Mike’s Thin Mint

Written by: Mike Schmidt

Is it a caddisfly? Is it a Hendrickson? Is it a stonefly? Do you really care, since the fish are willing to eat it?

Mike’s Thin Mint is pretty much my take on a steelhead Soft-Hackle. Just as the Girl Scout cookie called the Thin Mint is irresistible to me, the fly version seems irresistible to steelhead. When wet, the Senyo Laser Dub lies back across the body, as a bit of a wingcase, and has just enough sparkle in it to add a little dimension and the appearance of translucence.

The best way to fish this fly is a standard Soft-Hackle technique: let the fly dead drift and then swing across the current. Many times, you will get a bump just as the fly starts to swing, so be ready! In water that is on the low and clear side, you typically want a smaller, more buggy nymph, so it is in those conditions that I most often tie on the Thin Mint. I also tie this fly in both brown and black versions to more closely match whatever bug is most prevalent on a particular day.

Mike’s Thin Mint
Hook: Daiichi 2457 size 10.
Thread: UTC 140 denier, olive.
.015 lead (optional).
Abdomen: Olive Larva Lace, small.
Legs: Hungarian partridge.
Wing: Senyo Laser Dub, brown.


Step 1: Place the hook in the vise,and then make 8 or 9 wraps of .015
lead on the front third of the hook shank.


Step 2: Start the thread behind the hook eye, and wrap rearward to cover and secure the lead wraps. Wrapping with a diagonal X pattern will assist in faster coverage and will
fill in the gaps between the lead wraps. Wrap back to the rear of the hook shank.


Step 3: Tie in a length of olive Larva Lace and wrap forward to lash it to the top of the hook shank. As you wrap forward, form as smooth a body as you can, which will assist in the following step. Wrap the thread almost to the front of the thorax.


Step 4: Wrap the Larva Lace forward with edge-to-edge wraps. This will form the segmented back of the fly body. Wrap forward into the thorax section, tie off, and trim the excess.


Step 5: Tie in a single Hungarian partridge feather by the tip. Stroke the fibers back as
you tie it in, being careful not to trap any fibers. Once the feather is in place,
advance the thread to the front of the thorax.


The Step 6: Fold the feather and wrap it forward a few wraps, taking care not to trap
fibers to the hook shank. Tie it off and trim the excess.


Step 7: Tie in a sparse clump of brown Senyo Laser Dub that extends toward the
rear of the body. Fold the Laser Dub back over itself and form a head.


Step 8: Whip finish the head, tie off the thread, and add a drop of cement.


Mike Schmidt  is an Orvis contract tier and owner of Angler’s Choice Flies. He lives in Dublin, Ohio.

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