Tying Instructions: Hale Bopp

1. Attach bead. Note how the bead sits askew on the shank. The next step is to wrap a small piece of leadfree wire and shove it into the cavity to fill the void of the bead and let the bead be centered on the shank.
Step One
2. Wrap leadfree wire behind the bead. 3-4 Wraps of 0.015 leadfree wire will fit within the bead. The leadfree wire will be snugged into the drilled opening of the bead to help secure it and add weight.
Step Two
3. Attach the thread onto the shank behind the wire and secure the wire wraps with thread wraps that butt up against it.
Step Three
4. Wrap the thread back along the shank to the tail tie-in position at the bend of the hook. Note that the tail tie-in position is where the thread hangs halfway between the barb and point of the hook.
Step Four
5. Cut about 15-20 marabou fibers from a marabou stem. Try to keep the fiber ends somewhat even. This is not critical, however, since uneven fibers produce a nicely, tapered tail that provides good action. Attach the fibers to the shank with the tail being about 30% longer than the shank length. The Hale Bopp has a longer and more slender tail than a Seal Bugger or a Mohair Leech. Note that there is no Krystalflash or Flashabou added to the tail. Simplicity a a hallmark of this pattern. Step Five
6. Secure the butt ends of the marabou with thread wraps up the shank to just behind the bead. Trim off the unsecured butt ends behind the bead and secure with more wraps of thread. Wrap the thread back to the tail tie-in position.
Step Six
7. Create a dubbing loop by making a large loop with the thread. The loop is anchored to the tail tie-in position with thread wraps overlapping the loop. After creating the loop, wrap the thread back to just behind the bead. A Dubbing Loop tool keeps the loop open so you can place dubbing within the loop.
Step Seven
8. Place the loose dubbing within the open loop. The tension of the dubbing and the thread will keep it in place. If it freely drops out, either increase the amount of dubbing or pull on the dubbing tool to reduce the space within the loop.
Step Eight
9. Twist the loop to trap the dubbing fibers within the loop. This creates a chenille. You can use your fingers to massage the fibers within the loop for density and fiber placement. Once you are satisfied with the placement of the fibers a few extra turns of the loop will lock the fibers into position. Do not tighten the loop too much as you want to have plenty of fibers extending from the thread core.
Step Nine
10. Wrap the chenille forward around the shank having the chenille touch the previous wrap. Do not wrap over the previous wrap. I use hackle pliers to control the chenille and keep the loop together. Don't worry if you do not have enough chenille to complete the body, you can always make another loop. Step Ten
11. I got only halfway with my first application of dubbing, so I will make a second thread loop and repeat the procedure. First, I secure the first chenille with the thread from my bobbin and trim off the excess. Then, I make a second loop and wrap the bobbin thread up to the bead.
Step Eleven
12. Dubbing is added to the loop.
Step Twelve
13. The loop is twisted to produce a chenille. Again, use your finger to manipulate the fibers within your dubbing loop.
Step Thirteen
14. Wrap the chenille forward with the last wrap just behind the bead. Secure the chenille with thread wraps from your bobbin.
Step Fourteen
15. Whip Finish and clip your thread off the fly. Step Fifteen
16. Attach a red thread just behing the bead. This will be a flared gill attractor element to the pattern.
Step Sixteen
17. Wrap the red thread behind the bead until you get the thickness or appearance you prefer. Whip Finish to secure the wraps.
Step Seventeen
18. Use a piece of Velcro to grab the fibers from the thread core and extend the fibers out from the shank.
Step Eighteen
19. Take a dubbing brush and comb out the fibers. This will give you a better appearance as well as a visual indication of the length and placement of the fibers. You can trim some of the extra long fibers to suit.
20. The Finished Fly.
Step Twenty

©2015 Steve Schalla
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