Fly Of The Week
Bunse Green Drake Dun
Bunse Green Drake Dun
By Skip Morris, Pt. Ludlow WA, USA

Excerpt from Tying Foam Flies
Frank Amato Publications, Inc.
P.O. Box 82112, Portland Oregon 97282
Phone: 503-653-8108

Previous Flies
Fly Tying Terms
The Bunse Green Drake Dun

The Bunse Dun proves what I always suspected but couldn't prove though my own efforts - that a tough, buoyant adult - mayfly imitation with a natural upturned abdomen could be made from foam. My own attempts at foam mayfly were off track until Richard's [Bunse] fly lit the way. Actually, it goes beyond a foam mayfly - many of my efforts at tying with foam bottomed out until Richard.

But the Bunse Dun is more than just a pathway to the real thing - it is the real thing. Yes, it takes a while to tie, but it's durable and buoyant and trout take it with confidence. Richard prefers Ethafoam for his dun; he feels that its translucence mimics that of the natural.

The Bunse Green Drake Dun imitates its namesake - a large western mayfly called the green drake that hatches early in the season from quick water. There are several variations of the Bunse Dun, each an imitation of a specific mayfly species.[The patterns for these variations are listed in the book, Tying Foam Flies, in section IV, "Additional Foam Flies."] ~ Skip Morris

Materials List:

Hook:  Short shank, dry fly, size 12 (the hook shown is a Mustad 94838.)

Thread:  Yellow 6/0 or 8/0.

Body:  Ethafoam sheeting colored green. For all Bunse Dun patterns: use foam 3/64" thick for hook sizes 20 and 18; 1/16" for hook sizes 16 and 14; 3/32" for size 12 and larger.

Tail:  Two mink-tail, nutria, or beaver guard hairs.

Wing:  Natural dun-colored coastal deer hair.

Tying Instructions:

1. Color a section of Ethafoam sheeting and secure the color *as described below, (or color the foam and then wait to brush on the thinned Flexament after the fly is complete; I prefer this because it secures all the thread turns.) Cut the colored foam into a diamond shape approximately three full hook-lengths long by one hook-length wide. Color the edges of the diamond if you like.

2. Mount a beading needle by it's eye in your vise as shown. Start the thread lightly near the needle's center. Tie in one tip of the foam diamond on the far side of the needle. The uncolored side of the foam should face you and the bulk of the diamond should project away from the vise. Use light thread-tension throughout the needle-tying.

3. A tiny hump of foam should project beyond the thread turns. Hold one tail hair above the foam and one below, take a light turn around both, pull the turn snug enough to spread the tails. The tails should project about 2 shank-lengths from their tie-in point, but this is not critical. Do not trim the tail's butt.

4. Bend back the diamond as shown, towards the vise. Wind the thread down the needle and hair butts a turn or two.

5. Bring the foam forward again, and then take two thread-turns over it. The turns should be just tight enough to form a round foam-segment.

6. Continue forming segments, each slightly larger than the last, until there are four. (The hump of foam between the tails counts as a segment.) Half hitch the thread and trim it. Slide the segmented abdomen off the needle.

7. Remove the needle from your vise. Mount a hook in your vise. Start the thread halfway up the shank; at this point tie in some combed stacked coastal deer hair. The hair should project one-and- a-half hook shanks from its tie-in point. Trim the butts of the hair at an angle, and then bind the butts with tight thread-turns. End with the thread at the bend. Half hitch the thread but don't cut it.

8. Remove the hook from your vise. Push the hook's point through the center and out of the bottom of the last segment of the foam, opposite the seam. Slide the foam up to the bend. Return the hook to your vise. Take two turns of thread around the half-hitched thread that forms the last foam segment.

9. Draw the foam down out of the way, then spiral the thread tightly to just behind the eye, catching up the tail butts as you go. Trim the butts closely. With your thumb nail, crease the hair back and up, and then add tight thread-turns at the front of the hair to secure it upright.

10. Advance the thread to the eye again. With your left hand (right handers), draw the front of the foam up again and around the sides of the shank. Add firm thread-turns at the eye to secure the foam there.

11. Stretch the end of the foam as you trim it closely. Spiral the thread back between the eye and the wing and take a full turn there. Then spiral the thread beneath the wing to about halfway between the wing and the bend. Take two turns there, spiral the thread forward under the wing, and then take a turn between the wing and the eye. Return the thread to the eye, build a thread head, add a whip finish, trim the thread. (See the following illustrations for thread wrapping the thorax.) Remember that, as Richard describes it, the tightness and placement of the thread-turns "sculpts" the thorax.

Thread Wrapping Thorax
Step one


12. Cut a tiny slit in the foam on each side of the wing. Don't cut the thread! (You have the option of cutting the slits before thread wrapping the thorax - Richard prefers this - but for at least your first few Bunse Duns, I'd suggest cutting them after.)

13. Pull the wing's hairs to the sides, into the slits. The wing should now form a fan, a half-circle.

14. If needed, trim down the stub of foam between the tails, and touch up the foam wherever needed with a marking pen. Add a drop of highly thinned Flexament (three parts thinner to one part Flexament) to the tail, to both of the wing slits, and to the thread head (I don't bother with head cement). If you haven't yet secured the foam's color, simply add Flexament at the points just described and wherever needed to coat the color. Remember, thinned Flexament flows well - a little is a lot. ~ Skip Morris

*Coloring Foam

Ethafoam that is colored with a permanent marking pen should always be given a coating of thinned Flexment (three parts thinner to one part Flexament). This technique was developed by Richard Bunse. Richard marks the foam with broad strokes of the marker, then lightly brushes out the Flexament. "Lightly" is important here - Richard's brush merely grazes the high points of the Ethafoam's textured surface. The thinned Flexament spreads quickly. ~ SM

[ HOME ]

[ Search ] [ Contact FAOL ] [ Media Kit ] © Notice