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Dougherty's Hellagramaniac:

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Dougherty's Hellgramaniac (top view)

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Dougherty's Hellgramaniac (side view)

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Materials

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Hook: Size 6 Tiemco TMC 200R or similar

Thread: Color-matching thread

Legs: Olive rabbit

Underbody: Flat spooled lead or lead wire

Body: Grey rabbit dubbing

Lateral filaments (gills): Brown size 14 Whiting 100 hackle

Caseback: 1/8" Light olive Scudback

Rib: Fine copper tinsel wire

Tail: Pheasant tail

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 Buy materials now

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Step-by-step tying instructions   Print instructions   Fish pics

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The original Hellgramaniac is tied with the above color combination, however a multitude of colors may be substituted to match local variations or artistic flare.

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History

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Although hellgrammite patterns aren't as abundant as other patterns, today's fly fishermen still have several choices to chose from.  The development of Dougherty's Hellgramaniac came from a fact many bait fishermen already knew, hellgrammites are bass magnets.  Finding a good fly match was a natural progression.  Dougherty's Hellgramaniac, a late 80's creation, was a product of wanting a buggier looking hellgrammite.  At the time hellgrammite patterns were often overlooked for more traditional bass patterns such as poppers or Muddler minnows.  The limited selection combined with a lack of bugginess created a need for the Dougherty's Hellgramaniac.

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Dougherty's Hellgramaniac has taken panfish and smallmouth bass to 20".  Whether fished by itself or as a bottom fly on a double drop rig, it's a fly worth having in the fly box.  It's a good pattern that still produces today.

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Tying instructions

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Hellgrammite fly

STEP 1:

Using the thread, tie a solid thread-base to the hook.  A solid base will help prevent materials from rotating around the hook once the fly is finished.  Gluing between each following step is optional and dependent on the fly tyer's personal preference.

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Hellgrammite fly

STEP 2:

Cut 2 sections of lead wire and attach to either side of the hook.  Tying-in the lead to either side of the hook provides both weight and a wider abdomen for the fly.  The placement of the lead should still allow the tail to be tied-in.  Apply glue to thread wraps to secure the lead. Allow the glue to dry.

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Hellgrammite fly

STEP 3:

Build up a small ball of dubbing towards the bend of the hook.  Next, tie-in the pheasant tail.  Several pheasant tail featherettes (fibers/filaments) may be used.  The small ball of dubbing will help fan-out the pheasant tail.

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Hellgrammite fly

STEP 4:

Tie-in the Scudback.  The Scudback should be tied-in far enough back so that once the Scudback is pulled forward, all wraps from the previous step are hidden.  Additionally, the tag-end of the Scudback may be secured by tying forward the lead.  This will prevent an unnatural build-up of thread at the base of the tail.

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Hellgrammite fly

STEP 5:

Tie-in one small wrap of dubbing (optional) just forward of the Scudback and tie-in the copper wire and brown hackle.  The small wrap of dubbing is optional but will help prevent the copper wire from rolling off the abdomen on its very first wrap around the abdomen.

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Hellgrammite fly

STEP 6:

Apply approximately 4-5" of dubbing to your thread.  Apply glue to the abdomen and while still wet wrap the dubbing forward.  Because it will take the glue a few minutes to dry, all steps requiring wrapping materials around the abdomen will be further secured once the glue dries.

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Hellgrammite fly

STEP 7:

Wrap the hackle forward and secure.

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Hellgrammite fly

STEP 8:

Trim the top of the hackle off.  Bring forward the Scudback laying it overtop the freshly trimmed hackle.  Secure it with a couple of thread wraps.  The bottom of the hackle will be trimmed, but only after the fly is finished and can be removed from the vise.

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Hellgrammite fly

STEP 9:

Wrap the copper wire forward and secure.

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Hellgrammite fly

STEP 10:

Lay the Scudback back over itself and wrap over it.  This will form the wingcase or thorax of the fly.  Next, tie-in a small bundle of rabbit on either side followed by one wrap of dubbing.  The rabbit will become the fly's legs.

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A single partridge feather may be substituted for the rabbit.  See Additional Comments below.

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Hellgrammite fly

STEP 11:

Repeat Step 10 two more times so there's a total of three small bundles of rabbit on either side of the fly.

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Hellgrammite fly

STEP 12:

Once the legs are tied-in pull the Scudback overtop forming the wingcase of the fly.  Make a tapered head, whip-finish and trim the thread.

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Hellgrammite fly

STEP 13:

Finish the fly by trimming the hackle on the underside of the fly. Apply glue to the head.

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The fly is finished and ready to be fished.

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Additional Comments:

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1. The color choice of grey and olive in the original version has proven successful.  These colors darken once they become wet.  More traditional choices of all black or all brown are also possible.

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2. A single partridge feather may be used as a substitute to using rabbit for the legs.  Tie the feather in on top of the fly (finished side down leaving the stem or calamus unsecured).  Apply dubbing to the thorax.  Carefully bend the feather over the dubbing displaying the finished or colored side up.  Pull forward the Scudback overtop the partridge.  The partridge's featherettes/filaments will become both the left and right legs.

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Hellgramaniac success:

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Large smallmouth bass

Conodoguinet Creek, PA

Smallmouth Bass, 20 inches

Caught on an original colored Hellgramaniac

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Large rainbow trout

Private Pond

Rainbow Trout (Approx. 7 lbs.)

Caught on an original colored Hellgramaniac

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SEP Squid

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