Tying the Truly Deadly

The Truly Deadly

While we're not exactly sure if Bristol New Hampshire's own Mr. Charlie Poole in fact originated the Truly Deadly? One thing is for certain! From his quaint little long-missed fly shop, sure made the pattern popular! An especially productive attractor nymph that's perfect for prospecting slower deeper pools and swifter moving runs alike, this heavily-weighted bug works equally well by itself, or when fished in tandem with a smaller dropper fly trailing off its bend. With bold, brightly contrasting colors that seem to elicit an aggressive response not only from trout, but from landlocked salmon too, the Truly Deadly is... well, truly deadly! Here's how we tie it.

Recipe / Materials List

  • Hook: Tiemco TMC 2457, Daiichi 1120 or similar
  • Thread: 6/0 Danville's Flymaster Cream and Black
  • Tail: Yellow Schlappen Fibers
  • Abdomen: Red Ultra Wire
  • Thorax: Coarse Medium Olive Dubbing (like Wapsi's SLF or Sow-Scud Dub)
  • Bead: Gold Tungsten Bead
  • Collar: Hungarian Partridge Feather

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Step 1 - Tying the Truly DeadlyStep 1: Slide a gold tungsten bead onto the hook, then affix your cream colored thread about a hook eye's length behind the bead. Once secured, select then strip about a dozen or so long soft fibers from a yellow schlappen feather stem, and tie the fibers in on top of the hook shank like shown. Being cautious not to cut your thread, carefully trim the leading excess schlappen fiber ends away.

Step 2 - Tying the Truly DeadlyStep 2: With the schlappen fibers aligned along the top of the hook shank, carefully bind the barbules down by snugly wrapping your thread rearwards towards the hook bend. Be sure to employ as smooth and as level of thread wraps as possible while binding down the tail fibers as a ridged, lumpy underbody will prove troublesome in future steps!

Step 3 - Tying the Truly DeadlyStep 3: Once the schlappen is secured, cut a 3 to 4 inch piece of red Ultra Wire and attach it at the base of the tail on the underside of the hook. Leaving the leading tag end of your wire left intentionally long and untrimmed, carefully bind the Ultra Wire forward along the belly of hook shank using smooth consecutive thread wraps, until you've reached your original starting point (like shown) and trim away the excess wire. Remember, exercise care while binding down the wire as a ridged, lumpy underbody will complicate the next step considerably!

Step 4 - Tying the Truly DeadlyStep 4: Wind the red Ultra Wire up the hook shank using tight abutting wraps until you reach your original starting point like shown, then tie the wire off securely and trim the excess away closely at its base. The goal while winding is to have as little gap as possible between each turn of wire! Naturally, as hinted in steps 2 and 3, a poorly executed underbody will make wrapping a clean, neat wire abdomen incredibly frustrating!

Step 5 - Tying the Truly DeadlyStep 5: Once satisfied with your wired abdomen, secure a small pinch of Medium Olive SLF Dubbing or similar in hand, roll the dubbing tightly around your thread, then carefully build a compact yet robust thorax. Note the slight space intentionally left between the thorax and the bead! Once complete, whip finish your cream colored thread neatly behind the bead and trim.

Step 6 - Tying the Truly DeadlyStep 6: Slide the Tungsten Bead back tightly against the dubbed thorax, and attach your black tying thread just in front of it, like shown.

Step 7 - Tying the Truly DeadlyStep 7: Select an appropriately sized Hungarian Partridge feather and tie it in tip first, curved side down, in front of the bead like shown. Gently pinch fold the Partridge fibers rearward with your offhand, then trim away excess tip neatly at its base.

Step 8 - Tying the Truly DeadlyStep 8: Using your hackle pliers for enhanced control, carefully make two or three turns with the Partridge feather, gently sweeping the feather fibers rearwards with each new wrap to creating a nice, sparse soft-hackled collar. Once wound, snugly tie the Partridge feather off and trim the excess stem away.

Step 9 - Tying the Truly DeadlyStep 9: Form a nice, neat and smoothly tapered thread head, whip finish and apply head cement.

Summary / Closing Remarks: There you have it friends! Another local favorite and proven producer, don't be afraid to try substituting different colors of tail hackle, body wire, and dubbing to create your own uniquely personalized adaptations of this dynamite New Hampshire staple! One that's certainly worth adding to your fly box for the season ahead, if you've not given the Truly Deadly a try, you're truly missing out! As always, have fun with this fly gang. Thanks so much for all your support, and please don't hesitate to call on us if we can be of further assistance! Sincerely - Nate Harris