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Silver Lake EB (Extended Body) Mayfly
Illustrated Recipe By B. Moose Peterson

Last summer my son and I were floating on our favorite lake in the Sierra when a huge hatch emerged around us. One of the bugs landed on my son's sunglasses. He instantly placed it in a bug box so we could bring it home. There were so many bugs on the water that catching anything with the flies we had was painful, so that evening I went to creating an imitation of the bug we caught. What you see here is the result of that night's tying. The next day when I tried the fly, I instantly had a fish on. I ended up catching 27 rainbows that evening. I was interested in seeing both if the fly would catch fish and how well it would last. This was the first time I had tied or tried fishing with half-hackle wings which look so fragile. It caught fish and I was pleasantly surprised that one fly caught 6 trout before it was no longer useable.

Don't let the look of the fly scare you off from tying it. It actually takes seconds to create once you get making the wings down. It might seem complicated, but there is only really a couple of steps to the whole thing. I make a dozen tail sections first so I can just crank out the completed fly. This fly was tied on a size #18.

Materials List Silver Lake EB Mayfly:

    Hook: 16-22 TMC 100.

    Thread: Gray 8/0.

    Tail: Black Micro-Fibbets.

    Body: #16 Dark Dun Gray.

    Hackle: Blue Dun.

    Wing: Blue Dun Hackle.

Instructions - Silver Lake EB Mayfly:

1. This fly is tied in two stages, first the EB/tail and then the body. The EB/tail is tied on a sewing needle. Place the needle in the vise so the eye of the needle is in the vise. Start your thread on the pointy end exactly how you would start your thread on a hook. Make a couple of wraps and then make a small bump to spread the micro-fibbets.

2. Tie in the micro-fibbets being sure that they spread open. Wrap behind the bump you created to spread the fibbets. The length of the fibbets should be about 75% of the length of the dubbed section. Once the fibbets are tied in, wrap on back on the needle the entire length you want the dubbed section to be. The removal process of the tail from the needle condenses the tail's length by about 20%, so keep that in mind when determining length. I don't trim the fibbets so the ends are extending out beyond the base of the EB.

3. This is the tricky part where you need to be quick. You're going to coat the section of wraps you just created with Krazy Glue and then wrap dubbing on top of it. You're starting your dubbed wraps at what's going to be the base of the extended body. So you want your dubbing a tad thicker at the base and thinner at the tip. You want just enough dubbing on the thread to create the EB and no more. Since Krazy Glue dries rather quickly and sticks to ever stray dubbing hair, preplan and think it all out before applying the Krazy Glue. I use a bottle of Krazy Glue which has a brush applicator. Coat the top and bottom of the threads, avoiding getting any on your fingers. I quickly wrap the dubbing up to the fibbets, tie off the thread just like finishing a fly. Carefully, take needle nose pliers, grab the needle with some pressure at the base of the EB and then push off the EB. And with that, the extended body is created.

4. It's time to finish this baby off. Place a hook in the vise, attach your thread and then wrap back to the bend.

5. Tying on the EB is simple. First, I take twisters and flatten just a breath of the base of the EB. Using the fibbets that we didn't trim, make a couple of wraps to attach the EB. Once this is done, make a couple of more wraps on the part of the EB you flattened with the twisters. Be careful to make sure the fibbets are orientated correctly on the hook. Finish it off with a drop of head cement.

6. With a very small amount of dubbing, make a wrap around the base of the EB and forward just a wrap or two. Tie in your hackle, dry.

7. Making the wings might be difficult your first time, but after that it's really simple. These half-hackle wings don't have to be perfect to catch fish, so don't get all worked up about making them as such. Strip off the barbs from one side of the hackle. Take two hackles and hold them in your fingers so the natural curve of the hackle curves the hackles together. With this done, strip off the barbs on one side. Line up the ends of the half-hackle and gently pull them through your fingers as if smoothing out the barbs. Then, pull the hackle back through your fingers in the opposite direction. The trick is to hold the barbs but not the whole feather as you pull. You want to plan this all out thinking about having to hold the hackle and tying it on as well, so adjust your grasp accordingly. I leave a little hackle shaft on both ends so I have something to grab and pull with the twisters to align them just right in the next step.

8. Tie the wings on with a couple of wraps, then pulling them vertical and tying them open with a couple of figure eight wraps. Once in place, trim to perfection.

9. Finish up the fly by wrapping the hackle forward, a couple of wraps behind and in front of the wings. Tie off and you're ready to fish. I have a minimum of four of these in my box during a hatch so I don't miss any opportunities to catch just one more fish before the sun sets.

Photographic note:

Photos captured by D2H, 60f2.8AF micro with SB-29s on Lexar digital film. ~ MP

About Moose:

Moose is a professional wildlife photographer, and obviously a fine fly tyer, who lives in Mammoth Lakes, CA. He has an extensive website to furnish wildlife photographers with information to make the most of their photographic pursuits. You will find it at:

For more great flies, check out: Beginning Fly Tying, Intermediate Fly Tying and Advanced Fly Tying.

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