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Duck's extended body
Going Au Naturel to catch wise trout with extended bodies and a special natural hackle style
I have developed an innovative and extremely easy technique to make extended body flies, mayfly, caddis, and stonefly. I can make a dozen near perfect extended bodies in the time it takes most tyers to make one--and mine is more durable.
I also have developed a way of hackling the dry flies so that the hackle is under the body but ABOVE the hook so that the hackle supports the fly like the natural.
Here's a description of the processes
Instructions for making the extended body
1. Place the needle in the drill and tighten the chuck.
2. Lay the drill down conveniently in front of you so that you can depress the drill trigger with one hand while holding the dubbing with the other.
Steps for making the extended body
1. Color the mandrel to the correct body length.
2. Rotate the needle while coating it with silicone. Place a light coat of silicone on the needle starting from the mandrel tip to just a little over the length of the full insect body. Rotate the needle with the drill to get a complete application that fully covers the needle.
3. Lay the tailing fibers on the needle so that they are caught by the silicone and protrude the correct length past the needle tip. For caddis and other insects without tails, skip this step.
4. Grasp a small wisp of dubbing and rotate the needle while barely touching the dubbing to the silicone on the needle. The silicone will "grab" the dubbing and start winding it on the needle.
5. Continue rotating the needle while adding wisps of dubbing to fully cover the mandrel and to build the correct length, diameter, and color of the mayfly body. This step is where you can build the abdomen with one color (or blended colors) and overlap and build the thorax with another color.
6. Coat the body lightly with silicon or with water based head cement if desired, and rotate the mandrel to do final shaping and smoothing with your fingers. This will aid durability.
7. Using your nails, slide the completed body off of the needle. Be careful to not crush the wet body. Lay the completed body to the side for drying. Carefully put a slight curve in the abdomen if you desire. Variety of completed extended bodies shown.
Instructions for tying Duck's Natural Extended Body Fly
1. Place the de-barbed hook in the vice and wrap two layers of thread from the eye back to just above the hook point and half-hitch midway.
2. Tie in the hackle at this point, half-hitch, and add drop of cement.
3. Position the completed extended body so that the abdomen curves away to the rear of the hook and the thorax extends to just behind the eye and bind with 2 loose wraps of thread and then wrap three wraps under the body but above the hook around the tie-in point and half hitch.
4. Place the Z-lon wing material in the correct wing size on top of the extended body and bind with 2 wraps of thread. Too little wing material is better than too much. Fold the Z-lon into a single cord and form a wing by wrapping the thread around the base of the wing. I rotate my vice so that the wing points toward me as I wrap a few turns around the base. TIP: Dab the base of the wing with UV and zap with blue light while holding the wing in position - nails it!
5. Take 2 to 4 turns of hackle placing the hackle forward between the thorax and hook and back between the abdomen and the hook so that the hackle is wound, semi-parachute fashion, around the junction of thread attaching the extended body to the hook.This places the hackle under the thorax and abdomen but above the hook for a VERY natural look.
6. Tie off the hackle with half-hitches and whip finish under the head. Place a drop of head cement at this point and at the base of the hackle. Trim the wing to correct length. Trim the thorax to correct length. Trim any errant hackle fibers so that the fly will lie flat on the water.
7. If the natural has a distinctly colored head, use a magic marker to color the very front of the thorax. Variety of completed flies shown.
Video showing how to tie the fly with the body and a low hackle