As the name says, the man behind the famous series of patterns was Lee Wulff and the most famous of all is the Wulff that is Royal!
The fattest pattern of the Wulff family is just as good fished as a searching pattern as it is as a adult may fly. It just presses all the right buttons, It floats high, its visible even at a great distance in rough water and looks like a mouthful of whatever trout are eating. Although a great pattern, I hardly ever see people tying it!
Why is that? It’s a cracking looking fly. Don’t they think it works? or do they find it too difficult to tie? It is a fly that proportions are everything, get one of them wrong and the whole fly looks like the victim of a cruel medical experiment. So take your time in choosing and preparing your materials before starting and preserver to get the wing size and shape right first. Once you have these right the rest is easier to measure and tie correctly.
Royal Wulff fly pattern recipe
- Hook: Mustad
- Thread: Black
- Wing: White calf tail hair
- Tail: Moose body hair
- Body: Bright red silk floss and peacock herl
- Hackle: Red brown cock hackle
- Head: Black
How to tie Royal Wulff
Secure your 1XF (1 extra fine ) dry fly hook in the vice with the hook shank horizontal.
Attach your tying thread just behind the hook eye and wrap it about half way along the hook shank.
Take a white calf tail and separate a large bunch of hair. Tease the bunch out from the rest of the tail at 90 degrees from the tail bone as shown. This will even the tips of the hair. Cut off taking care not to damage the rest of the tail.
For stacking calf tail I like to use a super large stacker. This keeps the hair loose which evens the tips better.
Stack the tips. Remove from the stacker and brush out any short hair and under fur. Stack once more.
You should now have a nice bunch of even tipped tail hair for the wings.
The wing should be a little longer than the hook shank.
Tie the wing in on top of the hook shank about a quarter of the way behind the hook eye as shown.
Once tied in trim off the excess at an angle tapering back towards the hook bend. Lift the hair and make a few tight turns of tying thread under the front of the hair.
Separate the bunch into two even bunches and make a few figure of eight wraps of tying thread to separate them.
Now make a few circular wrap of tying thread at the base of each wing as you would on a parachute post. This will stiffen the wings and hold them in place.
Once the wings are secure and in the correct position (90 degrees ) from the hook shank, apply a drop of varnish to the wing base wrappings.
Now tie down the remaining calf tail hair towards the tail.
Select some nice moose body hair, preferably straight, dark, and stiff with nice tapers.
Cut a bunch of about 20 hairs. Remove the under fur, short hairs and any hairs that are not black.
Stack these in a small hair stacker so the tips are nice and even.
The tail should be the same length as the hook shank tie the tail in and try to keep the body relatively even. The wraps of tying thread at the tail base should not be too tight, this will over flair the tail making it fan out.
Select three long strands of peacock herl. These should be tied in at the base of the tail by the tips of the herl.
19 Run your tying thread up the hook shank. You can if wished keep your tying thread at the tail base and twist it with the herl before wrapping to make it stronger and more durable.
Make a few turns of peacock herl, the amount can vary after what size hook you are using. And tie off.
Wrap the remaining herl with tying thread along the hook shank to the forward position of the next herl segment, this should be just over half way along the hook shank.
Tie in a length of floss as shown.
Carefully wrap the floss over the abdomen taking care not to twist it, this is worth taking time over if you haven’t done much floss work before. Once you have built a nice even tapered abdomen tie off the floss at the base of the peacock herl.
Again make a few wraps of peacock herl a little thicker this time and tie off.
Select and prepare a couple of red/brown hackles. One hackle unless a saddle hackle will not be enough to give the dense sense of hackle. The hackles should be a little longer than the hook gape but a little shorter than the wing hight.
Tie in your hackles tight into the peacock herl at 90 degrees from the hook shank.
Now wrap your hackles one at a time taking care not to cross them. try and keep the hackle fibres 90 degrees from the shank, both above and below. Tie off the hackles and whip finish.
Finally give the head of the fly a drop of varnish.