Coffin Fly Banner

Hook: Daiichi 1180 size 10 
Thread: UNI 8/0 white
Wing: 2 Teal flank feathers
Body: White Poly yarn palmered with white hackle, then trimmed closely
Hackle: Golden or Silver Badger. I used Golden in this pattern.

The Green Drake (Ephemera Guttulata) is probably the most talked about and anticipated mayfly hatch of the year. Vacation times are often scheduled during the anticipated appearance of this large mayfly. Anglers often dream of catching the “big one” on a dry fly during this time. Because of its large size this fly often entices large trout to feed on the surface.

My favorite phase of the life cycle of this fly to fish is the spinner fall. The females lay their eggs by dipping their abdomens in the water. This makes them vulnerable to feeding trout waiting in the tail outs and feeding lanes in the stream. In addition, this activity often takes place in the low light conditions of the late afternoons, making the conditions all the more favorable for the angler.

At this stage, the female has clear wings with black markings and a white body. The common name for the female Green Drake is a Coffin Fly. The imitation was given the name by the originators Ted Townsend and Walt Dette as they tied the first prototypes after attending a funeral. Townsend and Dette were said to have named the fly as a result of the dominate colors of clothing at the funeral, black and white.

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Step 1- Strip all the fuzz and short barbs from the sides of a pair of Teal flank feathers.

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Step 2- Even the tips and measure the length of the wing against the hook. The wing should be about the length of the entire hook including the eye.

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Step 3- Tie in the flank feathers at about the 2/3 point on the hook shank. Trim the wing butts at an angle, but do not trim the tag end of the tying thread, you will need it later in step 8.

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Step 4- Pull the wing upright and build a thread dam in front of the wing.

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Step 5- Divide the wing into 2 equal parts and make 4 or 5 crossing or X wraps between the two bundles.

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Step 6- Tie in 3 Moose body hairs for the tail at the end of the taper cut for the wings. The natural has very long tails so the tail should be as least as long as the entire hook. Wrap your thread back towards the bend, and then forward behind the wing for the next material to be tied in.

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Step 7- Tie in about ¼ or a strand of poly yarn just behind the wing and wrap back towards the hook bend with your tying thread covering the yarn as you go forming a smooth underbody. Next tie in your white hackle for the body just short of the end of the body and continue to wrap the thread to the end of the body.

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Step 8- Make your first wrap of yarn behind the tie in point for your hackle for the body, then continue to wrap the yarn forward towards the hook eye until you are at a point just behind the wings. Now palmer the white hackle for the body forward and tie off. Next trim the hackle for the body short as shown and rib the body with the tag end of the tying thread left from step 3.

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Step 9- Size and prepare the hackle feather. I like to remove just a few more barbs on the right side (shiny side facing you) of the feather. This makes it easier to start the wrap without trapping and twisting the hackle fibers.



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Step 10- Tie in the hackle at about a 45 degree angle behind the wings with the shiny side facing you. On a fly this size I like to make 4 or 5 wraps behind the wings and 3 or 4 in front of the wings.

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Step 11- The finished fly is just a little bit smaller than the natural. I think using a larger hook will damage smaller fish and it makes a large enough footprint to fool the better fish.


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