Additional tying tips for
As for inserting the legs here is a simple solution/suggestion.
Use a small piece on mono or a dental floss loop. I personally
use a Wapsi Bobbin threader and pull the legs through the foam
very carefully. I find the large needles can cause the rubber
legs to slip out of the bug as the Bream suck on the legs. So
I use a very thin needle inserted in an old exacto pen to hold
the needle. It gives me the leverage I need to push the needle
all the way through the fly without poking a finger. Once the
hole is there I use the wire threader to go back through the
hole open the threader and insert leg on the back side then
pull gently through until you can adjust the legs by hand. I
prefer the round legs.
Don't know why probably cosmetic more than anything but I have
recently started painting stripes at the very end of the legs,
two on each leg. It looks so much like a dragon fly wing it's
not even funny.
I also use a thin coat of fingernail polish on the front and
under body of the fly to strengthen the face and belly of the
fly. Recently have added two tone spots and eyes to the fly
in Kudos to Walt Holman. Really gives it an awesome appearance.
Krystal flash with the slightest amount of marabou for the
tail seems to work best for durability as well. The deer hair
makes the bug float tail end up...so I don't really like the
deer hair. Over time you find the perfect placement for the
legs. I don't recommend gluing the legs at the foam unless
you use Dave's Flexament. Most glues over time will cause
the area to harden and make the legs brittle and break off
or cause them to curl funny. The round legs don't seem to
slip out as often and you can get it in a variety of diameters.
On larger flies like 1/2" foam I really like to double the
legs up on each side and use a stout Diachii or Mustad hook.
I have found the nymph hooks in 2x strength and length provide
the best wear and tear. And even experimented with the straight
eye hook for ease of tying on the leader. But the down eye seems
to perform better.
One thing to keep in mind is tie up a dozen or more at a time.
It is so much easier to do the tail and thread wraps as one
step, slicing foam as another step, gluing and drying as
additional step, then inserting legs and painting the bodies
as a last stage. Dad had it down to a science and could whip
out a dozen bugs in a matter of an hour or so. His arthritis
and carpal-tunnel made it more difficult for him over the years.
But he never quit tying them. They have literally made their
way around the world. ~ Wade Blevins "Son of Sam Blevins"
Please check out the Fly Tying Section, on the Bulletin Board here at FAOL too.
If you have any questions, tips, or techniques; send them to