FLY TYING TUTORIALS OF SMOKY MOUNTAIN 
TROUT FLIES

              The Thunderhead Dry Fly
                         

                                              

                       
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Introduction

Thunderhead :  Smoky Mountain trout fly
The Thunderhead Dry Fly has been around for many years and
is credited with having originated in North Carolina. It is as popular today as it was when I was a teenager. You will see some variations in the body color from gray to brown. Both are very effective. This fly floats very well in the rough waters of the Smokies. It is one of the best dry flies that I know of.

 

Step 1

Step 1


Place Mustad:94831 0r 94840 #12-14 in the vise and tie in thread. Wind thread to the bend of the hook.

Step 2

Step 2



Take equal amounts of Furnace and Grizzley spade hackles and tie in at the hook bend at a 45 degree angle.

 

Step 3

Step 3



Wind thread up the hackle barbs and back down to the hook bend allowing hackle to slightly rotate with the thread torque until it is in place as shown in the picture

Step 4

Step 4


Wind thread forward to the 2/3 way point of the hookeye.

 

Step 5

Step 5


Now cut 3/8 inch section of Calf Body Hair and place into stacker.

 

Step 6

Step 6





Place hair between thumb and forefinger  holding it to where the tip ends are even with the hookeye and the thumb and forefinger are directly above the hookbend. Now move the thumb and forefinger forward to the point where the thread is hanging. Now begin wrapping thread.

Step 7

Step 7




Make one soft wrap of thread and make a second wrap, this time coming over the hair and pulling snuggly straight down. Continue to wrap backwards for 10-15 wraps. Now trim hair at an angle. Continue to wrap backward toward the hookbend. 

 

Step 8

Step 8



Continue to wrap back to the hookbend and bring the thread forward again to the tie in point.

 

Step 9

Step 9




Now lift hair up with the thumb and forefinger and begin building a dam in front of the hair to lift it up to a vertical position. Do at least 12-15 wraps until the hair is supported.
 

 

Step 10

Step 10



Now divide hair into equal amounts and make 4 wraps from front to back at an angle to divide and separate wings.

 

Step 11

Step 11



Now wind thread from back to front at an angle to separate the near side and form a set of wings.

 

Step 12

Step 12






Take bobbin and wind several wraps of thread around the far set of wings pulling the thread to the back and making a wrap around the body to secure wing in place. Next, wind thread around the other wing post and  then take the thread to the front of the wings and wind it around the body. This will anchor the wing post in position.

 

Step 13

Step 13





Wind thread back to the hookbend and twist brown or gray dubbing onto the thread. Wind dubbing forward up to and around the wings, slightly tapering at the front. With just a very skinny amount of dubbing, wrap back to behind the wings. 

 

Step 14

Step 14



Tie in furnace hackle that has been trimmed on the first 3/8 inches of the bottom with 3-4 turns to secure.

 

Step 15

Step 15





Now tie in Grizzley hackle that has been trimmed on the bottom by placing it through the center of the wing post. Make 2-3 wraps behind the posts and 2 wraps in front of the post, Bring the thread back to the position shown in the picture.

 

Step 16

STEP 16




Wind the Grizzley hackle 3 turns behind the wing post and 2 turns in front of the wings. You may need to hold the wings back with your thumb and forefinger as you pass from the back to front . Place hackle pliers onto the grizzley hackle stem and let it hang down. Now take furnace hackle and wind it 2-3 turns behind the wings and 2 turns in front. Place another pair of hackle pliers on this hackle stem and wind thread forward through the hackle from back to front and tie off. You will see variations of which color of hackle is placed in front or behind. Both work well as does Cree hackle. Congratulations, you have just tied, probably, the best dry fly in the Smokies.

 

Another view

Thunderhead: Smoky Mountain trout fly


 

About Us Articles Articles - Page 2 Advanced Nymph Fishing Classes Home
Dry Flies Nymphs and Emergers Nymphs and 
Emergers - Page 2
Wet Flies/Soft Hackle Flies Tailwater Trout Flies
Realistic Flies Tailwaters Hatch Charts Smoky Mountain 
Hatch Charts
Fly Tying Tutorials
Flycasting Lessons
Wet Flies/Soft
Hackle Classes
Reports Resources Bleached and Dyed
Starling Feathers
Inspiration
Gift Set
Top Tailwater Trout Flies
Gift Set
Top Smoky Mountain
Dry Flies
Gift Set
Top Smoky Mountain
Nymphs/Emergers
   

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