How to Tie Lightning Bug Fishing Flies

How to Tie Lightning Bug Fishing Flies
The lightning bug is an effective fly pattern most commonly used for trout. Several styles of lightning bugs exist but all are constructed to be a flashy fly. The fly is a general nymph pattern that is designed to sink. The fly can be tied with or without a bead depending on the depth you wish to reach. The fly can be used to match the silver air bubbles created by emerging caddis pupa or can be used as an attractor for searching.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

Tying Instructions

Step 1
Begin wrapping the thread just above the eye of the hook. Wrap the thread forward until you have reached the bend in the hook. Cut the excess thread and secure five to seven pheasant tail fibers between your thumb and forefinger. Adjust the fibers and be sure the tips are even.
Step 2
Place the pheasant tail fibers where you finished wrapping the thread and measure the fibers at 3/4 the length of the hook shank. Make several wraps of thread around the fibers and adjust the fibers to create a straight tail. Wrap the thread back down the hook shank to secure the fiber butts. Cut the remaining fibers once you have reached the bead.
Step 3
Place a pre-cut piece of small red wire on the hook shank and secure the wire by wrapping the thread back towards the bend in the hook. Stop once you have reached the tail. Wrap the thread back to the bead.
Step 4
Place a pre-cut piece of flat silver tinsel on the hook shank and secure the tinsel by wrapping the thread toward the bend in the hook. Stop once you have reached the tail and wrap the thread back towards the bead.
Step 5
Place a small bead of super glue or zap-a-gap on the hook shank and wrap the tinsel clockwise over the hook shank. Stop the tinsel, leaving a small gap between the tinsel and the bead. Use several wraps of thread to secure the tinsel to the hook shank and cut off the excess tinsel.
Step 6
Place a small bead of super glue or zap-a-gap over the tinsel and wrap the red wire over the tinsel in a counter-clockwise motion. The wire should be wrapped at a slight angle and evenly spaced. Use several wraps of thread to tie the wire off once you have reached the end of the tinsel. Cut the excess wire.
Step 7
Apply a small amount of dubbing wax to your tying thread and use your thumb, forefinger and middle finger to twist a thin layer of dubbing to the thread. Wrap the dubbing over the bottom 1/3 of the hook until you have reached the bead. Wrap several layers of dubbing until you have formed a ball that is more than double the diameter of the dressed hook.
Step 8
Use the whip finisher tool to tie off the head of the fly. Apply a small amount of zap a gap to the head and leave to dry for several minutes.

Tips & Warnings

 
The dubbing blend and hook size can be tailored to your preference. The typical hook sizes used on a Tiemco 2488 hook are 12 to 16.
 
Be aware of your thread position at all times and avoid hitting the thread with the hook point or your scissors. Breaking the thread can be fixed if you make an immediate recovery but waiting can cause the fly to fall apart.

Article Written By Zach Lazzari

Zach Lazzari is an outdoor writing specialist. He has experience in website writing as well as standard newspaper writing. He wrote an outdoor column for the Silver World in Lake City, Colo., and articles for Colorado-mountain-adventure.com. Lazzari is currently completing his bachelor's degree online through Arizona State University and lives in southwest Montana.

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