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Snowshoe Wing Rusty Spinner Pattern & Tying Instructions

Fly Tying Recipe: Snowshoe Wing Rusty Spinner
TMC100, size 14
6/0 Danville
Australian Possum, rust colored
Thorax Australian Possum, rust colored
natural snowshoe rabbit fur
Show / Hide Snowshoe Wing Rusty Spinner Transcript

Video Transcript:

For many patterns author and fly tier Matt Grobert prefers to use natural materials as opposed to synthetic ones. This includes his Rusty Spinner.

Matt starts with a size 14 TMC 100 dry fly hook. For thread, his favorite 6/0 olive Danville.

Start your thread on the hook shank leaving a little bit of space behind the eye. Snip a small clump of natural snowshoe rabbit free from the bottom of the foot. Pull out and discard the real fluffy underfur and then get the clump positioned in your left hand. Although length isn't critical, make sure the fibers are at least a hook's length long from the tie-in point. Tie the fibers in on top of the hook shank with firm wraps of thread. Continue taking tight wraps rearward before reaching in with your scissors and snipping the butts off at an angle.

Now, wrap your tying thread forward and then pull the fibers back. With a dubbing needle, separate the clump into two equal parts. Pull them outward so they're roughly perpendicular to the hook shank. You can then make several cross wraps with your tying thread in order to keep the fibers oriented in this direction.

With the wing in place, take wraps of tying thread all the way back to the hook point. Pinch just the smallest amount of rust colored Australian Possum, here Matt's using his own custom blend. Form a short thin dubbing noodle on your tying thread and with overlapping wraps, create a small ball of dubbing just above the barb.

Make some open spiral wraps up the hook shank in preparation for tying in the tail. Separate two microfibbets from the clump. Here Matt's using light Dun. Measure them to get tails that are 1 1/2 to 2 times the length of the hook shank. Place the microfibbets on the near side of the hook and allow thread torque to carry them to the top of the hook shank as you take wraps. Once they're secured, begin orienting the fibers on either side of the dubbing ball taking wraps to secure them as you go.

Matt only advocates this dubbing ball technique on flies 14 and larger and will use his thread splitting technique on anything smaller. Once the tails are nicely splayed take a few wraps forward with your tying thread.

Use the same Australian Possum as before to create a thin tapered dubbing noodle. With the noodle complete, carefully begin wrapping a slender abdomen that seamlessly flows into the dubbing ball at the tail. Continue wrapping all the way up to the wing. Add some more dubbing material and begin taking cross wraps above and below the wing to form the thorax of the fly.

After you've completed a few wraps in front of the wing, whip finish with 4 or 5 turns and snip or cut your tying thread free. Pull the wings, first up, and then back, and snip them off using the very back end of the hook to measure.

Matt doesn't use floatant on this or any other flies and believes a few rapid false casts and the occasional application of Frog's Fanny will keep this Rusty Spinner floating in the surface film.