The third style of green drake that generates success for me in western streams during hatches is the comparadun. I tie these in size 12 and 14. Historically I used moose mane for the tail of these large comparaduns, but during my tying sessions last winter and this year, I modified my method to use dark olive microfibbets. A size 12 fly is difficult to support on the surface of the water, and I discovered that the stiff microfibbets serve as supporting outriggers for the fly if split at a wide angle. I use six fibers and split them so that they each protrude at a 45 degree angle from opposite sides of the hook shank.
I was not satisfied with my method of splitting microfibbet tails, so I searched online and found a method that solved my problem. When I attach the thread to the hook, I allow the tag end to remain and trail from the hook bend behind the thread ball that I create. When I tie the microfibbets to the top of the hook shank behind the wing, I wrap backward until I am a couple hook eye widths from the thread ball. At this point I pull the trailing thread forward and split the tail fibers evenly and then stretch it against the near side of the hook shank and lock it down. This causes the near side fibers to splay nicely. As I wrap back to the thread ball I use my left hand to position the far side fibers on the proper plain, and when I reach the base of the thread ball, I am careful to make sure that the tail fibers on both sides split and remain even. This method creates beautiful split tails that I believe will dramatically improve the flotation of these large comparadun dry flies.
Another personal touch that I favor is using thick maroon sewing thread to form a rib on the abdomen. I love the segmented body that this technique generates. For the deer hair wing I select relatively dark deer hair, and I spread it to the sides as much as possible to help support the fly in an upright position, although I sometimes feel that the versions that fall on their side are equally if not more effective as cripple imitations.
During 2015 I did not encounter as many green drake hatches as I did in previous years, so I did not have the opportunity to test the ribbed mircofibbet tail comparaduns extensively. Hopefully this will not be the case in 2016.