Tying with David: Luna’s Titanic

David Luna has struck again. First he went “dirty bird” with the Cheap Hooker, and now he’s taking MG to task with something (God forbid) that floats on the surface.

Call it a dry fly if you like, but it is still chunky meat as far as the author is concerned. Mr. Luna got fed up with hoppers always sinking on him, so he conjured this cruise-liner. It’s got all the fuss but can withstand slow water and fast water, deep swirls and shallow.

David has built the fly so it holds up in even the harshest environments (maiden voyages, zero visibility, and near freezing water notwithstanding). The construction engineer can also make tweaks as needed – under-wing color, indicator and under-body are open for interpretation. Crashing it into a logjam on the drift is not – you’ll lose it for sure, but at least you’ll have someone else to point the finger at (like the tippet supplier).

Materials You’ll Need

Hook: Montana Fly Stimi 7002 #6
Thread: UTC Ultra Thread 70 Yellow Olive
Body: Three MM fly foam – three layers
Legs: Tan rubber
Flash: Crystal (white, brown, green, whathaveyou)
Miscellaneous: Prism Ice Dubbing (optional)

Check out the slideshow below if you are having trouble following Gracie’s directions. They’re great directions – even though MG couldn’t follow them we already know that issue. If you’re still in trouble thereafter we’ve got a solution…for one lucky soul. So read on.

Tying Steps

1) Mount your bodkin (we used a hook shank since Gracie couldn’t find his bodkin) on the vise. Then, cut three pieces of foam (green, black, and tan) about 3/8th inch wide; length doesn’t really matter – two and a half inches should do it (for the foam…FOR THE FOAM!).

2) Make several wraps, then five wraps at an angle down, and five wraps at an angle back. Make several more tight wraps around, and then do a few hand whip finishes. Apply some Hard as Hull across the bottom, and let dry for a minute or so.

3) Pull that foam body off the hook shank bodkin. Then mount your hook on the vise. Place that foam about an inch off the back of the hook, and make a couple of wraps. At this point Gracie breaks the thread, and we have to start over.

4) Bind three rubber legs (about two inches long) together with an overhand knot about 1/3rds of the way from the ends. Then do another knot the same way on the other end. Cut in half – you now have two sets of legs.

5) Place each set on the side of body, on the front third of the body facing towards the curve in the hook. Then wrap.

6) Clip two of the three rear facing leg ends off, and trim any front facing leg segments than may remain. Note in the pics that the rear leg segments didn’t get clipped off until near the end of the process, on Gracie’s insistence. Guess he likes legs.

7) Now for the wing. Place some crystal flash on top of body, right at the front segment (the same one where the legs end), and wrap several times. Cut the green foam just in front of it. Place some stacked elk hair on top of the body (and on top of the flash), and wrap several more times. Gracie doesn’t own a hair stacker, but you should.

8) Apply some more Hard as Hull on the thread holding the flash and hair down.

9) Bring thread all the way up to behind eye of hook, and wrap several times (for head). Then cut the black foam just in front of that segment.

10) Grab another single strand of rubber leg (about an inch and a half long), and tie one end across each side just behind the head segment so it forms a forward/down facing loop.

12) At this point you can apply some of that (optional) ice dubbing for underbody, just behind the head segment. Gracie skips this step, but then again he’s a streamer fisherman.

13) Bend the tan foam over the head section rearwards, and do a few more wraps over it, the front legs, and the wing.

14) Cut small piece of orange foam, place on top of body behind head, and wrap some more. Then clip that “loop leg” right down the middle – front legs should now dangle forward and down. If you’re Gracie, they are pointed at the stars – not good.

15) Whip finish, and then cut the tan about 3/16ths of an inch behind those last wraps.

16) Pull that fly off the vise, grab a Sharpie, and apply some stripes to those legs. Luna uses black, and applies some red accents near the ends. Gracie uses pink and purple – go figure.


David name this fly because it will not sink…if you do it right. Buoyancy is directly related to how tightly you make those foam body wraps. Too loose and it falls apart – too tight squeezes the air out of the foam. If you want to know what’s just right, you may need some samples. Low and behold there are some waiting for the worthy.

Gracie…you couldn’t tie a San Juan Worm. Why don’t you just give me all your tools and materials, and hang up the charade.

If you’d like a handful of Luna’s Titanic, give us a damn good reason why you must have them. You can state your case in a sentence, or you can write a dissertation. There will be some subjective judging, so sarcasm, wit, and MG bashing will all be good for points. Monday, June 20th they’ll go out in the mail, and we’ll skip the 1099.

MG signing off (to hide his indicator collection)

Editor’s note: The author can actual tie a San Juan Worm. But not much else.


Rachhillis says:

Hmmmm…..do I enter another Michael Gracie contest that could be fraught with highly suspicious “email submissions”?

CONTEST RULES UPDATE: There shall be no private email submissions or other “highly suspicious” activities.

And Rachel…that’s a good one! You are definitely in the hunt.

gary thompson says:

The carp slayer strikes! I know of very few people along the front range that know more about warm water species and how to catch them than David.

Hey Gary, thanks for the complement Bud, you made me blush and thats hard to do! and like I said before…..any time buddy!

Rachel – You’ve got some Titanics headed your way!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.