Zap-A-Gap & Wire Flies

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Working to replicate a prolific life force that inhabits nearly all the trout water everywhere, I have been fooling around with tiny hooks to replicate some of the midge larva that I saw on stream this last season. I like slim bodies that are truly accurate to size and shape and to make these small larva I turned to a prolific force on my bench, Zap-A-Gap. This stuff has been hailed by tyers of all kinds for its variety of uses and I have a small bottle that seems will never end right next to some of the more important tools I use. Constructing a Wire Fly the way I have here is relatively easy requiring few materials, just a bit of control and most importantly patience, an attribute fly fishing and tying tests me on frequently. I made a kind of double bodkin by taking an old dentist tool and grinding each side to a sharp point, this metal tool allows me to use one side to apply the product and the other to pick up any extra with a quick rub. After a dozen flies I use a razor blade and some steel wool to remove the build up from my tool, this thing works very well.

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If you go out to a stream with a small enough strainer and sift through a few plants, get in deep and dig up some substrate I’m pretty sure you will find (amongst a sea of life) a few squirming larva with not much other than the color red indicating their presence. I plan to use what I call the Hot Wire Midge to represent this larva. Taking a section of Ultra Wire (size BR) I wrap tight kissing turns the length of the hook shank on this Dia-Riki 135 Scud Hook (#20). To cleanly remove both tag ends wiggle the wire against the hook shank until it pops free, I often use a pair of forceps to aid me in this to save on the amount of wire I use. Use your (dirty in my case) fingernails to push the wire together removing as much of the gap between wraps as possible. Once finished use a thin layer of Zap-a-Gap to seal the wire and adhere it to the hook. This method allows for a neat, thin, segmented body without cluttering the hook with thread. I find it to be very effective but I should note: Allow the Glue to DRY! before touching it. If you do not you will ruin the nice clear finish that allows you to see the wire properly. Patience. Drink some beer, play with your cat/dog, your kids, come back to it in a while if need be. That’s all for the Hot Wire Midge larva, an easy tie.

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Look at the rocks in a riffle once and you will find a little black “booger looking thing” hanging on for dear life as swift water rushes overhead, this larva has a dark olive/black color with a body that starts thin and has a “bulb” on one end. A Black Fly larva. Noticing the quantity of these in our waters I wanted to attempt an imitation and I thought of the wire approach again. I tied a few versions of these and settled on two that I liked the most. The first uses a few pieces of black Krystal [singlepic id=746 w=260 h=180 float=right]flash as a wing case of sorts pulled over a bulb of olive tying thread and coated with Zap-A-Gap. The second utilizes a very small amount of Olive Ice Dub to form a small bulb which was trimmed as short as possible and coated with Zap-A-Gap. I like both but my choice would be for the Ice Dub version, I like how the glue darkens the olive ice dub without removing its attractiveness, also it makes the entire fly invincible (except to snags) and it looks nasty baby, so nasty.

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3 Comments:

  1. These look really great– I actually really like the krystal flash pulled over the thread thorax– I think I could replicate that for baetis patterns– it might look nice with two strands of kf (from the pulled over thorax) as legs

    anyways– great ties!!

  2. Do you tie your simple ‘brassies’ sans thread? A guide buddy in British Columbia taught me that trick a few years back. That have saved a ton of time at the vise. Zap-A-Gap is really cool for filmy looking bodies.
    Thanks for the article.

  3. You are correct, the bodies are simply formed by tightly wrapping wire on a bare hook, using my fingernails to eliminate any noticable gaps in the wire and then laying a thin layer of Zap-A-Gap down over the entire surface to ensure it won’t come apart. Your right as well with the filmy looking bodies, they look quite natural.

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