Stan Headley’s original tying will work everywhere and is not only one of the best stillwater dry-flies but also the most versatile.
Material list for the Crippled Midge
Hook: Size 10-12 Fulling Mill All-Purpose Medium
Thread: Brown 8/0
Tail, post and breathers: Glo-Brite white fluorescent floss
Rib: Fine oval gold
Abdomen: Rich orangey-brown seal’s fur (sherry spinner)
Hackle: Light furnace hen
Thorax: Hare’s mask fur with lots of guard hairs
Step 1. Start thread at midpoint and trap in a doubled length of floss. Take thread in touching turns down the shank to a point just over the barb.
Step 2. Tie in a length of fine oval gold tinsel, then dub the sherry spinner seal’s fur lightly and loosely on to the tying thread.
Step 3. Beginning at the tail-base, wind the dubbed seal’s fur along the hook shank. Continue winding the fur up to the midpoint.
Step 4. With the fur body in place, apply the gold tinsel rib in open, evenly spaced turns. Tie off the rib behind the floss and remove excess.
Step 5. Take the tying thread past the floss, towards the eye. Prepare a light furnace hen hackle by stripping fibres from its base, and tie it in.
Step 6. Wind thread over the hackle stalk and up to the eye. Dub the thread with fur from a hare’s mask. Take the thread back to the midpoint.
Step 7. Hold the floss loop upright and under tension, then wind the hackle around the loop’s base 3-4 times. Wind each turn under the previous one to keep it close to the body.
Step 8. Tie off the hackle securely by taking a couple of thread-turns around the hackle stalk and then a couple more around the hook shank.
Step 9. Pull the floss loop forward over the top of the thorax and secure at the eye. Secure it with a whip finish and trim the floss short.
The finished fly.