october wulff™

 

I am a sucker for the royal wulff. It was my "go to" attractor fly for many years. I am not sure what made it work so well but I just loved the look of the thing. As I developed my skills I found that if a large brookie made a run at my royal wulff and refused it at the last minute I would "fly down" and tie on a smaller black gnat, after that a BWO. Eventually the trout would usually take something but each fly would get harder and harder to see (especially as my eyes got older). One cold winter day I decided to skip a step in the process and tie something between a Royal Wulff and a Black Gnat and add a flourescent orange wing like the ones I saw Tom Baltz use on his midges on a trip to PA. The orange and black color scheme reminded me of halloween so I call it an October Wulff™. I actually use it more in the Spring and Summer (makes a great ant pattern in August) so don't let the name keep it in your fly box until fall. It is a fun fly to fish and I keep my box full at all times when I am chasing native brookies.

 

instructions

Materials List

  • thread: black
  • tail: moose hair
  • body: peacock herl, black floss or thread
  • wing: Flourescent orange calf body hair or kip tail
  • hackle: black or brown

Instructions

Start with a size16-12 dry fly hook. If you have never tied a Wulff type fly you may want to use at least a 12 to make things a little easier on yourself.

 

Normal start to things. Wind the thread over itself to secure.

 

Tie in a tail made of stacked moose hair. Moose hair is a fantastic material. It doesn't splay like deer hair if you over tighten, it stacks very easily and it floats forever. This will provide an additional level of bouyancy to your fly.

TIP: Wipe your stacker with a dryer sheet to keep static electricity from clinging to the hairs.

Here is the tail tied and ready to trim. The bushyness is up to you. I like thick tails for fast moving water and sparse tails for more selective trout. This one is somewhere in between.

 

 

Tail trimmed and tied off.

 

Lining up the stacked orange calves hair. You may also use Kip tail or goat hair. Goat is the straightest but not always easy to find. Did you wipe down your stacker with a dryer sheet? If you didn't you may be a little frustrated right now.

Tie a clump just to the front of the hair to make it stand straighter. You will probably never get it completely vertical in this step but posting by wrapping around the base will help. Easy on the thread tension. You don't need to yank it down. I light touch really helps here.

 

After posting, we split the wing into two equal halves with thread wraps.

Now we use a figure eight to get our final form. Notice how a light thread tension straightens those wings right up.

Apply cement to the base of the wing to keep it locked into form.

I am tying in some gold tinsel. It adds a bit of flash but also serves as a collar for the tail material. I prefer rusted or tarnished tinsel since I am up to date on my tetanus shots.

The tinsel is optional and will barely be noticeable in the final product. Some men like to wear dresses, I tie fancy flies with tinsel.

Notice how the tinsel forms a nice neat collar for the tail material.

Next I tie in a peacock herl. I like to get the died variety. This one is died green. It gives it an extra splash of color (see above section on tinsel).

After tying the first bump. Wind thread or black floss to form the body. I am just using the black thread here because I am too lazy to wrap the floss. I really don't see any difference in the final fly.

After body is wound create second hump with peacock herl and secure. Leave it just shy of the wing to make room for a couple of hackle wraps.

Body is complete and ready for hackle.

Hackle is tied in behind wing and whip finished or half-hitched.

Whip finishing or half hitching is absolutely necessary before wrapping if you plan to use a rotary vise to wrap the hackle.

Photo is not upsidedown. I am using a Renzetti rotary vise to wrap hackle. Much easier than doing it the old school way.

Finished hackle is tied off just shy of the eye of the hook.

Wrap additional thread to form the head. Be careful not to cover the eye of the hook. Sometimes punching it out with a needle will allow you to use the fly; other times it cause all your hard work to unwravel.

Whip finish or half-hitch several times to finish. If you have never used a whip finisher, give it a try. After about 20 minutes your will wonder how you lived without it.

Apply cement to finish your fly. You may also cement the thread body segment if you want the fly to be bulletproof.

completed october wulff™

The finished October Wulff™ is a great attractor/prospecting pattern as well as an ant substitute in the Summer months. This is my "Go To" fly any day the water is warmer than about 40 degrees and I am chasing Native Brook Trout.

Enjoy!

Mark

 

 

 

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