Behold - the Hotcore Hex. This is a fairly easy hex nymph imitation that has a bit of flare for dirty water. Steelhead love accent colors, like hotspots, fluorescent tags, etc etc. Seems like a natural color base with a touch of brightness can really excite them. Also works well with different core colors, such as pink, peach, yellow, or even blue. Hope you like it.
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Hook: 1530 sz 6 (+)
Thread: Tan Uni 3/0 (+)
Tail: Black Barred Gold Variant Rabbit Strips (+)
Or Sand Variant Rabbit Strips (+)
Gills & Legs: Pheasant Rump (+)
and/or India Hen Back (+)
Wingcase: Turkey Tail (+)
or Thin Skin Mottled Bustard (+)
Core: Chartruese Estaz (+)
Eyes: Large Mono Eyes (+)
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Start with a uniform thread base covering the entire hook shank. Stop at the point where your thread hangs straight down in between the point and barb.
To prep the tail, cut about 2" of rabbit, and trim the hairs to roughly this shape. I like a slight taper in the cut, but you could also cut it straight if you want, I just think it looks more natural with a slant cut.
Tie the tail in, should extend back almost twice the length of the hook shank.
Trim the excess out.
For the gills, find a nice broad feather from a pheasant rump. This feather will give us both the legs and the gills for this bug. Find one with lots of fluff at the bottom of the stem.
Peel off a nice chuck of this fluff. This will be the gills for one side of the fly.
Tie it in on the far side, right at the base of the rabbit strip.
Peel off another chuck from the other side of the quill, and tie it in on the other side of the body.
For the wingcase, cut a piece of turkey tail about 3/4" wide. You can also use thin skin for this, which is a fantastic substitute.
Fold it in half, for durability.
Tie it in with a slight overhang over the back side. Use the thicker, wider portion of the feather toward the back.
Fold that front portion back, and lash it down with a few turns, so it's facing backwards.
Next, tie in the Estaz. Remember to pull off a little bit of the flash to expose the cotton core. Makes it easier to tie down.
Move the thread forward, to just behind the eye of the hook. While you're up there, add the mono eyes with a few figure 8 wraps.
Wrap the estaz forward, and leave a small gap behind the eyes. This is where the legs will soon go.
I like to take the scissors and flatten out the topside of the estaz, so the wingcase will lay flatter.
Now go back to your feather, and peel some of the filaments back to form a notch. Tie it in at this notch.
Lock it down right behind the eyes. A pair of hackle pliers will help with the wraps.
Should end up with something like this. Don't be afraid to use some of that grey fluffy stuff right behind the eyes.
This is optional, but I like to take some tan laser dub and fill in the gap around the eyes. Helps to form the head, and fill it out a bit.
A couple figure 8 wraps should do it.
Finally, fold the turkey wingcase forward, and tie it down firmly right at the hook eye. Do a couple wraps above, and underneath the feather to really secure it.
Whip finish, cut the excess, and add some super glue to the whip finish. Feel free to add some UV resin to the wingcase so it doesn't split apart.
DONE. It's an easy pattern that is quite simple once you get the hang of it. Again, feel free to change the estaz color to your liking. Hard to beat a hex fly in the Winter and Spring. Unbeatable motion in slow water. Put it in the right spot and you'll get jacked.
Thanks for reading!