Fly Patterns - Bill's Hexagenia Dun Adult

                             Bill's Hex Adult



Last month we learned two important tying techniques: (1) creating an extended body with foam; and (2) creating a “dubbing brush” for a pull-over style fly. Hopefully, you have practiced at least the first of those two techniques, because you will need to create a foam extended body in order to tie the Hexagenia Dun that is the subject of this article. We will use the “dubbing brush” technique for another pattern in a future article.


Several years ago I had the privilege of visiting Labrador to fish for the giant Brook Trout that inhabit many of the lakes of that province, and about which Lee Wulff wrote many years ago. In some circles, Lee has been credited with “discovering” this area and its fishery. The goal of our trip was to be there during the Hexagenia hatch—and, as luck would have it, we hit it perfectly. We arrived at our destination—Lake Marie—in a rainstorm. Our float plane landed, and we disembarked at the lodge. Dinner was served and it was time to “wader up” and climb into the boats. Despite the rain and wind, the Hex hatch occurred right on time—just before dark. Big Brookies slashed the surface all around us, and multiple hookups was the watchword. From there the hatch just got better each day; there were even bugs on the water during the day, constantly being eaten by cruising trout. The highest-producing fly for that trip, for our entire group, was one I created for the trip and which is quite similar to this month’s pattern.


I have also fished Hex hatches at Lake Natoma, the Fall River, and most recently at Henderson Springs, where a group of GBF members caught a large number of very big trout on Hex patterns in the last hour before dark. For me, the best pattern was Bill’s Hexagenia Adult, the fly featured here. As I mentioned above, it is similar to the pattern that has been such a success in Labrador.


So, let’s get started—those big trout are out there waiting for the Hex’s to hatch.


Tying Instructions

1.       Follow the instructions in the June Leader for creating a foam extended body.

2.       Once you’ve created the extended body, insert a large needle into the back end of the extended body and allow it to remain there. This will cause the foam to “relax” so the hole does not disappear once the needle is removed.

3.       Cut 2-4 microfibbets from the synthetic “skin” to which they are attached. Remove the needle from the foam and immediately stick all of the microfibbets, butt end first, into the hole. Place a tiny drop of super glue at the point where the microfibbets enter the foam body.

4.       Debarb the hook and place it in the vise. Tie the thread onto the hook and run it back to the point of the hook.

5.       Using the “stub” that you left on your extended body, attach the body to the hook right above the hook point. Tie the foam stub down securely.



6.       Move the thread forward to the front 1/3 spot on the shank, and there tie in a bunch of yellow deer hair with the tips pointing out over the hook eye. This will be the wing and the post for the hackle. Complete the post as you would any post for a parachute style dry fly. The post/wing should be the length of the hook shank. Place a drop of super glue at the base of the wing.





7.       Return the thread to where the extended body was tied in (i.e., above the hook point). Create a dubbing loop, fill it with the pale yellow dubbing, and return the thread to the rear of the wing base.

8.       Dub a robust abdomen, stopping at the rear of the wing base.

9.       Tie in a high quality dun colored neck hackle with long, stiff barbules, immediately behind the wing base, locking it down securely with the thread.

10.   Using a dubbing loop, dub a robust thorax around the area below the deer hair wing, and forward to just behind the hook eye.



11.   Grab the tip of the hackle and wind it up the post 2 or 3 times in wide wraps, and then make close wraps down the post, making sure each wrap is beneath the previous one. There are a lot of opinions about whether to wind the hackle clockwise or counter-clockwise; just pick one method and master it. Tie the hackle off just behind the eye, trim it, and whip finish.

12.   Apply a drop of super glue to the post at the top of the hackle winds, and another to the fly’s head. Admire your handiwork, and….See ya on the creek.



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