Swedish version


Snowshoe Sparkle Dun
By Martin Westbeek

Hair from Snowshoe hare feet is a relatively new fly tying material and since its introduction in the eighties (Fran Betters' Usual) it has rapidly gained popularity among tiers, especially in the last few years. The dense, curly underfur holds a lot of air bubbles. It is easily compressed, so it is tied in without too much bulk. The hair is very hydrophobic and buoyant, and the guard hairs are stiff and translucent. Much more information about using Snowshoe hair can be found in Leeson and Schollmeyer's excellent book Tying Emergers. The buoyancy of the hair is one advantage, another big plus is the fact that it is quite sturdy. If the fly becomes slimy after a couple of fish we can simply rinse it, pinch the water out, rub it dry against a sleeve, and the fly fishes like new. So yes — a hare's foot brings luck! I use Snowshoe hair for several patterns, including the Snowshoe Caddis, Snowshoe Emerger and the Snowshoe Sparkle Dun. They are quick ties, and very effective patterns. Of course their sizes and colors can be easily adapted to local circumstances.


Hook: Daiichi 1180 #16 Thread: Uni 8/0 or similar.
Shuck: Antron or similar
Body: Superfine dubbing
Wing: Snowshoe Hare, medium grey.

Tying Method:

1. Start the thread.


2. Wrap the thread back to a point about 2/3 of the hook shank. Twist the thread in a clockwise direction, and wrap a small thread bump with crisscross wraps.


3. Tie in the Snowshoe hair (pinch & loop), tips extending over the hook eye. Keep the hair on top of the hook shank: pull up, not down. Secure the hair with 5 tight wraps.


4. This is the chaos management part: pinch the hair, work you scissors into the bunch and clip off the top 1/3 of the hair.


5. Make a few wraps, and clip off another 1/3 of the hair.


6. Make a few wraps and clip off the rest of the hair. This produces a tapered body. Also works very well if you're tying Wulff style dries with elk or calf hair. The thread should be between the point of the hook and the barb.


7. Tie in the Antron shuck.


8. Secure with some thread wraps.


9. Dub the thread. I like thin, loosely dubbed bodies on my Sparkle Duns because that makes them somewhat translucent.


10. Dub the body up to the wing.


11. Put the wing up by making 3–5 thread wraps on top of the thread bump. In order to keep the wing up I put a small drop of CA glue on the hook shank in front of the wing. With the nail of my thumb I push the glue into the wing, which will then fan out.


12. Front view of the wing shape.


13. Add some dubbing.


14. Dub behind and in front of the wing, don't leave a gap in the dubbed body below the wing. Cut the shuck to length, about a hook shank long.


15. Tie off and put a drop of varnish on the knot.


By Martin Westbeek ©
Visit Martins website: http://home.planet.nl/~westb001/




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