Spring is here and so are the Hendricksons in Michigan. While we haven’t seen them in numbers, yet, we will in the upcoming weeks so it’s best to get tying! Tied in a size 12 or 14, these are good imitations of light Hendricksons. Later in the summer, I downsize and go to a size 14 or 16 when the Cahills are coming off. The only tricky thing about this fly are the wings but after one or two there’s no cause for concern.
Begin the thread about one eye-length behind the eye and stop the thread about 1/3 of a hook shank behind the eye.
Select a mallard flank feather and strip all of the fuzzy fibers until all you have left is the tip of the flank with uniformed tips. Measure the feather so that only a hook-length extends forward from the thread position. Make a loose pinch wrap and then tighten down while working the thread back. Then, advance the thread to the front of the hook and create a thread dam to hold the wings upright.
In order to split the wings, I use my thumb and gently push the flank rearward and they naturally want to split. Gently grab one side while making “figure 8” wraps with your thread separating them. After a couple figure 8 wraps, I typically reposition the wings to my liking and then continue securing them.
After you’re satisfied with their position, advance the thread rearward over the stem and into position for the tail.
Select a larger feather from the saddle and strip some longer fibers off while trying to keep the tips uniform in length. Measure them to be one hook-length and tie them in to the butts and then wrap back towards the bend.
Create a thin dubbing noodle and dub the body to just behind the wings. Create a carrot-shaped body and end with your thread between the wings and body.
Select an appropriate sized hackle for the fly size and strip about 1/8″ of fibers off from the stem. Tie it in with the shiny side facing forward and advance your thread to just behind the eye of the hook. Using hackle pliers, wrap the saddle hackle behind and just in front of the wings before capturing it with the thread.
Using fine tipped scissors, snip the excess off and whip finish.
Thread: White UTC 70
Hook: Mustad R50-94840 Dry Fly Hook. Sizes 12 and 14
Wing: Mallard Flank
Hackle: Dun saddle hackle
Body: Sulphur fine dry fly dubbing
Tail: Saddle hackle fibers