Body: soft polyurethane open-cell mattress foam
body-covering: brown dyed spawn sack
Legs: brown spanflex
thread: 8/0 brown
hook: #075 size #14 DaiRiki 2x strong, 1x short
beads: one or two 7/64" tungsten
Body, body-cover and two end-to-end spanflex legs are tied
on and dimpled around a thin, horizontal 'beading' needle.
Slide body off needle.
Put one or two beads on the hook
Lash them down and wet with ZapAGap
Slit the thorax section of the modular foam body
(the abdomen was already dimpled with thread and spawn sack).
Put the body onto the hook so the slit thorax straddles the bead(s).
Lash down loosely aft of the beads. Dimple the head right behind
the eye of the hook. Trim the head to a triangular shape.
Pull the brown spawn sack forward. Dimple and trim at the eye.
Pull the rubber legs forward. Dimple and trim at the eye.
Turn the fly over and sew two more rubber legs into the underside
of the thorax. Use a "darning" needle whose eye has been widened with
heat and the point of another needle.
Put a drop of water-based fabric cement on the underside of the
thorax, to keep the sewn legs in place (fabric cement comes from
the ladies sewing store). While you're at the ladies sewing store
you might want to rummage through the panty hose section.
Look for the "sheerest" stockings in appropriate colors. You can
use that as a pre-colored spawn sack substitute. (Be sure to wear
scruffy clothes and to nervously over your shoulder a few times,
while inspecting the ladies underwear section.....it's always worth a
bizarre look or two).
The eye of the hook is now buried in the slit, triangular-shaped foam head.
But it's not hard to thread the tippet. The same fly--up to two inches long--can
be tied with brown-dyed foam to imitate the giant Pteronarcys Californica
"salmon fly" nymphs. To die this kind of open-cell mattress foam I use
moderately warm water and brown rit dye. I cut dozens of body blanks
in advance and then stir them into the warm dye pot. If the dye does not
soak all the way through, this often leaves a nice two-tone, mostly brown
but here-and-there tan look I like a lot too.
The cheapest, lowest-quality mattress foam is the best stuff for making wet flies.
Expensive, high-quality mattress foam is denser and it has a tendency to hold air bubbles.
Cheap foam soaks up water faster. You can also work with standard yellow
kitchen sponges. But they are too yellow to tie with, so you have to dye
sponge foam no matter what.