Friday, January 7, 2011

Banksia Bug Tying Instructions

Banksia Bug

I began tying this fly to imitate the masses of free-living caddis larva in all my home waters here in Colorado and elsewhere in trout streams all over the West. I have rarely found good commercially available flies that can fill this niche. And it’s a very productive fly…probably because this particular caddis larva is a notoriously poor swimmer, often getting swept away in the current, making it an easily recognizable food organism and makes up a large portion of a trout’s diet.

I have found this pattern to work well in rivers with an abundance of small to medium-size stonefly nymphs…leading me to believe my fly is suggestive enough for trout to mistake it for any number of long-bodied aquatic insects. With this in mind, I am now using this fly in lakes…with equal success! I was hoping it could double as a case maker caddis larva, but have found it works exceptionally well in lakes with a lot of active damselflies.

Step 1: Put appropriate sized black tungsten bead on TMC 200R hook (size 7/64 bead on #14 hook). To tie the Basalt version use a TMC 2499SP-BL hook.

Step 2: Using Lt. Cahill 6/0 Uni-Thread tie in both X-Small black UTC Ultra Wire and Small olive UTC Ultra Wire. Apply small amount of head cement to the wires to “marry” them together.

Step 3: Build a fat butt of the abdomen with the Lt. Cahill thread, then tie off and trim.

Step 4: Switch to olive Lagartun or UTC thread and continue building up the tapered abdomen, leaving a small amount of the light yellow butt exposed.

Step 5: Wrap the duel wires forward and tie off behind the black bead and trim both thread and wire.

Step 6: Coat entire abdomen with a liberal amount of Loon UV Knot Sense and set using UV light. This will immediately set up hard, but may have a slightly matt finish, so coat with thin layer of Hard-as-Hull head cement.

Step 7: Tie on legs using 3 or 4 fibers of Gadwall flank feather on either side.

Step 8: Tie in some exceptionally bushy, dark grey ostrich herl and wrap forward.

Step 9: Create small dubbing rope using Dave Whitlock SLF Hellgrammite.

Step 10: Wrap dubbing rope up to the black bead and whip finish. Apply small amount of head cement over knot.

Watch the Tying Video!

(Note…the Banksia is a knarly tree native to eastern Australia, named after Sir Joseph Banks (botanist cir. 1800’s). A very popular children’s book “Snuggle Pot & Cuddle Pie” an Australian version of “The Wizard of Oz” features a creepy, evil character called a Banksia Man…that looks like the cone from the Banksia tree.)

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