*Tune in this afternoon at 4:30 PST on the Flylords Instagram Live as Lael shows the step by step process to tie this tube fly.*


Material List:

  • Pro Sport Fisher fluorescent orange large tube
  • Black Veevus 100 denier gel spun thread – GST
  • Size 12mm Green Lantern Bait Ball
  • Combine fluorescent Chartreuse Polar Aire(PBH125) and silver holographic dubbing
  • Fluorescent Chartreuse Intruder Prop Hackle – 200-018s
  • 8 Strands Black Ostrich Plume
  • 4 Strands White Flashabou – FLA6947
  • Fluorescent Brilliant Blue Spey Blood Quill Marabou Dyed – 200-018s
  • 8 Strands Orange Lady Amherst – LAC
  • Black Spey Blood Quill Marabou – 200-036s
  • 8 Strands Chartreuse Flashabou Holographic – FLA6962
  • Jungle Cock (Real or Fake)
  • Chartreuse Large Ultra Sonic Disk – Pro Sportfisher 10700304
  • Lighter

The Bad Apple is a tube fly, and what you’ll need first is the tube. I prefer the Pro-Sport Fisher tubes because of the integrated junction tubing. This tube allows the hook to stay perfectly placed, which enables solid hookups. I begin the fly by passing the thread through the Bait Ball and then placing the bead on the tube with the thread still attached. Place a small amount of glue on the back end of the tube to lock the Bait Ball in place. On the front side of the bead, which is facing towards the head, take 6 or 7 wraps of GST around the tube, but don’t cut the thread, you’ll need it for a dubbing loop. Next, create a dubbing loop placing the blended Polaraire and Holographic dubbing in the loop, then spin the materials.

Pick out all trapped fibers, that when done correctly, will give you a tightly wrapped core slightly larger than the twisted loop itself. After this, tightly wrap your blended materials next to the Bait Ball. Make sure you are pulling the fibers toward the head of the fly, not the rear. Once completed, pull your materials over the Bait Ball, finally pulling your thread toward the head of the fly again and tying off. The movement of reverse palmering your dubbing material helps create a larger profile fly, which is ideal for targeting Large Winter Steelhead or Spring & Fall Chinook.

Now that you have created your dubbing ball with the help of your Bait Ball, we can now start to add feathers. First, palmer on a Chartreuse Intruder Prop Feather, followed by eight strands of Long Ostrich Plumes and four white strands of White Flashabou folded in half, stacked evenly around the tube. Now add another Marabou feather, but in Brilliant Blue to add a little more color along with eight strands of Orange Lady Amherst. Our final feather will be a Black Marabou Feather, which adds contrast over the brighter colors. To finish things off, and give a bit of luminance over the black add eight strands of Chartreuse Pearl Flashabou and a Large Chartreuse Prosportfisher Ultra Sonic Disk.

Take your fly off the mandrel, and cut the tube close to the cone, then burn the end with a lighter. Quickly push the fly headfirst back onto the vice firmly to lock the cone on after the melted tube creates a doughnut. Your Bad Apple is now ready for the water and anything that wants a bite!

Be sure to check Lael out at @flygyde. If you’re looking for steelhead guidance on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, Alaska, British Columbia or Patagonia be sure to visit www.flygyde.com.

Staying Afloat #6: Lael Paul Johnson

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