The Lion
Tube version by Marcus Thomasson

This fly is an old pattern and was more popular in many rivers than flies like the Silver Grey. I haven't seen it as a hair wing yet so here is my interpretation of the Lion.

Tube: X-small & medium
Tag: Oval silver tinsel, yellow flat braid
Tail: Yellow fluoro fibre
Body: Silver flat braid
Rib: Oval silver tinsel
Body hackle: Black cock hackle
Front hackle: Gallina (guinea fowl)
Wing: Peacock krinkle mirror flash, baitfish green gliss n'glow, orange hair, yellow hair, yellow angelhair, grey soft hair.
Sides: Jungle cock
Head: Silver cone

Click on the images to see them separately at full size.

1. Take two plastic tubes, x-small and medium. Cut the medium tube at the front as shown on the picture. Take the x-small tube and push it into the front half of the medium tube on the needle. Use the thread and wind the first turns down on the smaller tube and go up on the medium tube and make three turns in two places. This way you don't have to use any glue to connect the two tubes.

2. Go back to about half of an inch from the end, attach the oval silver tinsel under the tube and make an even foundation for the tag with the thread. Wind the tinsel six turns forward and tie it off under the tube again.

3. Do the same thing with the flat braid, covering the last turn of the tinsel.

4. Hold the middle of the fluoro fibre between your fingers on top of the tube so the fibres point back toward the end of the tube. Make two turns with the thread then fold it back so you make it doubled. Taper the tail with scissors.

5. The tail is done.

6. Attach oval silver tinsel and silver flat braid under the tube. Go forward with the thread to the middle of the tube and follow with the flat braid. The flat braid is a good material, it's strong and forgiving so it's not so important to have a nice flat foundation. I like to have a bigger body at the front of my flies, in this case dubbing in a dark red color. The original pattern says 1/5 of the body but I make it half silver and half red. It's important when using the dubbing that you don't put too much on the thread at a time, every fiber should touch the thread to make the fly strong. Wind it cross-vise forward and build a body that's tapered and larger toward the front.

7. Take a cock hackle about twice the legnth of the body, sometimes more sometimes less, it depends on how "fat" the body is. I think double is a good rule of thumb though. You want to use the entire taper of the feather! Pull the fibres back at the tip of the feather and cut the point, the tip should now have a shape of a triangle in front of your fingers. Don't let go of the feather!
Attach the hackle under the tube in the "V" where the fibres go back under your fingers.
Make one turn with the feather in front of the body and five turns over the body. Take the oval silver tinsel and, still holding the hackle, cross the hackle with five turns forward. Tie off under the tube.
Take a brush and brush the dubbing out so it gets mixed with the hackle and gives a nice volume to the body.
Tie the flash on top of the tube just like you did with the tail, first wide and short and fold it over to make it doubled. Cut it so every strand is a different length.

8. Now to the wing. To make a strong fly you should tie as much as possible on the thicker tube.
Take a small bunch of orange hair, the fibres should reach to the end of the tail. The second wing is yellow and a bit longer then the first wing. The softest material should be in the front and on top of the fly. Both the wings should be tied on the thicker tube. Now you have about 80% of the wing ready. Add angelhair on top of the wing like the previous flash. Cut it to the right length. You can also cut the remaining hair at the front.

9. Attach the front hackle under the tube, the same way you did with the body hackle. Go down on to the smaller tube with the thread and wind the hackle five to six turns forward with the last turn down on the smaller tube.
Do not use too many turns of thread on the smaller tube, you have to make sure that everything at the front fits into the cone. 2-3 turns is enough.

10. The last wing is only a thin roof, and it should be much longer than the other ones.

11. The sides are done with jungle cock as usual. Tie them in and make sure they're even on both sides as shown on the picture.

12. Put a drop of superglue on the head and push the cone on the tube all the way in to the wing. Make sure there is no thread showing. Cut the tube 5mm in front of the cone. Use a lighter and melt the tube to a little collar down to the cone.

I hope you'll have a lot of fun with this fly.

Marcus Thomasson


Return to whence you came
Return to home page