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Hendrickson Sparkle Dun Pattern & Tying Instructions

Fly Tying Recipe: Hendrickson Sparkle Dun
Standard dry-fly hook (here, a Dai-Riki 305), sizes 12-16.
Olive, 6/0.
Light dun coastal deer hair, stacked and cleaned.
Trailing shuck and wing flash:
Brown Zelon.
Abdomen and thorax:
Blended rabbit fur—light tan, gray, and pink.
Olive thread.
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Video Transcript:

Here, fly tier, author and blogger Matt Grobert is going to demonstrate how he ties a Hendrickson Sparkle Dun.

Matt starts with a Dai Riki #305 size 12 dry fly hook. For thread, he rarely uses anything other than olive 6/0 Danville.

Start your thread on the hook shank leaving an eye length's space behind the eye. Take several wraps rearward before breaking or snipping off the tag.

Although a variety of materials can be used for the wing, Matt really likes Coastal deer hair that's been dyed a light dun color. About half a pencil's width is all that's needed. After removing the underfur, stack the hair to align the tips. Next, carefully get hold of the tips so you don't jostle them out of alignment. Measure the deer hair to form a wing that's a hook shank in length. With a pinch wrap, make a complete loop around both the deer hair and the hook shank and then pull straight up with your tying thread to compress and flair the deer hair. Continue taking nice firm wraps of tying thread at the base of the wing while still holding on to the butts to prevent the clump from rotating around the hook shank. Once the clump is secure, carefully reach in with your tying scissors and snip the butts off close. You can do some final trimming to create a little ramp down to the hook shank to smooth the transition.

Brown Zelon is used for both the trailing shuck and to add sparkle to the wing. Start by trimming one end of the material off square. With the Zelon extending to the same length as the wing tips, secure the fibers to the top of the hook shank all the way back to the bend of the hook and then advance your thread to secure the Zelon all the way up to the base of the wing. You can then take wraps back down the hook shank in preparation for dubbing and trim the trailing shuck to about a hook gap in length.

For dubbing, Matt uses his own custom blend of rabbit fur, that's one part light tan, one part grey and one part pink to match the underside of the naturals. Start by dubbing a fairly long but thin noodle on your tying thread, this will form the abdomen of the fly. With the noodle complete, begin taking wraps so the dubbing starts right at the base of the trailing shuck. Take adjacent wraps forward to form a nicely tapered abdomen.

Pull the wing back, and with your thumbnail, push the deer hair rearward so it splays out. Then take wraps of tying thread to hold the wing upright.

Now, create a shorter thin dubbing noodle on your tying thread which will be used to support the wing and build the thorax. Maintaining that hook eye space behind the eye, take wraps rearward to push back the deer hair and keep it splayed and upright. Now pull the wing forward and make a single wrap of dubbing behind it to sandwich and flatten the wing. You can then take wraps forward to build up the front of the fly.

Matt's showing his inner Catskill-tyer here by leaving a bit of bare hook shank behind the eye.

Do a 5 or 6 turn whip finish and then snip or cut your tying thread free. This pattern is designed to ride low to the water yet still float well. They're especially effective when finicky trout start refusing higher riding hackled offerings.