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Quick N'EZY
By Al & Gretchen Beatty

It's peculiar how desperation is often the catalyst of creation. Al had hiked five miles into a favorite area of the Coeur d'Alene River in north Idaho one day, and was having a great day fishing. The fish were hitting an Adams and the day was shaping up to be spectacular when disaster struck; he dropped the box of flies in the river and helplessly watched as all his Adams floated downstream.

Not relishing the idea of a 10-mile hike to get more flies, Al turned to the small packet of tying materials he carries in his vest. Designed just to tie a few nymphs on the river his supplies were not much, just a couple of hackle feathers, some dubbing, a small plastic zip-lock bag of assorted hooks, and thread. Using his hemostats as a vise and his tippet nippers as a cutting tool, he set to work tying a makeshift Adams out of a bunch of materials intended for tying wet flies. The Quick 'N EZY was the result and it saved the day.

Besides being a very effective dry fly, the Quick 'N EZY allows you to use "leftovers;" those big neck feathers on the upper end of a dry-fly cape. Once you see how easy this fly is to tie and how good it looks, you'll never use hackle points for wings again. Remember almost any mayfly dun can be imitated using the Quick 'N EZY method, all it takes is the right color combinations and sizes.

Materials for the Quick 'N EZY:

    Hook: Dry fly, sizes 12 to 22.

    Thread: Color to match insect.

    Tail: Hackle fibers left over from the wings.

    Rib: Optional.

    Body: Dubbing to match the insect.

    Wing: Swept-back hackle, Wonder Wings.

    Hackle: Ginger or color to match in insect.

    Head: Thread.

Tying Instructions for the Quick 'N EZY:

    Quick 'N EZY

    1. Apply a base wrap of thread starting about 1/4 of the way back from the eye of the hook, wrap part way to the end of the shank, and then back to the starting point. Leave the bobbin at this location.

    Quick 'N EZY

    2. The wings and tail are formed out of the feather fibers. To accomplish this, select two feathers that have fibers about the same length. We find using the large hackles on the big end of the cape works really well for this purpose. Place the two feathers together so their natural curves oppose each other. Trim off the large ends of the stems. The wings/tail are formed from the swept-back fibers. The fibers are swept back on a length of stem that is shorter than the hook shank. Measure the hackle stems (shorter) comparing them to the hook shank. Sweep back the fibers and tie them on the hook (very short capturing stem and fibers) with three snug thread turns as illustrated.

    Quick 'N EZY

    3. Now, pull forward on the feathers with enough pressure to slip them part way from under the thread. (Not all the way or you'll have to start over.) Pull the feathers out so they are equal in length to the hook shank. Slipping the fibers forward keep the swept-back fibers aligned with each other. The newly-formed wings should be as long as the hook shank and the hackle stems should be short enough so they are not tied to the shank, in essence they are a looped wing. This makes the wings flexible so the fly will not spin while you are casting. Secure the wings with four or five more turns of thread to anchor them in place.

    Quick 'N EZY

    4. To form the tail we trim out the fibers that are either too long or too short. Whether you eliminate short or long fibers is determined by the size of hook on which you are tying your fly. We like a tail that is slightly longer than the hook shank.

    Quick 'N EZY

    5. Wind the thread to the back of the hook while binding the tail into position, them wrap forward to the wings. Place several turns of thread directly in front of the wings to force them to stand up. Divide the wings with a couple of criss-cross thread wraps then trim the excess feathers. (We usually place them in a clothespin where they will be ready for the next fly. You can usually construct several sets of wings from two feathers.)

    Quick 'N EZY

    6. Apply dubbing wax to your thread and then touch the clump of dubbing to the waxed thread to evenly distribute the material along the thread. Twist your thumb and forefinger in one direction only around the fur-covered thread. This single-direction motion will form a short section of natural fur yarn that you then apply to the hook to form the body. Attach the hackle behind wings. We like dubbing under our hackle to represent a thorax and have done so with the illustration.

    Quick 'N EZY

    7. Wrap the hackle, whip finish and trim the thread/feathers as needed. The completed fly should look similar to the one illustrated. Remember, you can make the Quick 'N EZY and color combination you wish. ~ Al & Gretchen Beatty

Credits: The Quick 'N EZY fly is from Al & Gretchen Beatty's book, Innovative Flies and Techniques, published by Frank Amato Publications, (2005). You can read a review of this terrific book HERE.

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

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