Thread: MFC 8/0 or UTC 70
Hook: Short shank hook such as the Daiichi 1310.
Extended body: Vernille or Ultra Chenille, color to match the natural insect
Legs: .017" Fireline
Thorax: Dubbing, color to match the extended body.
Wings: Gray polyyarn or Tiemco Aero Dry wing
Hackle: Medium Dun.
Mention the word terrestrials and most fly fishers recall memories of grasshoppers, beetles and ants. Crane flies or Daddy Long Legs to some are another worthwhile terrestrial for the fly box. In Europe “Daddy’s” dominate much of their terrestrial fishing
Crane Flies belong to the order Diptera the same order as chironomids. The majority of species spend their larval stage buried beneath the surface, there are however a few species that have an entirely aquatic larval stage. During heavy flows and freshet many of the fat grub like larvae are scoured from the bottom and large crane fly larva patterns are always worth a toss. In Europe, as with North America, warm breezy days are ideal for terrestrials as many are swept out, over and ultimately onto the surface. With their large sizes Crane flies offer a large distinct silhouette along with a calorie rich meal. Females of the aquatic species also present themselves when returning to the water to lay their eggs.
This latest pattern comes from the vise of Rune Andre Stokkebekk, a Norwegian fly fisher, Fly Craft Angling member and self professed stillwater fanatic. Rune has his own website, www.runesfluefiske.com that has a number of interesting patterns. For those of us not blessed with a second language skill the site is a bit difficult to read but the images are first class and as they say, “speak a thousand words.” This is the first, of hopefully many contributions by Rune to Fly Craft Angling.
In designing his Daddy Long Legs patterns Rune found the traditional Daddy Longlegs made using of pheasant tail legs fibres and hackle tips wings were not durable. In addition, depending upon how the hackle tip wings were tied some of these fragile Daddy designs tended to spin and twist the leader. Rune found that opening his casting loops helped this problem somewhat but wondered why change casing style for the fly? After some thought and experimentation Rune chose a parachute hackle and poly yarn wings for increased floatation and stability, the Fire Line legs proved much more durable than knotted pheasant tail. The extended Vernille or Ultra Chenille body of the pattern also allowed for short shank hooks, decreasing the overall mass of the pattern. Tying Rune's pattern in the manner depicted in the step-by-step images creates a durable design capable of surviving a good chew and Rune has personally caught over 30 fish on one pattern without destroying it. Keep in mind that as with all fly tying the tricks and techniques employed with this design can be applied to other fly tying challenges as well.
1) Tie in the Vernille at the mid point on the hook shank. Melt the tip with a lighter to create a tapered end. Tie the body down forward to about two eye widths back from the hook eye. Do not trim the excess Vernille. Wrap the thread around the base of the body material to form a parachute post. Tie in two 6 cm pieces of Fire Line with a figure eight wraps. One section should be placed at the base of the extended body. The second section just forward of the hook eye. Adding a touch of Super Glue to the base of the legs is a good idea.
2) With the legs in place dub in and around the legs in a figure eight fashion.
3) Wind the tying thread around the remaining Vernille body material to form a parachute post. Next take a 6-7 cm long pice of polyyarn, antron, Aero Dry Wing etc. and double it around the Vernille wing post.
4) Bind the poly yarn wings back from the parachute post along each side of the hook shank to the legs. Tie in a blue dun hackle vertically up the wing post with the shiney side towards the parachute wing post. Tie in the last piece of Fire Line so that the front set of legs protrude forward out in front of the hook eye. Secure this last set of legs with Super Glue.
5) Dub the remainder of the thorax. Wind dubbing up and around the parachute wingpost slightly.
6) Wind the hackle 3 or 4 times around the parachute post. Form a neat head and whipfinish. Spread the wings and place a dab of Super Glue between them. Fold the parapost backwards and push it down to the body, hold it in position until the glue dries, be careful not to glue your fingers to the fly. Cut of the leftover wing post, the wing post should form a neat wingcase over the dubbed body. Add some more glue at the wingpost area. Using a dubbing needle work the glue over the point where
the wing post was removed to make it smooth. This should from a natural bump on the "neck" area of the fly just like the natural crane fly.
7) Shape the legs by bending them over a needle.
8) The completed Adult Cranefly