... grayling on the dry fly!
If you are out over the next few weeks and you find grayling rising, this fly is very reliable in bringing them up from amazing depths to snaffle this tiny creation. Sturdy's Fancy may be a "fancy" pattern, implying to many that it doesn't imitate anything but please believe me this is another very successful caricature style of fly that can be used to hint at all sorts of flies: reed smuts; midges; tiny terrestrials; even little sedge flies. Sturdy's Fancy can mimic them all.
It is best on small hooks - 16 down to 20 (for smaller than that the materials are not really suitable) with 16 and 18 being the most useful sizes. These small hooks force you to use fine tippet material 6x or even 7x so don't bang hard on the strike and to give yourself a bit of stretch, make the tippet at least a yard long with an ell or even a fathom being better if the wind conditions permit.
Lay on and tie in a piece of red floss with two turns of the thread. Danville's DRF Fire Orange (fluorescent red) nylon floss has been used here but the original was red silk floss.
Lay the forward pointing length of floss back over to the bend and trap it on top of the rearward pointing length on top of the hook.
Cut the tail to a length about the same as the hook gape
Tie in the hackle with the dull, concave side facing you, making a bed as you go for the hackle when you wind it. Trim off the waste hackle stalk.