Termite- Fredrick Hannie

featured, Fly Patterns, Step-by-Step Tutorials — By on March 17, 2011 1:52 pm

Tying a realistic termite requires a small hook, a steady hand, and some powerful reading glasses (at least for me) . I set about the task of tying this miniscule insect with the intent of :
1. Making the insect the proper size
2. Ensuring the proportions are correct
3. Tying the fly so as to make it durable

Making the fly the correct size is as easy as researching the insect and selecting the right hook. Most soldier termites here in the U.S. measure between 1/8 and ¾ of an inch long. The average size of the Formosan soldier specimens I was able to obtain were 3/8 of an inch. A dry fly hook size 18 was perfect. Conformation or proportions became my next concern. Dividing up a 3/8 inch hook between head , thorax and abdomen is not going to leave much room for miscalculations much less an errant thread wrap. Before I start I must decide where each body part will start and stop. This is true with any fly , but with such a small hook the margin of error is magnified. And now before any tying begins I must address the durability of the fly .The materials used will play a large part in how durable a fly will be. Though I want this fly to appear as dainty as it’s living counterpart , I expect it to hold up to many days on the water. So now that I have done my research ,selected my hook ,made my measurements and chosen my materials , we are ready to start.

Materials

Hook: Mustad #18 94859
Thread : Danville’s 6/0 (white)
Monofilament : 20lb test
Microfibetts
Legs : synthetic paint brush bristles

With our hook securely in the vise tie on with 6/0 white thread.

Tie a ¼ inch piece of 20lb mono on top of the hook . Position it at 2/3 from the hook bend. This will be our abdomen . Note that the eye of the hook is not counted in the measurement of the hook shank.

Wrap the piece of mono down to the hook just passed the bend.

Tie in a section of 20lb mono to the side of the abdomen . I left it long as the longer piece is easier to handle. After all it can easily be trimmed once it is tied in place. Trim it to be slightly shorter than the first piece so that the abdomen will have a slight taper.

Tie in a second piece of 20 lb mono to the opposite side. Once both pieces are tied in cove them with smooth thread wraps.

The abdomen is ready for color at this time. Color the abdomen with permanent markers and then coat with flexible head cement.

Starting at the abdomen tie in 3 sets of legs to the underside of the hook . Synthetic paint brush bristles are what I used here but you can substitute tippet material if you prefer.

The sickle-shaped mandibles of the soldier are made from 2 pieces of 20lb mono tied in at the head and extending past the hook eye .Cut the ends at an angle to mimic the insects

With permanent markers darken the head and mandibles


For the antennae we will use two brown microfibetts . Tie one in on each side of the head. After both antennae are tied in ;whip finish the head and color and coat the head with flexible head cement

With a warm bodkin ,heat kink the legs and trim them to their final length. Your fly is now complete

Here is the fly photographed next to a dime for scale

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Termite- Fredrick Hannie, 9.4 out of 10 based on 8 ratings

3 Comments

  1. Nicholas says:

    This termite fly is very impressive. But what I like most is the detailed instructions and photos.
    Thanks very much! I have not thought about using Termites as a fly – what species would you normally target? Thanks!

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    Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
  2. Certainly any panfish species would take this little guy , but I think it would be overkill . I would fish it for any trout species when the termites are on the move in early spring.

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    Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
  3. james ritter says:

    I seem to have trouble logging in, can someone there help me w/my pass word, or how to find out what it is. I thought I remembered it and apparently did not.
    I have already ordered 3 of your mag’s and enjoy the one I had previously. Any help you can offer will be appreciated.

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