Hook: Daiichi 2220 #4-#8
Thread: MFC 6/0 or UTC 70 Olive
Under Body: Foam Body, 7/8ths Slim, Black
Body: Arizona Simi Seal, Peacock and Peacock Crystal Chenille
Spun Together in a Dubbing Loop
Wingcase: Dark Brown Raffia
Thorax: Olive Deer Hair, Spun and Clipped
Legs: Sili Legs, Yellow/Gold/Black
Eyes: Booby Foam, 4mm, Black
Head: Arizona Simi Seal, Peacock
Tying Note: Use lighter colored versions for clear water lakes.
All dragon fly nymphs have the ability to absorb water and eject it in afterburner type fashion out of their posterior. Of all the families nymphs from the Aeshnidae tribe are noted for this trait. After years of aquarium study it became apparent that in reality these Darner nymphs prefer to stalk and ambush their prey in the same manner as a cat. If the prey is quick and elusive such as a water boatman, only at the last second do they jet the final distance for the kill. It became obvious that in order to be successful I needed to develop a buoyant pattern that would linger above the weeds and rubble suggesting a Darner nymph on the prowl.
With the key component of buoyancy in mind I began constructing prototypes incorporating a foam under body, spun deer hair thorax and foam eyes. The latter ingredient borrowed from an interesting English pattern christened the Booby. Add a dubbed body consisting of Arizona Simi Seal Peacock Dubbing spun together with peacock Crystal Chenille and matching Sili Legs for realism and the Draggin wars born.
Use a full sinking type III or clear intermediate line to draw the Draggin to the depths. The fly line should drag through the weeds while the Draggin stalks through the weed tops. Experiment with the leader length depending upon water clarity and bottom clutter, typically between 3-5 feet is fine. Use a slow hand twist retrieve with the odd quick strip to draw the pattern down to the bottom. Don’t over do these strips unless the fish are in an active frame of mind.
1) Place a de-barb hook into the jaws of the vise. Attach the tying thread ¼ of the shank length behind the hook eye and cover the rear ¾’s of the hook with tying thread. Keeping the front ¼ clear maintains a proportional goal post for the head and eyes. Secure a 4”-5” length of Peacock Crystal chenille at the mid point on the shank and secure down the shank to the bend. Return the tying thread to the mid point on the shank.
2) Measure and trim the narrow end of a slim foam body so it is approximately half the shank length long. Tie in the prepared slim foam body at the mid point and secure it back to the bend of the hook. Use tight wraps at the front and rear of the body and moderate wraps in the middle sections when binding the foam body in place. This practice maintains the body shape and floatation.
3) Form a dubbing loop at the rear of the hook that is 1-inch shorter than the Crystal Chenille. Insert a hook type dubbing twisting into the dubbing loop. Load the dubbing loop evenly with Arizona Simi Seal dubbing. Pull the Crystal Chenille down parallel to the loaded dubbing loop. Bring the end of the Crystal Chenille under the dubbing hook. Now bring the end of the Crystal Chenille back across perpendicular to the dubbing loop. Spin the dubbing twister a few times locking the end of the Crystal Chenille in place. Let go of the Crystal Chenille and continue twisting the dubbing loop tight combining and blending both materials.
4) Wind the dubbing noodle forward over the foam underbody. Make the first two wraps good and tight. Use moderate wraps for the middle portion of the body and finish with two tight wraps to form the hourglass shape of the natural dragon nymph. Tie off and trim the excess.
5) Take a 2-inch length of raffia, carefully unravel it to it full width. Refold the raffia in half across its width three times so it is flat and even. Tie in the prepared raffia directly in front of the body.
6) Trim a penciled sized diameter of dyed olive deer hair from the hide. Pinch the hair by the tips and remove the short hairs and under fur. Trim the tips, so the prepared stack is about ¾’s of an inch long. Tie in and spin the prepared deer hair stack just in front of the body and wingcase. Allow the hair to spin and flare completely around the shank. For a #4 Draggin two stacks of deer hair should be fine. Pack the deer hair tight against the body for maximum buoyancy.
7) Trim the spun deer hair to shape, flush with the body along the top and bottom, even with the widest part of the body along the sides.
8) Double two lengths of Sili-Leg material around the tying thread. Slide the doubled legs down the thread into position on the near side of the hook. Make sure there is enough leg material to reach past the rear of the body. Bind the legs in place using 3-4 wraps of thread. There should be one pair of legs trailing back along the side of the body and a second pair of legs protruding forward.
9) Trim one of the forward pair of legs. Fold the remaining leg back along the rear pair and secure in place. You should have three legs trailing and flowing down the side of the body and thorax. Repeat this process to form the far side set of legs.
10) Pull the wing case over the thorax and legs. Tie off but do not trim the excess. Continue winding the tying thread forward to the hook eye securing the raffia along the top of the hook.
11) Tie in a short length of black Booby foam half way between the thorax and the hook eye using figure eight wraps. Twist a sparse amount of Arizona Simi Seal dubbing around the tying thread. Weave the dubbing in and around the eyes to form the head. Once the head is complete leave the tying thread hanging at the rear of the head.
12) Pull the wingcase material back over the head and secure in place. Whip finish the fly behind the head and remove the tying thread. Gather the wingcase and fold it across its width. Hold your scissors on a 30 degree angle toward the rear of the hook. Trim the wing case so it extends just past the thorax over the body. Trim the legs so they are even with the hook bend. Apply head cement to the tie off area.