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This year's Ducktail

Posted by Sandy 
This year's Ducktail
April 01, 2017 01:19PM
#22 DaiRiki 125 scud hook
Mount the tip of a duck flank feather off the rear end so it forms an abdomen-like tail. Pull the butt end of the duck flank up at mid-shank. Tie it off so it stands straight up with some horizontal parachute like wraps.

Pull up on the stem with one hand while working the tip of an exacto knife with the other. Poke the tip of the exacto knife into the feather fibers, at the base of the wing (the butt of the feather).

Twist the blade slightly so it faces into the stem. Pull it up so it cuts all the feather fibers away from the stem. Repeat on the other side of the feather stem. Cut the stem away. Shape the wing.

Add a tad of dubbing at the base of the wing.

Leave thread hanging from the eye. Hold a clump of Zelon or any carpet scraps under the hook at right angles to the shank. Pull it up and out of the way momentarily, so the "Right Hackles" surround the wing.

Swing the thread back to the base of the abdomen. Go under the abdomen tail and forward to the eye. Whip finish. Pull the hackle fibers down and stroke them out with a tooth brush so they point out sideways again, at right angles to the shank. Put a drop of glue at the fulcrum of the Right Hackle. Trim the hackle.

Add a touch of fabric cement at the tip of the abdomen fibers and stroke them out to a point. It doesn't take much. Set it aside and wait 20 minutes for the fabric cement to cure.

Done. I had to say a lot because the procedure is so different. But it isn't much. For small mayfly dry flies they're fast and easy. Simple.

Dry off quickly. Land lightly. Float like a mayfly. Sting like a hook. The simplicity (not winding a rooster feather onto a tiny hook) makes these ideal for the smallest PMD and Baetis mayfly imitations. But you can make big Drakes too.

Re: This year's Ducktail
June 25, 2017 01:39PM
This is a male PMD. They're predominantly yellow. The females are a tad larger and fatter and predominantly a light olive green.

I'm not saying the fish notice the sex differences and even less so they have a preference. But it is worth noting the males a far more active. Freshly hatched male Pale Morning Duns seldom ride the surface tension for more than a foot or two before they fly off, and even then they vibrate, wiggle and turn left and right before taking off.

The females are far more lethargic. They often ride the surface tension like little sail boats for 15 to 20 feet before finally flying off.
Re: This year's Ducktail
June 25, 2017 01:44PM
This one's a female

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