REVERSE-TIED MARABOU BLACKNOSE DACE streamer pattern(s)submitted by Chris DelPlato - Marabou Streamer Swap

Marabou Streamer Logo

Submitted By Chris DelPlato

HOOK Mustad 3665A or equivalent, sizes 6 - 10
THREAD Red 8/0 Uni Thread
BODY Medium Flat Silver(traditional) or Gold Tinsel
EYES Peel & Stick-on Prismatic size 1 1/2 or 2
TAIL (OPTIONAL) Red Hackle or Marabou
HEAD COATING Dave's Flexament

Chris's Comments On The Pattern

What's in a name? In the case of this particular fly, the name I have chosen pays homage to some of the trailblazers of streamer fly design. "Reverse-Tied" relates to the 'backward' technique of tying bucktails which was developed by Carrie Stevens and brought to greater prominence by Keith Fulsher's Thunder Creek series. "Marabou", while it is the theme of this fly swap, also reminds of A. Wellington Ballou of Litchfield, Maine -- the father of the marabou streamer. And finally, "Blacknose Dace" which is the name of the baitfish we are trying imitate, as well as the name of Art Flick's popular brown/black/white bucktail color combination. Incidentally, some consideration was given to how, exactly, this part of the name should be spelled -- Black Nose, Black Nosed, Blacknosed or Blacknose -- all of which I've seen in various fly fishing/pattern texts. I went with the latter, as it appeared in a book entitled "Complete Field Guide to American Wildlife" by H.H. Collins. "Blacknose Dace - Rhinichthys Atratulus" sounded authoritative enough to me. Within the U.S., this little guy enjoys clear brooks with clean bottoms from Minnesota to Tennessee, Virginia to Maine. Let's tie one on!

Chris's Tying Instructions

1. Tie in thread about 1/8" behind hook eye.

2. Attach tinsel about 1/4" behind hook eye. Wind on with slightly overlapping wraps toward rear of hook and back, reversing direction just before hook begins to bend, and ending at starting point. Trim excess.

3. We will use three colors of marabou. Both the brown on top and the white on bottom will each be about twice as much as the black in the middle. In other words, approximately 2/5 brown, 2/5 white and 1/5 black. As I tie in these bunches of marabou, I like to keep it wet. This can be done with saliva, but in order to keep the dye out of your mouth (and who knows where those feathers have been) a small cup or bowl of water on your bench might be a better option. With such a wispy material that can be blown about by the slightest breeze, this makes the tying job more manageable. Especially since the color separation is a key element of the pattern.

4. Begin with the black, first measuring the marabou length so that you will have enough length past the hook bend after you are done folding the head back. Take half of the total amount of black needed and hold it by the butt ends. Place this "hold point" even with the hook bend allowing the marabou to lay on top of the hook shank with its tips toward the eye. Adjust the length of the marabou until it extends about 3/4" past the hook eye. Now slide this "hold point" up to where you tied off your tinsel, approximately 1/4" behind the eye. Now bring this bunch of marabou down along the side of the shank and tie it in there with a few good solid wraps. Trim excess. Repeat on opposite side of the hook with the rest of the black.

5. Repeat this procedure with the brown marabou on the top of the hook and again with the white on the bottom. Flipping the hook upside down (rotary is a plus here) can make the bottom easier to tie in. Remember to keep the marabou moist and separated into your four bunches.

6. Now you have your four bunches of marabou (2 black, 1 brown, 1 white) coming off the front of the hook. Wind your thread forward toward the hook eye, solidifying the bind-down point and extending it right up to the eye. This will be the foundation of the "bullet head" of the fly. You can leave it slim or build it up, depending upon how large you want the head to be. Now, wind the thread back to the back of your head foundation (1/4 - 3/8" behind the eye, depending upon fly size).

7. One by one, starting with the two black ones, fold each of the marabou bunches straight back and bind them down with two turns. Finish with the brown and white bunches.

8. Complete the tying with a sufficient number of wraps to form a thin (1/16" or so) red band of thread. Tie off using a whip finish or half hitch (if your tool is big enough to fit over the head of the fly).

9. Coat the head with a clear epoxy, back to and including the red band of thread. I use Dave's Flexament. This will protect the head from getting frayed when you start catching all those fish! If you are using a stationary vise, apply the coating sparingly as it has a tendency to drip or run. With a rotary vise, you can apply a bit heavier and then rotate the fly 180 degrees if you see a drip or 'sag' forming. After the first coat has dried, affix the stick-on prismatic eyes. Apply a second coat over the head, eyes and band. A third coat is optional.

10. Go fishing!

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User comments
From: Bobby Visnosky · bobbyv96·at·  Link
Submitted April 16th 2015

Chris, I am interested in your pattern and I have been tying flies for quite a few years. I have not yet gotten into streamers as I stick to nymphs, dries and wets. I would love to try to tie your pattern but incorporate lead eyes. I have two questions. Do you have any suggestions for doing this or any better way to add weight? Secondly, since i am new to tying streamers, your descriptions are great but could you send me a couple of pictures or a video so I can see exactly how you are tying the fly. Thanks for any help you can be.

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