Sparkle Dun by Nicole March
Working Thread: GSP 100 Denier
Trailing Shuck: Light Dun Darlon
Other Tools Needed: Hair Stacker
The Sparkle Dun is a pattern that was originally created by Craig Mathews, and is an excellent fly when fished on slow water and flats for feeding trout. These colors can be changed to match what’s hatching in your area, but you may find that this fly works best in a smaller size. Sparkle Duns are meant to imitate an emerging mayfly, which is why we have a trailing shuck made of darlon as opposed to using microfibetts.
GSP thread is partially used on this fly to help bind down the waste ends of the deer hair, create a tapered underbody and to allow you to keep pressure without breaking thread. Before using your GSP, you will want a base layer of ‘dry’ thread to help keep it from spinning and to allow a better grip on the hook shank. A UNI thread works great here.
Start your UNI thread about one hook eye length behind the eye, and run it down the hook shank towards the bend. Stopping the thread across the barb, bring it back up to the starting point, whip finish and cut it off.
You can now begin your GSP thread a little farther back than the UNI thread. This will allow for better traction.
Grab your patch of Comparadun hair and cut a small bunch from the hide, less than half the thickness of a pencil. If you look at the cut ends you may notice that there is ‘fluff’ or underfur. You will want to either use your fingers to remove it, or comb it out using a fine comb. Removing this will help when stacking the fibers, as the underfur is binding them together.
Place the pointed ends of your deer hair down into the hair stacker tool. Now tap the entire tool, either on your desk, or the palm of your hand. Doing so will align the tips at the base of the stacker. Usually 7 or 8 taps are sufficient. Hold the stacker horizontally in your hands and begin to slowly remove the insert. If the tips aren’t aligned enough for you, simply place them back in and tap again.
Hold the aligned tips over the hook shank and move them forward so that they are half a hook shank in length over the eye. Bring your fingers to either side of the shank and hold the hair firmly in place. Now Bring your GSP thread over the deer hair and away from you, and pull straight down while still holding the hair. You may see it flare just a bit and this is fine, just don’t allow it to spin. Take a few steady wraps to secure it in place.
With the deer hair wing in place, bring your scissors under the bottom half of the material. Tilt them on an angle; and cut. Making this angled cut will help to taper the body.
Once again, using steady pressure with the GSP, begin taking tight, slightly overlapping turns to cover the waste ends. Don’t worry about snapping the thread, that’s precisely we are using this. Once you have the waste ends covered you can either tie your GSP thread off and retie on the UNI thread, or finish the fly with the GSP. Keep in mind the GSP is a little slippery to use with dubbing.
Take a few strands of darlon and tie them in at the base of the hook, this material will be imitating the trailing shuck so keep it somewhat sparse. Dub a thin noodle of dry fly dubbing on to your thread and begin to dub the body. Remember you want a tapered body on this fly, so keep it thin towards the base of the hook. Keep dubbing and tapering until you reach the area behind the deer hair wing.
One way to prop the wing up with a little extra support, is to do it in sections. Begin by taking a third of the deer hair and pulling it back towards the hook bend. Hold the wing in place and take a wrap in front of it with your thread, then pull back the next section and repeat. Do this until you have all three sections secured.
After securing the wing, you can pull it back, dub a small head, whip finish and cut your thread.