Our Man From Canada


Alan Bithell - Feb 11, 2013

The Detached Body:

This is made up of two pieces of foam. Cut yourself a strip of foam, about an inch (25mm) wide. With long bladed scissors make a tapering cut across the strip, start it about 1/8 inch (3mm) from the corner, and aim at the corner at the other side. You should end up with a wedge like this. Make several of them, turning the strip over between each cut.

The body is tied on a needle not on the hook. You'll need as fine a needle as you can find. Beading needles are great for this as they are very fine. Start the thread on the needle. Pull the tag end of the tying thread forward and tie down. Leave it long.

Select a matched pair of your foam triangles. Tie one in to each side by their tips. There should be no thread on the needle behind where the foam is tied in.

Advance the thread a little way away from the vice jaws.

Pull both pieces of foam forward and take a turn around them with your thread. Pull the foam back and advance the thread up the needle a little further, and pull the foam forward again. Make another turn around the foam. Do this until you have created 4 segments (or more if you like).

Once you have formed the segments make a whip finish on the turns that form the last segment. Three turns is enough. Trim out the thread quite long. Then grasp the body and pull the body off the needle. Usually I make several of these before moving on to the next part.


Place a hook in your vice. Here I have used a TMC 2487BL in size 22. This tying style is suitable for small hooks as the majority of the dressing goes on top of the hook shank. Not in the gap.

A good thread base is needed to make the fly secure. If you imagine a clock face in front of the hook shank I start the thread at 1 0'clock and wind in touching turns to 11 o'clock. Then back to 12 o'clock and pull the tag end of the thread forward, and tie down. This stops the thread from spreading around the hook bend when it gets wet.

The body is tied on at that point. Fold one of the wedges of foam back, and tie the other to the top of the hook shank. At the same time catch in the tow strands of thread you left long when tying the body. Take a couple of wraps over the whip finish on the body.

Take a length of pearl tinsel; fold it into a V shape.

Place the tinsel around your thread so that it sits with the thread in the bottom of the V. Then take the thread around the tie in point again, trapping the tinsel in place.

Pull the top piece of foam back and take a couple of turns over it on top of the tinsel. This helps keep the wings down flat.

Trim out the forward facing (bottom) piece of foam, and the two lengths of thread. Then tie in a small CDC feather by its tip.

Wind the CC feather forward dragging the barbs back with your other hand. Tie off well behind the eye.

Part the CDC fibres and bring the remaining foam forward, not too tight. Tie this down to the hook shank.

Once tied down stretch the loose end a little and trim off just forward of the securing wraps.

Trim up the wings and put a whip finish behind the hook eye. This lifts the "head" to keep the eye free.

Usually I would fish this trailing behind a larger dry fly, usually something like a size 14 parachute fly. This helps me to locate the fly on the water. My eye sight may be failing but with this help I can usually find it.


For more great info, check out:

Fly Tying Terms

Beginning Fly Tying | Intermediate Fly Tying | Advanced Fly Tying.

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