I have received several requests on making my synthetic version of Rich Murphy’s Conomo Special.
I am going to cover critical steps on the technical components and give some belly, body and wing material recommendations. But, feel free to customize.
- Gamakatsu SL12, 6/0
- EZ Body, pearl, in extra-large
- Black nylon thread
- EP Fibers, olive
- Farrar Blend Fibers, UV white and anchovy
- Krystal Flash, in silver and pearl
- 3/8″ holographic eyes
- Copic markers, black and olive
- Loon UV resin
- E6800 clear adhesive
Step 1: After thread-wrapping the hook, leave thread at start of hook bend. The EZ Body should be cut into a section that is the length of a hook shank. Tie one end of the EZ Body at start of the hook bend and finish with two half-hitches and coat with UV resin. Cut the thread.
Step 2: Push the EZ Body back onto itself until you have enough room to thread-wrap against the other side of the tied-in portion. Now, push the EZ Body back to give enough material to tie off and wrap as close to the back of hook as the material will allow.
You can shape the spreader at this point. You have three options: cylindrical (good for mullet or other round bait fish), a vertical wedge (pictured, and great for herring or other tall skinny bait fish), or a horizontal wedge (think sculpin, or a flat-wide type of bait fish).
Form the vertical wedge shape and then coat the entire spreader in one coat of Softex. It will sink into the mesh and make a nice hard rigid shape that will create space for materials.
Step 3: Spread materials around the spreader cone and tie in to form belly, body, and wing. Select each section of fibers and cut so that they taper to 8″ in total length. Start with the belly, using white Farrar blend fibers. The white blend is continued up to the half way point of the spreader cone.
Then, add the anchovy Farrar blend fibers for the mid-body, as you work your way towards the top of spreader. Make the very top 1/8 of the spreader cone the EP fiber olive wing section.
Add a silver Krystal Flash wing (six strands) on top of the olive EP wing. Tie in 10 pearl Krystal Flash strands, evenly distributed from the mid-point of the fly to the bottom of the belly, six per side. You can use any material or colors! Feel free to experiment. I have found this combo catches fish well, sheds water with one false cast, and can be thrown 60 to 70 feet on a nine-weight rod.
Step 4: Use a bag clip to hold all materials out of way. UV resin the thread wraps over all materials.
Cut the EZ Body section to twice the length of the hook shank. Tie back end in 1/4 of way in from the hook eye and tie off with two half hitches and coat with UV resin.
Cut the thread and then push the EZ Body back onto itself until it covers the rear edge. This keeps materials in place to form the head of the fly. Tie thread back on just before the hook eye and cut a small slit on top of the EZ Body. Push the EZ Body back so the thread goes through the slit. Then, tie off the head. Whip finish and coat with UV Resin.
Step 5: Mark the top of the EZ Body with an olive Copic marker. Add Softex to this, and blend the color into the mesh.
Step 6: Attach the holographic eyes. Center the eyes on the head and attach with UV resin, adding layers until firmly attached. Now, finish the remaining uncolored EZ Body with Softex to make a durable head finish. Trim the materials, if necessary, to achieve a taper at the end of fly.
Step 7: Put a thin layer of E6800 adhesive on the first 1/4″ of materials after the spreader to assist with anti-fouling and keeping the materials in place. If imitating alewife, add a spot or other body markings with a black Copic marker.
Your fly is ready to fish, and good luck on the water!
3 thoughts on “Synthetic Variation of Rich Murphy’s Conomo Special”
Cool stuff. Any tips on how to avoid the EZ Body tubing from fraying when reversing it and keeping the front of the head round?
Greg I have honestly never had an issue with the EZ body, but I am using the much larger sizes. The mono and mylar appears to be larger in the 1/2 and 3/4 than the smaller sizes. Maybe that is why I have less issues.
One thing I do is cut a small slit into the tubing 1/8inch long. I pull my thread into that slit then cinch down the tubing when I am tying it to the hook shank. I have found this helps me tie it off cleanly. I find if you get a poor tie off it seems to make the tubing “run” almost like a pair of pantyhose. Maybe that is what you are refering to when you say its fraying on you. Happy to discuss more shoot me a DM on instagram at Canalflyguy
Heat the end and it won’t fray