Brian's Ultra Hex
Tiemco 2457 #8-10
Tan 6/0
Craft Bead or Beadchain
Lt. Tan Ultra Chenille
Dk. Grey Afterfeather
Lt. Tan Dubbing
Mottled Turkey Tail
Ringneck Pheasant Body Feather

A good all-round unweighted hex nymph for steelhead. Weighted with black beadchain eyes or a turn or 3 of lead wire and it's an effective stillwater patterns too.

The fly possesses 2 of the 3 features I believe fish key on when eating hex nymphs. These are the prominent eyes, which are exaggerated in this pattern, and the motion of the gills, which is represented by the afterfeather. The third is the hexes unique swimming motion, which is easily mimicked using the weighted fly and a very short strip retrieve.

Step By Step:
Attach thread near the hook eye and tie in the eyes using figure-8 wraps.
Wind the thread to a point just above the tip of the barb.
Cut a short piece of ultra chenille and taper one end. To do this you will need a lighter or candle. Hold the chenille from one end between your thumb and index finger so that the strip is parallel with the floor. Hold the chenille aprox. 1" above the flame of the lighter and rotate slowly. It should be mentioned that you must use ULTRA chenille for this material, as "regular" chenille will unravel.
Tie in the chenille with the tapered end extending aprox. 1/3" past the bend. Wrap the chenille to just behind the eyes and trim. Return the thread to the rear of the hook.
Create a thread loop to be used to wind and strengthen the gill. To do this bring the bobbin straight up a few inches above the fly and place your index finger against the thread where it exits the bobbin. Now bring the bobbin down behind your finger, drawing out thread as you go. Bring the thread against the hook shank on the rear side. Take several wraps to the rear of the hook to secure the loop.
Select a dark grey afterfeather, which is the tiny undeveloped feather that is located at the base of mature feathers. I prefer using a feather from a natural black hen neck, but pheasant is also good. This feather will be used to represent the gills. You will see how delicate the afterfeather shaft is and why it is necessary to create the dubbing loop. For smaller sizes grey ostridge herl works well.
Attach the afterfeather, by it's base, just ahead of the loop, on top of the hook shank and protruding rearward.
Now sandwich the afterfeather between the 2 sides of the dubbing loop and twist the thread. I use an old long shanked streamer hook with the barb removed to help hold the thread taunt and spin the loop.
Make several wraps of the afterfeather/loop tight against each other, working your way towards the front of the fly. It helps to stroke the materials backwards as you wrap. Tie off your dubbing loop and trim.
Position your thread directly in front of the gill you just made and apply a small amount of dubbing to the thread
Wrap aprox 1/4 of the remaining hook shank.
Tie in a small slip of mottled turkey tail on top of the hook shank to represent the wing case. The feather should be tied in with the good side down and the tip facing towards the rear of the fly. If you don't have turkey tail handy then hen ringneck pheasant tail makes a decent substitute.
Continue dubbing to a point just behind the eyes to create the body.
Now select a male ringneck pheasant body feather from the shoulder region. If you don't have pheasant, a partridge body feather or a brown hen feather will substitute. Remove the junk from the lower feather and then cut out the center fibers from the tip of the feather. This should give you a "V" shaped feather on the stem.
Place the "V" down around the shank directly behind the eyes with the good side of the feather facing forward. Pinch the fibers between your thumb and index finger on either side, pulling them slightly down.
Make several thread wraps and trim off the stem.
Fold the wingcase forward over the top of the fly, pulling it taunt and flat. Tie off with a few wraps of thread directly behind the eyes. Trim the excess.
Apply a small amount of dubbing behind the eyes to cover your thread wraps, and between the eyes.
Tie off at the eye with a whip finish or a few half hitches. Done!

Additional Tips/Photos:
Tied By: Brian Doelle.