The Foamulator is the latest incarnation of the Stimulator, from Randall Kauffmann. Let me tell you, this fly has ALL the bells and whistles. The addition of a foam overbody, underwing, flash, rubber legs and indicator post make this fly a contender for the most dramatic makeover award! I just started fishing this crazy little bug and can confidently say that most of these additions are well worth the effort. The foam add a huge amount of flotation, as well as keeping the fly from soaking through over the course of the day. The rubber legs add some fish-attracting appeal, the flash a nice touch of color and movement, and the underwing…well, I’m not sure what the underwing adds. This is a great fly for dry/dropper rigs and can match stoneflies and caddis as well. Tied in appropriate sizes and colors it can even cross over for a Green Drake. Add some yellow foam and dubbing and you’d have a reasonable hopper too. Fish this fly on a relatively heavy tippet, as the foam lip at the front can wreak havoc with lighter tippets and cause the fly to be renamed the TMF, which is short for Twistin’ Mother &^%*#@. You’ve been warned.
Hook: TMC 5212 #6-14
Thread: UTC 70 Denier Florescent Fire Orange
Butt: Florescent Fire Orange Antron Dubbing
Tail: Natural Deer Hair
Overbody: 2mm Tan Fly Foam
Rib: Copper Wire, extra fine
Abdomen: Tan Antron Dubbing
Body Hackle: Brown Rooster Saddle or Neck
Flash: Pearl and Gold Krystal Flash
Underwing: Tan Mottled Web Wing
Legs: Medium Orange Barred Rubber Legs
Overwing: Natural Deer Hair
Indicator: Orange Float Viz
Front Hackle: Grizzly Rooster Neck or Saddle
Thorax: Florescent Fire Orange Antron Dubbing
Attach the tying thread about on fourth of a shank length back from the hook eye and wrap a thread base back to the bend. Dub a tiny amount of orange antron dubbing onto the thread and build a small ball right on the apex of the hook bend as shown.
Cut, clean and stack a small clump of deer hair for the tail. Tie the hair in immediately in front of the dubbing ball with a tight, narrow band of thread. Let the butt ends flare out from the shank as shown. The tips of the hair should extend beyond the bend one hook gap width.
Pull the butt ends of the hair back and out of the way while you wrap the thread forward to the sixty percent point on the shank. Pull the butts back down and secure them to the hook with several tight turns of thread. This will form a hollow, deer hair underbody for the dubbing and create some bulk as well.
Trim the remaining butt ends flush against the hook shank and then spiral wrap the thread back to the bend. Make several tight concentric wraps back over the hair at the base of the tail to force the tips to flare. Wrap right up to the base of the dubbing ball.
Cut a strip of foam about as wide as the hook gap. Trim the end to a point as shown here.
Lay the foam in on top of the hook at the bend. The pointed tip of the foam should extend just slightly past the end of the tail. Tie the foam down at the base of the tail with several tight turns of thread.
Bring the thread forward to the front of the thread base (sixty percent point) and tie in a length of copper wire. Hold the foam strip out of the way as you wrap back over the copper wire back to the bend of the hook. Secure the wire at the bend with several tight wraps of thread.
Now, to keep this hunk of foam out of the way while we tie the rest of the body, use the copper wire rib to encircle the foam, folding it back along the top of the tail. Clip the end of the wire in your material spring to secure the foam in place for the time being.
Dub a robust abdomen with the tan antron dubbing from the bend to the sixty percent point. The abdomen should be tapered fatter at the front end than the rear.
Tie in a brown hackle feather at the front of the abdomen with the outside of the feather facing the front of the fly. I have stripped the barbs from the inside edge of this saddle feather to make it a bit more sparse. Whiting saddle feathers have incredibly dense barbs per inch and can be a bit much when palmered over a body like this.
Palmer wrap the hackle in spiral turns back to the bend of the hook with five or six turns. Take it easy with the hackle, too many turns impedes the gap of the hook and makes it harder to hook the fish!
Release the wire from the material spring and catch the tip of the hackle at the bend with a turn of wire. Continue wrapping the wire forward through the hackle to the front of the abdomen and tie it off. Clip the excess wire and hackle tip at this point.
Pull the foam strip forward under a bit of tension, so it cups around the top of the fly, and tie it down with several tight thread turns at the front edge of the dubbed abdomen.
Lift the remaining foam strip and continue the thread base up to about an eye length back from the hook eye. This step will become more important when you go to whip finish the fly at the end. You want to leave yourself some space between the end of the foam and the hook eye to facilitate the tie off.
Pull the foam down along the top of the hook and bind it down behind the hook eye. Wrap back over the foam to the front of the abdomen, then work back and forth over the foam to compress it a bit.
Tie in three strands of pearl and three strands of gold Krystal Flash at the center of their length. I pre-cut a stack of flash for these to a length of about three inches.
Fold the front ends of the flash back over the body and secure the flash in place with a few tight turns of thread.
Cut a strip of mottled Web Wing as wide as the gap of the hook. Round the end of this strip with your scissors as shown. The strip should be about as long as the hook.
Lay the strip of Web Wing on top of the body, over the flash, with the rounded end extending just past the end of the foam and tie it down at the front of the abdomen. Try to buckle the Web Wing so it mirrors the curve of the body. Trim any excess Web Wing from the front of the fly.
Place a piece of rubber leg material along the near side of the hook and bind it along the shank between the front edge of the foam and the front of the abdomen. Leave the front end short, and the back end long. Clip the long end of the leg back in your material clip to hold it out of the way.
Repeat the rubber leg process on the far side of the hook as well.
Cut, clean and stack another, larger clump of deer hair. Measure this clump against the shank so it is equal in length to about two-thirds of a shank length. Tie this clump in at the front of the abdomen with three turns of thread. Don’t make these wraps too tight right off the bat. Just use them to hold the hair in place. Once the hair is anchored, bear down on the thread to flare the butts. Work the thread forward through the butts in spiraling turns to the front of the hook.
Clip the butt ends of the hair off flush against the hook at a bit of an angle. If you look closely at this photo, you can see the path of the thread as it spiraled through the hair butts. Tying the hair in in this manner allows you to anchor the hair firmly with a minimum of wraps.
Select a small bunch of McFlylon and tie it in at the center of its length at the front of the wing base.
Double the front end of the McFlylon back along the top of the fly and secure the front strand with several tight turns of thread right up to the base of the deer hair wing.
Select and size a grizzly hackle for the front of the fly. I am tying a #10 fly here, and am using a size 12 hackle. This smaller hackle prevents the fly from appearing much larger than it is. Prep the feather by stripping a few fibers from the base of the feather and tie it in at the base of the wing with several very tight turns of thread. The outside of the feather should be facing you.
Dub the thorax with a thin layer of orange antron dubbing. It won’t take much dubbing to form the thorax because the bulk has already been created with the wing and indicator butts and tie down.
Palmer the grizzly hackle through the thorax with six or seven turns and tie it off at the front of the dubbed thorax. Clip the excess hackle off flush.
Lift the foam from the eye of the hook and bring the thread up between the foam and the hook eye. Whip finish the thread here in this space. See why I made you leave some extra here?
Trim the remaining strip of foam that is sticking out over the hook eye so it is about a quarter of a shank length long. Trim the flash just a touch longer than the underwing, trim the indicator so it is just slightly shorter than the deer hair wing and trim the legs so the back legs are as long as the extended foam body and the fronts are about half of that length.
Finished fly, bottom view.
Finished fly, top view.