Madam X Fly Tying Instructions

Madam X Fly Tying Instructions
The Madam X is an attractor dry fly that is popular with trout anglers. The fly can be used to imitate a grasshopper, golden stonefly or as a general searching pattern. The original fly uses a yellow body, but the color of the body can be changed. The fly rides low in the surface film because it does not use any hackle, but it is buoyant enough to support a bead head nymph. The Madam X is most effective during the summer months, but it can be used throughout the year.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Dry fly hook 8-12
  • 6/0 yellow thread
  • Scissors
  • Yellow floss
  • Elk hair
  • White round rubber legs
  • Zap-a-Gap
Step 1
Place the hook in a fly tying vise. Start the yellow thread one-third of the way up the hook shank. Wrap the thread over itself several times to secure it to the hook. Cut the tag end of the thread with your scissors.
Step 2
Wrap the thread to the bend in the hook. Cut a small clump of elk hair (10 to 15 fibers) and place it in a hair stacker with the tips facing downward. Beat the stacker against a hard surface to align the tips. Remove the hair from the stacker and lay it on the top of the hook bend. Measure the length so the elk hair tail is slightly longer than the hook gap. Make two soft wraps of thread around the hair, then make two to three tight wraps to secure the tail.
Step 3
Wrap the thread back down the hook shank and cover all of the elk hair. Cut another clump of elk hair that is slightly larger than the original. Even out the tips in the hair stacker and tie in the elk hair. Face the tips so they are pointing in the opposite direction of the tail. Allow the hair to spin around the hook shank while you cover it with thread. Stop wrapping once the thread has reached the eye of the hook.
Step 4
Begin wrapping the yellow floss just behind the tail. Secure the floss by making several wraps over the tag end, then cut the remaining tag. Wrap the floss downward until you have reached the thread. Make several wraps of thread over the floss and then cut the floss. Wrap the thread one-third of the distance of the hook shank.
Step 5
Use your thumb and forefinger to pull the elk hair from the eye of the hook. Pull the hair so the tips are facing the tail. Make two soft wraps of thread over the hair, then make three firm wraps to secure the hair to the top of the hook shank. This will form a bullet style head and a wing.
Step 6
Place one round rubber leg against the side of the fly. Make two tight thread wraps while holding the leg in position. Repeat the process on the other side of the fly. Trim the rubber legs so they are slightly longer than the hook shank. Whip finish and apply a small dab of Zap-a-Gap.

Tips & Warnings

Tie the body of the fly in yellow, red, white, cream, pink and black for a variety of attractors. Also use dubbing on the body if you want a bulkier fly.
The fly will float for a longer period of time if you add a silicone-based floatant before fishing. Using the fly without floatant will cause it to absorb water and sink after several casts.

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 Lazzari is currently completing his bachelor's degree online through Arizona State University and lives in southwest Montana.

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