By Herman deGala
As with most of the flies that I design I was trying to solve a problem when I created the Articulated Aggravator.
I was looking for a fly that was different from what I was already fishing for smallies, amongst the riprap of a dam. I needed something I could throw into the face of the dam, which would drop as it followed the face of the dam, where the smallies are often hunting in the rocks looking for juvenile crawdads.
I also wanted the fly to have a lot of movement as it was stripped. I have noticed that the crawdads are not just one color but have a variety colors such as olive, orange, rust and even touches of blue. I wanted the fly to have a variegated texture like the crawdads on these rocks.
I was also looking for a material that was relatively cheap and available. I always get turkey quills, pheasant rumps and pheasant tails from my hunting friends during the season. I have always admired Jerry French’s method for tying composite loops and his use of materials. I wanted to use these techniques but needed a way to scale it down for my target species.
The answer was a simple platen for managing the material. This platen allows me to combine a variety of materials in a cohesive manner and create dubbing loops with every imaginable combination of material at the scale I need them. My hope is that you will think of your own combinations and that this technique gives you a way to incorporate different materials in your patterns.
Below is a link to the plans for the platen. It’s made from a piece of 1/8” thick self-healing mat that is 8” x 10”. You should be able to make 4 platens from that 8” x 10” mat.
Here’s a video where i use the platen to tie the Articulated Aggravator.
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