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Junkyard Dog Pattern & Tying Instructions

Fly Tying Recipe: Junkyard Dog
Rear hook:
Gamakatsu SP-11-3L3H, size 1
Rear thread:
Brown, 140-denier or 6/0
Rear tail:
Tan marabou
Rear body:
Copper Olive UV Polar Chenille
Rear veil:
Tan marabou
Rear collar:
Tan arctic-fox zonker strip
Adhesive 1:
Thin UV Cure Resin
Hook connection:
1-3/8′ articulated shank
Connection thread:
Brown, 140-denier or 6/0
Adhesive 2:
Thin UV Cure Resin
Front hook:
Gamakatsu B10S, size 2/0
Front thread:
Brown, 140-denier or 6/0
Adhesive 3:
Thin UV Cure Resin
Front tail:
Tan marabou
Front collar:
Tan and dark-brown arctic-fox zonker strips
Front body:
Dark Tan Senyo’s Laser Dub
Fish Mask, size 7
Adhesive 4:
Thicker UV Cure Resin
Ice Living Eyes, 7
0 mm
Adhesive 5:
Thin UV Cure Resin
Adhesive 6:
Sally Hansen Dries Instantly
UV torch
Show / Hide Junkyard Dog Transcript

Video Transcript:

Yeah, small flies work most of the time, but there are certain situations where you just gotta let the big dog eat.

Mike Schmidt’s Junkyard Dog has all the features big trout can’t resist - a mix of colors, a bit of flash, movement from both the materials and an articulated tail and a big old head that pushes a ton of water. All of it is contained in a remarkably lightweight, neutrally buoyant and fairly easy-to-cast package. Two large, insanely sharp and well hidden hooks add a lot of bite to the Junkyard Dog’s Bark.

I’m going to tie one here that’s pretty close to Mike’s original, just the head and the articulation are different.

Start with a Gamakatsu size 1 SP11-3L3H Saltwater Series hook. This will be the trailing hook. Mash the barb and get the hook firmly secured sin your tying vise. My vise jaws have special grooves which come in real handy when securing larger hooks.

Load a bobbin with a nice heavy tying thread, like UTC 140 Denier in brown. Start your thread on the hook about 1/4 of the way down the shank and take a few wraps rearward before snipping or breaking off the tag.

For the tail, select a full well-shaped plume of tan marabou. Corral the fibers in your fingertips and then measure to form a tail about a full hook in length. Transfer the measurement rearward to the start of the bend and then snip off the excess butt at the tie-in point. Give your bobbin a quick counterclockwise spin, which will help the thread to jump rearward and catch the very end of the marabou. Continue taking thread wraps rearward to bind the marabou to the top of the hook shank. End with your thread positioned above the hook barb.

UV Polar Chenille in copper/olive is used to form the body on the rear portion of the fly. I like to leave the bulk of the material in the bag and secure one end to the hook shank with wraps of tying thread. You can then advance your thread to just in front of the original tie-in point. Start taking open spiral wraps up the body with the chenille, pulling the fibers rearward as you go. I just kind of navigate the extra chenille around my bobbin as I wrap. Doing it this way allows you to form the body without any waste. When you reach your tying thread, secure the chenille with a few tight wraps and then snip the excess off close. Pulling the fibers back, and taking some more wraps will keep everything pointing rearward.

Get hold of another single plume of tan marabou and snip out the tip portion of the stem. This will result in a “V” shape with fibers extending roughly back to the hook bend. Contain the fibers with your fingertips and place the clump on the far top side of the hook shank. Take a loose thread wrap, while pushing the marabou around the shank with the tip of your index finger. The idea is to completely encircle the hook with marabou fibers. Take a few more thread wraps to secure the marabou and then snip the excess butt end off close.

A 1/2 inch segment of tan Arctic Fox Zonker strip is used to form a partial collar on the trailing hook. If you hold the clump in your right hand and snip the hide off with your left, you don’t have to release and reorient the fur prior to tie-in. Simply place the butt ends on top of the hook shank with the tips pointed forward, out over the eye, and get hold of the butts with your left hand. Take a couple of thread wraps to compress the clump on the top of the hook shank and a few more tight wraps to secure it really well. Fold the tips rearward and take thread wraps to form a neat little bullet head. Do a 5 or 6 turn whip finish and snip or cut your tying thread free.

Although not essential, I like to use just a little bit of thin UV Cure Resin to saturate the fur and the thread wraps and then, with the UV torch, cure the resin. Once the resin’s set, the rear segment of the fly is complete and it can be removed from your tying vise.

To attach the rear portion of the fly to the front portion, I’m going to use an 1 3/8” long articulated shank. Fit the open loop end of the shank through the eye of the hook you just completed. It will allow movement, both side to side and up and down. Secure the bottom part of the loop in the jaws of your tying vise. Close the loop by building up successive layers of tight thread wraps, followed by a 5 or 6 turn whip finish. This will hold the loop closed but I like to follow up with a good coat of thin UV cure resin as insurance. Remove the shank from the vise and set the assembly aside for just a moment.

For the larger front hook, a Gamakatsu B10S in a 2/0 is tough to beat. Once again, mash the barb and get the hook well secured in your tying vise. With the same 140 Denier brown thread, begin making wraps at the midway point of the hook shank and take a few wraps rearward before snipping or breaking off the tag.

Place the articulated shank on top of the lead hook so its eye is right at the halfway point of the shank. Take tight wraps of tying thread all the way down to the bend and then back up to the eye. This should leave the rear portion of the fly trailing about 1/4” behind the bend of the front hook. Here again, firming up the connection with UV resin is a good idea. Once the resin is cured, the articulated shank isn’t going anywhere, even with a good bit of pressure on the rear hook.

To cover up the articulation, select 2 full plumes of tan marabou. Lay them together and get their tips aligned. Then pinch them to form a clump. Measure so the marabou extends to halfway down the rear segment. Place the clump on the top far side of the articulated shank and, while taking a thread wrap, press the marabou down and around so it encircles both the hook shank and the articulated shank. Take a few more thread wraps to fully secure it and then snip the butt ends of the marabou off close. It should look something about like this.

Next, snip off a 1/2” length of the tan Arctic Fox Zonker strip. As before, snipping off the hide with your left hand is the way to go. Position the clump just behind the eye of the articulation with the tips extending out over the front hook eye, and then, as you did with the marabou, push it around with your index finger as you take a loose wrap. As you pull the fur rearward, work your tying thread through to in front of the eye and then take a few wraps behind the eye. Securing the materials like this is called “hollow wrapping” and really gives the illusion of bulk to a fly.

For a little contrast, snip off another 1/2” segment of Arctic Fox, this time, a darker brown. Repeat the whole hollow wrapping process, but now do it in front of the articulated shank’s eye. This procedure can be a little tricky at first, but it’s well worth the effort. It’s ok if the fur still points forward a bit, as this will be taken care of in the following step.

The next material to go on is Senyo’s Laser Dub in dark tan. Take an ample clump from the packet and pull it apart, like so, to roughly align the fibers and then get hold of the clump at its midpoint. While holding the Arctic Fox back, place that midpoint on top of the hook shank and take thread wraps to secure it. Some of the material will spin around the shank to the near side. Repeat the same steps with another clump of equal size and secure that to the shank. While pulling the dubbing back, work your thread through to behind the hook eye and build up a small thread dam to keep the dubbing pushed back. You can see here how well the dubbing adds to the illusion of bulk. Do a 5 or 6 turn whip finish and snip or cut your tying thread free.

For the next step, it’s important to have left an eye-length space behind the eye that’s free of materials, with the exception of tying thread. There are several ways to create a head on the Junkyard Dog. Here I’ll use a size 7 Fish-Mask, which complements the hook well. To secure it, I liberally coat the entire inside of the mask with slightly thicker UV cure resin. Press the mask over the hook eye, pushing the laser dub back in the process. Use a paper towel and a bodkin to clean up any squeeze-out and clear the eye. You can then grab a UV torch and, while keeping the mask horizontal and centered on the hook eye, give the resin a good blast of UV light to hold everything in place. For an added bit of security, I like to build up some thread wraps between the front of the mask and the back of the hook eye. This prevents the mask from slipping off even if the resin fails, which it won’t.

For eyes, ice colored 7 millimeter Living Eyes fit this sized mask perfectly. They have a light adhesive backing and a hobby knife is a good tool for getting them accurately placed on the mask. The eyes really add to the pattern but they won’t stay on very well with just the adhesive backing. Using the thinner UV resin, coat the entire eye and cure it with UV light. The recessed eye socket on the Fish-Mask acts as a pool to contain the resin so it doesn’t run all over the place. As you can imagine, once the resin cures, the eyes are there to stay. I like to coat any exposed UV resin with a thin layer of quick drying Sally Hansen just to make absolutely sure of a tack-free finish. A quick swipe over both eyes and the thread wraps is all that’s needed.

Although the Junkyard Dog looks pretty darn good on the tying bench, it’s underwater where it really shines, and moves, and is practically irresistible to hungry predators.