Fly Angler's OnLine "Fly of the Week #39"

Dahlberg Diver

by Deanna Birkholm
May 2 5th, 1998
Dahlberg Diver
Thanks to Cowles Creative Publishing
for copy and photo use permission
from The Art Of Fly Tying


Materials List:
    Hook: TMC 8005: 2-10.
    Thread: White 3/0.
    Weedguard: Heavy Clear Mono.
    Wings: Red saddle-hackle feathers
    Tail: Red deer hair.
    Collar: Red deer hair.
    Head: Red deer hair, spun and clipped.

Tying Instructions:

1. Start thread at hook bend and wrap down to middle of bend. Cut a 5-inch length of heavy clear monofilament for weedguard. Tie in one end of mono.

2. Select, size and prepar 6 saddle hackles for wings. Tie in three on each side of shank at hook bend. Hackle feathers should flare outward.

3. Snip and prepare a clump of deer body hair. Align tips in stacker.

4. Position clump of deer hair over shank directly in front of wings with tips facing back.

5. Make several soft loops to secure. Do not allow tips of deer hair to flare. Place finger against back side of hair while cinching it to prevent it from spinning. Tips will form tail.
step 5
6. Tie in and spin second clump of hair directly in front of first. (Note, white deer hair is shown in the photos to illustrate the method. Use just the red, or a combination of colors.) Continue adding, spinning and packing hair until shank is covered. Leave about 1/8-inch gap behind eye. Whip-finish, and trim off excess thread.
step 6
7. Turn the hook upside down in vise. Trim bottom of fly with scissors or razor blade, so it is flat and level. Cut as close as possible to shank, taking care not to cut thread wraps.


8. Turn hook back right side up. Trim front half of deer hair body to bullet shape, as shown, with tips of scissors. Leave a collar of flared deer hair behind tapered head.
step 8
9. Trim ends of collar to approximately twice the radius of the body.

10. Reattach thread at hook eye. Push monofilament up through eye and fold back over head of fly. Secure with several turns of thread. Trim off butt end of mono, and whip-finish.

step 10
Tying Tips

Spun deer hair can be trimmed to produce a popping or gurgling sound when retrieved with a quick, short, stripping action. Surface patterns are often tied with lifelike legs and tails to imitate mice, frogs or other aquatic foods. Other patterns are designed to dive below the surface when retrieved, mimicking a struggling or injured minnow. Subsurface patterns are often tied with long tails made of marabou, rabbit strips, hackle feathers or synthetic hair that pulses like fins or gills under water. Some patterns such as the Dahlberg Diver, are designed to do both.

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