Madam X Fly Step-by-Step

Madam X Fly Step-by-Step:

When it comes to attractor style dry flies, realism is rarely a requirement.  They are generally highly visible, highly buoyant impressionist patterns that to a trout’s eyes could be any number of natural offerings.  Generally larger than your average mayfly or caddis imitation, they often trigger explosive strikes as trout react instinctively to the large chunk of calories drifting by.

Such is the case with Doug Swisher’s Madam X.  Large, buggy and incredibly buoyant, the pattern looks like nothing in nature.  However, tied in the right size and the right color, it presents a profile just close enough to a variety of stoneflies and terrestrials to drive trout mad.  An excellent search pattern, this attractor dry is perfect for working the banks or riffles when no visible hatch is occurring.

2x-3x Long All-Purpose (#6-12) 70 Denier or 140 Denier (Yellow)Materials Elk Hair or Deer Hair
Materials Elk Hair or Deer HairMaterials Elk Hair or Deer HairMaterials Round Rubber Legs (White or Yellow)

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Madam X Fly Step-by-Step Tying Instructions:

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Tips and Tricks

  1. Delicate Presentation Not Required – Unlike many dry flies, a delicate presentation is not required when fishing the Madam X. Let the fly land with some force along the edge of an under cut bank and see if the sound triggers a reaction from any predators below.
  2. Twitch It, Skate It – While starting off with a dead drift is advisable, don’t be afraid to twitch of skate the fly a bit if strikes aren’t coming. Grasshoppers rarely stay still for long and larger stoneflies are not averse to skittering across the water’s surface. A little twitch may be just what’s required to trigger a strike.

Proof of Concept

While the Madam X has graced my line a number of times over the years, I’ve admittedly not thrown one in recent memory.  With luck I will rectify this later this spring.  Whether on a warmwater stream or in the mountain west remains to be seen, however.  I have no doubt that it will produce on either.

Tight Line!


Madam X Fly Step-by-Step
Species Caught on the Madam X to Date:

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