Inspired by classic North Country flies, James Leisenring developed an arsenal of reliable patterns to match the hatches of his beloved local streams. You can clearly see the Snipe Bloa and Poult Bloa influence in the Light Snipe and Yellow. Farmington River trout love this fly, a lesson that is repeated on cool June nights when Light Cahills or Sulphurs are emerging and the water surface is boiling.
Light Snipe and Yellow
Hook: Dry or wet fly, 14
Silk: Primrose yellow
Hackle: Snipe undercovert
Rib: Fine gold wire
Body: Primrose yellow buttonhole twist
Tying Notes: Instead of working silk, Leisenring used buttonhole twist (the thread that’s used on the borders of buttonholes) for the body. You don’t need to do that — your favorite silk or thread will work. But if you’re shooting for authenticity and can’t find buttonhole twist, try DMC embroidery floss. It comes in a bazillion colors (this is #744). It’s multi stranded, so cut a length then separate a single strand for the body. No snipe? Try starling or woodcock undercovert. You can find a general North Country spider video tutorial here.
Great series on the North Country flies. On the ties that can use a starling substitute- which feather to use? Body, under covert, etc? Thanks! (I just shot a fresh one off my feeders five minutes ago…great timing on the article!)
Great question. I’d go with the feather that most closely resembles the qualities you’re trying to replace. Snipe is somewhat fragile (like starling). But the snipe undercoverts have light and dark sections that are missing from most starling feathers. So in this case I’d go with woodcock undercoverts. Gotta be starling? The lightest color feather you can find. (The pattern, after all, is called the “Light Snipe” and Yellow.)
Thanks Steve. Now…to find a woodcock wing or a snipe wing.
Nice tie. Keep em coming! Knew I had a reason to save my bird dog’s first woodcock wings!
Yup. And for the Winter Brown NoCo spider.
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