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Simple Snowshoe Emerger Pattern & Tying Instructions

Fly Tying Recipe: Simple Snowshoe Emerger
Emerger hook (here a Dai Riki #125), sizes 18-24.
Olive, 6/0 or 140 denier.
4 pheasant-tail fibers.
Natural snowshoe rabbit’s foot.
Olive tying thread.
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Video Transcript:

This is a Simple Showshoe Emerger tied by author, fly tier and blogger Matt Grobert. They’re easy to tie even in the smallest of sizes, use only two materials and have proven themselves to be effective on the pickiest of trout.

Here Matt’s going to tie one on a Dai-Riki #125 emerger hook. After mashing the barb and securing the hook in his tying vise, he loads a bobbin with a spool of olive 6/0 Danville.

Start the thread on the hook shank leaving an eye-length space behind the eye and take wraps rearward before breaking or snipping off the tag. End with your thread about halfway between the hook point and the barb.

Pull down four pheasant tail fibers until they’re at a 90 degree angle from the stem and then strip them off, keeping the tips aligned. With the fibers in your right hand, measure them to form a short tail about a hook gap in length, and using a pinch wrap, secure them to the top of the hook shank well down into the bend of the hook. Get hold of the butt ends and give them a gentle twist to hold them together. Take adjacent wraps rearward to form the body of the fly. When you reach the base of the tail, secure the fibers with a single wrap of thread and continue taking open spiral wraps forward over top of the pheasant tail. You can then reach in with the tips of your tying scissors and cut the remainder of the butt ends off close.

From the heel of a naturally colored snowshoe rabbit’s foot, snip a small clump of hair. Remove the soft fuzzies from the base of the clump then pull out most of the guard hairs by their tips. The idea here is to get a sparse clump of the middle hairs while getting rid of as much fluff and coarse guard hairs as possible. Once you’re satisfied with the clump measure it to form a wing that extends about halfway down the tail. Transfer that measurement to your left hand and snip the butt ends off square to form the correct length wing. Squeezing the bundle tight, place it on top of the hook shank just behind the eye and take wraps of tying thread to secure it. Try your best to keep the snowshoe rabbit from blocking the hook eye.

Do a 5 or 6 turn whip finish while holding the snowshoe rabbit back and out of the way. With the whip complete and snugged up tight, you can cut or snip your tying thread free.

And that folks is all there is to it. Tied in sizes from 18 down to 24, they can be used to imitate blue winged olives, midges and just about anything else that’s really small. If you want to get fancy, you can use different colored pheasant tail for the body and different colored snowshoe rabbit for the wing. It’s a phenomenal pattern especially for those just beginning to tie and fish with small flies.