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Madam X has primarily been tied as a hopper in the western US states, but its universal acceptance and longevity have been as an attractor fly. Too it can imitate different insect life like a hopper, cicada, stoneflies, damselfly, dragonfly, and many other variously sized insects that big trout love to prey on. A good variation is when tied as a parachute.

Madam X

By Skip Clement with Leandro Longobardi

Ruben Martin, innovator and originator of the small, classic trout flies tied exclusively on tubes.

NOTE: ’This American super classic and pioneer in the evolution of attractors presents a great tube version…super easy to tie and with the versatility of size changes and types of hooks.

We can also combine the wing with a bit of Krystal flash for a touch of shine or add some foam on top to increase buoyancy.’ – – – Ruben Martin

Mayflies and caddis fly hatches never end, but their appearances slow as summer peaks and heat rises

Always on the hunt for meat and potatoes, big bows and brown trouts start revealing themselves as hatches slow. The signal for them is when the first dragonfly missteps and falls into the drink. It’s game on through the fall of the year. Joining are damselflies, crickets, beetles, ants, and all the resident terrestrials.

Holy smokes, I’d forgotten about Madam X until one of the most innovative tiers, Ruben Martin, tied it on a tube; his innovation. Yes, small trout flies on a tube, so many advantages, but more on that below, including Ruben Martin’s tying video.

Doug Swisher

Doug Swisher, legendary Montana fly fisher, fly tier, and author of over eleven books, invented this highly adaptable fly in 1980 on the Bitterroot River, his home water. Tied small as a stonefly, make it darker as a cricket, larger a hopper (most popular), or modified as a parachute and pure attractor.

Madam X tube by Ruben Martin advantages:

1. Use any hook size.
2. Use any hook shape.
3. Use any hook orientation (hook point up or down).
4. Hook replacement can be done with the fly intact.
5. Fly changeouts can be done quickly.
6. The dragonfly, damselfly, and stonefly are found worldwide.

Excellent Material source for ‘TIE YOUR OWN’ fly fishers . . .

Ruben Martin has shown us all that ultra-small, classic trout flies “can be” readily tied on tubes 

Stay tuned, we will have one Ruben Martin tying video of flies we’re all familiar with, but on a tube explaining benefits beyond those of being tied on a hook.

Join Ruben’s podcasts on fly tying  . . .

‘Carolina Saddlebags’ dragonfly – Thom Glace illustration.

Madam X Recipe:

Tube: Classic 1.8 mm / Color yellow
Thread: UTC 70
Body: Natural elk hair
Legs: White rubber

Hook: Choose size, shape, orientation [hook up or hook down].

Watch the Video


Author Skip

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