Editor’s Note: At Hatches Magazine, we’re always on the lookout for unique or innovative fly tying techniques, but especially, new talent. We found Aileen Ellis via the Fly Flinger’s Pattern Swap group on Facebook. While it was Aileen’s tying ability that first attracted us to her, we have also learned that she is a very talented artist as well. In the article below, Aileen shares how she ties her MK Stonefly Nymph.
I have always enjoyed using latex as a fly tying material. It is versatile, fairly inexpensive, it colors well, and best of all, it is easy to use. However, one problem I’ve found is that most pre-cut latex strips are often too thin for bigger flies, such as a size 6 stonefly nymph. One afternoon while shopping at Walgreens, I discovered Latex Swim Caps. They’re made of a thicker latex than pre-cut strips, and after cutting it to size, you get a fairly decent amount of material to use. Better yet, I was able to purchase the swim caps on clearance for less than a buck. I find that cutting the latex with a razor and ruler is the best way. For the MK Stone, I cut the strips to use for the abdomen so they are a half centimeter wide. I also used the same strips to make the wing pads.
Hook: Curved Hook Size 6
Tails: Stripped hackles
Abdomen: Latex strip 1/2 cm wide
Thorax and Head: Dubbing
Legs: Stripped hackles knotted
Wing Pads: Latex
Antennae: Stripped hackles
Eyes: Small Mono Eyes
After creating a thread base on the hook, coat it with crazy glue in preparation for the underbody. Snap off a prong from a plastic fork, and then cut it to size so that it lays right behind the hook and then overhangs a little bit from the bend. Using a nail file, smooth the corners. Be sure to leave enough room behind the hook eye.
Tie in the latex strip at the end of the hook, then tie in the tails. Before wrapping the latex, add dubbing.
Now that you are ready to wrap the body with latex, first wrap it around the extended part of the fork prong to make a partial extended body. Continue wrapping the latex on the abdomen evenly.
Tie the latex off at the rear of the thorax, then color the abdomen using permanent markers.
Add a pinch of dubbing before tying in the rear legs, then add more dubbing in front of the legs. Add the wingbud cut from latex in front of the rear legs. Color it; then add dubbing.
Tie in the middle legs, add dubbing, then tie in the next wing case. Be sure to leave the second wing case long enough to form the head. Color the second wing case then pull it back.
After pulling back the strip in front of the second wing case, add dubbing before tying in the front legs. Dub again after the legs are tied in making sure to continue adding a little bulk to the thorax. Pull the latex strip back on top of the dubbing and tie behind the hook eye. Color the thorax before tying in the antennae and eyes. Pull the latex strip back and tie in behind the eyes to form the head. Whip finish and tie off the thread.
Color the head and coat body with Hard as Nails or Head Cement.