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Tying Video – The King of the Waters

The King of the Waters is a very old pattern.  It is listed in Ray Bergman’s book Trout.  It is on Plate #5 and the recipe is listed on page 435.  It is also mentioned in Mary Orvis Marbury’s book Favorite Flies and Their Histories (plate R).  According to her book “the King of the Water dates back of ‘ the three brothers who came over in the Mayflower'”, which would indeed make it an old pattern.  I could not find any information as to the actual origins of this fly or who created the fly.  It is indeed old but is still held in very high regard.  I chose this fly because I want to see how it does for Smallmouth Bass in my area.  Because of this I tied this one on a larger size hook.  It was tied on a #6 Mustad 3399 hook.  I have a number of patterns I am going to tie in larger hooks (#4s & #6s, maybe even some #2 or 1/0)  for Smallmouth.  One issue you run into with wet flies and larger size hooks is you have to change some of the materials you use.  Fortunately, for the King of the Waters there are plenty of Gray Mallard flank feathers long enough to make a wing on a larger hook.  However, if it were a fly that had a matched wing it would be difficult to get many (if any) long enough slips from a duck quill for a size 1/0 or #2 hook.  In that case you need to change to goose quill for your wing.  As well, the tail, tag, rib and body materials need to be considered when moving up in hook size.  

I mentioned in the video that you can make the wing for the King of the Waters out of Bronze Mallard if you are looking for a more polished fly.  I tied this as a fishing fly and therefore kept the materials simple and durable.  It is interesting to note that various places I found that talked about or had a video on tying the King of the Waters (including Favorite Flies) had a difference of opinion as to the tail and tag.  Some had no tag and other a tag but no tail.  I assume this is due to a mix-up in passing the fly down through the years.  However, it could be a preference.  It could be that someone decide to try it without the tail and/or tag and it was productive for them and from then on that was how they tied (and taught) the King of the Waters.  That’s part of the fun of fly tying, the experimentail.  Change the tail and wing materials on the King of the Waters and who knows you might just create a great fly and call it the Nephew Twice Removed of the Waters!  Either way, have fun.  – Enjoy.

Thread:Danville 6/0, Black & White
Rib:Danville Silver/Gold Mylar Tinsel, #14
Body:Danville 4-Strand Rayon Floss, Red
Hackle:Hen Neck, Brown
Wing:Gray Mallard Flank
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If you would like to purchase a few King of the Waters wet flies there are a number for sale (while supplies last).

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As always, if you have any questions about this fly (or any other) you can leave a comment on Dressed Irons or any of the videos I have produced and I will help in anyway I can. Enjoy!

Remember….. It’s Fly tying….. If you’re not having fun, You’re Doin’ It Wrong.

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