Woven Floss Bodies

Flossing Technique
  • Take the tying thread in wide turns back to the hackle position. (S)
  • Hold the light-colored floss in your right hand on the far side of the shank, and the dark floss in your left hand on the near side, as shown. Note how close to the shank the two hands must be.

When I first saw a fly tied with a woven body, I was immediately impressed by its neatness and the apparently simple technique needed. When I first tried to tie one, however, it was a different story! The following illustrations show how tricky this technique is; it is definitely not for beginners.

The secrets of success are to maintain even tension on both floss threads throughout, to keep your eye on the line formed on each side of the body, and to use your spare fingers to prevent the weave from loosening while you change hands or threads. Any color combination can be used, but the woven body looks most effective when a light color is combined with a dark color.

  • Form a smooth-curved underbody, tapered at both ends, as shown.
  • Tie in a length of light-colored floss at the tail position, under the hook shank, using the chenille method. (S)
  • Tie on a length of dark-colored floss at the tail position, on top of the shank, in the same way as described for "Wood-Duck Tails" in Chapter 3.
  • Begin weaving the body by taking the dark floss over the shank, behind the light floss.
  • Now change hands, and the first stage of weaving is complete.

Note: It is necessary to change hands a number of times during this dressing, and each time the tension on the two lengths of floss must be maintained. This may sound impossible, but the trick is to use your spare fingers to grip the other floss each time you change.

  • Bring the dark floss back over the top of the shank.
  • The photograph shows the correct position for the next step with the light floss.
  • Take the light floss under the shank and bring it up on the near side (gripping it temporarily with the spare fingers of your right hand as you go; you cannot take your left hand all the way round!).
  • Maintaining an even tension on both flosses, take the dark floss around the light one, working toward the hook eye.
Flossing Technique
  • Cut off the surplus floss.
  • Take the dark floss over the top of the hook shank.
  • Take the light floss under the hook shank.
  • Repeat steps 4 to 8 until you reach the hackle position.
  • Maintaining equal tension on the two lengths of floss, finish weaving on the near side of the hook.
  • Tie off with three or four turns of tying thread. (S)
  • Cut off the surplus floss.

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