My understanding, Harry Darbee had a customer who wanted a very big dry fly on a short hook for fishing teh wide calm , moving flats of the lower Beaverkill. For those who do not know the water imagine a flowing lake...
Anyway he came up with this design sometime around 1960. Is it a classic? Not in the terms of the many better know dry flies but it is a very unique pattern that floats like a cork, lands softly and can imitate any mayfly but is bets suited for those huge drakes, iso's, and hex's.
They are very easy to tye and somewhat durable, but the ease in tying counter acts any strengt issues.
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the tails, body and wings are all from one feather that can be just about any feather you wish. spade hackles (Harry's preference) teal, mallard etc... I have pulled out two woody flanks feathers for example. the fibers should be even on each side of the shaft if not the balance will be off. for fishing flies , and this is a great fishing fly, the wings and tail can be snips to size to help the balance....DON"T be afraid to trim the wings...EVERYBODY did it !!!
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hook...a short shanked up/straight or down eyed hook , whatever you wish. scud hooks, emerger , whatever spider hooks it's up to you. what size...again up to you but the idea was to make a huge dry fly with a small hook you can tye a hex onto an 18 if you wish...
the hook acts like a keel and you can get a great low floating fly if you trim the hackle on the bottom....what hackle? any you wish it doesn't have to be the highest grade but it helps.
a cape pond hex and a two feather in use.
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i have no idea why this fly has lost it's appeal