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Double Standard Pattern & Tying Instructions

Fly Tying Recipe: Double Standard
3X-long nymph hook (here, a Dai-Riki 286), sizes 10-18.
3/32 gold bead.
.015 lead-free round wire.
Rusty brown, UTC 70 denier.
Copper Ultra Wire, small.
Tail & abdomen:
Pheasant tail fibers.
Hare’s ear dubbing.
Pheasant tail fibers.
Head cement.
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Video Transcript:

I call this nymph the double standard because it combines my favorite elements from two different standard nymph patterns into one. Simply, the tail and abdomen are that of a pheasant tail while the thorax and head are from a standard beadhead hare's ear.

For the hook I'm going to use a Dai-Riki #285 size 16. It's 3x long and has a nice natural curve which I like. In order to get most kinds of beads on this hook, you need to mash the barb. Here I'm going to use a 3/32" gold bead for the head. Slip the bead onto the hook, small hole first, and then get your hook firmly secured in the vise. I seldom fish with anything but weighted nymphs so on this one I'm going to use about a dozen wraps of 15/1000's lead free round wire. After making the wraps, break the wire off with your fingernail or cut it with wire nips and push the wraps snugly up behind the bead.

Thread color is kind of important here because of the weird way I put on the wing case. Choose a color that closely matches the pheasant tail you're using and err on the side of lighter rather than darker. Here I'm using UTC 70 Denier in a color called rusty brown. Start your thread on the hook shank immediately behind the wire wraps. Snip a length of copper wire, here UTC in the small size. Place the wire just behind the weight and begin taking thread wraps toward the rear of the hook. As you do so, allow the copper wire to rotate to the far side of the shank. You can then take a few wraps to begin building the underbody of the fly. End with your thread just slightly down the bend of the hook.

To form the tail and abdomen of the fly, select 8 to 10 nice long pheasant tail fibers and snip them free from the stem while keeping their tips aligned. With a pinch wrap, secure a nice short tail to the top of the hook shank. Use a couple additional wraps to make sure it stays there and then take more wraps to form the underbody of the fly. With that done, begin wrapping the pheasant tail fibers up the hook shank. As you can see, I prefer not to twist the fibers. About 2/3's of the way up the hook, take a wrap or two to secure the fibers and then angle the fibers up over the top of the bead and take some tight wraps just behind the bead to splay the fibers out. You can then wrap back to that 2/3's point. Begin wrapping so your wire crosses the underside of the hook shank first, this helps in not disturbing the tail. If you prefer to counter-wrap the wire, feel free to do so. Take about 6 or 7 open spiral wraps up the abdomen and then firmly tie the rib off. I found that running the bobbin nozzle up to the fly helps to stabilize things while I helicopter the wire to break it off clean.

Now it's time for the hare's ear thorax. I really do like to dub with the actual fur from a hare's ear. I usually cut off enough at one time to make several flies. I like to mix it up a bit before I begin dubbing it on the thread. Although I rarely use wax, I will in this case because the hare dubbing can be a little tough to work with. There's also nothing wrong with using the prepackaged stuff.

Once you have about a 4 inch dubbing noodle, begin wrapping it to form the thorax of the fly. Make sure you get right up behind the bead and then end at the 2/3's point. Then fold the wing case back and kind of spread it out as you go. Adjust your thread back and forth to ensure you have the correct wing case length. Take two full very tight wraps with your tying thread to secure the wing case. While maintaining tension on the thread, do a four turn whip finish and cut or snip the tying thread free.

Now snip the fiber butts off to finish the wing case. A good drop of head cement on these somewhat exposed wraps will ensure they don't come undone. You can then start brushing the hare's ear out to simulate legs. Take care not to brush the thread wraps too hard as the head cement really hasn't had time to dry.

And there it is, the Double Standard. It's easy to tie, uses few materials and is definitely a fish catcher. Give it a try.