bobbin hanging at about the 1/3 point on the hook, behind the
5. Bring the
filoplume forward over the top of the abdomen, keeping the stem
centered on the top of the abdomen. Tie it off at the forward end of
the abdomen. Now bring the turkey forward to form the back. Tie it
off at the same spot.
6. Wrap the wire
rib, weaving it through the filoplume. Tie it off at the same spot.
7. Tie on a
section of turkey tail that is slightly wider than the back, with
the end sticking up and pointing to the rear. This will be the wing
8. Remove fluff
from a hen saddle hackle, and sweep the fibers away from the tip.
Tie the feather in by its tip at the same point as the turkey tail,
and with the tip pointing toward the rear, with the shiny side up.
Bend it backwards, so that the butt is now facing the rear.
9. Dub a nice
thorax back to the area where the turkey tail and hen were tied in.
Bring the hen saddle forward, creating the legs. Keep the feather
tight and flat. If you have done this correctly, the legs will be
pointing to the rear of the fly at around a 45 degree angle
10. Bring the wing case over the thorax and legs, and tie it off. Form a nice head. Go fling this dog at some trout, and….
Copyright 1998 by Granite Bay Flycasters unless otherwise noted.