Nymphs : Full Motion Hex

As a guide and multi species angler I always look for versatile and effective flies that are easy to tie. The Full Motion Hex or FMH is one of these flies I have come up with. I must admit that I “borrowed” most of the elements for this fly from a Michigan steelhead fly tied by guide Jeff Bacon called the “Chicken Bone.” The Chicken Bone is an easy to tie hex pattern that I really like, but I couldn’t help but add some personal touches to it. I dropped the biot legs and added partridge hackles for more movement and to create a more mottled looking fly. I also add a bit of fish attracting flash in the form of a flashabou rib.

The Full Motion Hex has been a saviour on steelhead streams. Highly pressured that have seen too many egg patterns respond well to the motion of the jigging rabbit strip tail, glittering bead head and subtle motion of the partridge hackles of the FMH. This fly is at home under an indicator or on the swing.

For smallmouth the FMH can be fished slow near the bottom, swum through the water column or ripped near cover. The bass don’t seem to care what you think the fly resembles, they just think it is food. In a drift boat I run this fly on a deep nymph rig. Running this fly through deep slow runs with scattered boulders with the occasional twitch can produce amazing results with feisty bronzebacks.

Hex nymphs and small generic streamers work well on most trout streams. This “two for one” approach makes the FMH a solid option. On my home river it has fooled some nice brown trout both under an indicator and by tossing this fly into fishy looking pockets and stripping it out quickly to imitate a fleeting minnow. I am sure you will find a place for this pattern in a prominent place in your fly boxes.

by Steve May -

Placing bead head

1. Slide the bead over the hook and then place the hook in the vise. (NOTE: Bead heads are easy to add to any pattern. Simply slide the small end of the bead over the hook point and then thread it up to the eye of the hook.

Tying tail clump

2. Attach thread behind the bead and tie in a short piece of zonker strip at the bend of the hook. The rabbit strip tail combined with the bead head provides a very realistic motion to this swimming nymph pattern.

Tying rear hackle and flash

3. Tie in a Hungarian partridge hackle at the bend of the hook and wrap a “collar” of this hackle at this point. The partridge collar creates more movement and a “legginess” to the fly. This also simulates the feathery grey gills on a hexagenia nymph. Tie in the flashabou rib now.

Dubbing body

4.Dub a full body with the nymph dubbing. There are several good brands out there Sow Scud, Haretron, Ice Dub and Life Cycle are some of my favorites, but there are many other good nymph dubbings out there that are buggy and have a subtle flash to them. Take this dubbing to a point just behind the bead. The tan dubbing should be put on “full” this creates the thorax of the nymph. The diameter of the bead is a good guideline to strive for.

Ribbing body and accent

5.Wrap the flashabou up the body in the opposite direction that you put on the dubbing. This counter wrapped ribbing makes the fly more durable. (NOTE: An accent dubbing section can be added for added looks – like image shows)

Tying front hackle and finish

6. Take another Hungarian partridge hackle and tie it in just behind the bead. The second collar hackle really bulks up this big nymph. Hungarian partridge has a great mottled look that really attracts the fish. Wrap the hackle behind the bead, tie it off and trim the excess hackle. Only a couple of wraps of hackle are required to give the leggy, movement effect needed.

Dubbing hackle collar

7. Apply a collar of dubbing to fill the space in front of the hackle. This collar will help secure the bead. Tie off thread behind the bead, trim and cement the head. The dark colored collar on this fly seems to improve its effectiveness. It also allows you to set the bead well making for a more durable fly.

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