It’s hard to argue with the fish-catching ability of both the Walt’s Worm and the Sexy Walt’s. Many competitive fly fisherman have boxes lined with nothing else. So, when fish make up their minds they want something smaller, why not offer them the scaled down Son of Sexy Walt’s?
What size hook you use is really dictated by how little a bead you have. Here I’m going to go with a size 22 Dai-Riki #125 emerger hook. Once again, plunger-style hackle pliers make handling tiny hooks like this much easier. Begin by mashing the delicate hook barb with small needle nosed pliers or between the jaws of your tying vise.
For a bead, I’m going to use an extra small, Killer Caddis glass bead with a mercury colored core. Just drag the hook through the herd of beads and you’ll eventually catch one. Get the hook firmly secured in your tying vise and pull the bead up behind the eye.
For thread, I like to leave a little hot spot on the fly so I’m going to use 70 Denier fluorescent orange Ultra thread. Red, fluorescent pink and chartreuse also work well. Start your thread on the hook shank behind the bead and take a few wraps rearward before snipping or breaking off the tag.
Sulky sliver metallic is normally used to rib a Sexy Walt’s, but even though it’s narrow, it still looks a little wide when you’re tying on size 22’s and smaller. So, instead I go with extra small gold Ultra wire, 6-8 inches is enough to make numerous flies. Lay one end of the wire against the near side of the hook and take thread wraps to secure it. Continue taking wraps down the shank a little ways into the bend then return your thread back up the hook to immediately behind the bead.
If you have a favorite Walt’s Worm dubbing blend, by all means use it, but on this size hook, use it very sparingly. I prefer to go with the same yarn as I do on a plain old crane fly larva pattern that’s similar to a killer bug. The stuff can be a little tricky to find but even a small amount will last a while. Many tiers, myself included, swear by the oyster color.
Snip a 6 inch or so length free from the skein and then separate its 2 strands. Get hold of an end of one of the strands and place it on top of the hook shank. Give your bobbin a counter clockwise spin so the tying thread will jump ever so slightly rearward as you wrap, catching the strand of yarn right behind the bead. Take a few more tight wraps to further secure the yarn. Reach in with your tying scissors and snip the excess end of the yarn off close. Get hold of the remaining yarn, and make one wrap in front of your tying thread followed by wraps behind it. This stuff actually begins to uncord and flatten as you wrap, the opposite of most tying threads. So it does a wonderful job of creating a tapered body as you work your way rearward.
While maintaining a grip on the yarn, get hold of the wire and begin making open spiral wraps forward over the yarn body. These are effectively counter wraps made in the opposite direction of the yarn wraps. When you reach your tying thread, use it to secure the wire with 2 or 3 tight turns. You can then brace the hook with the nozzle of your bobbin and helicopter the fine wire to break it off close.
Do a 3 or 4 turn whip finish to secure your tying thread and build up a small hot spot collar behind the bead. Once you have the knot well seated, snip or cut your tying thread free. Finally, reach in and snip the excess yarn off close, right at the first wire wrap.
The Son of Sexy Walt’s not only fishes extremely well but, because it’s so easy, is a great way to get accustomed to tying small.