Learn how to tie the Madam X fly pattern, including step-by-step instructions, a video tutorial, pictures, and much more. Improve your fly-tying skills here.

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A versatile attractor dry fly that can imitate a variety of insects- A grasshopper in larger sizes or maybe a golden stone fly in smaller sizes, the Madam X is a proven classic. The Madam X sits higher in the water column, and its buoyant nature makes it an excellent pattern to drop a nymph off. 


Hook: Mustad R43NP-BR Dry Fly Hook; Size 10
Thread: Danville 6/0; Yellow
Tail: Hairline Premo Deer Hair Strip; Natural Brown
Body: Veevus Floss; Yellow
Legs: Hairline Medium Rubber Legs; White
Head: Hairline Premo Deer Hair Strip; Natural Brown

Step One

Begin the pattern by running the thread below the eye to the hook’s bend to give us a foundation for the body materials.

Step Two

For the Tail, stack a small clump of deer hair on the hook with the tips running past the bend and slowly twist the material around the shank, incrementally tightening as you complete a 360-degree turn.

Step Three

Start Madam X’s body section by tying a strand of Veevus Floss on the near side of the hook, then cover the material with thread down to the bend, leaving the rear portion exposed. 

Step Four

Complete the body by wrapping the floss’s tag end up the shank with overlapping turns. Secure the material, then cut the excess off near the eye.

Step Five

The wing and head section consist of deer hair too. Stack another clump on the shank with the tips extending nearly a shank’s length past the eye. Once again, wrap the material around the shank as you tie it on.

Step Six

Trim any rear-facing short-ends and be sure to crank down on the thread below the eye.

Step Seven

Pull the deer hair rearward; the wing’s tip-ends should now extend just short of where the tail ends. Next, secure the material and create a distinct head by making several tight thread wraps nearly a pencil's width below the hook eye.

Step Eight

We are using rubber legs for our final ingredient. Clip two short strands, then tie them on either side of the shank, below the head.

Step Nine

Finish the legs by trimming the forward-facing material to three-fourths of an inch in length. The back legs should run a little bit longer than the front.

Step Ten

The Madam X is ready for some trout action after completing a whip finish, followed by applying a small dose of UV resin to the head.