The Hair Leg GRHE Abdomen and Rib
I like to use wire to rib the GRHE because it adds just a bit of weight to the fly, helping it dive through the surface film, and, more importantly, it reinforces the body, making the fly nearly indestructible. Look very carefully at the end of the wire where it’s been wrapped on the hook. You will notice that there’s a bit of wrinkle right at the end. This prevents the wire from pulling back and out from under the thread wraps. This is especially important when using mid-weight to heavy-weight wires. Jason came up with the way to get this little nub on the end of the wire. He folds the wire over one of the scissors blades, right at the very back of the blade (next to the hinge joint) and then snips. Bending the wire over the blade produces a tiny burr at the end of the wire when it’s cut. When tied in, the burr prevents the wire from slipping free.
As noted in the last post, the rib is tied in by wrapping rearward, which also brings the dubbing up to the rear of the abdomen, ready to go. Winding dubbing is not a one-shot deal, take what you get and whine if it’s not perfect. Rather, as the dubbing is wound forward, the tyer constantly evaluates the shape and thickness of the body. If the dubbing is too thin, the tyer backs off a turn or two and add a touch more. If the dubbing is too thick, the tyer backs off and removes a tiny bit. Remember, production tying doesn’t just make flies as efficiently as possible, it also makes them of the best quality possible.
Once the dubbing is in place and looking good, the rib is wound. I counterwind the rib so that the turns of the wire “Xs” across the turns of the dubbing, in order to strengthen and re-enforce the dubbing. This can be done by winding the dubbing counterclockwise and then winding the rib clockwise, or visa versa. I use the visa versa; that is, I wind the dubbing clockwise and the wire counterclockwise. I do it this way because I may have to unwind the dubbing to get it just right, and I find this easier to do when winding clockwise. When I get to the thorax, I continue to wrap the wire several more turns to add a bit more weight, before clipping off the waste end (always use the very back of the scissor blades when cutting wire).