Saturday, March 26, 2011

Thin or Fat

In this day and age everybody wants to be thin. Stay up late and I am sure you will find a host of infomercials trying to sell you something to thin you down. That's all fine and good if you need to get a pant size back but what if you're trying to attack the big meat eating monster of the river? A thin fly just doesn't have the same appeal.
I got on this thought of how to make flies fatter after several discussions on where to buy really shaggy copper colored chenille. Just didn't seem to be a source of extra large chenille out there. Small and medium were readily available but the fly I wanted needed to be fat. Plump. Chunky.

Wrapping the chenille over itself didn't seem to get the desired plumpness. It also proved to use a lot of material per fly. Then a trash fly idea erupted. My son had an art project from his preschool class that was made of flashy pipe cleaners. It looked like cactus chenille with a wire center. Next trip to his school I asked the teacher where she had got them under the pretense he really loved the project and wanted to make more at home. I was trying to keep the weirdness factor down as much as possible.

I have tried using the craft pipe cleaners on two patterns so far: the Tequeely and the Woolly Bugger. When tying a large woolly bugger chenille is not well suited to size. Below are the tying steps.



Hook: #6 Mustad 3x Streamer
Weight: White/pearl pipe cleaner and large brass cone
Tail: White Marabou
Hackle: White Saddle
Body: White/pearl pipe cleaner and pearl large chenille

The advantages of using the pipe cleaners for the under body are simple. The fiber is stiff enough to support the cactus chenille. It comes in colors that accent the patterns I tie. A copper bodied fly works with a gold pipe cleaner.



Hook: #6 Mustad Nymph Hook
Weight: Gold pipe cleaner and large brass cone
Legs: Yellow Silly Legs
Body: Gold pipe cleaner and copper large chenille
Plump up with pride and keep an eye on kids craft and art projects.