Yikes, Trikes!

Yikes, Trikes!

A simple, effective pattern for these tiny flies

  • By: A. K. Best
Sometimes there are so many of these little black-body, clear-wing spinners in the air, it appears as if it's snowing. There can be such a thing as too many bugs on the water and, although it's not easy to do, this is when I sit down and wait until it begins to taper off a bit.
Casting accuracy, long tippets and of course a simple, accurate fly are mandatory when fishing a Trico spinner fall. I've had great luck with the following pattern, which can be fished in the surface film or slightly sub-surface.

Hook: Your favorite light-wire
dryfly hook, size 14-22
Thread: Tan 6/0
Tail: Light-tan or medium-ginger hackle fibers
Body: Light-tan stripped neck hackle quill
Wings: Pair of white hen hackle tips
Thorax: Any kind of rust colored dryfly dubbing

Attach the thread to the hook about a hook-gap space behind the eye, wrap to the beginning of the bend and take two or three turns of thread over the last turn to form a tiny thread bump.

Clip four to six very stiff white hackle fibers (I prefer very light Cocque de Leon Pardo fibers for this fly), and tie them on immediately in front of the thread bump. Length should be at least twice the length of the entire hook. Lash the tailing fibers up to the thread tie-in point, lift the butts and clip them off.

Place your materials thumbnail behind the tailing and press forward slightly. The tailing fibers will splay outward. Apply a tiny drop of head lacquer to the base of the tailing fibers and they will stay in this position for as long as you have the fly.

Select either a black stripped-and-dyed rooster neck hackle quill or moose mane hair (for size 16 and 18 hooks; use thread only for size 20 and smaller bodies), clip off the tip to make the remaining quill diameter equal to the diameter of the hook, thread and tailing.

Tie the clipped tip directly on top of the clipped butts, lash the quill to the top of the hook at the tailing tie-in and bring the thread forward to the starting point.

Wind the quill forward in tightly nesting wraps to the tie-in point, tie it off on top of the hook, lift the butt, clip it off and smooth with two or three turns of thread.

Select two white hen hackle tips whose tip width is slightly larger than the hook-gap space. Clip them to a length that is two hook-eye lengths longer than the entire hook, attach them to the hook and spread and flatten them. I prefer white hen hackle tips to any other spinner wing material because they turn slightly translucent when flotant is applied, and they don't turn into a puffball when fished like so many synthetics do.

Very tightly and thinly apply the finest black dryfly dubbing you have to the thread and figure-8 wind the dubbing around the wings. Tricos have larger than normal thorax areas, so make sure the thorax is at least twice the diameter of the abdomen.