By Nick Simonson
If it’s fly tying season and you’re thinking spring is coming outdoors, you’ve got to be thinking summer when it comes to finishing off your patterns. The later stretches of the cold weather season often reflect the planning for the latter stages in the warm water season, and tying projects often revolve around those bigger bites and more aggressive patterns that are employed in summer for trout and panfish. While there might not appear to be much that is tiny about the Mini Chernobyl, in comparison to its gaudy bigger brother – a large, leggy, foamy attractor fly – it’s just a snack. However, it’s a perfectly sized pattern when targeting fish feeding on August grasshoppers and is a welcome addition to a favorite variety pack of kicking flies in go-to box come late summer.
Hook: Curved 3XL Dry Size 8-12
Thread: 6/0 to match
Underbody: Dry fly dubbing
Overbody: 2mm Closed Cell Foam
Legs: Sili strands
Post: Antron Yarn
Start the thread on the fly from behind the hook eye back to the bend and at that point create a tapering dubbing body about 1/3 up the hook shank, taking the thread back a wrap into the dubbing (1). At that point, secure a small strip of closed cell foam with a few wraps of thread, each one over the last to form the back segment of the body (2). Dub the thread again and create a dubbing underbody which extends up to the hook eye, before going a wrap back into the dubbing (3).
At that point, secure the foam into place with a couple thread wraps (4). Select two strands of silicone to serve as the legs and tie them in along each side of the fly, so they form an X, trimming the front legs a little shorter and leaving the back legs a bit long (5). Next, tie in a pinch of antron yarn to serve as the indicator wing of the fly so that the back tips are about the length of the foam body at the tail of the fly (6). Fold the front side of the yarn back over the rearward-pointing portion to form the complete wing, securing with a few wraps over the small loop laying on top of the foam (7). Finally, lightly dub the thread and whip finish the fly with three or four wraps around the front tie-in point and trim the thread (8).
Like any good foam hopper pattern, make sure the Mini Chernobyl hits the surface with a SPLAT! Vary the colors in tans, greens and browns for a more natural array, or go nuts and use orange, purple and pink foam to make a wild variety of true attractors.
However you tie up the pattern, it’s likely to be as hot as the Russian reactor was back in the 1980s when it comes to aggressive summer trout and panfish. Don’t be without a few of these flies when temperatures soar and midsummer – and hopper season – is upon us!