How to Tie: The Iron Lotus

In this week’s How to Tie Video, Lance Egan from Fly Fish Food is here to show us how to tie the Iron Lotus.

Learn About This Fly:

Difficulty: Novice

“The Iron Lotus. A fly the likes of which the world had never seen before. A fly so revolutionary, so dangerous that it would have catapulted any trout that was stuck with it straight to the top (of the water column). And like many revolutionary ideas, it just scared the sh*t out of the establishment.” – Craig T. Nelson (sort of…)

The iron lotus is a weighted fly that is most commonly used for the European style of nymphing referred to as “Euro-nymphing”, or “Tightlining”. This fly is tied to loosely imitate an attractor mixed with a Baetis nymph swimming in the current. Much like any other frenchie/ surveyor style of fly that is used for tightlining, this flies effectiveness comes from its simplicity and its weight. By utilizing a tungsten bead head, along with a generous helping of lead wrap, this fly is able to plunge down to a fish’s feeding zone within seconds. This is critical when fishing heavy flows, or small pockets of water where you only have about 6 seconds to drift the hole.

When tying this fly, it’s important to account for every part of its construction before even making your first wrap. Account for the size of the lead wrap, and how fat that will drive the thorax down the hook. Also, make sure to focus on creating a smooth taper up the body, otherwise, the threaded ripping will be almost impossible to see. While this isn’t essential to catching fish, it’s always nice to try to hold your flies to a certain standard.


  • Hook: Hanak H 400 BL Jig Hook – 14
  • Thread: UTC Ultrathread 70 Denier – Olive
  • Bead: Hareline Slotted Tungsten Beads – Gold – 7/64″ (2.8mm)
  • Tail: Whiting Coq De Leon Tailing Packs – Medium Pardo
  • Weight: Lead Wire Spool – .01
  • Abdomen: UTC Ultrathread 70 Denier – Olive
  • Ribbing: 6/0 UNI-Thread Waxed – White
  • Hot Spot: UTC Ultrathread 70 Denier – Red
  • Thorax: Arizona Synthetic Dubbing – Peacock
  • Wing Case: UTC Flashback Tinsel – Black – Large
  • Coating: Loon UV Clear Fly Finish – Flow

Now you know how to tie the Iron Lotus!

Video and ingredients courtesy of Fly Fish Food, and Lance Egan

How to Tie: The Parachute Poly Emerger

How to Tie: The Rainbow Warrior

How to Tie: The Tungsten Surveyor

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