Fly tying tutorial by Aaron E. Fleming
Here’s a fun fly for the murky waters of the Midwest during this time of year. The Zombie Hsiao (pronounced “show”) is perfect pattern for top feeding trout and panfish!
I tie the Zombie Hsiao in the same style that Matt Grobert splits the tail on his RS2. This method can be seen in the following video:
The key is to save your tag end!
After your mayfly tail is secured, you bring your bobbin back to above the hook bend. Then take the tag and and wrap it around the hook bend, bringing both ends together. Split your mayfly tail at about 80 degrees with the tag end and secure the tag end to the hook shank with your thread. It can help to hold the tag end in one had and split your tail with a bodkin to get it started.
I tie this with a longer dry hackle than usual when I’m tying with Phoenix. The tips of the fibers disappear under water. I would use a more “appropriate” length with other feathers such as Indian rooster hackle, for example.
The intended use of the Zombie Hsiao is as an entirely dry fly. I dead drift it in the autumn when the trout and panfish are beginning to rise in the warmth of the late morning sun, as water temps rise and stir the fish to the surface. However, it also works well as an attractor pattern in faster currents.
Aaron E. Fleming is a retired US Infantry Marine. Current real estate agent with Massengale Group Keller Williams, pro fly tyer, and aviculturalist.
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