AU SABLE SKUNK DRY FLY TYING RECIPE:
Hook : Size 10 dry fly hook
Body : Black Dubbing
Wing: Deer Hair
Legs: Rubber Legs
Wing : Dry Fly Hackle
Hello, lovely people. Welcome back to another Quickie with Tim. I am Tim Hepworth from Fly Fishing Bow River Outfitters and Thursday Night Live Fly Tying. We want to thank you for joining us tonight. Also wanna thank Rocky Mountain Fly Shop for sponsoring this. Remember, every order over $99 ships for free. We're gonna be working on this guy here today, the Au Sable Dry Skunk.
Let's get rocking. We're gonna be tying this on a size 10 dryly. If you remember last week's quick tie, we did the Michigan Skunk Fly. Both of these are sisters to each other and There's slight variations. The original, it's got foam probably gonna float a little better. But I'm telling you what, you're gonna wanna work on these two cuz they're something special.
Okay. I'm time with some UTC 70 in black today. Okay. I am going to get my thread started just behind the eye. I'm gonna work it back slightly. I'm gonna go ahead and trim out that tag. Now, the original pattern calls for some caftail, but this is a much easier product to work with and just as good in my opinion and as far as appearance.
But we have Antron Yarn. So it's a lot easier to work with. Um, don't have to stack it, don't have to do anything like that. So I'm just gonna start it up like that near the. I'm gonna kind of, this is just using this to create a little bit of a bulk in the underbody.
I'm gonna take it back to just before the bend. If I lay down my thread, if it's sitting at the back of the barb, it's kind of telling you you're just about there. Now I'm gonna trim this out to form a tail that's roughly half of a hook shank in length, out the back. Trim that off. You can see it pops up really nice.
We'll set that aside. Now this version starts off with, instead of using foam, we're gonna go straight to our dubbing, And we are gonna work our dubbing forward. So you got a whole huge clump of this black dubbing. We're not using very much of it, just a light amount. We're gonna create a little dubbing noodle. Try to create this to be tight noodle as well as an even one. So we want a nice even underbody to this fly. we need to start with it on our dubbing noodle. That's where it all starts. We need to keep that nice and even. The underbody that we want. So just gonna do some touching wraps forward. Okay? We're gonna work that forward, leaving ourselves about a third of the head to work with still. I wanna leave myself a little bit of space because we have some stuff to put up at the front still. Okay? So that's where I'm gonna leave my fly or starting my thread currently now. When we go on this next portion, we're gonna be working some deer hair. Okay. So deer hair. We've been working with it quite a bit now. just be patient with yourself with this stuff, especially this type of deer hair we're putting on dryly is often quite fine. It might wanna move around on you a little bit. It might wanna flare more than you want it to. Just understand that it's not always perfect. The trout probably doesn't care that much about it. It's more for aesthetics, what we think. I just clipped off a little clump off of the patch. I'm gonna try to get All the little furries out from underneath the under fur. Okay. As you can see, I like to come back and just place it on my fly right at the start, before I start stacking it. Is that a correct amount? I think I've got a decent clump here. I think it's gonna be a good amount. I'm gonna go over to my hair stacker, use my SHOR fishing hair stacker. I've got a couple of different sizes. This is my small one. I like the small one for this finer hair. I'm gonna give it a stack.
Now I'm gonna leave the base of it down towards the back of the fly. So when I pull this out, my tips are lined up in the right direction that I'm gonna tie in. Now I'm gonna come in and pinch that against my thumb, my forefinger, and get that out. I'm gonna pull out any more little fluffies that are hanging out there.
Now this is where it can get fun, cuz you're gonna be switching back and forth with your hands a little bit. So I wanna measure a wing that basically extends halfway back into that Antron Tail. So you switch hands a few times, get a good pinch on it, and gauge where you want it to be. Think that's where I want it.
Okay, so I'm gonna switch hands one more time, but it's important that I pinch really firmly here and don't let the hair, when I secure it, spin around the hook shank, cuz that's not what I want. Okay? So I'm gonna do a nice gathering wrap right up over top of that hair. I'm gonna do another one. Okay?
I'm not pulling tight yet. I'm gonna build a couple of wraps. And then I'm gonna start pulling tighter. Now you're gonna see that hair wants to flare right away. We need to use the butts of that hair. Okay? So it's okay that it flares, but we need to gather it back up. So now I'm gonna switch hands. This is kinda the complicated part cuz this hair is quite fine.
It'll even tear on you, but I'm gonna gather it in my front hand, making sure this is secure first, okay, that I can let go of the back. But I need all of these gathered first. Now I need to work my thread forward. Over top of that hair. So I'm just gonna hold the hair as I do it. And once it starts, I'm pulling upwards cause I want all that hair to stay right on top of the hook shank.
Once I get to here, give it a good tug, it'll probably flare again on me, and then I'm gonna work that space in between putting some thread wraps down. Okay, now this is similar to like an Elk hair caddis when you build A bit of a head or kind of a, you know, it almost just works like a skating fly, almost like a gurgler.
You want a bit of a head on this created by the hair. It's gonna help it float, it's gonna help you be able to see it good as well. So I'm gonna come in here and I'm gonna run my scissors up, leaving myself a little bit of a bulky head. Okay, now if I wanna shorten that up I can still trim that later, but I can't add hair back on, so don't cut it too short the first time. From here, I'm gonna go ahead and get my rubber legs. So we're gonna put two per side. So I'm gonna split that off there. I've got two of these white rubber legs. You could use barred legs, whatever, but the pattern calls to these white ones. So that's what we're gonna use here. I'm gonna make sure they're nice and even.
And then I'm gonna tie two of them on the far side of the fly just kind of evenly splitting them. I'm gonna get those ones secured first. A few wraps. So it Stays in place and I can still maneuver them if I have to. Then I'm gonna grab my other two again, make sure they're split and then line them up. This'll go on the near side of the fly towards me.Now tension is the name of the game here. If you go too tight, right off the hop, you do things like what I just did there and get some of that hair that you want to use caught in there. So you gotta be a little delicate with it. Take a couple wraps and then move them to where you want them. Make sure they're kind of evenly spread. And now I want to fill in that space. So I need to put thread wraps all over in that space, cuz I'm gonna put some hackle in here after this. So I need to make sure that I pull that hair down. I wanna secure the legs all the way back to the deer here, and I wanna secure those legs all the way forward To the edge of the hair at the front. But what's important here is I have a good thread base laid down for my hackle to sit on. So what you should be left with right now is something that looks just like this, okay? All the hair should be up on top. We got our nice tail. Our legs are tied on both sides. A good head on it.
Now we're gonna go to our hackle. So choosing it, choosing the appropriate hackle for this, it can be a little tricky. You want something that's gonna give it a bit of height. You don't wanna super oversize the hackle because then it's gonna kind of take away from what the fly actually is. So I'm cleaning off the base of the stem. I'm gonna tie it in from the base. I'm gonna leave the underside of the feather pointed back and down the fly. I'm gonna secure that stem right in front of that hair. Take a few thread wraps to kind of bind it down in both directions. We don't want that going anywhere.
And you see that I took some wraps forward down into that space cuz I'm gonna wanna wrap material over it as well. I'm gonna go ahead and just trim out that tag. Now I am gonna end up whip finishing this fly or half hitching this fly right up the start. I need to leave my thread at the front of that gap cuz that's where I'm gonna finish this.
I am gonna use my hackle pliers so I can hold onto this a little better. And then we just want some nice even wraps going back over top. Now just take it nice and slow. You wanna fill up as much of that space with the hackle as you can, cause that's gonna help this fly float even better. But you also don't wanna wrap on top of the previous wrap, so take your time making sure you hold the previous wrap outta the way. I'm gonna re-secure that again. So that's the point here. I'm talking about guys not pulling too hard. These hackle feathers can be quite delicate. We don't want to tear 'em. So you're gonna get three to four, maybe five at most. Wraps on here before you come in and secure it. We've gotta do that same wrap behind, wrap in front.
Make sure we secure it down if we can let go of it with our hackle pliers, and I'm gonna try to dry all the material back and get a few wraps right there. Make sure it's good and tight. Now before I do anything else, I wanna finish this fly off with, with a half hitch. So you've seen me use it before I've got my half hitch tool. It could be anything. If you want to grab even your whip finisher, you can see they’re designed one on the base of that same with your bodkin. What this does, it helps me work around this head because I'm gonna basically push that head up with the tool and get my thread to follow underneath. So I place my tool there, and I wrap it once, twice.
I need to find the hook eye with my tool and then slide those wraps off and down. We'll do it one more time. It's a great way of finishing dry flies. It's good and secure. You can still add some resin if you like. Now come in here and trim out your thread without trimming any of your hackle if you can. Then all we have left to do is trim out that stem. I'm gonna adjust my legs slightly in length, so I want my front to be slightly shorter. Then my back too. But again, like hair, you can't add the rubber back on, so don't cut it too short. I want my back legs to be extended to about The base of the tail and the front ones I kind of just gauge by my back ones. So once I've clipped the back ones, I'll come back forward and take just a smidge more off my front.
There you have it guys. That is your Au Sable Dry Skunk. Great pattern to try out. Both the Au Sable Dry Skunk , and the Michigan dry skunk come from the same place. Little bit of different variations on each of them. Again guys, this is Tim Hepworth with Fly Fishing Bow River Outfitters, and Thursday Night Live Fly Tying.
We want to thank Rocky Mountain Fly Shop. Remember, every order over $99 ships for free!
Tim Hepworth @timothyhepworth