Fly­box fillers

Russ Sy­mons ties up a dry fly with a cer­tain mag­i­cal rep­u­ta­tion for catch­ing fish

Trout Fisherman (UK) - - Contents -

Russ Sy­mons ties a Mi­das Dry Fly

YOU could eas­ily be for­given for never hav­ing heard of the Mi­das fly, but it has been around on the com­pe­ti­tion cir­cuit for well over a decade. As is the way with com­pe­ti­tion an­glers, if they find some­thing good it be­comes a state se­cret! It is one of those dry flies that imitates noth­ing, but rep­re­sents all sorts of things. It was first tied by Paul Dav­i­son and fished with great suc­cess on the big mid­land reser­voirs. From my own ex­pe­ri­ence, it catches very well on small fish­eries as well. This year I’ve tied up a half dozen in black, be­cause I thought – with its pad­dle-like ap­pendages – it could be taken for a hawthorn and that sea­son is fast ap­proach­ing. I’ve had suc­cess with the Mi­das in var­i­ous colours, but or­ange, fiery brown and claret are my ‘go to’ colours when I need to ring the changes. On small fish­eries with my 5wt, I’ll of­ten fish just one fly at the end of a 12 to 15-foot leader of greased-up ny­lon, with the last two feet de­greased so that it’s un­der the sur­face right up to the fly. The last thing you want on a small still­wa­ter is six inches of line float­ing high in front of the fly. It’s one of those things that will spell the dif­fer­ence be­tween suc­cess­fully fish­ing a dry fly and a nig­gly nearly day! One of the most suc­cess­ful dry fly an­glers I ever knew would grease and de­grease after ev­ery cou­ple of casts. Be­lieve me that was a les­son well learned! That metic­u­lous at­ten­tion to de­tail is what of­ten sets the ir­ri­tat­ingly suc­cess­ful an­gler apart from the rest of us! Boat fish­ing on a reser­voir with a dry fly such as the Mi­das, is a whole dif­fer­ent ball­game. Greas­ing and de­greas­ing is still im­por­tant, but with two or three flies on the leader, what is vi­tally im­por­tant is clean cast­ing, so that you lay those three flies out in a straight line in or­der that they are fish­ing im­me­di­ately after land­ing on the wa­ter. Per­haps it is a strange thing to say about a dry fly, but ev­ery now and again you’ll have a fly that’s be­come swamped. What­ever you do don’t be in a hurry to get it in...this Mi­das fly seems to catch quite well sub­sur­face as well. Sev­eral times I’ve been fish­ing a reser­voir and fish have taken a fly that has be­come wa­ter­logged and is fish­ing inches be­neath the sur­face. So, what makes this non-de­script look­ing

fly so suc­cess­ful? I do be­lieve that –al­though it doesn’t look like a spe­cific in­sect – it does re­sem­ble sev­eral. Add to this re­sem­blance the trig­ger points of the legs, the sparkle from the gold tin­sel just be­hind the head, the light­trap­ping qual­i­ties of the buggy body and hackle and, it works. And, that’s the name of the game!

Ty­ing the fly

This is not a dif­fi­cult fly to tie. In fact, I’ve been told sev­eral times that my Mi­das flies are too tidy and that I should make them more ‘strag­gly’, but they catch fish for me. If you want to make them more strag­gly, that is up to you. Start by run­ning your thread down the hook shank, catch­ing in a length of monofil­a­ment as you go. I’ve been us­ing an old spool of Dren­nan 6lb fly leader. Any clear monofil­a­ment will do, 5 or 6lb break­ing strain seems to be about right. Dub the body for near enough two thirds of the shank length. I think the orig­i­nal dub­bing was seal’s fur but I’ve been us­ing Frankie McPhillips’ Tra­di­tional Ir­ish dub­bing for sev­eral years and it does a nice job. At this point the legs go in. The orig­i­nal ty­ing says three or four strands of pheas­ant tail re­versed so that the thicker end is pro­trud­ing be­yond the bend of the hook and set so that they trail be­low the line of the shank. This is how I tie mine. Hav­ing said that, I’ve seen some Mi­das flies tied with knot­ted pheas­ant tail legs and that seems to work as well. Then an­other batch of dub­bing is added to form the tho­rax and this dub­bing should be a fairly loose dub. Then be­fore the hackle is tied in and wrapped, the dub­bing needs to be roughed up on the top of the fly. Vel­cro and a stubby tooth­brush does a good job. Use a webby green­wells or fur­nace hackle and take three or four wraps, leav­ing enough room for two or three turns of dubbed gold Lite-Brite be­fore you fin­ish off the head. Then rough the fly up again! After which, treat it with a fly floatant and put it in a dry­ing rack for a day or two to thor­oughly dry out be­fore go­ing into a fly box.

“Don’t be in a hurry to get it in...this Mi­das fly seems to catch quite well sub­sur­face as well.”

Var­i­ous Mi­das dry flies, per­fect for the reser­voir or small still­wa­ter.

Dr. Charles Reaves with a lovely spring brown trout caught on a Mi­das Dry.


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