Tag Archives: Dry Fly

Best Dry Fly Ever

As a featured guest speaker at our October 2017 meeting, Bob Gancarz talked about using small flies.  Now he’s been generous enough to share his fly tying recipe for a midge pattern which he says is ‘The Best Dry Fly Ever’!

The Speck Fly midge pattern. Courtesy of Bob Gancarz.

Well, here it is. The Tiny Black Speck. The diagram shows how to tie it. I can’t say enough about this fly. First of all, I feel like I am letting the cat out of the bag …..but for our TU chapter members it’s worth it. They are a great group, and they WILL catch rising trout anywhere and all year long with this fly. This fly has caught some huge Browns for me on the Farmington River ….. even during a Hendrickson hatch with a size 24! Strange, but true. I started tying this fly when I started fly fishing. I tied it because it was easy to do. Over time, I made a few minor improvements to it. I noticed, time and time again, that I caught more trout with this simple fly than any of the other flies I carried. It has become my favorite. Of course you have to present it correctly, just like any other fly, or you won’t get the hits. Let’s start …….

MATERIALS. Hook: Scud size 18 thru 32, Thread: 8/0 black, Glue/cement: Any good grade head cement will do. I use Hard as Hull.

DIAGRAM #1. You can use hook sizes #18 down to #32 ….all tied the same way. The thread body can be made long and narrower on sizes 18 thru 22 ….to imitate a Dark Caddis, or football shaped like a Simuliam (black fly) for sizes 24 thru 32. The body is just thread, it should sink just under the film and the CDC feathers will be above the film.

DIAGRAM #2. Gather up a small amount of CDC feathers. You can use natural dun, dark or light dun. Sparse is BETTER for this pattern. Remember, it is supposed to be the wings of a fly, not a big dark clump above the body.

DIAGRAM #3. Place the ends on top and onto the small drop of cement. You need the glue to keep the feathers intact for a long time ….especially during hook removal of tiny hooks.

DIAGRAM #4. Cover up the ends of the feathers with thread in order to make the head. Tie off and spread a little cement to the head and underside to make it durable. Now put it aside to dry. If you rush, the feathers might pull out during the next step.

DIAGRAM #5. Push the feathers forward to bend them. They will make the next step easier to do, and they will eventually lay down a little over the body just like a real bug.

DIAGRAM #6. This is the most important step. Trim the feathers like the dashed lines show. I leave them just a little on the long side to start, because they can always be trimmed on the water as conditions require. If the fish take the fly with more feather, then great. It will float better and you can see it much easier. Remember SPARSE is usually better. More times than not, the fly will need to be trimmed a little when on the water to get the hits. To make it sparser, trim the feathers on the approximate angle noted by the dashed lines, shortening the feathers toward the hook eye. You’ll know when you did it right because the trout will start to take it. This trimming thing is very easy once you do it a couple of times.

NOTES …………………. It is a good idea (for any CDC dry fly) to wet the CDC feathers before you make your first cast. I usually dip my fingers into the water and squeeze the feathers a couple of times. Wetting first will allow the CDC powder to stick to the feathers much better and the fly will float for a longer time. The BEST way to apply the powder to ANY emerger fly is to hold the fly between your fingers exposing the feathers ONLY. In this way the powder doesn’t get on the body. You want the body to be below the film and the feathers on top. To save CDC powder, trim the applicator brush to about an eighth of an inch. Stroke the CDC feathers forward, towards the front of the fly. This fluffs up the fly real good.