Of all the legendary fly tiers that have contributed to the world of fly fishing, no single person has done more to popularize dry fly fishing then Lee Wulff. It is believed that Mr. Wulff was the first tier to ever incorporate animal hair into wings and tails for fly patterns. This innovation of buoyant wings and tails allowed Wulff’s flies to ride higher and stay drier longer.
The Royal Wulff is Lee Wulff’s improved version of the Royal Coachman and is probably the most recognizable fly pattern in the world. The Royal Wulff incorporates all the classic traits consistent with time honored dry flies, long stiff tails, dense hackles, buoyant wings and contrasting body colors.
This classic fly pattern can be tied in a wide variety of sizes and fished in any water type, from big fast turbulent flows to small quiet pocket water. Trout have a special affinity for this particular dry fly and cannot resist gobbling it up voraciously. Cast this fly gently towards fishy-looking water and hang on tight because it won’t take long to have the fish’s attention.
Tie this fly in sizes 10-20.
Start this fly by placing the hook into the vice and securing it tightly. Attach the thread behind the hook eye and wrap down the hook shank with thread until you reach the point above the barb. Clip a small bunch of moose mane fibers and place them into your hair stacker and align the tips. Take the stacked fibers and place them on top of the hook shank and wrap them in place with a few turns of thread. Be careful not to apply too much pressure with the thread so that the fibers splay out wildly. The length of the tail should be approximately 1 ½ times that of the hook gape. Advance the thread to the ¾ mark on the hook shank and clip a small bunch of white calf tail. Stack this bunch of white calf tail and then remove it from the hair stacker and tie it onto the hook shank extending over top of the hook eye. Tie the butt section of this calf tail down tightly and place a few drops of head cement to hold things in place. When the cement has dried pull the white calf tail backwards and place a few wraps of thread to keep the wing standing up straight. Figure eight thread wraps divide the wing into two equal separate wings.
Select two bushy peacock herls and tie them down to the rear of the hook shank. Twist these herls and you create a bushy herl hackle and take two turns around the hook shank. Tie off the herl, clip the excess and then proceed to tie in small strip of red floss. Wrap the red floss around the hook shank so that it is approximately the same width as the peacock section you made previously. Repeat the peacock herl process so that you now have one section of peacock follow by red floss and then one more peacock section.
Tie in two dry fly hackles (one furnace and one grizzly) by their butt section. Wrap the furnace hackle twice behind the wings and then three times in front of the wings. Wrap the grizzly hackle three times behind the wings and twice in front of the wings and then tie it both hackle off. Clip the excess off of both hackles and form a small neat head and whip finish/ cement the head.