Tying the Chubby Chernobyl
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The Dai-Riki #730 is technically a nymph hook, but the hook shank length is right and it has a large gap that seems to hook up better. Being a nymph hook it is made of a heavier wire than a dry fly hook, but with the foam back and double Widow’s Web wing there’s very little that will sink this fly.
Start out by laying a base of thread along the entire shank to give the fly a firm foundation. Next take a strand of Krystal flash (I used rootbeer colored Krystal Flash for this one) and tie it in somewhere near the head of the fly and secure it down the hook shank, to the back of the fly. Now take some UV Ice Dub (tan colored here) and we’re going to start building the body here. Dub it fairly thin and wrap it forward to the eye of the hook. Leave about a half an eye length behind the eye of the hook and then turn around and wrap another layer back to a point where the thread hangs just in front of the point of the hook. Take some foam and cut a piece. Length and width depends on the hook size and will come with practice, but the width (for me at least) is always thinner than what I think it should be. Secure the foam on top on the fly and add some warps in front and behind to widen the tie in gap. This will help the get the legs to sit right and incidentally is why I use 140 UTC thread, because it flattens out on the fly and makes it easier to make the gap without a ton of thread wraps.
Adding the wing and the legs can be done in any order, but I add the wing first so there’s less chance of tweaking the legs in the wrong direction. Take some Widow’s Web, once again you will probably have to tie a few to get the quantity to your liking, but I don’t like to put too much on because it can get in the way when smaller fish chomp on the fly. Tie in the Window’s Web and then fold the front piece back over and tie it down to make sure it’s not going to slip. Now take two Sili Legs (I used pumpkin here) and place them on top and put one loose wrap around them. Now you can take each leg separately and pull them around the fly into position either side. Snug up that first wrap and add a few more wraps right in the middle of the gap we made. Make sure the legs are sticking out in an X-shape before moving on.
Now take a little bit of dubbing and add a collar between the legs to hide the thread wraps. Take some more dubbing and dub it thin (just the hide the thread) and wind forward to the hook eye. Tie down the foam and repeat the same process as before the get a second wing-leg set. Pull the foam up and hold the legs out of the way while you tie off the fly behind the eye.
Time to trim and tidy everything up, and make to fly look right. I usually start with the front piece of foam cut and cut it fairly short and trim the corners. Next the back foam. This piece I usually leave a little longer, but not too long as it can get in the way of the hook set. Trim the corners. Cut the tail longer than the back foam. Grab both wings together and pull them back and down and trim them just longer than the foam. Finally trim the legs to length. I like to leave the legs longer than shorter as they aid in stability.