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How to tie the Daddy Longlegs (Crane Fly)

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    Daddy Longlegs Daddy Longlegs

There are over 300 species of crane-fly and an added bonus for the fisherman is the fact that they are fairly poor fliers.

 From July through to September on a warm damp day with a light breeze “Daddies” are often seen struggling on the water’s surface, trout will sometimes swirl at them to drown them then return to finish them off. When you see this behaviour don’t be in a hurry to lift off your dry fly if it drowns, as savage takes could happen at anytime.

Materials needed

Tying thread

Lightweight 10-12

Cock pheasant centre tail

Fine oval gold tinsel

Red game cock hackles



Step 1.

Place the hook in the vice and start the thread behind the eye and catch in the ribbing material and bind down along the hook shank towards the bend.


Step 2.

Catch in 5-6 cock pheasant centre tail fibres by their tips and smear the hook shank with a thin coat of varnish before winding the fibres up the shank in touching turns. Remember to leave enough space for the legs and hackle.


Step 3.

Wind the rib firmly up the shank on open turns. Tie off and trim away the waste.

Tie in 4 knotted pheasant tail fibres each side of the shank and trim away the waste.


Step 4.

Select a matching pair of slim cock hackles for the wings and secure these in place with tight figure of eight turns of thread to keep them at 45o to the hook shank.


Step 5.

Take a cock hackle with fibres 11/2- 2 the hook gape and remove the soft fibres at the base. Tie it in firmly just behind the eye and trim away the waste stalk, then wind 3-5 turns of hackle before tying off and trimming away the waste tip before doing a whip finish and varnishing the head.


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