Project Description

Jack Flash

Pattern Description: I started tying this pattern several years ago, and named it after my youngest son. I came up with it to fill the need for a flashier-than-average stonefly nymph, for use in off-color water. It has worked well for this application since its inception, but I never dreamed how versatile this pattern would turn out to be.
While this pattern seems VERY bright, I find that this extra flash can be a great attractor. Initially, I found myself trying to tone down the flash, but with a bit of use under its belt, the Jack Flash has become a go-to fly for many uses.
This is really a pretty simple fly to tie. I especially like the S.L.F. Master Class dubbing because it is coarse and translucent, but not too long. I find it works well for flies of all sizes where you want a shaggy, picked out look, without too much bulk.
With a few modifications (changing the colors and hook styles as needed), I have used this pattern to imitate everything from small mayfly nymphs to medium sized stoneflies and Callibaetis nymphs in stillwaters.
The Jack Flash is a great point fly in a two-fly rig, or as a Copper John substitute in a Hopper/Copper/Dropper rig. The weight keeps both flies down and the flash really pulls the fish in.
Another secret method to fishing this fly is to tie it on an eighteen-inch, 2X dropper behind a streamer. Cast the streamer into the bank and strip a few times, then let the whole rig dead drift for a few feet. Often, fish that are attracted by the streamer (but turn off at the last second) will turn around and grab the Jack. Try this technique this fall and see what happens for you.

Materials Needed:

Hook: TMC 5262 #6-18, or TMC 2488H for a different profile
Bead: Gold Tungsten, sized to hook
Weight: Lead Wire, sized to hook
Thread: 70 Denier Rusty Brown
Tail: Hungarian Partridge Body Feather
Rib: Small Hot Orange or Fine Copper
Shellback: Mirage Flash
Abdomen: S.L.F. Master Class Dubbing, #13 Perla
Wingcase: Mirage Flash
Thorax: S.L.F. Master Class Dubbing, #1 Baetis Brown Olive
Legs: Hungarian Partridge Body Feather
Neck: S.L.F. Master Class Dubbing, #1 Baetis Brown Olive

Step 1

Place the bead on the hook and wrap ten to twenty wraps of lead wire around the shank behind it.

Step 2

Start the thread and form a tapered base from the bare shank up onto the lead wraps and back to the bend.

Step 3

Select a partridge body feather and clip the center quill from the tip forming a V-shaped cutout.

Step 4

Clump the remaining fibers together into a bunch and measure them against the hook gap so they are equal in length.

Step 5

Tie in the partridge at the bend of the hook with the tips extending past the hook bend one gap width.  Wrap forward over the butt end of the partridge up to the seventy-five percent point on the shank and clip the excess there.

Step 6

Tie in a six-inch length of wire at the seventy-five percent point and wrap back over it to the base of the tail.

Step 7

Return the thread to the mid-point on the shank and tie in a four-inch length of Mirage Flash.

Step 8

Be sure to keep the strip of flash centered as you wrap back over it to the bend.

Step 9

Dub the abdomen forming a robust taper from the bend to the sixty-five percent point.

Step 10

Pull the Mirage Flash forward over the dubbed abdomen and tie it down at the front edge.  Do NOT clip the excess.

Step 11

Spiral wrap the wire forward over the abdomen/flashback with six or seven turns.  Tie the wire off at the front edge of the abdomen and break off the excess there.

Step 12

Pull the remaining piece of Mirage Flash back over the abdomen and tie it in place with several tight turns of thread.  Overlap back onto the front edge of the abdomen to the fifty-five percent point.

Step 13

Dub the thorax, forming an elongated ball shape, up to one eye length behind the bead.

Step 14

Select another partridge body feather, strip the fluff from the base and clip the center stem about half a shank length from the tip.  You should now have a V-shaped feather, as shown

Step 15

Place the feather on top of the hook with the base of the V at the front edge of the thorax.  The tips should extend just slightly further back than the back edge of the thorax.

Step 16

Pinch the feather in place with your material hand and make a few tight wraps over the base of the feather to secure it in place.

Step 17

Clip the butt end of the partridge feather flush against the front of the thorax. Make a few wraps of thread in the space between the front of the thorax and the bead to cover the butts.

Step 18

Pull the Mirage Flash forward over the top of the thorax, leaving a bit of slack in it.

Step 19

Tie the flash down at the front of the thorax.  Press down on the flash to crease it along the back.  There should be enough slack to create a fold in the wingcase when you press on it.

Step 20

Clip the excess flash at the front of the thorax and make a few turns of thread to cover the tag end.

Step 21

Dub a short length of thread with a small amount of dubbing and wrap it in the space between the bead and the thorax, forming the neck.

Step 22

Whip finish at the back edge of the bead.  I like to let the thread roll off the back edge of the bead and fall in between the dubbing and the bead.

Step 23

Pick out the dubbing in both the thorax and abdomen with a wire dubbing brush.  Brush from the front to the back, preserving the taper.

Step 24

I also brush the dubbed neck to create a halo of dubbing over the flash.

Step 25

Finished fly, top view.  Notice the abdomen/thorax proportions and the length of the tail and legs.  Also note he buckle in the wingcase.