The March Brown is a wet fly that is kin to the Hare's Ear nymph, Elk Hair Caddis dry, and many other flies with multiple iterartoins. This means that once we understamd basic techniques and proportions, we can tie the pattern as we please, using materials we have to tie this venerable wet fly. WET FLIES: TYING
Hook: a standard or longer shank, nymph hook, barb flat; this is a Mustad 3399 Thread: UTC70; Danville 6/0 (70D) brown; other Tail & Hackle: partridge Body: dark hare's mask Rib: yellow floss Wing: hen pheasant wing slips; or another buff motted feather
NOTE: when tying wet flies, select the hook type based on wire: heavy wire for deep fishing, lighter wire for fishing shallower or on the surface. TIP: wet flies fished dry should be illegal. And forget about beads; tie the fly and fish the water.
This is a partidge tail feather; or, use a body feather; stroke fibers away from the tip, which should be slight;y longer than the tail's length.
Clip out the tip
Stroke forward the quantity of fibers required to create the tail
This is a closeup: there are 3-4 fibers on each side
Start the tread behind the head, as shown, then make BA wsraps until thread hangs over where barb was.
Orient tail feather with top down so fibers curve up from the shank; tie in at V with one turn of thread, then make 1FA wrap. NOTE:the first wrap positions the tail, the second holds it in place.
Grasp the feather tips in LH, feather in RH. Gently pull up and forward to defind tail length, and assure fibers are on top of the shank; make 3-4FA wraps of waxed thread; clip awat feather, and while its in your hand, stroke forward the next tail before setting feather aside.
Move thread forward so it hangs in front of point; wax thread; create a dubbing rope, as shown, leaving a bzare length of waxed thread to tie in rib
I used Danville monochord; select a length of yellow floss, and tie in on near side of shank with BA wraps of thread
Here, I doubled the monochord by pulling the long section forward, tying in its tip - you can see the loop, then covering the tail and floss tie in area with dubbing. TIP: do not move the tail while tying in floss and covering thread with dubbing material. Make FA tuns of dubbing rope to cover hook shank to the position shown - at where the thread started at the back of the head.
I used a shepherd's hook to twist the loop of monochord into a rope; make FS wraps of floss to create rib. (This was too thick for me, so I used a single strand for the others. Make the final wrap of rib adjacent to the front of the dubbed body - 1 complete wrap around the shank. Tie off with 2-3 FA wraps, pull rib back over body and make 2-3BA waps of thread; clip excess. NOTE: head area has a base of waxed thread.
Select partridge body feather, fiber lengths to tasted; strip the base fibers - excess fluff, from stem, orient tip foward, top down, then tie in as shown with waxed thread, from a thread width behind the eye to adjacent to the body; clip away stem
Grasp tip of feather in hackile pliar, and make 1, 2 or 3 BA wraps; this feather made 2 good wraps, and the pictire shows how and the anfle at which I hold the pliars. Make 1 wrap of thread adjacent to the body and over the stem.
This is how the fly looks after the first turn of thread, after removing the pliars. NOTE: throughout the tie off remove pliars from feather I maintained even tight pressure on the thread
Make 1FS wrap throught the partridge fibers, then pull all of the fibers back, as shown here....
..followed by 3-5BA wraps of waxed thread, which pushes partidge back and creates head and wing tie down.
The start thread photo shows threadless shank behind the eye equal in length to that created by pushing back hackle.
A pair of hen pheasant wings from one bird. The right wing has right fibers - the dark, richer toned fibers on the right side of each stem; the left is opposite. The slips are referred to as Rights and Lefts
A matched pair of feather, one Right, one Left
Each feather with excess lower fluff stripped away. The Right is on the left side, the Left on the right side, wing elements together. To tie a tips-up wing, a slip from the Right creates the far, a slop from the the Left the near wing of the fly.
Cut out an even slip from each feather. Top slip is from the Right, and the top of the feather, the direction it curves, is facing the table; the lower Left is top facing away from the table. NOTE: tips are curved in the same direction: up
Put the Left slip on top of the Right slip. The uneven alignment will be remedied after the wing is picked up. This takes practice
Pick up wing in LH, transfer to RH with tips to left; align slips' tops and tips' by sliding between fingers: a touch thing you'll get with practice. Align tips along tgop of and parallel to shank so they are even with the mid-point of the tail, plur minus as you prefer.. Now grasp wings and fly body in LH, as shown here. NOTE: thead is adjacent to hackle.
Hold wing tightly. make a loose wrap of thread over the top of the wing fibers without pushing it off the top of the shank, the down the other side, then pull straight down with the thread. Here, the thread slipped foward a bit; but the wing length was good, co I grasped the wing/body/hook again in my LH, unwound the thread, and tied it in again, then made 2-3 FA and BA wraps of waxed thread...
..moved the thread to the back of the eye, held the wing in LH, pushed the butts up with my RH thumbnail.....
,,,and used the eye of the hook as a guide to scossors' blades to cut away excess....
...waxed the thread and made tight BA wraps with whip finbish tool to cover the nubs and create the head of the fly.
OPTIONS! include a different body/rib technique, two additional hackle techniques, and two additionl wing techniques. Read on dear tying friend.
This time I started and tied in the tail with the yellow Monochord; then created a hare's mask fur dubbing rope..
..and made BA wraps..
..to cover the thead and create the body. NOTE: the dubbng ended at the tail tie in point: if there's a bit too much, pull it off the thread.
Make FS wraps of waxed thread to create the rib. This process is very fast and creates a durable fishing fly.
Next, I tied a half hitch in the monochord, trimmed it and started the brown 6/0 tying thread, waxed it and let it hang adjacent to the body.
This time I prepared a partridge body feather to tie in, first stripping away fluff, by the tip by stroking the fibers away from the tip of the feather...
..tie in the tip with 4-5FA wraps of waxed thread..
..pusg the remnant tip fibers back with RH thumbnail, and make BA wraps to cover.
Make FA wraps of partridge feather to create collar, tie off with 2-3FA then BA wraps of waxed thread.
Select wing slips.
This time, I rolled the fibers between my fingers to mix them a little...
..tied them in..
..clipped the butts, made whip finish head, then combed out the wing to breask up the fibers even more.
Get to here; we're going to tie a different wing
Here are several Left and Right fibers of turkey tail, one strand each Left and Right fibers of dyed yellow and dyed green turkey - goose will work, as will any other color of long enough feather fibers you want to use
Put the piles together and tie in on top of shank
Prepare partridhe feather like first option, wax thread, tie in in head area, thread adjacent to wing.
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Pull fibers back, wax thread, whip finish. I like this style collar with longer hackle
The thread base is the total length of the dubbed body of a sorta March Brown soft hackle. Dub, rib with yellow, half hitch, trim, start bfrorm thread, collar of partride as before: no wing
But I was less than happy with the length of the head - even though the fly would fish great. So..
..as it turns out, oeacock covers a multitude of fly tyoing sins. This is a single strand of sword, tied in with waxed thread, when was the wound with FA wraps to the back of the eye, The wax really helps hold materials in place.
Wind herl forward, tie off with 2-3BA wraps, pull tip back, tie off with 2-3FA wraps, clip excess. whip finish from BOE to BOH. Ah yes, peacock helps.