This is a fly that always seems to get a little extra attention when you show someone your fly box. I've even had far more experienced fly fishers and tyers look at a box with a few laser flies in it and make a comment specifically about this fly. I think its so eye catching because its simple but also unique, blurring the lines between an egg and a streamer in some sizes and colors...an impressive feat.
I'm sure there are many variations, but this is the method that was taught to me by a guy who was a good friend of the originator of the pattern (and the material). The laser yarn is now kind of hard to find, and several people have suggested more common synthetics to replace it. For my part, I've always just used the real stuff, so I cant say whether there are any materials out there that would serve as good. Some have suggested glo-bug yarn, and this, I feel pretty certain, would not work. Its just a completely different texture. While I am a tyer that likes to suggest alternatives, this may be one pattern where you really do just have to have the right stuff. One exception to this rule might be the tail, where, due to its simple function, you could probably substitute any synthetic or natural tailing material of your choice.
Sorry about the truly horrendous image quality. I took roughly triple the amount of shots seen here and the force wasn't strong with me. Maybe I'll try again soon and replace the shots, but for now, they give you a decent visual aid as to what's going on. Just pretend that Monet does my visuals.
Anyway, here it is:
Hook: Mustad 36890, Size 8 Thread: 8/o Uni-thread, black Tail: Laser Tail Body: Laser yarn, usually 2 colors
1. Place hook in vise, start thread, and move to roughly the midpoint of the shank.
2. Tie in laser tail, then untwist fibers. You can rub the fibers between your fingers to “fluff them out”.
3. Start tying in small pinches of laser yarn at the midpoint of the shank. The key here is to keep the bulk at the shank to a minimum. Use only two wraps per pinch of thread tied down. Try to minimize the amount of laser yarn in front of your tie down point. Basically, get a little bit of laser yarn, do two wraps, then pull the laser yarn away from the fly. The fibers that were tied down will become part of the body, and the loose fibers will be pulled free.
4. Continue tying in small clumps of laser yarn immediately in front of the previous one, forming a body as you progress toward the eye. Smaller clumps will actually make for a fuller body, as tying in a large clump will greatly increase bulk, as well as the wraps needed to secure it. Keep the amounts tied in small, and tie in as many small clumps as you can by moving forward slowly. Each tie-in should be only two wraps of thread, on top of one another, and not take up much space.
5. When you are almost close enough to the eye to finish the fly, switch colors, to a contrasting color, and tie in 2-5 pinches of that color using the same method as before. At this point, if there are unruly fibers projecting out over the eye, trim them as close to your thread wraps as you can. Whip finish, cement if desired, and stroke back the fibers.
The finished fly.
This one is actually a bit fuller than I normally like to tie them, preferring a body more like the size of just the gold portion, but with the red stripe incorporated. The fly's creator felt that the second color was a necessary part of the fly. I agree, noting how much the contrast enhances the appearance. With a good selection of laser yarn, the color combinations are nearly endless. Also, there is a great deal of customization that may take place from this basic platform. As I mentioned before, changing the tailing material would be a common variation. In addition, you could add a set of hourglass eyes, a hackle or marabou collar, egg veil, a floss or tinsel tail wrap, wire or tinsel rib, herl overwing, etc.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, and, if you can find some Laser yarn, I hope you'll give this pattern a try!
As always, please feel free to leave your questions and comments about this fly and the tutorial itself.