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Grande Ronde Rudy
By Jesse Clarke

In the fall of 2004 I was a new fly tier and was working on trying to tie some muddlers for steelhead fishing on the Grande Ronde River. At about the same time I was in a fly swap that Ron Eagle Elk was hosting. There was a Christmas fly contest in the swap. I was tying muddlers so I thought I would incorporate my practice into a Christmas Fly. This was the result. This fly is more an adventure at a craft store than the fly shop. I found all the unusual components at Michaels Craft store in the Christmas ornament making section.


Materials for Grande Ronde Rudy:

    Hook: Alex Jackson 3/0 I used black but a silver or gold presentation hook would really be neat.

    Thread: Brown or tan to match the elk hair. I used 6/0.

    Nose and head: Craft balls appropriate size for the hook.

    Tail: Brown pipe cleaner and gold Flashabou.

    Body: Large gold mylar tubing.

    Wing: Elk hair with Red Flashabou and two matched red hackle tips.

    Thorax: Spun Elk hair.

    Antlers: Brown Pipe Cleaner.

    Accessories: Google eyes and metallic green holly leaves.

Be creative with colors and accessories that you may have, each one of these I have tied is a little different.

Tying Instructions:

Step 1

    1. Hook in vise with craft balls threaded through hook and pushed to eye. Start thread behind craft balls to rear of hook. I like to keep the area that I am spinning the elk hair as bare as possible.

    Step 2

    2. Brown pipe cleaner and gold flashabou tied in and shaped for tail. Large gold mylar tubing tied in.

    Step 3

    3. Mylar tubing run up the hook and red holographic flashabou tied in. Leave plenty of room for spinning the hair.

    Step 4

    4. Select a large bunch of long elk hair. I used a color to match the craft ball. Tie the hair in so that the ends will extend to the back of the hook. Spin and trim.

    Step 5

    5. Now tie in a pair of red hackle tips extend to hook bend. Secure the hackle tips and the first batch of spun hair securely.

    Step 6

    6. Tie and spin elk hair to fill the space left up to the craft ball. This example was two large bunches of hair. This picture shows the hair spun on and untrimmed.

    Step 7

    7. Elk hair trimmed. I trimmed the front of the hair at the craft ball to form a kind of "ruff" or collar right behind the craft ball. The rest of the "thorax" was trimmed pretty close. This gives a place to tie in the antlers and the tie in will be hidden behind the "ruff."

    Step 7

    8. This is how I made the antlers: bend a brown pipe cleaner in a 3in. u-shape. Cut 2, 2in. pieces of pipe cleaner and wrap one turn around the u-shape one each side. Now trim to size as needed.

    Step 8

    9. Tie in the antlers at the base of the u-shape behind the "ruff" use a figure eight style wrap to keep them straight and secure. Add a few half hitches over the antlers and cut the thread. Use craft glue and add the google eyes and the holly leaves.

    Finished Fly

    Finished Fly

    Finished Fly

    ~ Jesse Clark

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

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