View Full Version : Doc's Cork by PeteCZ

02-11-2009, 07:28 PM
Anybody know how he gets the foam body to stay on the hook? I wrapped the hook, then around the foam and pulled it down to the hook after I had laid a bit of glue down and then I wrapped thread around it tight until I was ready to tie on the elk hair and hackle, but by the time I got to the hackle, everything was spinning around. Any suggestions? I'm using a size 20 hook.

02-12-2009, 12:45 AM
BRF, As much as I would like to take credit for it, I learned about them from Gerry Romer. Two years ago Daniel sparked the latest rage in flies (in the Smokies) when he started using a Yellow Neversink Caddis. Others gave it a try and pretty soon it became almost as popular as the Yellow PA and LRO wound up selling out of them almost as fast as they could get new shipments in. Gerry, being the resourceful character that he is, went searching for a suitable recipe that he could tie up himself [since they could never seem to keep the Neversinks in stock]. He came across the Doc's Cork. Now the Doc's Cork isn't exactly the same as the Neversink, but I think its easier to tie. It has an extended foam wrapped body (using a TMC 200R hook), Grizzly hackle (instead of brown) and a small foam head.

The fly was developed by Doc Thompson in NM. There is a writeup on it on the Orvis website: http://www.orvis.com/intro.asp?subject=3212.

I got a few from Gerry early last year and caught a beautiful Brown with it up on Fish Camp Prong in March and have been sold on it ever since. Its usually the first fly I tie on for mountain streams, but to be honest I had never even thought about tying them on anything smaller than a #16 TMC 200R (which is about the same shank length as a std #14). After seeing your post I decided to tie up few smaller ones this evening, just to see what I would have to do differently.

This is how I would do it (with a few new wrinkles):

Don't use a foam body. I had stopped using foam to make the bodies, anyway. It's a pain to cut wafer thin small strips of foam to wrap around the hook. Tying them on the larger size flies was problematic enough, tying them on the smaller ones is next to impossible. Honestly, I prefer the look of the thread bodies anyway and I don't think the little bit of foam you use on the shank helps that much with its buoyancy. Just make sure you lay down a good and tight thread base before you attempt to attach the foam.
Make sure that the piece of foam that you use for the underwing is thin. Half the width seemed to work fine for a #20 (if you are using 2mm foam, then cut a 1mm strip). Its easier to work with.
Don't try to double the foam back over itself to form a head like I used to do on the larger ones. Instead, hold the foam in your left hand where you are going to attach it to the hook and extend the foam just slightly out over the hook eye and tie it down with one loose wrap (using your fingers as a guide for the thread) about an eye back from the hook eye and then one tight wrap (this of course assumes you are right handed - otherwise reverse what I'm saying...). This won't be as elegant of a head (its a somewhat square 1mm head), but who the heck cares...the fish don't. While keeping a firm grasp on the foam, tie in a series of semi-loose wraps to outline your tie down area (maybe two or three hook eyes, or more-depending on how much hackle you will use). Then go back over the area with some progressively tighter wraps (keep holding the foam firmly in place!). If you do it right you won't need anything other than thread pressure to keep the foam in place when you are done.
One thing I've found to help with the foam slippage is to never, ever let go of the foam while you are tying it down or tying in the Elk/Deer Hair (do you see a pattern here?:rolleyes:). If you do-it will slip. In fact, anytime that you are going to torque the thread, make sure you hold the foam (and anything tied above it) in place.
Cut and stack less hair than you think you will need. Tie it down at the tie in point you just created in the foam, using a few loose wraps followed by progressively tighter ones. (make sure you haven't let go of the foam while you are doing this....)
Trim off of the butt ends and tie in your hackle so that you can wrap it from the back to the front of the original foam tie down point.
Palmer the hackle forward to the foam head you created (just a foam tag really). Here is the beauty of the foam, it helps create a clean tie down for the hackle with less risk of slipping and keeps you from crowding the eye.
Now take the thread under the head and wrap once on the hook, under the foam head. Now that you have your thread all the way up to the back of the hook eye, you can whip finish it under the foam head pretty easy. And you're done.

Once you get the hang of it its a really easy fly to tie. I have caught fish with them in Black, Brown, Yellow and Orange. I have a few Lime colored ones as well as some in Olive, but have not used them yet. I had tied them as large as a size #10 on a TMC 200R (which seems ridiculously large-but they worked great on the small streams in CO). However I never thought about the other end of the spectrum...

You'll have to let us know how you do with the small ones. I might even think about tying a few more #20s on std hooks and try and catch fish during sulfur hatches this Summer...

Good luck!

02-12-2009, 01:03 AM

Thanks for the help! I will try it tomorrow. I did everything like you had said except for getting progressively tighter (I cranked it down the whole time) and except for cutting my foam down. I think that is the main problem; it's too thick. I will try tomorrow and let you know what happened. I caught a nice brown on one the other day and thought it was an EHC. Either way, they are much easier to see than the Adam's Dries I have been tying and fishing. I love them as indicators and they catch fish too, so that's a bonus:biggrin:. I'm getting to the age now where my vision is still good, but not nearly as good as it used to be. I knew I had a fly you had tied because of the tag on it from a fly swap.


02-12-2009, 01:08 AM
I need to check on that hook you mentioned too.

Gerry Romer
02-12-2009, 02:16 AM
Two additional tips to Pete's elegant explanation - and he's right, a good thread base on the hook is key. I build my thread base just a bit thicker on the rear half of the shaft and thinner toward the hook eye for the following reasons.

1) When preparing the foam to be placed on the shaft, make a very slight and shallow slice in the underside of the foam where it will sit on the shaft. This will allow the foam to kind of sandwich around the shaft.

2) Just before placing the foam on the shaft, put a drop of Super Glue or Zap-A-Gap or Fishin' Glue or some such on the thread base you laid down and then immediately place your foam. On the small hook sizes you're gonna want to use your bodkin to apply a very tiny amount or you'll find the hook glued to your fingertips.

Pete's also right about not letting go of the foam while you wrap. So you really need to have all of your materials lined up and ready to go in the correct order. I would also not try and fold a foam head on such a small hook size. Instead, I would extend the hair wing material over the hook eye and really crank down on the thread to create more of a EHC head.

The 200R hook gives you just a bit more surface area to work with on the shaft.

And, Pete... thanks for the kind words. I'm glad they worked for you and that you used them as a jumping off point. That lime one has me intrigued... You wouldn't be thinking about trying to hit Abrams for the fabled Green Drake hatch now would you??


02-12-2009, 10:50 AM
You wouldn't be thinking about trying to hit Abrams for the fabled Green Drake hatch now would you??


Is there really a Green Drake hatch on Abrams??

Actually, I tied the Olive Doc as a replacement of sorts for my Olive EHC and the Lime Doc is in addition to the Lime Trude I use from time-to-time. Chartreuse is a color that doesn't seem to get used much around here (other than the ubiquitous Green Weenie). I like it for Trudes and Cracklebacks. I had some good success with the Crackleback last year, so I'm experimenting to see if its the shape of the Crackleback or the color that makes it a good producer...

Are you up for another Fly Swap? Its about that time....

Gerry Romer
02-12-2009, 11:48 AM
You want to organize it? I'm in!

Up for theme suggestions? How about some sort of all-nymph tie? We've done lots of dry fly tying, maybe and all-nymph project would work...


02-12-2009, 04:51 PM

Thanks for the additional tips. I need all I can get. Between you and Pete, I should be rockin and rollin.