Doug Swisher is the inventor of Madam X Hopper. The fly was invented and popularized during the 80s, and John Foust’s Ugly Rudamus inspired it. Originally, Swisher tied the fly with deer hair and rubber legs only, but today it is customary to use floss or dubbing in colors that match the hatch. Tan, yellow and green are the most used colors, but also black is popular.
Materials for Madam X
|Body:||Antron Dubbing||Golden Stone|
|Legs:||Real Silicone Legs||Fire Tiger|
Video Instructions on How to Tie a Madam XVideo coming soon.
Slideshow on How To Tie a Madam X
Step 1 – Tie in the Wing and Tail
Tie in your tying thread and cover the hook shank until you reach the midpoint between the hook’s eye and barb. This point is where you will tie in the head and legs of the hopper fly. Move the thread back to the hook’s eye.
Take a portion of deer hair and remove any underwool. Doing this will make it easier to align the tips and tie in the hair. Use a hair stacker to align the tips of the deer hair. Use the hook to measure the length of the deer hair before you tie it in. The deer hair’s length should be approximately 1.5x to 2x the length of the body. Tie in the deer hair facing forward over the hook’s eye. A pinching loop will prevent the fibers from spreading too much.
Take a smaller portion of deer hair for the tail, approximately half of the amount of the wing. Again, remove any fluff and use a hair stacker to align the tips. The tail’s length should be the same as the body’s length. Tie in the deer hair on top of the hook shank using a pinching loop.
Step 2 – Make the Body
Tidy up the body with even wraps of tying thread. Move the tying thread back to the tail and make a thin dubbing noodle. Make even wraps with the dubbing noodle to build up the body. Take the tying thread back to the midpoint between the hook’s barb and eye.
Step 3 – Make the Head and Legs
Fold the deer hair facing forward back to create the bubblehead. Make two loose wraps with the tying thread. Make sure that the deer hairs are evenly distributed. The deer hair should also go a bit down towards the midpoint of the fly on each side. Once you are happy with the head, make another tighter tread wrap to secure it.
Tie in two rubber legs, one at a time. The rubber legs should be placed over the lower part of the head, overlapping a bit of the dubbing. Secure the legs with a few wraps of tying thread and complete the fly with a whip finish or a few half-hitches and some varnish.
Trim the rubber legs. I prefer to use the tail and wing to reference the hind legs. Hold the two hind legs together and snip them off just a bit behind the tail and wing. Then, hold the two front legs together and trim the legs. I prefer these to be reaching a point a bit longer than the hook’s eye when held together.
How to Fish the Madam X
The trout can go crazy over hoppers during the summer when there are no mayflies or caddis hatching. The hoppers are also big flies, so it is easy to see for fish and anglers. Cast the Madam X Hopper upstream and diagonal over rising fish or fish you have spotted. Let the fly dead drift over the fish. The Madam X Hopper can also be used as an attractor fly when searching for fish. Try to give it a slight twitch to put some life into the rubber legs. That might trigger an aggressive take.