All content © Robert Williamson

All content © Robert Williamson

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Chain-stitched Mayflies

I wrote an article for "Fly Tying" a magazine published by Frank Amato before it became the current "Fly Fishing & Tying Journal". It was about creating extended-body mayfly patterns by chain-stitching thread. Les Johnson, then editor of the magazine told me that it was very well received by the readership. I have continued to tie and fish this style of mayfly for Blue-winged Olives, Pale Morning Duns, Callibaetis, Flavs and Mahogany Duns. It can be tied to imitate almost any mayfly type. On smoother waters, with selective feeding fish, it has performed great. I have even used it as a cripple or emerger pattern by tucking the extended-body down around the bend of the hook.

The chain-stitching technique can be done by hand and is explained in my little book "Creative Flies" published by Amato, who recently, let it go out of print. It is now only available through on-line book dealers.

I love to fish this pattern to trout sipping adults off the surface. It is best to use a hook one size smaller than the natural. The extended-body makes a size eighteen into a size sixteen. I also try to find tying thread that is not too waxy. This helps when stitching the body and dividing the tail fibers.

The Blue-winged Olives are hatching now. I think I'll tie a handful up and go fishing!


JayMorr said...

I still have a copy of "Fly Tying" with your article in it. I love your patterns and use them. Occasionally I will pull the magazine out for reference. Great pattern, nice work!

Wildnative said...

Thanks Jason. I just looked at my
fly picture and realized it stinks! I'll try to get a better one soon. When the mays are floating, I love to fish a chain-stitched dry.

Alan said...

Nice site RAW. I just found it. Imagine that and without any help.! And what Jaymorr said.
See you soon.


cheech said...

Great looking bug RW!

Cutthroat Stalker said...

Nice looking flies! How do they compare in time taken to tie (compared to a non-chain-stitched fly)?

I'm pretty utilitarian in my tying: "Git er done" is my mantra at the vise.

Wildnative said...

Thanks for the comments guys. To answer cutthroat stalker: The time isn't that consumming. It's easier to see it done than to explain it. In a matter of seconds a few chain-stitched bodies can be made on one section of thread. These can be cut out individually, tie one on the hook, slap out a comparadun wing, dub around it and then whip the head and your done.