Double Legs

Published Jun 16th 2013

While browsing fly patterns on the web I found this interesting and buggy looking Swedish pattern, and discovered that its history actually traced back to a GFF pattern


Double Legs AKA Drop Dead Legs

Double Legs is a Swedish fly pattern originated by Erik Andreasson, and its construction and appearance draws traces back to many well known Scandinavian patterns such as Ullsocken, The Omoe Brush and many others featuring double or triple hackles, again having the Irish shrimp flies as their ancestors.
While trying to trace the origins and history of the fly, which I saw first on Facebook tied by Swedish Daniel Smith, I found a few references to Erik Andreasson, and on the site Invicta Flies I saw it titled as a Dalby Dribbler variant.

Now, the Dalby Dribbler is a fly that I know! That fly is tied by my good friend Mark Vagn Hansen, and was featured here on GFF many, many years ago. Reading that reference, I could clearly see the similarities. The colors and materials are different, but the construction and profile is very much the same. The Double Legs has the addition of a bead, and while the Dalby Dribbler is a saltwater fly imitating a small bug or shrimp, the Double Legs is much more a caddis larva or emerger.

The bright green color is very common in the non-cased caddises, and even the egg laying adults will often feature this green colored tag. So the Double Legs pattern can imitate several stages of these very common insects.

Lake fishing

I would not hesitate fishing it in the salt, but as Daniel Smith notes in his Swedish article on the pattern, the fly is an excellent stillwater fly and also very useful in streams where Daniel has pursued grayling with the fly - and with good luck.

The fly is an easy tie with no intricate steps or materials. There's some variation in the materials depending on who ties it. The original tied by Andreasson uses peacock herl for the body and black hackle and no bead head, while the alternative version tied by both Andreasson and David Smith, which is shown here, has a hare's mask body and partridge hackles as well as a bead for weight. I personally like both versions with a slight preference for the weighted version, but the variations just show that there's an opening for interpretations and possible adaptations to match the naturals in your waters and your fishing style. You can basically use what you have as long as you keep to natural colors and soft and not too long hackle feathers.

Step 1 - bead - Slip the bead over the hook and mount the hook in the vise
Step 1 - bead
Step 2 - weight - If you want extra weight, wrap a bit of heavy wire to the hook shank behjind the bead
Step 2 - weight
Step 3 - press wire - Push the wire into the bead
Step 3 - press wire
Step 4 - start thread - Start the thread behind the wire to keep it in place
Step 4 - start thread
Step 5 - cover wire - Cover the wire with a firm layer of thread to tie it down
Step 5 - cover wire
Step 6 - start tag - Tie in the bright green thread
Step 6 - start tag
Step 7 - tag done, tail - Wrap the thread for the tag one or two times back and forth to create a dense colored tag. Tie down and trim. You can consider varnishing it to enhance the color and durability. Tie in some flash for the tail
Step 7 - tag done, tail
Step 8 - fold tail - Fold the flash back to double it and tie the base down
Step 8 - fold tail
Double Legs (original)
Erik Andreasson
Target species
Brown trout

HookTMC 200 size 10
Thread6/0 black
Tagfluorescent green thread or floss
Tailgreen Flashabou
Hackle(fore and aft): India hen, black
Ribextra fine green copper wire
Bodypeacock herl

Double Legs (alternative)
Erik Andreasson
Target species
Brown trout

Hookstandard wet fly hook (Mustad 3906, 3906B) size 8
Headbrass bead, gold or copper
Thread6/0 primrose or black
Tagvarnished green thread (like old flyline backing)
Hackleshungarian partridge
Ribfine copper wire
Bodyhare's ear dubbing blend

Step 9 - tag and tail done - Trim the tail short
Step 9 - tag and tail done
Step 10 - rib - Tie in the copper wire
Step 10 - rib
Step 11 - first hackle - Prepare a partridge feather bu removing the fluffy part and stroking back the barbs from the tip
Step 11 - first hackle
Step 12 - tie in - Tie in the hackle by the tip, curved side out and forwards
Step 12 - tie in
Step 13 - wrap hackle - You might need a set of hackle pliers for the short hackle. Wrap it 2-3 turns, tie down and trim
Step 13 - wrap hackle
Step 14 - dub thread - Dub the thread with a sparse and even layer of fine hare\\\'s mask hair
Step 14 - dub thread
Step 15 - dub body - Dub the body to en even, cylindrical shape
Step 15 - dub body
Step 16 - rib - Rib the body in 4-5 turns
Step 16 - rib
Step 17 - second hackle - Prepare and tie in as the first
Step 17 - second hackle
Step 18 - wrap hackle - Wrap the second hackle, again 2-3 turns will suffice - and is usually what the feather can offer
Step 18 - wrap hackle
Step 19 - finish and varnish - Whip finish the thread, trim it and varnish behind the bead
Step 19 - finish and varnish
Step 20 - done - The Double Legs is finished and ready to fish
Step 20 - done

Beaded Double Legs

Double Legs (alternative)
Daniel Smith
Target species
Brown trout

HookKnapek N size 8 or 10
Headblack bead with lead wire inserted
ThreadWhite and Black UNI 8/0
TagD-Rib (chartreuse, small) over Mirage Tinsel Opal
Ribcopper wire (Brassie)
Bodyhair from a hare's mask

Fishing the fly is much as you imagine. In stillwaters you can fish it on the bottom using a sinking line or leader and letting it go to the depths, slowly retrieving it with the figure of eight technique or simply move it by lifting the rod tip or pulling the line. In running water you can fish it on a floating line, cast upstream, mend and let the fly drift just under the surface, being extra alert when the current catches it or you start lifting it for the next cast, inducing that attractive and very emerger-like upwards motion in the water. Tying both a beaded and an unbeaded version will let you vary the depth of the fly in different current speeds.

Tie a bunch

User comments
From: Stuart Cullen · scullen·at·blueyonder.co.uk  Link
Submitted August 27th 2013

Nice fly and very effective. I tie a similar variety of this excellent pattern which I think i got from a Pennsylvania website. It can be a killer with a copper head. A variation I use is tying the rear hackle with olive CDC whilst retaining partridge for the front hackle..

From: Adam Urban · adamurban16·at·gmail.com  Link
Submitted August 2nd 2013

Nice pattern, I can't wait to try it out on the White River closer to caddis time.

From: Lasse - Full name and email anonymized  Link
Submitted July 11th 2013

Here is another Finnish varied Kakshäkiläinen called Hässäkkä (~ mess) by Aarne Karjala. The idea on Hässäkkä lies in the single flashabou tail flash and the weight which makes the fly swim upside down. It's a real killer, check it out yourself:

The page is in Finnish, but Google translator will prolly help.

From: Lucian · vasies.lucian·at·gmail.com  Link
Submitted July 11th 2013

Martin, this fly is also used in East Europe for more than 20 years. I saw this pattern in an old fly fishing book from '80.
Here in my country (Romania) it's also known as Pulsar Fly. We use green, red or black floss, partridge feathers and glass beads for light flies or metallic beads for heavy flies. A few year ago we start to use jig hooks instead of classic hooks.


From: david · dayhut·at·yahoo.com  Link
Submitted June 28th 2013

Nice looking fly. I'm a warm water man and I'm thinking it will work well for panfish, particularly with that chartreuse flag on the tail. The variegated hackle looks very "buggy."

From: Miikka - Full name and email anonymized  Link
Submitted June 25th 2013

This pattern resembles greatly a finnish fly called Kaksihäkiläinen tied by Lauri Syrjänen(deceased)

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