2-3 feather flatwing
Direct from Ken's book "A Perfect Fish" and with the tying skills of Joe Cordeiro.
Hook: EC 254SS 1/0 (I like this on a strong, short-shank hook)
Platform: white bucktail
Hackles: wide white tied with concave side pointed upwards
rust longer (1.5X the white) narrower type
olive longer (1.5X the white) narrower type
Flash: Flashabou Mirage
Underbody: White bucktail 20 - 25 hairs 2X hook length tapered
Body: Bills Body braid or other braided mylar, silver
Cheeks: 25 hairs light lavender, 10 strands rust/orange mixed and divided 1/2 each side
Top wing: olive bucktail 3X hook length, tapered
Eyes: Golden pheasant tippet (or jungle cock)
The keys to this fly are to use minimal wraps, use a platform for the hackles, blend the bucktail colors and most importantly, tie sparsly.
Start with 20-25 hairs of white bucktail tied just ahead of the barb. You want them to 'flare' out and lift upwards to support the white hackle. If needed you can do this by taking one wrap with your thread under the bucktail but above the hook shank, pull it tight and the bucktail should lift.
Take the body braid and tie in one end securely to the shank, take the rest of the braid and lay it off to the left and out of the way (assuming you tie from left to right!)
Take the white hackle and strip off some of the webby section near the base of the stem, dub this on the thread and wrap on top of the bucktail wrap to make a pillow collar.
Lay the white hackle concave side up with the bare part of the stem on the pillow, make one turn only with the thread.
Tie in the mirage with one turn
Tie in the other hackles one at a time with one turn each or both at the same time with one turn, keeping the wraps on top of the pillow
Pinch the assembled materials AND the pillow and make three to four tight wraps to tighten up the bunch (make sure the materials are staying properly centered on the top of the shank. Wrap thread forward towards eye. Apply thread cement to shank.
Wrap the body braid forward to just behind the eye. Tie off.
Tie in the tapered white bucktail for the underbody, just one or two wraps to hold in place.
Tie in the cheeks with the blended colors,
Tie in the top wing and finally the eyes
Thumb pressure to make sure all the materials are in the right positions and 5-6 turns to lock, whip finish and cement. When this is tied correctly, the head is very small and tapers into the body.
This fly works well in sizes from #2 to 3/0 depending on the available lenghts of your materials.
Then you can start playing with every possible color combination you have available.
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