History Of The Thorax Dry Fly In PA.
Green Drake Thorax
The thorax style of dry flies was first introduced by Vince Marinaro in 1950 in a book he published " A Modern Dry Fly Code". Mr. Marinaro made his home waters in the Cumberland County Area of Pennsylvania. He speaks in his book of the famous Cumberland County streams, such as the Letort, Yellow Breeches, Big Springs, Cedar Run, and many other South Central PA streams.
His intention was to develop a fly that would ride flush in the surface film, yet had a large wing silhouette for the trout to see. He succeeded in his quest. While I don't see many "thorax style" of dry flies when I travel out of this area, they can be found in many Pennsylvania fly shops, along with some mail order catalogs.
The original pattern called for the wing and hackle to be mounted closer to center of the hook, instead of at the head of the fly. Mr. Marinaro felt placing the wings and hackle closer to the center gave the fly better balance and appeared more natural to the fish. The hackle was tied in and wound in an "X" pattern. This made for a fly that floated flush in the film, and gave the fish a birds eye view of the fly. I fish and tie many of these patterns today, and most have replaced my more traditional "Catskill Style" of dries. Thorax dries are very durable patterns. Give them a try if you have never fished them, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.
The Green Drake Thorax
- Hook: Tiemco 5210 or Equivalent Dry Fly Hook.
Thread: Cream or Yellow,
Tail: Cream hackle fibers, divided in a "V"
Body: Pale yellow fur, or yellow/green
Hackle: Grizzly dyed yellow/green, wrapped in a "X". Can also clip the bottom hackle to float more flush in the surface.
Wing: 2 Hen body dyed yellow/green., mounted closer to the center of the hook. When mounting the wing, they are put together to form a single upright wing. DO NOT "V" them.
Turkey body feathers can also be used as wing material. Most patterns I tie use turkey body. Also referred to as "Turkey Flats".