Walter Babb has been tying flies and fishing the Smokies for 50 years. He has tied flies professionally for nearly 40 years. He teaches fly fishing classes and fly tying classes at Little River Outfitters. He is also an accomplished bamboo rod maker with a backlog of orders from customers.

The Smoky Mountain Candy is a wulff style dry fly pattern that he designed a few years ago. We sold his ties here at the shop and he could barely keep up with our orders. They produce well in the Smokies. As his rod making business grew he had to stop tying flies for us. The Smoky Mountain Candy is only available to those who know how to tie them. So here is your chance.

Hook: #10 through #16 standard dry fly hook
Thread: 6/0 Rusty Brown
Wings: White Calf Tail
Tail: Stiff deer hair from back or ground hog tail
Dubbing: Dirty yellow dry fly dubbing
Hackle: Brown and grizzly cock neck hackle


Step 1- Mount hook and start thread and wrap back about 1/3 the length of the hook shank.

Step 2- Select white calf tail and trim. Stack in a hair stacker tips down. Tie in and trim excess. Notice that Walter trims the excess with a taper. This helps make a nice tapered body when applying the dubbing.

Step 3- Pull the cafl tail up and wrap in front to keep it in the upright position.

Step 4- Make a couple of wraps around the base of the wing.

Step 5- Divide the wings and make some figure 8 wraps between the wings and the hook shank. Make a couple of wraps around each wing.

This is a view from the rear after the wings have been formed.

Step 6 - Tie in the tail of stiff deer hair or groundhog tail. Trim excess.

Step 7 - Wax your thread and apply dirty yellow dry fly dubbing and wrap the dubbing into a tapered body stopping about 1/8" back from the wing.


Step 8 - Tie in a brown and grizzly hackle near the wing. The hackle should be the appropriate size for the fly you are tying. The barbs should be slightly longer than the hook gape.


Step 9 - Wrap the stiffest hackle first. In this case it was the brown hackle. Make three wraps behind the wing and three in front of the wing. Do not trim the remaining hackle yet.


Step 10 - Wrap the softer hackle the same way you did in the previous step being careful not to mash or trap the first hackle. Trim both hackle feathers, form a head and whip finish. Place a drop of head cement on the head for durability. You now have a Smoky Mountain Candy. Go Fishing!

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