Part Thirty-one

Make Them Wiggle
By George E. Emanuel

Legs… I love legs. On women, and on flies.

Madam X, Bitch Creek Nymphs, Sneaky Petes, you name the fly, and the legs bring it to life.

Even sitting still many of these flies look alive, though they do not really imitate anything you will find in a stream, lake or river. But, they do look like something that some how registers as a food item to fish.

Next to the legs themselves, I like them cheap! The cheaper the better, hell, free is also good.

Any casual observer would immediately notice that I am not normal, especially around strange objects. It seems I have a compulsive desire to turn the most unlikely of materials into flies for catching fish. I can not imagine what people must think when I walk through craft stores or flea markets eye balling the strangest material with a twinkle in my eye, and a mad passion within my breast.

Imagine me shuddering in ecstasy when at a local flea market I came upon a vendor selling "used" Bungie cords, one of which being badly frayed immediately gained my undivided attention.

It seems that a typical Bungie cord is made up of many strands of round rubber. In fact what I saw were hundreds of bug legs bound inside a casing which some fool was using to bind things down and tie them up.

Why would anyone want to use perfectly good fly tying materials in such an unworthy manner is beyond my comprehension, but there before me they were, waiting for a nobler employment.

Buying several of his "used" Bungie cords, I headed home with great anticipation at my discovery.

I carefully cut off one end of the cord and slid the "hooks" off of the cut end. I set the "hooks" aside, though I know not for what at this point, but, someday they might find employment as fishing gear or some equally useful purpose.

Carefully with a double edge razor blade, (they are much sharper than any other type) I cut the outer casing length wise thus emancipating the lovely legs which I know will bring my imitations to life on the stream.

I left one end bound in order to maintain some semblance of order in what would have become instant chaos had I cut off both ends. As much as I love legs, I also like neatness, it makes us better tiers.

Now, the legs I have shown in the picture here are round and white. Some cords will yield other colors singly, or many colors within the same cord. I really like the white, or all black.

White, or black? It is not as bland as it might seem, for I can make a white leg green, or chartreuse, or orange, or red, or sky blue murple if I want. (That's right murple, but don't ask me to describe it, I just know it when I see it.)

Plastic worm fisherman have for years been using a dye compound sold in little bottles into which they dip the tails of their offerings in order to alter the color. "Spike It" is the brand that I have, but Cabela's or Bass Pro may have other names for the same things. A simple "dip" and you have a new color.

One word of caution, DO NOT spill this stuff on anything you do not want to color, it is permanent instantly. It can not be reversed or wiped up from the carpeting. If you are not careful you may become a pariah at the water cooler with your "pumpkin" colored fingers. Bass bugs, Hoppers, Crickets, all sorts of flies can benefit from rubber legs, and you can benefit from using a very cheap source of those lovely appendages which tend so effectually to attract our quarry, the fish.

Good Luck, and we'll see you on the stream, I'll be they guy with the Chartreuse nose!

If you have any tips or techniques, send them along, most of this material has been stolen from somebody, might as well steal your ideas too!~ George E. Emanuel (Chat Room Host Muddler)

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