Woven Dragonfly Nymph
I've watched Darrel Martin tie his dragonfly nymph twice. The
second time, Darrel described the steps in detail and answered
all my questions. I had assumed by the look of it that the Woven
Dragonfly Nymph would be time consuming to tie; it isn't. Actually,
the version that Darrel tied for me is slightly simpler than the one
he describes in his excellent book Fly-Tying Methods.
Though it may seem difficult, the woven body can be created quite easily
and quickly; the trick is to cut the thread just before weaving, and to
turn the vise away from you, so that you are sighting down the shank
with the hook's bend nearest you, before you weave. Another trick
is to make a template and use it to mark the leather before cutting out
the under body. An old soft-leather shoe is a good source for the
leather, but you can build up the under body in whatever manner you
see fit. Darrel particularly like the leather because it soaks up water
and and because it can be shaped by the placement and tightness of
the thread wraps. You can buy a whole dyed rabbit pelt for the Woven
Dragonfly's legs, or you can purchase a small bag of rabbit hide cut
into strips for tying a pattern called a Zonker.
Hook: Heavy wire, 3X long, (humped shank preferred),
size 6 (the hook shown is a Daiichi 1270).
Thread: Brown 3/0.
Eyes: Brown vernille (chenille as a substitute).
Under Body: Medium-soft leather.
Abdomen: Brown and chartreuse or brown and olive
vernille, or ultra-chenille (chenille as a substitute).
Legs: Brown rabbit fur in a dubbing loop.
Wing Case and Top of Head: A small
body feather - hen saddle, partridge, etc. - glued to a lady's nylon stocking,
or simply lacquered, and then trimmed leaving a "v" notch in its tips (a quill
section coated with Tuffilm, or even swiss straw make good substitutes, as
do other durable, flat materials).
Thorax: Any absorbent, brown dubbing.