If the fish are playing tricky, the best approach is sometimes to do something totally different
(and often something that all the other flyfishers don’t do). And sometimes a big, high floating dry is the right way forward.
I’ll give the word to our friend, Joel Skoghäll, who’s once again provided us with a great step-by-step instruction, this time on his Foamulator. The name gives is a away – a foam variant of the well know attractor dry fly, the Stimulator.
Start your thread on the hook and wrap back to approximately where the barb would be.
Cut, clean and stack a small clump of elk hair and tie in as a tail.
Prepare a foam strip, approximately the hook gape in width and a tapered end.
Tie in the foam a bit shorter than the tail.
Grab your Zap-a-gap or similar and put a small amount on the underside of the foam you just tied in to stop it from spinning as foam has a tendency to do just that.
Strip the lower fibers of a hackle feather and tie it in with the shiny side facing upwards.
Dub a quite slimmed body about 3/5 of the hook with dubbing of your choice, here I use superfine dubbing.
Pull back the foam strip and grab your hackle feather. Make sure you wrap it with the shiny side facing forward towards the hook eye. Wrap with even turns.
Cut the hackle on the top off the hook as shown.
Now grab the foam strip and pull it tightly over the hackle. Tie it in with a few tight turns of thread to secure it firmly.
Tie down the foam all the way forward to the hook eye. As always, make sure you get a nice smooth foundation as this is important for the next few steps. Keeping focus on the details makes the final product much better.
Cut a clump of bleached elk hair, about a pencil width in diameter. Clean and stack it and then tie it in. The length of the wing should extend to about the back end of the foam.
Tie in the antron on top of the elk hair wing.
Next up is to prepare another hackle feather by stripping the lower fibers and tying it in next to the wing.
Grab some medium rubber legs and tie in. I like to tie it in by looping it as shown on the image. Then I cut the loop to form the front legs.
Wrap the hackle forward, making sure not to trap the rubber legs. First two wraps behind the legs, then two wraps between them and then moving forward to the foam head.
Tie it off with two wraps behind the foam head and then moving forward.
Do a whip-finish next to the hook eye. Cut the antron wing and the foam to form the head. Aaaaand you’re DONE. Go out, sling it and don’t forget to drink some coffee.
Thanks for the pictures and the step-by-step text, Joel! The Foamulator can be used as an attractor, a stonefly imitation, a caddis imitation, a hopper, a general terrestrial – all depending on how big you tie them (and what colours you choose).
Have fun tying!
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