Extended Body Mayflies


Canyon Lurker
i just got done tying my first extended body mayfly and was not quite able to get the body as slim as i wanted. for those of you out there who tie these, what methods do you use? any advice and good places for SBS's would be appreciated.

heres what i came up with using foam. i'd like to be able to tie them in smaller sizes but i dont think foam is the way to go

Pat Lat

Mad Flyentist
Try using less thread to keep the bulk down on the abdomen. Foam always looks bulky on mayflies to me, maybe try deer hair too.


Canyon Lurker
the thread was my first thought too. i'd like to figure deer hair out i got some olive hair that'd be nice for some bwo's.
.......... i'd like to be able to tie them in smaller sizes but i dont think foam is the way to go..........
Both below are tied on #20 DaiRiki scud hooks. Daiichi has a similar hook with a lighter wire, which may well be a better choice.

Simple and easy:

Ridiculously complex:

The complex one is tied (tails body and wings) on a horizontal #13 beading needle (very thin needle). Then a hackle feather is mounted on a hook. Then mount the body somewhat loosely. Then wind thread horizontally a dozen wraps, between body and shank. Then wind the bottom mounted parachute. Whip finish behind the body, so each thread wrap bumps the bend of the hook and then rides the shank upward until it binds against the body. Put a tiny drop of CA glue at the fulcrum of the parachute. The complex fly doesn't catch fish any better than the simple one. But it's fun to tie. I've been working on that pattern for thirty years or so. The complex body is a duck flank feather tied around the needle (wax the needle first). But the complex body could be foam. I've done it that way many times.

Pat Lat

Mad Flyentist
sorry for the photo barrage but I threw this mini sbs together because its a pretty cool way to get a curved body essentially you tie in a tension line and when your done gently pull on it to curl the body up. Hope to see your finished results soon by the way
IMG_4931.JPG IMG_4926.JPG IMG_4932.JPG IMG_4933.JPG IMG_4934.JPG IMG_4935.JPG

Big E

Active Member
Winter 2009 Fly Tyer Magazine, pg 54, there is a 5 page writeup on what Pat just posted. It may also help if you cut the folded halves with a slight taper.

Pat...nice DIY Renzetti tool. :)

Pat Lat

Mad Flyentist
I think its called the johannson dun, I couldn't remember where I saw it, and nothing comes up when I searched for it on google.
Furled polypro yarn makes a nice extended body. You can vary the thickness by reducing the number of strands that you furl. It's a tough material that holds up well against many fish. I start out with about a 3 inch piece of yarn, twist it between my fingers to make a cord, then fold it in half. It wraps around itself (furling) then gets tied on a hook. This guy uses his vise, but it's the same thing. http://globalflyfisher.com/video/spun-sally


It's really too bad Hareline no longer sells pre-made extended bodies. If you're really keen on those style of patterns, it made things much easier. I tried them on some March Browns and while they looked cool, they didn't work any better than a parachute style MB without the extended body.

So, I have some pre-made extensions remaining but I'm not convinced they work any better than a non-extended body pattern.



Canyon Lurker
most all the flies i tie for maylfies are parachute adams. i don't think the extended bodies will fish any better and i don't plan on tying tons up but i wanted a little variety, plus their just badass lookin. nice march brown by the way, iv'e already got some foam body browns im looking forward to fishing here soon.


Yup... they do look cool. And if you don't mind the extra steps in making an extended body, I don't think they do any harm. They may not do any good but they don't do any harm. Kind'a like adding antenna to caddis dry fly patterns.:D


Without a doubt, this is the easiest way I've ever seen to create an extended body. I learned the procedure from Hans' video:


He's using it for a stonefly adult but the same twist technique of antron yarn works to create a mayfly extended body:


I tied some caddis adults using the twisted yarn for an extended body and realized it would also work for mayfly patterns.

I bought some spooled antron yarn that is just the right size for twisting a mayfly body without messing with the fibers. Considering how easy it is, I may start tying more extended body patterns. .. because I can. :)

Latest posts