How to Tie: Dave Whitlocks Swimming Sheep Shad Series
What You’ll Need
TMC 9394 NP (bent to shape)
Flat stick on eyes
Midge Flash & Wing-N-Flash
Mallard Drake Belly
White UTC 140
SLF dubbing (minnow gill)
You will need to bend the front of the hook upright at a small angle. I like to use the sidecutters with the baby blue handles. They sell them for saltwater use, but I have found them to be great when bending hooks.
Now add the fly rattle. I glue it first with zap-a-gap to get it started. Then I add the epoxy on the sides first then I fill in the rest. I don’t go all the way around the rattle. Just in between the hook and the rattle.
Tie your thread in right in front of the rattle. Only make enough turns to get the thread started. You need to remember this fly requires a lot of steps so be easy on the thread wraps.
4 MORE STEPS TO LEARN HOW TO TIE DAVE WHITLOCKS SWIMMING SHEEP SHAD SERIES
Tie a small ball of dubbing for the gills. I do about four turns with dubbing dubbed loosely around the shank.
Tie the bottom first. This isn’t going to be as long as the top wing. What I like to do is fold the material around the thread then tie it in. If you know this step then you know it’s a lot easier. For those who don’t know how to do that step you can tie it in the center of the whole length and make a few turns around the material and fold the other piece that is still forward over and tie it down. Make a few more turns to secure the material from shifting.
Now your ready to tie the top wing on. This wing should measure past the length of the hook. Tie the ultra wing the same way you did the bottom.
Your going to add two types of flash. The first one is going to be the wing-n-flash. Pull a little out of the bag and tie it in. There’s really no right or wrong way to tie in the flash. It’s sloppy in the bag to begin with. It’s not individual strands is what I’m trying to say.
Now grab about eight strands of midge flash and tie it in. This part is easier just fold it around the thread then hold it with your left hand and make a turn around the hook shank with the bobbin. As your making the turn it will slide down to the hook. Now tie it in with a few turns.
Now tie in some more ultra wing to blend it all together. You don’t need much. Make sure you stay with the right proportion. Note: Also make sure you aren’t building to much thread. You can do that at the end when you make a nice thread head.
Tie in some midge flash in the same color your going to make the last top wing. Mine is a green so I’ll be using olive green midge flash. I’m tying in about eight strands again.
Tie in the color of ultra wing you would like in. I like shades of olives, chartreuse, blues and black for the dominant color.
Now you’re ready for the saddle hackle. When measuring this, it needs to be the same in length as the top wing. And when selecting this feather make sure you don’t tie it in right at the end (fat section of the feather) where you see the marabou look. It needs to start with barbs and not the marabou. What I mean by that is when you pluck the feather you will notice at the end where you picked it the feather starts with a marabou look. You need to pull the marabou off until you reach the barbs.
Tie in the mallard drake feather’s the same way you tied the saddle hackles. By the tip. Make sure you measure the feathers to proportion right on each side. I always try to match the same feathers before tying them in. I also prep my feathers with flex-seal and let them dry over night. When tying them in I only do about three turns of thread on each side. Now build your thread head in a cone shape and whip finish the fly. Now you’re ready to glue the eyes in..
I like to use marine goop when gluing the eyes on. You only need a small amount so be careful not to add to much.
Note: You can do this step, but it’s not necessary. The reason why I do it is to make a more durable fly. Because everything is tied in at the front I believe a coat of epoxy will keep the whole fly together and it will last longer on toothy critters.