Extended Body Mayfly Duns

These extended body mayfly patterns are what I refer to as the “BXB” Extended Body Series. “BXB” is an acronym for Bastian Extended Body. The Slate Drake pattern was created about eight or nine years ago; the Coffin Fly, likewise, and in there somewhere I also tied a few Green Drakes and March Browns with extended bodies. The early Green Drake prototype had a dubbed body over closed-cell foam, but back then one could not get cream colored foam, so I “improvised.” The Floating Inchworm pattern body is made the same way. These bodies are made on a pin mandrel; from closed-cell foam of different colors. Last weekend at the Lancaster Fly Fishing Show, I upgraded through the kindness of my friend, Jim Kennedy, who saw a tube fly tool and thought I could adapt it to my method of tying extended foam bodies. Indeed, Jim was right, since I was tying on a pin, I had to remove the pin from the vise with each body to slide it off, because I was using a pin with a head on it. Now the tube fly tool makes it easy; I simply make the body and slide it off, ready for the next one. Thanks Jim!

These flies are effective on the water, and excel as fishing patterns. Last June, my neighbor Jim Latini and I made ten evening fishing trips to Lycoming Creek, just over the hill a few minutes away. We fished the Slate Drake Thorax Dun pattern predominantly, since it was their season. See also:  https://donbastianwetflies.wordpress.com/2012/06/15/last-nights-fishing/

There are photos there of trout caught on the Slate Drake BXB Thorax Dun. These patterns excel as fishing flies for several reasons: The short shank hook makes the fly lighter in weight, therefore they present on the water more delicately, and also drift and act more like a natural mayfly. Hooking capability with this design is not impeded, but in fact enhanced. This is because trout can take the fly easier with the smaller hook, resulting in fewer missed strikes than are normally encountered with standard hooks. The extended abdomen is flexible, not stiff as on some other extended body patterns. The design is more realistic than standard dressings, and each pattern style – Thorax Dun, Parachute, Comparadun, Hackled Comparadun, and Spinner – always land right side up every time.

BXB Slate Drake Thorax Dun

BXB Slate Drake Thorax Dun, Don Bastian original pattern.

BXB Slate Drake Thorax Dun

Hook: Tiemco 2488 Up-eye scud hook, size #14

Thread: Danville 6/0 Flymaster #47 Brown

Abdomen: Brown closed-cell foam

Tails: Moose body hair

Wing: A post of Dun colored Enrico’s Sea Fibers, aka Beck’s Poly Fluff (1990’s), or Hi-Vis. (Same product).

Thorax: Rusty Dun rabbit dubbing

Hackle: Sandy dun, clipped on the bottom half way between hook point and shank.

This pattern, plus a Spinner, Comparadun, Hackled Comparadun, and Parachute are available individually or as a set of five patterns on MyFlies.com: http://www.myflies.com/BXB-Slate-Drake-Set-P741.aspx

BXB March Brown Thorax Dun

BXB March Brown Thorax Dun, #14 hook, size ten fly.

BXB March Brown Thorax Dun

Hook: TMC 2488 straight eye scud hook, #14

Thread: Danville 6/0 Flymaster #47 Brown

Abdomen: Tan closed-cell foam

Tails: Moose body hair

Thorax: Tan rabbit dubbing

Hackle: Brown dyed grizzly and grizzly

Wing: Light tan Enrico’s Sea Fibers, or Poly Fluff, or Hi-Vis; same product different names.

Soon to be available on MyFlies.com.

These extended bodies take me between 00:01:20 to 00:01:40 to make; the rest of the fly is made in under two minutes, so these are extended body patterns you can crank out in under four minutes, once the tying procedure is learned. I apologize that it’s dang near impossible to do a step-by-step for the extended abdomen that would be feasible. This will be another reason for me to do a video tying segment.

BXB Green Drake Hairwing Thorax Dun

BXB Green Drake Hairwing Thorax Dun. I know, the Green Drake dun has three tails, but that third tail that should be in the middle is almost impossible to attach; besides I’m counting on the trout not to count.

BXB Green Drake Hairwing Thorax Dun

Hook: TMC 2488 straight eye scud hook, #12

Thread: Danville 6/0 Flymaster tan for abdomen, yellow for thorax and head

Abdomen: Cream closed-cell foam, olive Pantone marker over the top of abdomen. Use the marker before making the body, otherwise the ink bleeds into the thread and discolors the ribbing.

Tail: Yellow-dyed gray mallard fibers

Thorax: Pale olive rabbit dubbing

Wing: Yellow-dyed deer hair

Hackle: Olive green-dyed grizzly and ginger

BXB Green Drake - Coffin Fly Spinner

BXB Green Drake – Coffin Fly Spinner

BXB Green Drake Coffin Fly Spinner

Hook: TMC 2488 straight eye scud hook, #12

Thread: Danville 6/0 Flymaster Tan for abdomen, Black for thorax

Tails: Moose body hair

Wing: Clear Enrico’s Sea Fibers with two strands of pearlescent Krystalflash

Thorax: Black rabbit dubbing

BXB Yellow Drake

BXB Yellow Drake

BXB Yellow Drake Parachute

Hook: TMC 2488 straight eye scud hook, #12

Thread: Danville #47 Brown for abdomen, Yellow for thorax

Abdomen: Cream closed-cell foam

Tail: Yellow dyed deer hair

Wing: Bleached deer hair, later versions used tan Enrico’s Sea Fibers

Hackle: Ginger

Abdomen: Cream rabbit dubbing

These Yellow Drake patterns were tied on the spot at Wantastiquet Lake Trout Club in Vermont last June. I arrived for the trip of a few days and the Yellow Drakes were hatching. It’s an evening hatch and I got there early afternoon, so I sat on the porch of the cabin and cranked out a dozen of these for five anglers to use that evening. They worked like a charm! See also: https://donbastianwetflies.wordpress.com/2012/06/27/the-view-not-the-one-with-whoopi-etc/

Floating Inchworm Pattern

Floating Inchworm Pattern, size #16 TMC 2488 hook.

The Floating Inchworm was developed last June. During a few of the evening trips that Jim and I took to Lycoming Creek, we successfully tested this Floating Inchworm pattern.

I hope you enjoy these patterns. The Floating Inchworm is available on MyFlies.com; the March Brown, Green Drake, and Coffin Fly Spinner will soon be available there as well.

The View From Fish in a Barrel Pond – LL Bean Post

My friend “Quill Gordon,” the caretaker at The Wantastiquet Lake Trout Club in Weston, Vermont, where I believe I will be visiting again this year in June – has posted a very interesting, intriguing, tinged with his usual dry humor, and informative post on his blog, The View From Fish in a Barrel Pond. The post is titled; When Art Imitates Art, Good Fish Die.” In this blog he writes about the photographic recreation / replication / digitized reproduction of the cover of a 1933 LL Bean Catalog. This artistic effort was done by photographer Randal Ford, in conjunction with the 1912 founding of L. L. Bean Company in Freeport, Maine. This year – 2012 – is the 100th Anniversary Year of L. L. Bean.

Quill mentions at the end of his post that Don Bastian (that would be me) is tying flies there on March 16th, and suggests you may want to drop by. I would enjoy that, and thanks, Quill, for the plug. I appreciate your support and enthusiasm, and I look forward to seeing you there!

The date mentioned in his article is the first day of the L. L. Bean Annual Spring Fishing Expo, to be held on March 16 – 18. In addition to demo tying from 1 PM until 5 PM on the 16th, I will be leading the regularly scheduled Friday evening tying class at 7 PM as we collectively dress a Maine streamer pattern, the Footer Special. I am also one of the 2012 Expo Featured Fly Tyers and I will be tying classic wet flies and traditional streamers on both Saturday and Sunday from 10 AM until 4 PM.

Here is the permalink to Quill Gordon’s entertaining post; it is worth checking out!


I hope Quill won’t mind, but I borrowed one of the photos from his post so you would at least have something to look at here on my blog, since my picture files currently have nothing relevant for inclusion anyway. Besides I wouldn’t want to take anything away from his writing and photos. Thanks Quill, and as usual, nice work!

Original (left) and reproduced version of 1933 L. L. Bean Catalog Cover. The fish are or should I say, were, real and alive...but if Quill's facts are correct, PETA won't like the end result.