The Student

In my last blog, I mentioned that the “Student” has been one of the most productive dry flies. Several of you have inquired about tying instructions. So here goes:

Hook: TMC #101 or Dai Riki #310. These are ring eye hooks, but standard down eye hooks (like in the photo) can be used as well.

Thread: 8/0 Uni-Thread, Olive Dun (can be tied in various colors, but this has been our favorite lately.)

Tail: Natural Dun CDC barbules

Body: 8/0 Uni-Thread, OIive Dun

Wing: Natural Dun CDC barbules

My apologies for the photo. I’m still working on the macro photography stuff. In some ways, the Student is similar to an extremely sparse Compara Dun with a thread body. The key to the Student is to keep everything sparse – less is definitely better. Tie in just a few CDC barbules for the tail. Trim them short so they might represent a shuck. You can use the barbules farther down the stem of a plume. Don’t waste the end of the plume itself.

Use the thread to build up a very thin, olive-dun body. Tie in a sparse CDC plume and wrap thread in front of it to stand it up. I like my wings somewhat short, shorter than the length of the hook shank. I find this allows the fish to see the body of the fly easier, which is a key to the fly’s effectiveness. Then whip finish and you’re through.

We use the Student for both the Midge and Baetis hatch. The fly just lays there in the surface film. Trout see the outline of the body and assume the fly is either an adult midge, emerging midge, emerging Baetis, or even a still-born Baetis. Whatever they think it is, it works well. Unless you have eagle eyes, fish it behind a larger, more visible fly, but not something that will look unnatural to the fish.

Good luck.