Fast-forward about 20 years to a day on a very popular trout stream that I used to frequent. I had been having a slow day, catching a few small to medium sized fish on smallish dry flies, which was my fly of choice back then. I was making my way upstream as the day went along, and around one of the bends I ran into a guy who reported the catching of two 18"+ fish out of the next pool. I saw him land one of them. Of course I asked him what he caught them on, and he showed me a rather large deer hair and rubber legged dry fly that was very similar to a Madame X. I was flabbergasted! How could such a large and garish fly catch such picky fish?!?! I did not believe the guy, or at least I didn't want to believe the guy...
It took a while, but eventually I did tie up some Madame X's of my own. Mostly in sizes 8 and 10. I didn't know what the fish would think about them, but I did reluctantly start to fish them. First I fished them on sunfish, and they slayed them wherever I went. Big, bruising sunfish wanted to murder the Madame X. It was awesome. It was so awesome, in fact, that I decided to try them on my favorite trout streams.
|Size 14 Mini Madame X|
After a while I tied some up in smaller sizes, like 12s and 14s. On these smaller, Mini Madame X's, I would usually switch out the rubber legs and instead use some Flexi-Floss. I liked the sheen of the Flexi-Floss, and it seemed to have a little more twitch to it. They seemed to work just as well as the bigger ones. Sometimes even better, especially for sunfish. Just the other night I slayed a bunch of nice 'gills on a size 14 Mini Madame X. They battered it into submission, so now it just looks like a few random strands of deer hair and a chewed up piece of tan Flexi-Floss on a hook. I need to tie up some more, so you might as well watch me do it...
Mini Madame X Pattern Recipe
Hook: Standard dry fly hook, size 12-16
Thread: 8/0, whatever color you'd like
Tail: Deer hair
Head and Wing: Deer hair, tied on bullet-head style
Legs: Flexi-Floss, one strand on both sides of body.