Brian Lencho's advice for the trip was "big and black", so I tied up a few of these and they turned out to be just the ticket for me. For the swap, I mixed some fiery claret into the body.
Marabou tail - I've used three layers, flourescent red, claret and black.
Long fiber dubbed body - see below
Trimmed rabbit strip wing
2/0 7999 suits this fly well for me - a longer shank would allow a longer wing
Start a 5-6" dubbing loop about 1/8" forward of the tail - too close and the long dubbing fibers will trap the tail and won't let it breath as well. Wax the loop well and pinch small bunches of SLF, or similar, and lay them into loop with fibers perpendicular to the thread. I've used alternating pinches of black and fiery claret. Once the fibers have been evenly distributed along the loop, only spin the loop enough to firmly engage the fibers with the waxed thread, then unspin until there is only a slight twist.
My goal when wrapping is to not trap any of the fibers from the preceeding wraps with a subsequent wrap, so that they will all remain long and flowing. After each wrap, I pull the fibers back and hold them. After each 1/3 wrap is completed with fly stationary and fibers held back, the fly is released and the entire fly, loop and holder are all rotated back 1/3 turn. Pull the fibers back again, wrap 1/3, rotate back and repeat. When done, i attack the body with a toothbrush to comb it out.
When trimming the wing, keep in mind that if the wing extends too far past the bend, and it wraps around the shank on a cast, the current may not pull it free.
If you want it to sink on the first cast, soak it well first and squeeze all of the air out of the wing.
Field test on the Thompson!
I would love to try this swimmer on the Sauk, or the Skagit, maybe the Sky, if I could get the time off maybe try it in a smaller size for the Stilly, or etc., etc. Like this one!
thanks cr & welcome to the forum.
since you mentioned tying them small,
i recently noticed that bob marriots sells a trout zonker strip that's selected from thin hides for smaller flies: http://www.bobmarriotts.com
let us know about your success with it.
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