The Top Prop ….is it a fly?

Forrest Winder from Bayou Vista, Texas
Pattern provided to Fly Fish America

1. Pick up a supply of 3/8ths inch thick balsa wood, some size 1 or 2 propeller blades, model airplane paint, and small finishing nails. Forrest tells us he gets most of the supplies at a craft store, but a hardware store or fishing tackle store might be a couple of other options. Cut the balsa wood into one and one-half inch plugs then use a piece of sandpaper to shape the body. We suggest forming several bodies during a session.

2. Secure the hook in the vise jaws. Lay down a thread base starting just behind the eye, traveling to the end of the shank, and back to the starting point. Apply a whip finish and trim the thread from the hook.

3 Cut a slot in the bottom of the shaped plug and epoxy the thread-covered
hook into it. Set aside to dry. Again we suggest completing several
assemblies during a session.

4 Once a unit is dry apply a coat of airplane paint using any color you like
or think will attract a fish. As you can see on the facing page, Forrest
likes yellow. Place the newly coated unit in a rotating dryer to allow the
paint to set evenly. Once it is dry you can determine if a second coat is

5 When the painted assembly is dry, use a finishing nail to place several
contrasting dots on the back of the body. Return it to the dryer once again.

6 Use a larger nail head to paint eyes, one on each side of the body. Return
the nearly completed unit to the rotating dryer. Go through the same process
with a smaller finishing nail to add the black pupils to the eyes.

7 Once the unit is dry use a drill to make a small hole in the back of the
body. Slide a propeller on a small finishing nail and slip it into the hole.
A drop of crazy glue will ensure it does not fall back out.