Recently I’ve been playing about with this fantastic new product from Chevron Hackles, namely pre-formed ‘soft’ tungsten.
Ranging from Cone heads, beads, tubes and a cracking pre-formed nymph-back (or shell-back) this product is both exciting and very easy to use, offering anglers and fly tiers the opportunity to weigh patterns quickly and innovatively.
Towards the end of the wild trout season I used this style of fly to target fish sitting in faster streams and I’m happy to say successfully, not only did the nymphs look good, but they sank like a stone as well due to the slim profile and dense tungsten body.
Essentially Chevron have taken the widely available tungsten impregnated sheeting and utilised it into these excellent pre-formed shapes which are dense and heavy with a ‘rubber’ like feel. Because they are essentially ‘soft’ (although not so soft at to be able to re-mould them) you can bore these out, or trim as suits meaning cone-heads can go over the head of eyed hooks and the nymph-backs can be trimmed if desired.
The initial caddis patterns I came up with incorporate the excellent barbless Patriot Czech Nymph hooks which offer a cracking shape to the pattern as well as great grip thanks to the slight up-turn on the hook point. I tied up my initial Caddis in both brown and olive and am pleased to note these flies picked up fish on every water I used them on, as well as being hard waring thanks to the UV resin / varnish coating. Great product and it’ll be interesting to see how others adapt and utilise this product in their own patterns going forward, not only for running water but in Stillwater situations as well.
Hook; Partridge Patriot Czech Nymph (10 – 14)
Thread; Yellow Uni 8/0
Rib; Fine copper wire
Shellback: Large Mirage Pearl tinsel (Veniard)
Nymph-back; Pre-formed tungsten nymph-back (Chevron Hackles)
Varnish; Bug Bond Lite
Head / Thorax; Dubbing mix 30 brown rabbit: 30 brown hare: 10 black rabbit: 10 black hare: 20 copper ‘Glister’ well picked out
Step 1 Place hook in vice and lay down yellow thread
Step 2 Catch in copper wire rib and large Mirage 'shellback' cover
Step 3 form underbody with thread, tie off and trim
Step 4 (Optional) trim down shellback to desired size
Step 5 Set shellback onto hook using UV resin
Step 6 Seal resin, underbody and shellback
Step 7 Re-connect thread at head then draw Mirage over shellback and tie in. Form small copper 'butt' using wire then rib fly in open turns.
Step 8 Tie off thread and trim, then colour shellback using Medium Brown Pantone pen
Step 9 Seal entire fly using UV resin or varnish
Step 10 Reset thread at head then form sparse dubbing rope using dubbing mix.
Step 11 Form head, seal head with tiny amount of Cellire varnish onto thread, whip finish then brush out dubbing to form thorax