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Dble Haul 08-21-2002 09:02 PM

Madame X
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I absolutely love this fly. If I could only use one fly on top for smallmouth (excluding poppers and hair bugs), this would be it.

Hook: 6-12 (here, a size 8 3XL)
Thread: To match (here, light orange)
Tail: Deer hair (here, natural)
Body: Yellow closed cell foam
Head/wing: Deer hair (here, yellow), tied in bullet style
Legs: Round rubber

The original recipe calls for yellow thread for the body, but I've found that relying on the deer hair alone can lead to poor flotation after only a few fish. I cut a thin strip of closed cell foam as seen in the picture and wrap it along the hook shank. Don't wrap too tightly, or the cells will collapse and defeat the purpose. With the foam, it floats forever and is even a great indicator fly to drift a nymph underneath.

The silhouette from the fish's perspective is pretty tough to beat.

John Desjardins 08-22-2002 08:04 AM

Thats a nice fly Mark. I'll have to give winding foam on the hook a try.

BigDave 08-22-2002 08:27 AM

Nice tie, Mark.

Don't know how much you fish coldwater, but that pattern's a deadly stonefly/hopper imitation for trout. I tie them with orange bellies for the june stonefly hatches on the Deerfield.

Nice use of the foam - god's gift to fly tiers. For even more floatation, you can wind the hook with the thread/yarn of your choice, lay a strip of foam flat over the back of the hook, and lash down zonker-style. Lots of the new western stone patterns are tied this way.


Dble Haul 08-22-2002 09:58 AM

Dave, I hear ya about the coldwater applications with this fly. I've used it as a stonefly imitation/indicator while trailing a stonefly nymph underneath, and it's driven some rainbows crazy. I've also used the same fly in the pic with shorter legs as a hopper imitation.

I'll give your suggestion about the zonker-style tie down a try. I suppose that having the foam on top of the hook shank lets the fly sit lower in the surface film.

Dble Haul 02-03-2006 07:52 AM

Bumpin this one back up from a few years back....

This is my fly for the current warmwater swap. The only difference is that I have dubbed the body instead of using the closed cell foam, so the fly will need to be treated for flotation prior to use.

Enjoy. :)

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