Skills: Split-thread dubbing

One of the biggest challenges for fly tiers, particularly new tiers, is the handling of dubbing for fly bodies. For most flies, dries or nymphs, a simple dubbing twist is all you need, and it’s relatively easy to master. But some flies require a body that’s a bit more buggy … a bit more natural. These flies require split-thread dubbing.

As you can see from Tim Flagler’s video above, it’s really not that difficult. It does take some patience and a few “practice rounds” at the vise to master, but when you get it down, you can tie some truly wild nymphs that have a more natural look and a more natural action in the water.

Give it a shot the next time you sit down to tie a nymph pattern that needs to look like it truly belongs in the water. It’s a great technique for “swimming” nymphs—I use split-thread dubbing to tie damselfly nymphs that I use to fish backcountry lakes in Yellowstone National Park. The results are noteworthy.

— Chris Hunt

By Chris Hunt.