Bob Mead's Realistic Mosquito - Size 20


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Bob Mead at the Marboro Fly Fishing Show


Peter's note: I see Bob yearly at The Fly Fishing Show in Marlboro, MA where he always has a realistic fly coming along in his vise.  This year it was a mosquito.  I took a few pictures using an Olympus macro lens that I fortunately had with me.  And Bob furnished me with elements for a story via email before and after the Show.

I visited with Bob Mead at the Fly Fishing Show Marlborough, MA last week [January 20, 21, 22, 2012] and had the chance to chat and to see his realistic mosquitoes.

...A few weeks before the Show, Bob emailed me that he'd recently been doing some fly props for television and for a magazine advertisement. That gives you an idea of how realistic his flies are!

I was happy that I had my camera and a macro lens! The fly images below were done by hand-holding the camera in dim light, so there's not much depth of field due to the large diameter aperture required. But I think between the two images of the same mosquito from different angles, they are sharp enough to see some awesome details.

Bob talking with Paul DiNolo at the Show


From Bob's email:

"First were Black Widow Spiders and in September [2011] three yellow jacket wasps for the TV show Royal Pains. Should be on TV in January [2012] when they start up again.

"The mosquitoes were for a photo shoot and the guy in NC got my name from Graham Owens who does this type of thing on a regular basis. I don't look for this kind of work, but if it comes my way it's a challenge I enjoy.

"Problem always is they need the flies in a few days and I always end up using 'express overnight mail.' Or, they'll tell me, "Oh, we need to be able to articulate the legs".

"Well, these projects get me tying. As you know, just like writing, the hardest part is getting the seat of your pants in the seat of your chair and doing it.

"The skeeters were for this ad for Stop-Itch, a Sarna product."

Bob's three mosquitoes. This is a very small file,
and looks blurry if enlarged further, unfortunately.



Tying materials, with additional comments and recommendations:

HOOK: Partridge size 20 Jardine Living Nymph Hook (tied backwards). Bob points out that Partridge runs big, so this is more like a size 16

THREAD: Uni-thread 8/0 Black

BODY: Stripped peacock herl strand and white peacock herl strand (not albino, these are white ones).

WING: Small hackle tips from dark or bronze dunn old Indian cape. Slick back with flex seal

LEGS: Porcupine guard hairs heat-crimped to shape.  Bob told me that the legs are the most difficult part of this pattern.

FEELERS: Tips of 'not quite quill' porcupine quills. Quills that are more than guard hairs, less than quills, and that do not have sharp points. Heat-curled a bit.

STINGER: Porcupine tip of fine quill

EYES: Melted mono. Melt with blue part of butane lighter flame so they don't soot up. Red sharpie coloring.

BACK: Mini gray ostrich herl tied at the base of the wings and after all else is complete, pull forward and tie off behind the eyes, then slick it down with flex seal.

HEAD: Continuation of porcupine quill used for stinger folded back and forth above and below eyes, tied after each fold.


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