Friday Fly by…Skip Morris

Every fly angler who’s ever cast to a persnickety trout knows you can never have too many mayfly patterns, so here’s a proven performer just in case you find yourself at your bench this weekend.

Morris May Light Recipe (by Skip Morris)

HOOK: Light wire standard length to 1X long, sizes 20 to 10.

THREAD: Tan 8/0.

TAIL-SHUCK: Tan Anton yarn (or any shiny yarn).

ABDOMEN: Buoyant tan dubbing (Superfine Dry Fly, Fly-Rite poly dubbing…).

WING: Gray poly yarn.

HACKLE: One, ginger or barred ginger.

THORAX: The same dubbing as in the abdomen.

Tying Instructions:

  1. Start the thread about three quarters up the shank. Bind a thin section of shuck-yarn atop the shank; bind the yarn down the shank to the bend. Trim off the front stub-end of the yarn. (Or make split hackle-fiber tails around a tight ball of thread-turns at the bend.)
  2. Dub a slim, slightly tapered abdomen from the bend to slightly past halfway up the shank.
  3. Double a thin section of poly yarn over the thread, slide the loop of yarn down atop the shank directly in front of the abdomen, and bind it tightly with a few tight turns of thread.
  4. Draw the ends of the yarn up and work a few turns of thread around the base of the yarn to gather the ends together. Give the yarn a hard push at its base to angle the yarn back.
  5. Use your hackle gauge to find a hackle of proper size for your hook. Strip the soft and overlong fibers from the base of the stem. Bind the hackle, by its bare stem, in front of the wing. Trim off the butt of the stem.
  6. Dub a rough, full thorax to just short of the hook’s eye.
  7. Spiral the hackle in four to six turns over the dubbed thorax to the eye. Build a tapered thread head, whip finish and cut the thread.
  8. Draw back the wing yarn, and then snip it to a squared end to a bit longer than the length of the shank. Trim the shuck-yarn. Trim the hackle fibres off beneath the thorax, either to flat or to angle down in a shallow “V.” Add head cement.