One of the identifying features of many mayflies is their dark backs and pale bellies. Usually, the back of the nymph is brown and the underside is pale yellow. So, it makes sense to tie mayfly nymphs with this 2-tone coloration. This version of my Jiggy Bug, the 2-tone Jiggy Sparkle Bug, is an excellent imitation of mayflies with a dark back and pale belly.
Recipe for the 2-tone Jiggy Sparkle bug:
Hook: Size 16 competition jig hook.
Thread: 8/0 rusty brown.
Bead: 7/64” copper brown tungsten slotted bead.
Underbody: 20 wraps of .010 lead wire.
Tails: 3 lengths of brown Daddy Long Legs.
Abdomen: Veevus irredescent thread in shrimp pink. Use a sharpie to color the back dark brown and the belly dark yellow (marigold sharpie).
Thorax: Peacock dubbing.
Legs: 2 lengths of brown Daddy Long Legs tied to each side of the middle of the thorax.
Step 1: Put a 7/64” or 1/8” copper brown tungsten slotted bead on a size 16 competition jig hook. Wrap .010 lead wire up the shank and back down half way. Start your thread behind the lead wire and build a thread dam to keep the lead tight to the bead.
Step 2: Cover the lead with thread, trying not to build up too much bulk; it’s okay if lead is showing through. Use pliers to flatten the lead.
Step 3: Tie in 3 lengths of brown Daddy Long Legs as the tails. Cut off the tags and cover with thread.
Step 4: Bring the thread back to the bend. Cut 2, 5” lengths of Veevus irredescent thread in shrimp pink. Tie them in at the bend.
Step 5: Bring the thread to the bead. Tightly twist the 2 lengths of irredescent thread and wrap the twisted material up to the bead. Tie off, trim the excess, and cover with thread. Bring the thread back down to the hook point where you will begin the thorax.
Step 6: Use a lighter colored sharpie to color the top of the shank, which is going to be the underside of the fly. Remember, the fly is tied on a jig hook, so it will ride hook point up. I like to use a sharpie in the marigold color.
Step 7: Color the underside of the shank, which will be the top of the fly, with a dark brown sharpie.
Step 8: Dub the thorax with flashy, buggy peacock dubbing.
Step 9: Tie in 2, 3” lengths of brown Daddy Long Legs on each side of the thorax.
Step 10: Add more dubbing to cover the thread wraps over the legs and to bring the dubbed thread up to the bead.
Whip finish twice. If your whip finishes are good, there’s really no need for head cement.
Here’s the finished product: