This is a nice looking little midge emerger I tied. Size 18. But, do you see the flaw? No, not the thread body that is bumpy from too large a thread (8/0)…the tail. Do you see how it is rolled over on the far side of the hook rather than on top of the shank? When you pinch the material between your thumb and forefinger tips and place it over the shank, at the bend, the material is sometimes attached by wrapping the thread over the top of the material, then away to the far side of the shank and then underneath. The torque or pull of the thread is often away from you and this causes the material you were holding to roll away from you to the far side of the shank/bend…hence…the above tail over on the far side. The fly probably would track ok under water..but on a larger scale the fly would lay to the left. So, a technique (the pinch loop) that I usually do out of habit failed me above and I should have noticed and reapplied the tail.

So, before I show you the pinch loop technique…let me mention this…whatever you wrap…feel free to unwrap the previous wraps to correct mistakes. This a habit that will stand you in good stead down the road when tying flies. Now, the fly above was small and my eyesight betrayed me in seeing the mistakes. The camera lens revealed the flaws…but, in larger sizes you will often see your mistakes and I encourage you to undo-redo. Now the pinch loop technique.


I couldn’t really find adequate pictures, so I took some of my own…and, I did no better. So, let me try to explain. Secure the material you wish to tie in. In this case it is some tan feather fibers. The material is pinched between the thumb and forefinger. The material is set atop the hook shank/bend with the material as close to touching the top of the shank as possible.

The thread is brought up between the thumb and forefinger on your side then the thread is brought across the top loose (normally a big no no…no slack usually) and again worked up between the thumb and forefinger. Now pull the thread straight down, which causes the pinched loop, between your thumb and forefinger, to be drawn tight downward against the material setting atop the shank. Do it again. Take your fingers, that were holding the materials, away. The material should be setting on top of the shank. If it is, then wind a few more tight thread wraps…if not, unwrap and try again. Start the fly correctly and it will look nicer.