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Dabblers were born for the top-dropper position. This gaudy version is worth trying on dark overcast days.
Hook: Size 8-10 wet-fly
Tail: Cock pheasant tail fibres
Rib: Gold wire
Body: UV gold extra-fine Straggle
Body hackle: Golden-olive or ginger cock hackle
Hackle/wing: Bronze mallard
Cheeks: Gold holographic tinsel
Step 1. Fix the hook, then run on the tying thread, carrying it down to the bend. Catch in a few fibres of cock pheasant tail to form the tail.
Step 2. Secure the pheasant-tail fibres then catch in some gold wire. Prepare, then catch in some gold UV Straggle at the base of the tail.
Step 3. Position the thread near the eye then begin winding the Straggle. Wind it along the shank in close, but not overlapping, turns.
Step 4. Stroke back the Straggle fibres at each turn. Secure the loose end and trim it off, then catch in a golden-olive cock hackle.
Step 5. Trim off the waste hackle stem. Holding the hackle-tip with hackle pliers, apply three close turns then wind it along the body in open turns.
Step 6. Once the hackle has reached the base of the tail, wind the gold wire through it, working towards the eye. This will secure the hackle.
Step 7. Remove the excess hackle-tip and wire, then prepare a strip of bronze mallard. Catch one third in under the shank and two thirds on top.
Step 8. Gently work the fibres around the sides of the body so they form a cloak. Secure with thread and trim waste mallard. Then catch in two holographic-tinsel cheeks.
Step 9. Trim off the waste ends of tinsel then add further tight thread turns. Build a small head then cast off with a whip finish.
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