Full Motion Hex
by Steve May - April 08, 2005

As a guide and multi species angler I always look for versatile and effective flies that are easy to tie. The Full Motion Hex or FMH is one of these flies I have come up with. I must admit that I “borrowed” most of the elements for this fly from a Michigan steelhead fly tied by guide Jeff Bacon called the “Chicken Bone.” The Chicken Bone is an easy to tie hex pattern that I really like, but I couldn’t help but add some personal touches to it. I dropped the biot legs and added partridge hackles for more movement and to create a more mottled looking fly. I also add a bit of fish attracting flash in the form of a flashabou rib.

The Full Motion Hex has been a saviour on steelhead streams. Highly pressured that have seen too many egg patterns respond well to the motion of the jigging rabbit strip tail, glittering bead head and subtle motion of the partridge hackles of the FMH. This fly is at home under an indicator or on the swing.

For smallmouth the FMH can be fished slow near the bottom, swum through the water column or ripped near cover. The bass don’t seem to care what you think the fly resembles, they just think it is food. In a drift boat I run this fly on a deep nymph rig. Running this fly through deep slow runs with scattered boulders with the occasional twitch can produce amazing results with feisty bronzebacks.

Hex nymphs and small generic streamers work well on most trout streams. This “two for one” approach makes the FMH a solid option. On my home river it has fooled some nice brown trout both under an indicator and by tossing this fly into fishy looking pockets and stripping it out quickly to imitate a fleeting minnow. I am sure you will find a place for this pattern in a prominent place in your fly boxes.

Full Motion Hex Steps


1. Bead on hook
Slide bead over hook point up around hook bend to eye of the hook (sometimes debarbing of hook is necessary)

2. Bead lock - Wrap lead wire
To counter lock bead wrap 8 to 10 turns of .015 or .020 lead wire onto hook shank

3. Bead lock - final steps
Squeeze lead wraps tight together - push them up against bead (make sure the bead is tight against the eye of hook). Tie on thread to bare hook shank and continue to wrap lead and hook shank with lots of thread and add a dab of head cement to finish the deal.

4. Fill in clump
Tear off half inch clump of rabbit fur from zonker strip hide - place on hook shank right above hook point and fasten with thread wraps.

5. Tie in tail
Right on top of fill in clump - fasten the already bare strip of rabbit hide you just made. trim excess hide but make sure you build and tie down an even full underbody.

6. Back end wet hackle
Prepare and fasten partridge plummage feather on near side of hook as shown. Grab tip of feather with rotating hackle pliers and wrap one full turn of hackle. Trim excess feather parts and add a dab of head cement.

7. tie in mylar tinsel
Tie in one strand of pearl size 14 pearl mylar tinsel.

8. Dub body
dub up the entire length of hook shank a proper dubbed body

9. Mylar segments
Wrap 4 to 5 turns of even spaced mylar up to end of dubbing - tie off and trim excess mylar

10.Front end wet hackle
Repeat wet fly hackle procedure and secure with thread and a drop of head cement

11. dub black collar
Prepare black dubbing strand - dub a small accent black dubbing collar.

Final steps
Whip finish and add cement to finish the fly.

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