Rusty Tailrace Dun

Rusty Tailrace Dun

  • Hook: Tiemco TMC 100 # 14 – 18
  • Thread: Brown 8/0
  • Wing: Small amount of Hi-Vis in a honey colour
  • Hackle: Brown or Ginger
  • Tail: Brown or light coloured Microfibbets
  • Body: Ginger or Rust coloured Dubbing
 1. Tie in your thread just behind the hook eye. Wind back to a point roughly1/4 to 1/3 along the hook shank and towards the rear of the fly. This is the point at which you will tie in your Hi-Vis wing post. Use the photo to the right to gauge exactly how far to take the thread. Once you are happy with the way it looks proceed to Step 2.
 2. Take a small pinch of Honey Hi Vis and tie in. The easiest way to do this is to pick out half as thick a bunch as you want to use but at least double the length eg. two hook shanks in length. Tie it in flat with half extending to the left and half to the right when viewed from above. Then grip the Hi Vis and hold it vertically in place while several horizontal wraps are used as a base to tie the hackle on. Trim the wing to suit.
 3. Wind the thread evenly back towards the rear of the fly stopping at a point directly above the barb of the hook. This is where we will tie in the tail. Select a small bunch of Microfibbetts equal in length to the hook shank. Tie in as shown to form a tail and remove the excess tail filament stubs. Go to Step 4.
 4. Next up pinch a small amount of dubbing from the packet. Form a slightly tapered rope starting thin and gradually getting thicker. It may take several goes to get the right amount but once you are familiar with the particular hook size you are tying the fly in you should be able to grab the correct amount pretty much first time, every time.
 5. Start winding this rope of dubbing you have constructed forward towards the upright wing you made in Step 2. Generally you will be winding forward each successive turn just to the front of the previous one. However use your judgement and if you have to wind more or less depending on how the tapered body is coming along. Once this is completed wind the thread forward just in front of the wing.
6. Find a good feather from your cape. I would recommend using one from a cape and not a saddle as the tapering of these feathers makes for much nicer parachute style flies. Tie it in at the back of the wing with the shiny side facing slightly towards you and upwards. This will greatly help when winding it in later. Trim the excess Feather stub and bring the thread forward to the hook eye.
 7. Once again grab a pinch of dubbing, this time a much smaller one as we are only making a much smaller section than in Step 4. Now this looks different to the way many are used to tying in their parachute patterns and tying off at the front of the fly. I tie mine in horizontally around the base of the wing post and I have yet to find a neater looking or stronger way of doing it.
8. Now wind this dubbed rope back towards the wing. This body should also be tapered as in Step 5 with the thinnest part first getting thicker to match the body size around the wing post. When it looks right, as in the accompanying photo, move onto Step 9.
9. We are now ready to wind the parachute style hackle. Being careful not to break the hackle wind it around the wing post in a counter clockwise direction. Use between three and five turns with each successive turn beneath the previous one. When complete take the thread and make three horizontal turns catching the hackle feather and locking it in place. The first over the feather, second under and the third over it again.
10a. Take your scissors and remove the excess hackle feather. It is now totally locked in place. Bring the thread forward to the hook eye keeping it on top of the fly. If you want pull it down hard so that it bites into the dubbed body and is obscured. Add a couple of half hitches behind the hook eye or whip finish if you prefer and Voila!
10b. This is just a photo from above to give you an idea of the amount of hackle required. This is about the perfect amount for most parachute dun ties. Also notice the slightly tapering body just like the real thing.
For many years this simple tie, along with it’s predecessor that had a deer hair wingpost, took pride and place in my fly box.  We used it from season’s beginning to season’s end, and it would consistently produce more fish than any other dry fly. While a lot of things have changed in the decades since it’s inception, it is still one our best selling patterns and one that many Goulburn River afficionados swear by.

The combination of a highly visible wing and low riding body is extremely effective. Many believe that it represents various stages of the hatch, and therefore it is successful more often than a dedicated ‘dun’, ’emerger’ or ‘cripple’ pattern. The belief being that as the trout can sometimes switch, almost imperceptibly between the aforementioned life stages during a hatch, that this fly has some mystical qualities!

Well, I don’t know if I believe that. Because I don’t! This is just a simple parachute pattern, and hence it represents the duns; post emergence. With that said, Goulburn and Rubicon trout seem to take this pattern from the beginning of the hatch, right until the death knock and it is particularly effective in smaller sizes from #14-18.

* Use only a small amount of Hi-Vis as it is suggestive of the wing and needs the light sparkling through it to be at its best. Too much really negates the effectiveness of this material.