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Skipper Fly Pattern
by Ed Zaun

This is an original pattern, developed by Yours Truly. It will skip across the surface of the water with a sharp strip. It imitates a fleeing baitfish, and excites the predators.

Skipper Photo Copyright  1999 E. Zaun

Stuff you'll need...
  • Hook: Mustad 34007 or equivalent
  • Wing: Yellow Saddle Hackle, Gold Mylar, White Cactus Chenille
  • Topping: Pearl Crystal Flash
  • Head: Natural Deer Hair
  • Eyes: 3-D Doll Eyes
Tie it up...
  1. Place the hook in the vise and attach the tying thread.
  2. Just in front of the bend, tie in about 3" of the Cactus Chenille, and wrap it into a tight ball.
  3. Throw in a few half-hitches to lock it down.
  4. Tie in about 10 strands of Gold Mylar. Cut them so they will be about 1 " longer than the Saddle Hackle Wing.
  5. Tie in about 6 Saddle Hackles, making sure they cover the shank 360 degrees around. Wrap the thread almost all the way to the ball of Chenille, forcing the Hackles to flair out a little bit.
  6. Top this with about 20 starnds of Pearl Crystal Flash.
  7. It is important that the wing doesn't come further than mid-shank, because you need the room for the tail.
  8. Ok, now for the fun part. It's a little hard to explain how to spin deer hair, so cut a clump about the thickness of a #2 pencil and I'll try.
  9. Lay the deer hair on the shank so the tips come just about to the start of the bend. Make one loose wrap of the thread and slowly let go of the deer hair with your fingers, allowing it to slide around the shank.
  10. Make another loose wrap but this time, when you come to the point of your wrap when the bobbin is heading toward the ceiling, start putting tension on the thread. This will cause the hair to flair out and look like a huge dust bunny.
  11. Make a few more TIGHT wraps, moving the bobbin back and forth so you don't trap any hairs, and move it out of the clump toward the eye of the hook.
  12. Push the flaired hair back toward the bend as far as it will go, using pressure and a slight back and forth twisting motion. Throw in a few half-hitches to lock it down.
  13. Repeat Steps 6-9 using the same thickness of clump and this time point the tips over the hook eye. Keep doing this until you come to the eye of the hook. Remember to push the hair back as far as you can each time. It will pack better and give you a nicer head that way. Also, remember to alternate the direction of the tips each time you add a new clump. Remember to lock everything down after each clump.
  14. Whip Finish and apply your favorite head cement.
  15. So far, this pattern is roughly the same as a Dahlberg Diver, which is where I got the idea from. Now for the difference. Trim the deer hair into an oval shape, with the long axis horizontal to the shank. Most fish have their long axis perpendicular to the shank, but we want this thing to skip on the surface.
  16. Keep trimming until you get a flattened top and bottom and rounded sides, but make sure you leave a fringed collar on the bottom rear of the head. The collar is what forces the fly to skip and dart on the surface.
  17. When you get the head trimmed up, locate and glue on the eyes.
Copyright © 1999 - 2013 Ed Zaun, All Rights Reserved
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