Green Machine

green machine fly tying

Tying a versatile nymph pattern.

The Green Machine has been a staple fly in Montana for years, on rivers all across the state. The following variation has done particularly well for me under a foam dry fly in the summer. It’s tied on a jig hook, but could also be tied on a straight-shank, standard nymph hook. Although the pattern is usually fished on a double-nymph rig or as a dropper, it could also be tied with a smaller bead or a glass bead and fished to pods of trout eating emergers, or under a dry fly to rising fish in late summer. Overall, it’s an incredibly versatile, effective pattern.

Hook: Hanak 400 or Firehole 516, #16-18
Bead: Slotted tungsten, 3/32 to 1/8 inch, black nickel
Thread: Semperfli classic waxed 12/0, pale olive
Tail: Coq de Leon, dark pardo
Rib: Small Ultra Wire, rust
Thorax: Hareline Ice Dub, peacock
Wings: Glo-Brite floss, antron yarn, or Para-Post, white
Wing case: Opal tinsel, small or medium
Resin: Solarez Bone Dry

1. Place the bead on the hook, then start the thread directly behind the bead and take a few wraps to secure it in place.

2. Strip four to six fibers free from the Coq de Leon, and measure a tail just shorter than the length of the hook shank. Tie the tail in, and return the thread to behind the bead.

3. Tie a five-inch length of wire on top of the hook shank, to the same place where the tail is tied in. Return the thread to the 3/4 point on the hook shank.

4. Using open spiral wraps, palmer the wire forward to create a segmented body on the fly. Once it reaches the thread, tie off the wire and break off the excess. Apply a small drop of Solarez Bone Dry to the thread-and-wire body. Distribute the resin to cover the body in a thin layer, then cure it using a UV light. This will give it a little shine and increase the durability of the fly.

5. Take a few thread wraps back and forth behind the bead to create a solid tie-in base for the next couple of steps. Then tie a two-inch section of Opal Tinsel on top of the hook shank, back to where the thread base ends.

6. Trim a four- to five-inch section of Glo-Brite floss free from the spool and double it over twice. At the midway point on the floss, tie it to the hook shank using x-wraps of tying thread so the floss sticks out at 90-degree angles on either side of the hook.

7. Take tiny pinch of Ice Dub and create a short, skinny dubbing noodle. Wrap it forward to create a bulbous thorax, about the same size as the bead, and end with your tying thread directly behind the bead.

8. Fold the Opal Tinsel forward over the thorax to create a flashy wing case. Tie it off securely behind the bead with three or four turns of thread, trim the excess and whip finish. Add a drop of Solarez Bone Dry, and cure with a UV light to complete the fly.

Drew Daniels is a sales associate at Bozeman Fly Supply.

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