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"Hot Legs" – aren't they sexy?
by Christian Strixner

Hi Guys!

No no no! Don't do it. You are a good boy. And your mum always told you to be thrifty. So you better go back to the waste and put it back on the tying bench.

“What the hell is it useful for now?” I hear you say. Take your time; you'll know soon enough!

As a regular visitor to the river in the evening hours I like big chunky flies for summer dry flyfishing. Big trout are more vulnerable at that time. And after introducing my favourite Cicada pattern last time I'd like to show you a tying style which is very popular with Slovenian and Italian tiers.

They don't throw away their cut-offs! Rather they keep them for another purpose. It's fantastic stuff for dubbing blends and for creating “hot legs”. At this point you should look for a coffee grinder.

Put all the cut-off into the grinder. If there is nothing left from your last tying session create your own “waste”. Cut some deer hair using different colours ranging from green, yellow, brown, white and red even and of different thickness (bucktail is great stuff). Add some underfur from hare, possum or similar - this is very important because it keeps the deer hair together. Partridge feathers are a good ingredient too. There is ample space for experiments. You will be surprised how good the results are.

Incidentally if you have no coffee grinder, take a jam-jar put everything into it, fill up with water and shake for a while. Remove the water and let your personal blend dry prior to use.

This was the procedure for dubbing. For creating “hot legs” concentrate mostly on deer hair in different shades. The procedure is similar but see the pics later on. Once again bucktail is great stuff.

When I work with dubbing loops I prefer Kevlar thread because it has the necessary extra strength and one can split it easily. But now let's have a look at the pics:

  1. Take a long shank hook and bring the thread back to the rear end of the shank
  2. Tie in a bundle of tail fibres – moose in this case
  3. Bring thread back to base of tail and split it with a dubbing needle
  4. Put your “waste” into the split thread formed loop
  5. Form a dubbing brush. Tease out caught hair during twisting
  6. Wrap dubbing brush forward to eye. Leave at least 1/3 to 1/4 of shank length for further tying steps
  7. Take an old tooth brush and align the dubbing to the back
  8. Cut off extending material or leave it to your liking
  9. Tie in a wing. In this case a shop bought material was used but look for “winging it” or “cicadas” in Sexyloops
  10. Split thread again
  11. Put some bucktail hair of different shades into split thread formed loop and form a dubbing brush
  12. Roll dubbing brush between your fingers and crumple the hair as you would when rolling a cigarette. Nonsmokers may have to do exercises here – sorry!
  13. Brush out hair again.
  14. Form a solid and not to small head with hot legs (provides buoyancy) and whipfinish.
  15. Trim hair and cut off unnecessary material. You can add some “life” to the head if you colour the centre of it with a black permanent marker.

Now you may like to find an appropriate name for this fly. To my mind it could resemble more than just one species – so what about “The Crook”?

Tight lines
Christian Strixner

Christian Strixner and his wife Tina, are two of my favourite New Zealand travel friends - they spend four months each year living out a Unimog in the South Island. For the rest of the year Christian lives in Munich splitting the cane and designing trout flies. He's handy with an axe.


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