Tying The Stinger Fly

Tying the Stinger Fly made easy with online directions.

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The Stinger Fly has been well proven for winter and summer steelhead, Coho and Chinook salmon. Central to the construction of this fly is the Waddington Shank which was developed to be used with a small treble hooks.  This device became very popular with British Isles Atlantic Salmon anglers. Also evident in the the development of the Stinger is the Intruder style flies developed by Ed Ward, Jerry French and Scott Howell. Ed's flies were tied on cotter pins and the small single hooks were secured to the fly by a piece of clear plastic tubing after the leader was passed through the loop in the top of the cotter pin. Scott Howell's Signature Series Intruders were tied on Waddington Shanks with the hook

attached with a loop of stainless cable.  Hooking to landing efficiency increased greatly when a turned up eye, curved point hook was added.

Pattern: Red Stinger
Shank: 35mm Waddington Shank
Hook: #1 red Gamakatsu Octopus
Wire Loop: 20-pound test Toothy Critter Wire
Tying Cement: Zap-A-Gap water proof super glue
Thread: red 6/0 Uni
Butt: pink Estaz
Tail: two red Dyed Grizzly Saddle Hackle
Rear Collar Hackle: orange Schlappen
Rib: none
Body: sparkling wine New Age Chenille
Collar: red Ostrich Mini Spey Plume
Wing: four red Dyed Grizzly Saddle Hackle
Eyes: 5/32" nickel Dazl-Eyes
Head Cement: Anglers Corner Water Base Head Cement

There are many types of materials that have been use to form the "hook-holder-loop", including round mono, flat mono, fly line backing and other brands of of fine cable.
Cortland Toothy Critter Wire has proven to be the easiest to work with and the most resilient and durable after hard use. Because of its fine diameter and pliable nature it is also the easiest material to tie with.

The Stinger looks bulky in the water, but is actually fairly sparsely dress so that it sinks easily.  Stingers provide a big "shrimpy/squidy" looking target.  As soon as the wet fly leaves the water, all of the water is shed from the sparse material so that the fly is very streamlined to cast.

Place the Waddington Shank in your tying vise. Shown here is a view from the top.

A rotating vise works best for tying "shank" flies. Rotate the jaws so they are facing you. This will give you maximum room around the shank.

Any tying size thread will work. Shown here is 6/0 thread.  Start the thread like you were tying on a hook in the conventional fashion.

Lay down a foundation of thread on the Waddington Shank. Cut a 6" long strand of Toothy Critter Wire and fold it in half, and loop it over the hook and through the eye. Tie the doubled wire to the shank full length.  Don't spare the thread wraps.

Fold the wire back down the shank and secure with thread.  The wire can be folded on top of the shank as shown or passed through the eye and tied under the shank.  Coat all the wraps with Zap-A-Gap super glue.  Use Zap-A-Gap very sparingly it is tremendously strong and will penetrate most fly tying materials.  Remember attaching the wire to the shank forms a critical structural attachment of the hook to the fly.  If the hook comes loose, the fish is lost.

Tie in a length of pink Estaz at the rear of the shank.

Form a ball of Estaz, tie off and trim.

Add to red dyed grizzly saddle hackle tips.  These tip should reach just beyond the rear of the hook.

Tie in the hackle tips so they are splayed into a "V".

Tie in an orange Schlappen Hackle by the tip.  Use the base of the feather where the barbuals are the longest.  A good place to attach this feather is in the notch in the shank.

Trimming off the tip of the feather will facilitate making smooth, tight wraps with the stem.

Form a collar of long flexible strands.  With the ball of Estaz, hackle tips and hackle collar, you have formed a structure that when wet, approximates the mouth parts, legs and antennae of a prawn or the head and tentacles of a squid.

Tie in a length  of size medium Sparkling Wine color New Age Chenille. 

Wrap the shank with chenille. Leave enough room to add a collar hackle, wings and eyes. This reflective layer will show through the strands of the collar hackle, which will be added later.

This top view will give you an added perspective on the proportions of the fly at this point.

Tie in a red Ostrich Mini Spey Hackle by the tip.  Add five to seven wraps as a collar.  More wraps add more bulk and make the fly look bigger, but the added material holds more water and weight while casting.  A sparser collar actually adds more animation to the fly while it is fishing.

When wet and while the fly is fishing under tension from the leader, the collar flows back and surrounds the body of the fly. The collar actually assumes the shape of a squid or prawn.

Four hackle tips are added for a wing. These hackle tip wings are thed in so the flat sides are vertical as in tying a common feather-wing streamer, but they are tied splayed so to give maximum movement when wet.

Add a pair of brass or lead eyes to the under side of the shank. It is easiest to rotate your vise and turn the fly up side down when attaching the eyes.  Use lots of thread wraps in a figure eight pattern.  Use a penetrating coat of  Anglers Corner Water Base Head Cement to secure the eyes.

The eyes are on the under side of the fly, with the eye of the shank facing up. This will counter balance the fly so that the hook ride pointing up making the fly less prone to snag on the bottom of the river.



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