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Fly Tying The Two Bit Hooker

Fly Tying The Two Bit Hooker
Inspired by Mike Mercer's Micro Mayfly, the Two Bit Hooker sinks quickly and is equally durable, but has a more natural, streamlined body shape. Photo Charlie Craven

Fly Tying The Two Bit Hooker

Fly Tying The Two Bit Hooker

(brown)
HOOK: #14-18 Tiemco 3769.
BEADS: Two copper 1„16" beads tungsten for the #16 and #18.
THREAD: Rusty brown 6/0 Danville or 74-denier Lagartun.
TAIL: Mottled brown hen saddle fibers.
ABDOMEN: Tying thread.
RIB: Black 14/0 Gordon Griffith's.
WINGCASE: Opal Mirage Tinsel (medium).
THORAX: Rusty brown Superfine dubbing.
LEGS: Mottled brown hen saddle fibers.
COATING: Five-minute epoxy.
Note: You can use either two 5„64" or two 3„32" beads for additional weight on #14 hooks.

Two Bit Hooker Step 1 of 10

Pinch the hook barb flat and thread the two beads over the point. Push the beads up to the hook eye and clamp the hook in the vise. Start the brown thread just behind the last bead. Wrap a thin thread base back to the hook bend. Measure the hen saddle tips against the hook so they are about a half shank-length long. Grasp the tips of the fibers in your material hand and place them across the hook shank at the bend with their butt ends facing slightly down on the near side of the hook. Bring the thread up and over the hen fibers, capturing them against the hook shank. Allow the thread torque to twist the fibers to the top of the shank. You can put one more wrap of thread over the tails right at the bend, but no more.

Two Bit Hooker Step 2 of 10

Make a wrap of the brown thread to capture the black thread rib right at the hook bend. Wrap the brown (body) thread forward over the tag end of the ribbing thread and the butt ends of the tail fibers up to the back of the bead, securing them tightly to the shank. Work the brown thread back and forth over the rear half of the hook, building up a slight taper toward the back of the bead. This taper should remain very thin but still be apparent.

Two Bit Hooker Step 3 of 10

Spiral-wrap the ribbing thread forward over the thread abdomen to the back of the bead and tie it off. You may want to twist the ribbing thread a bit before you start wrapping. I like a flatter rib rather than a very thin, corded one, but if the ribbing thread is too flat it occupies too much of the body and makes for a fly that is more rib than body. Try to get three to five turns of ribbing up to the bead. Once you reach the bead, make several wraps of the ribbing thread to tie off the brown body thread.

Two Bit Hooker Step 4 of 10

Clip the brown working thread flush against the shank behind the bead and trim the butt ends of the tailing fibers as well. Bring the black ribbing thread back over the front edge of the abdomen so it is just in front of the midpoint on the hook. Lay in a single strand of the medium Opal Mirage Tinsel. I like to lean this piece in a bit toward the near side of the hook as I wrap over it so the thread will draw it up to the top dead center of the hook. Make a few firm wraps of thread over the tinsel to secure it to the top of the shank. Make sure the tinsel is centered and tied back to nearly the middle of the shank.

Two Bit Hooker Step 5 of 10

Dub the thread with a thin, tight strand of Superfine dubbing. Build the dubbing into a ball shape behind the first bead. Pull the rear bead back and bring the dubbed thread over the rear bead and into the space between the two beads. Make a few more turns of dubbing in between the two beads, building up the shank diameter so it is just shy of the outside diameter of the beads. This fills the void in between the beads and creates a base to tie the legs on next. If you do not dub a large enough diameter here, the legs will not sweep back along the body of the fly but rather stick out at right angles to the hook shank.

Two Bit Hooker Step 6 of 10

Even the tips of a larger clump of hen saddle fibers and measure them against the shank so they extend from just behind the first bead back to about the hook point. I use the tips of my scissors to separate the clump into two even bunches without letting go of the fibers. Lay the split clump of hen fibers along the shank with each half on either side of the hook, but rather than laying them in perfectly square to the top of the hook shank, set them in so they are slightly rotated toward your near side. The tips of the fibers should extend to just short of the hook point.

Two Bit Hooker Step 7 of 10

Reach in with your material hand and grasp the fibers tightly along the side of the shank. Make a loose turn of thread over the butt ends of the fibers just in front of your fingertips. Once the thread has passed all the way around the hook and is coming back toward you again on the underside of the shank, you can begin to tighten and close the wrap to anchor the fibers on either side of the hook shank. The thread torque will slide the fibers from their formerly near side offset position to square on the hook. If your legs are a bit too long, you can pull the butt ends gently to shorten them if needed. Once you are happy with the length of the legs, make two more firm wraps of thread to lock them in place behind the front bead.

Two Bit Hooker Step 8 of 10

Divide the butt ends of the fibers to their respective sides and pin them in place with a tight turn of thread. Pull the butt ends out at a right angle to the shank to separate them from the tips. Reach in with the tips of your scissors and trim the butt ends of the legs as close to the shank as you can. Make a turn or two of thread over the stub ends of the legs so that you have a smooth thread band between the beads. Pull the flash forward over the top of the rear bead and the dubbed thorax, making sure it is centered. Tie the flash down between the beads with two tight thread wraps.

Two Bit Hooker Step 9 of 10

Fold the long front end of the flash back over the wingcase and bind it in place again with two more tight wraps. Folding the flash like this does the same thing it did on the legs. It anchors the material more firmly in place and prevents an unsightly stub end from sticking out over the bead, making for a much cleaner thread head.

Two Bit Hooker Step 10 of 10

Whip-finish the thread between the beads and clip. Trim the excess flash as close to the thread head as you can. I try to just nick the edge of the flash with a small snip of my scissor blades, then tear the flash off across the radius of the bead. This leaves no stub end exposed. Hold the legs down below the hook shank and apply a small drop of epoxy to the top of the fly. I usually set the epoxy drop down on the Mirage wingcase and use the tip of a fine needle to smear the epoxy all the way back to the base of the tail along the top of the fly. Bring the epoxy forward onto the back of the front bead as well.

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