Claire’s Clothes Undressed

Story and Photography by Nick Didlick

Last month in this space we referred to a newly developed fly called Claire’s Clothes. We had a number of letters asking for the details on how it was tied, one reader wrote in asking what I used for the legs referring to it tongue in cheeck as Police Crime tape. So in response to readers here is the recipe for Claire’s Clothes.

I will confess here and say that I am not a professional fly tyer, but I do spend considerable time sitting on the banks of my favorite rivers trying to figure out fish and what makes them move to strike a fly. Especially when all the other patterns in my fly boxes don’t work. Claire’s Clothes was originally developed to attract large bull trout in rivers and streams hence the bright color and “buggy” appearance.

In practice the fly took more rainbow trout than bull trout so I am now using it when tight lipped rainbows are around. The fly should be fished like any other nymph pattern and I have found that it performed better when cast upstream on a dry line.

What you will need to tie a Claire’s Clothes

Hook: Umpqua Nymph hook 200R Size 8
Head: Dragonfly Large Gold Tungsten Bead
Tail: Just ADD H2O M.O.P. Gliss’n Glow
Body: Dragonfly Medium sized Orange Chenille
Throrax: Dragonfly Medium sized Dark Olive Chenille
Legs: Dragonfly Nymph Sili Legs Yellow Barred or Police Crime tape
Hackle: Umpqua #1 Saddle Hackle Dyed Black

Step by step Claire’s Clothes in the making

Place the bead on the hook, it is way easier than trying to get it on the fly afterwards. And then use your tying thread to start the fly from the back.
Tie in 4 strands of the M.O.P. as a tail and the first set of the Sili Legs. I use one strand of leg material and fold it over when tying it onto the hook to form two legs. Also tie in the Orange Chenille at this point.
Wrap the Chenille around the hook twice and tie in another set of sili legs and pull them back. The sili legs should be tied on the top of the fly so it looks like they are coming out of a spin
Again wrap the Chenille around the hook twice and tie in another set of sili legs and pull them back. You should now have 6 sili legs hanging off the fly. Tie off the orange chenille and cut it off. Tie in the Dark Olive Chenille and a strand of the Black Saddle Hackle.
Wrap the Dark Olive Chenille around the hook twice and tie it off behind the bead head and trim it off.
Wrap the Black Saddle hackle over the Dark Olive Chenille and tie it off and trim it
Whip finish and cement the head and trim the legs and tail and there you have it a Claire’s Clothes.