Braided Needlefish fly pattern
Originator: Mark Delaney
Hook: Eagle Claw 66NA or Mustad 92611 with offset straightened, size 1 to to 2/0
Thread: 3/0 nylon to match body color
Body: 2 braided pieces of craft cord or rattail ribbon and one length of piping to match body color
Eyes: 1/16 oz. nickel plated lead eyes
Wing: 5 to 10 strands of peacock herl
Prepare two braids from craft cord or rattail ribbon (both found in craft stores, the craft cord is in the plastic canvas section). To make the braids, tie three pieces of cord onto a finishing nail protruding 1 1/2" from the flat face of a 12 inch 1"x3" board with a simple overhand knot. Braid the pieces together like hair. The pieces should be braided fairly tightly but not so tightly they twist. The finished braid should lie flat. Tape the end of the braid together with scotch tape. Near the nail tie the braid off with a loop of light monofilament line. Cut the braid between the nail and the monofilament loop.
Place the hook in the flytying vise. Wrap the thread from the eye of the hook to the bend covering the shaft completely. Remove the hook from the vise and pass the hook point through a gap in the braid you wish to be the top of the fly, making sure the braid extends 1/2" past the eye of the hook. Place the hook back in the vise upside down. Attach the braid to the hook wrapping from the bend to 3/8" from the eye. Take several tight wraps and several halfhitches to secure the braid to the hook. Trim the rest of the braid that extends from this point and past the eye. Remove the hook from the vise and replace it right side up in the vise. Attach the lead eyes to the top of the hook using figure eight wraps. Attach a second braid to the top of the hook right behind the lead eyes. Attach the two braids together with widely spaced wraps wrapping toward the end of the hook. At the bend of the hook keep wrapping until you reach the extended body length you desire. Take several wraps and half hitches. Attach the piping with several wraps and half hitches making sure this is a slight excess at the tail of the fly and that the piping will reach the head of the fly. Wrap forward with widely spaced wraps, making sure the piping is centered on the braid it lays upon. Add peacock herl wing and finsh off head of the fly. Coat both the head wraps and the tail wraps with a good coat of head cement. To form the tail, trim the excess braid and piping at the tail of the fly at about 3/4" and fray the cord and piping.
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