For some reason, it seems that the fly patterns I use most often don’t come from books, catalogues, or fly shops. I’m not sure why that is. I learned about the Blacksmith in a gas station parking lot, talking to a guide. I learned about the Marabou Leech from a friend who had heard about it from his son who had heard about it from a professional fly tier. And I learned about the Commando Dry from a guy I struck up a conversation with stream-side.
He described how to tie the fly, gave me one, and I started tying them. I’d love to give credit to this fisherman for the fly, but I don’t remember who he was or even what he looked like. But the fly caught my attention, so I do remember how to tie it. The only thing about this fly that I can lay claim to is the name, which I made up about two sentences ago because I needed to call it something. And if this fly does have a name, I’d love to hear about it, so post a comment.
The Commando is a very simple dry fly with just two materials—hackle and dubbing—and it does not have any wings. You can vary the colors of the fly depending on the kind of bugs you’re trying to imitate, but no matter what color hackle or dubbing you use, it’s the same fly tied the same way to look like a bunch of different mayflies. Because it doesn’t have wings and uses a dubbing loop body, this minimalist fly takes less time to tie, and it won’t twist your leader or get beat up as fast, so you can catch more fish with it before it falls apart.
Simple, tough, effective. Right up my alley.
The recipe below is for the Sulpher Commando.
Tail: gray/dun hackle fibers
Thread: 8/0 gray
Dubbing: fine yellow polyester