Fly of the Month – The Christmas Tree

Fly, Notes and Photo by Martin Joergensen
Used by Permission
from the December 2014 Newsletter

456Hook: Straight shank, down eye streamer hook, size 6-2

Thread: Red

Underbody: Red chenille or yarn

Tail, body and hackle: Clear Mylar tubing

Head:Tying thread, varnished

I honestly used to detest this fly! It’s so primitive, it is close to being embarrassing. It’s even ugly. It uses one material only and a crude and synthetic one at that. But… and there’s a but… I have to admit that it’s an efficient fly. It catches a lot of fish.

I have caught fish on it in the most terrible conditions. It takes a lot of mud and silt to hide this fly, and in its original version, utilizing pearl mylar tubing and a red base, it’s a beacon in the water signaling left and right: here I am! Eat me! It’s a far cry from anything natural, but who cares?

Most of my Christmas Trees break with the tradition and are tied with more “natural” colors, if natural is an appropriate word for peacock colored or black metallic mylar. But you have also been able to find orange, pink and yellow specimens in my boxes during particularly desperate periods in my fishing life.

The obvious variation is simply color. There are just two materials in this fly, and you can both vary it subtly by changing the color of the underbody or change the appearance more dramatically by choosing a different hue of mylar tube.
The tube is available in a large number of colors, and the possibilities are almost endless.

My favorites apart from the clear/red version are orange and pink, but peacock green and black have been known to work too. You can also add eyes to the fly, and one of my more successful variations even had a zonker wing.

This is another fly, which I like to weigh a bit, either with some ballast wraps or with bead chain or dumbbell eyes.

But again I urge you to keep the fly simple since it seems equally efficient in its least developed form.

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