How do I tie a trico?

Try this fly; considering how tiny it is, it's reasonably simple to tie, effective, and as easy to see as any size 22 spinner possibly could be.


Hook: barbless dry-fly hook, size 20-22
Thread: 8/0 Unithread, black or olive
Tail: White Micro-Fibbets
Abdomen: Black dubbing (or olive for female)
Wing: White (or grizzley) neck-hackle
Thorax: Black dubbing
Head: Black dubbing/thread

Step 1:
Make a SMALL ball of thread just forward of the hook-bend. Tie in the Micro-fibbets (reasonably long, at least twice the length of the body) just forward and on either side of the ball, so that they flair and "split." (Use a few "fibbets" for each side. You can use hackle fibers for the tail, but the fibbets are a lot more durable, and longer, so they are easier to work with.)

Step 2:
Form a MINIMAL underbody by wrapping off the micro-fibbets about halfway up the shank and trimming. Dub a thin, tapered abdomen up to that 1/2 way point. (Use black dubbing to imitate males, or a bright olive to imitate females. Actually, It might be the other way around; I'm not sure. Whatever. Make sure you tie both; the fish can key on one or the other. Doesn't seem fair, but true. Also,for speed and simplicity's sake, you can skip the dubbing and just use thread to form the abdomen, but it won't float as well in faster water.)

Step 3:
Tie in a SLIGHTLY oversized hackle (size 18 for a size 20 fly, etc.) by the butt, curve forward, just in front of the abdomen.

Step 4:
Dub the thorax with black dubbing (for both male or female). Leave room for the head.

Step 5:
Palmer the hackle through the thorax, four or five turns. Tie off and trim.

Step 6:
Dub a black head, then whip-finish in front of the head with black thread. Trim and cement.

Step 7:
Trim the hackle flush underneath the thorax so the fly will ride flush in the film. From underneath, the fly has a good "spinner" profile, and the hackle "wings" create a good sparkly, translucent effect. (You can trim the hackle on top too, if you like, to make the fly look more realistic to you, but the fish won't notice, and leaving the little "fan" of hackle over the top of the fly will help make it slightly easier to see.)

Rocky Ford has a pretty good trico hatch in late summer/early fall that the fish rise pretty freely to, expecially in the slightly faster water right below the old hatchery. (Interestingly, the tricos at RF are reasonably big, about an 18.) You'll still need a pretty good drag-free drift. If you're going to someplace like Silver Creek, or one of the Monatana spring-creeks, go equipped with a 16' leader and be prepared to try and drift one of these suckers right down their freakin' throats!

Good luck.
Pete Pilkey
Nice simple pattern, try using Superfine dubbing for the smaller hooks. It floats and is easy to keep thin. I use it a lot for all dry flies. Tricos have a Three pronged tail by the way, dont know if the fish can count.
The snakes are hatching on rockyford really good right now. there seems to be a real good rise in morning. Suggest that 4 footers will show mornings, 2 to 3 footers in evening. go off the beaten paths to find all sizes all day. Parking area is showing well too.