Madam X

Video is coming soon

The Madam X is a very versatile fly pattern that has caught numerous species of fish.  This pattern is a dry fly but can also be fished slightly under the surface or even further down in the water column behind some weight.  Doug Swisher came up with the Madam X and it was originally tied without a floss body.  Instead the only body was the hair and the thread used to secure it producing an x pattern up the body.  Since there have been untold number of variations tied but the most common seems to be a floss body, but don’t be afraid to experiment as other materials such as dubbing, flosses, and tinsel can be substituted.  The pattern is an absolutely great hopper pattern, and will also work for a stonefly adult as well as a big attractor dry that will float even larger nymph patterns.


  • Hook: Tiemco U301
  • Thread 3/0 or 140 Denier
  • Tail: Deer hair
  • Body: Floss
  • Wing/Head: Deer hair
  • Legs: Rubber legs (your choice)


Madam X tying 004Start by securing the hook in your vice and begin a thread base and advance the thread back two to three eye lengths.

Madam X tying 027Stack a small clump of deer hair (approximatly 1-2 toothpick diameter) in a stacker for the tail.  Measure the hair so the tail is a little over one hook gap length.  Trim the butt end of the hair and tie in the hair making sure it doesn’t spin on the hook shank.  Advance your thread to the bend of the hook and make on wrap behind the hook under the tail to make it stand up, then advance the thread back to the tie in point to secure the hair.

Madam X tying 076Stack another clump of deer hair in a stacker and tie it in just in front of the point where you tied in the tail.  Advance the thread forward to the eye of the hook securing the hair on the top of the hook shank.  trim the butt ends of the deer hair and cover them with thread.

Madam X tying 083

Next tie in your floss where you left off in the last step and advance your thread to the tail and back to the tie in point to create a uniform body.

Madam X tying 120


Now wrap the floss forward making slightly overlapping wraps.  When you reach the tie in point capture it with your thread and trim the excess.

Madam X tying 158Fold the hair pointing in front of the eye back capturing it with your thread and secure with a few tight wraps making sure that the hair stays on top of the hook.

Madam X tying 169Next, in the same place as the last step,  tie in rubber legs on both sides of the fly and trim the legs so the front ones are shorter than the back ones.  Now you will whip finish right over the point you tied in the legs, and the Madam X is complete.