Fly of the Month – Fordice’s Uncle Leo

J. Stockard Pro Tyer and fly fishing guide: Brita Fordice, Bremerton WA, find Brita on Instagram

This fly was designed as a perch fly for bass and lake trout in an eastern Washington lake that I fished frequently when the lakers were in the shallows in the spring and fall. I then found that folks wanted to buy it for bass fishing in the mid-west, and the south. What I love about this fly is the profile. Very few perch patterns hold their shape in the water, and even less have a rounded form that is natural to the fish. This pattern fit the bill, and is a very simple pattern to change up the fiber color and achieve a whole different fish species!

1. Tie in olive bucktail on the shank even with the barb location below. On top of that add olive colored ostrich.

2. Next I create my brush/dubbing loop. I cut my EP Fibers into 3″ sections and lay them out in front of me. Next I cut and prep my olive craft fur by hand stacking the fibers I’ve cut and pulling out any shorter pieces. I lay those out carefully vertically on top of the EP Fiber line. I then cut my flashabou into sections and add these pieces throughout my line of materials. I then form a dubbing loop with my thread and carefully pick up sections of my materials and add them to my dubbing loop about an inch at a time until I have about five sections added. I then spin it. Make sure to use a dubbing spinner tool, as this can be very frustrating without! I then brush out the curled up pieces and loose fibers that are twisting so that it appears sparse.

3. Once the loop looks good and appears similar to a brush, I fold it using a water cup to wet my fingers which helps the stray fibers, and palmer it up the shank of the hook to just behind the eye.

4. Lastly, I tie in one clump of the Fl. Fire Orange craft fur at the throat, and a few pieces of peacock herl for the spine on the back.

5. For the eyes I use Loon UV Thin with my UV light to create the shape of a head, and then I use Hard As Hull to coat the outside of that for added durability and clarity.

6. The final addition is the stripes, which I add with a copic marker or sharpie to the sides.

Recipe:

Hook: Ahrex Aberdeen Predator hook #2/0
Thread: Danville Brown 140 Denier
Tail: Light olive bucktail first to prop up 12 pieces Olive dyed ostrich with tips colored Flourescent orange with sharpie or copic markers.
Body: Dubbing loop (or handmade wire brush) consisting of: olive craft fur, EP 3D fibers in Everglades chopped into 3” segments, and copper and olive Flashabou cut in 3” sections. Palmer this like you would hackle to just behind the eye. Brush it out to untangle and form a nice baitfish shape.
Spine: Peacock herl w/stripes from black sharpie
Throat: Flourescent fire orange craft fur
Eyes: Flymen Fishing Co. Earth Color Living Eyes size 7mm with epoxy or UV Loon Thin to shape head.

6 thoughts on “Fly of the Month – Fordice’s Uncle Leo

  1. Michael Vorhis

    What a great-looking fly for whatever feeds on little panfish and reef fish, Brita.

    But I’m having trouble picturing how to make it flat-sided after the palmering. Do you just comb it to a flat-ish shape?

    Also, I’ve always failed miserably trying to spin a “rope” or dubbing loop that includes limp fibers longer than pretty sort–they always just wind around the dubbing loop. Is there a trick to this? Whether I hold the loop horizontally or vertically, whether I spin slowly or quickly, I just end up with a big long knot. Admittedly I don’t have a dedicated rope-making tool but it seems that this ought to be doable on the vise.

    Because of this inability, when limp fibers get long enough that they can droop, I end up just tying them in flat, without spinning them as a rope. I’d welcome tips on how to spin them, as I suspect a lot of tyers would.

    Reply
    1. Brita

      Yes, I comb it well. The added throat of the craft fur makes it more of a tall/vertical profile as well.

      In addition- make sure you have a dubbing spinner tool. This makes a world of difference when spinning limp fibers. More specifically- a weighted spinning tool- not just a shepherds crook. You need to be able to pinch the thread together and taught at the bottom just above where your hook is in, spin the **** out of it, then let go all at once. Then go back through and pick it out well.

      Reply
      1. Michael Vorhis

        So it sounds like loading up a lot of turns (a lot of stored “spring tension” ready to release onto the dubbing loop) and then releasing them to apply them instantaneously, all at once to the dubbing loop, is the best way to handle longer limp fibers. Okay so far.

        Does it matter whether the dubbing loop is vertical or whether it’s horizontal at the moment the turns are “let loose” on the loop? I would guess horizontal, but I’ll ask since guessing wastes good tying materials….

        Thanks in advance. Again, great-looking fly–I’d fry one up and eat it myself if I was hungry.

        – Mike

        Reply
  2. John Page

    “Uncle Leo” Fly-of-the-Month

    I’m also requesting your email instructions and tips for this fly. It looks perfect for my needs, a tai chub minnow for Southern Oregon Tiger Trout. This vigorous fighting predator has been introduced to two of our famous trout lakes to attack the illegally-introduced tai chub that have destroyed these fisheries in the past. I’ll just substitue silver for orange on the lower portion of the fly.

    Thank you

    Reply
  3. Jim in Conroe

    This sounds very complicated to me, and that is compounded by the lack of photographs of the intermediate steps in Step 2. A video would also be helpful.

    I tie similar baitfish flies for Tigerfish in Africa using Steve Farrar Synthetic Materials, rather than E&P and craft fur. They are much simpler with respect to the materials (Gamakatsu BS10 Stinger Hook, size 2/0 or 4, SF materials in various colors, dolls eyes, and epoxy).

    However, the use of a brush (I would buy one, rather than make it myself) to form the front of the fly looks interesting, and I will give it a try.

    Reply

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