All About Fly Fishing!

H & L Variant

Tied by Mike Hawkins for our Uni-Products Fly Swap.

h & l variant fly pattern

Michael's Notes and Instructions:

According to Craig Mathews and John Juracek in their book Fly Patterns of Yellowstone there are guides and fishermen that think that the H & L Variant or "Ike's Fly" is without peer. I enjoy the fact that the H & L has this kind of history attached to it. I also enjoy tying any fly that uses peacock herl. It has a natural iridescent attraction for fish that is not found in any manufactured material.

This fly uses stripped peacock herl for the body that gives the fly a natural "buggy look" and a thorax of un-stripped herl.

HOOK: #10 - #18
THREAD: 6/0 black
TAIL White calf hair
BODY: ½ Peacock quill, ½ Peacock herl
WING: White calf hair
HACKLE: Brown or Ginger

1. Attach a number 16 dry fly hook in the vice and start the thread just behind the eye. Run the thread to the mid point of the hook, secure a wing sized clump of calf hair to the hook, butt ends forward; the tips will form the tail.

2. Pull the butt ends 90 degrees to the hook shank and wrap in front to form the wings. Then wrap to the bend of the hook to form a smooth underbody.

3. Take one peacock herl and using a white plastic eraser, remove about 1"of herl from the quill. Tie in the stripped quill at the bend of the hook and wrap the thread back to the wings. Wrap the quill forward forming the first half of the body, and continue wrapping the un-stripped herl to form the second half of the body.

4. Tie off the herl behind the wing.

5. Tie in the hackle material (I use a Whiting Farms Dry Fly Hackle. It's more expensive but it saves time sorting through hackles to find the proper size). Wrap the hackle material a couple of times behind the wing and a couple of times in front of the wing, this also helps keep the wings perpendicular to the hook shank.

6. Tie off the thread. As with other stripped quill flies, the quill can be coated with head cement to make it more durable. The white hair wing makes the fly easier to follow in fast water.