The most time-consuming part of tying these flies is the painting and dry time of the willow leaf spinners. I paint all ahead of time, dry with a hair dryer the day after painting and store until needed. Do not paint entire front of spinner (pool in the center of convex side) allowing a thin rim of silver or gold around the spinner. I use two or three coats to get the depth of color desired. I also use three different colors: green, yellow and red. Your choice of colors, or combination of colors for all materials, can be anything you want to try.
Hook: TMC 300-8
Thread: 3/0 or 6/0 black
Folded clevis: 5 mm
Willow leaf: 1 inch
Loon: Hard Head paint
Estaz: opal black
Marabou: slate gray
Hackle: black wooly bugger
- As always crush the barb (clevis will not fit hook if you don’t).
- Slide clevis through spinner and onto hook.
- Leave three eye widths of space behind eye for free floating clevis. Start thread and wrap back to bend of hook. Coat with head cement or Zap-A-Gap.
- Tie in marabou tail the length of the hook shank, wrapping over entire hook shank to build body bulk desired. Wrap thread back to tie in point.
- Tie in hackle and Estaz.
- Wrap Estaz to within one eye width of thread wrap (this will be for tying a head).
- Palmer hackle forward and tie off at end of Estaz.
- Tie a tapered head, whip finish and cut thread.
- Coat head with head cement.
Troll or fish with as fast a strip as you can to made willow leaf spin. This fly works well for large and smallmouth bass, pike and, occasionally, trout.