Fly Of The Week
Thor-X Fly
Thor-X Fly
By James Birkholm
Photo by James Birkholm

Previous Flies
Fly Tying Terms

Thor-X Fly
This style is generally accredited to the late Vincent Marinaro. He developed it in Pennsylvania using underwater photography of living insects and by observing the 'foot-print' patterns made by them. It must be produced using the finest materials available. No variation of tying style, nor improvement of the style will produce the intended results. ~ JC

Materials List:

    Hook:  Any 'dry fly' light wire, barbless hook.

    Thread:  Standard 6/0, or lighter; color to match insect.

    Tail:  Moose mane or good quality hackle barbels.

    Body:  Dubbing to match insect. (Tan in our example fly photo.)

    Wing:  Hackle tips (in our example fly photo). Other material may be used.

    Hackle:  Grade #1 (grizzly in our example fly photo). One size larger than normal.

Tying Instructions:

1. Start thread at eye, wind back to 2/5 of shank. (Not quite the middle.)

2. Hold two wings on top of hook with left hand. Take two loose thread winds over wings and bind down. Lift wings up and wind thread in front to hold.

3. Wind to bend and tie on tail. Use moose mane or several barbels from a good hackle. Separate into two and flair each to 45 degrees.

4. Wind thread to wings. Tie in one hackle feather.

5. Apply dubbing and build up thorax. Leave thread near the eye.

6. Wrap hackle in a criss-cross (X) using thorax as a base to hold in place. Take two turns in each direction.

7. Tie off hackle. Whip finish and cement.

Tying Tips

Any number of feathers can be used for the wings. I have seen the curved breast feathers of pheasant used and hackle barbels. The important element of the wings is that they be placed almost in the middle of the hook, but not quite.

You may tie in the wings in the standard method of holding upright, locking with two turns front and back and folding the wing stubs up under the hook if you choose. Separate the wings with figure-eights of thread.

Also, it is necessary to divide the tails. Make them as out-riggers. This is to keep the fly from tipping on it's side. High quality barbels can be used in place of moose mane.

The hackle should match the shade of the insect. It must be long, high quality, and not have much taper so the turns are all of the same length. Use one size larger than normal because the hackle is at a 45 degree angle around the dubbed thorax.

Any dubbing on the body area is just for show. It has no value. It is no harder to tie the Thor-X style hackle than any other method. It may just be new to you.

Under no condition should you attempt to tie this fly with regular hackle and clip a Vee out of the bottom of the hackle. The tips of the hackle will not support the fly in the correct manner. Many combinations of material may be substituted in the construction, but any variation of the elements of style will result in failure. ~ JC

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