Here is the fly pattern sheet for the $3 Dip.

With gold bead

$3 Dip - Gold Bead |

With a black bead

$3 Dip - Black Bead |

With a nickel bead

$3 Dip - Nickel Bead |

No bead

$3 Dip tied by Craig Mathews |

With fluorescent orange wire

$3 Dip with Fl. Orange Wire |



Daiichi 1120 or TMC 2487, #14 – 18


Danville brown 6/0 – 70 denier (number 47)


Black, gold, or nickel brass or tungsten bead to fit hook


Small wire – gold, silver, fluorescent orange


Working thread


Deer hair


  1. Place bead on hook. For proper size, see Bead Conversion Table.
  2. Tie on thread behind bead with a few wraps.
  3. Tie on wire.
  4. Wrap thread to bend of hook, holding wire downward to keep on bottom. Bring thread forward to bead, then back towards hook point. Continue wrapping up and down hook shank multiple times to create taper.
  5. Spiral wire forwards, using 5 – 7 wraps, ending at bead.
  6. Cut several deer hair fibers from hide and eliminate underfur. Tie in butt ends and cover with thread.
  7. Whip finish.
  8. Trim deer hair to about 1/3 of body length.

Note: The Danville Brown thread is key to this fly’s success.

If you’d like more information about the $3 Dip, check out a blog I wrote entitled – Serendipity and $3 DipIt includes a link to Craig Mathews tying the $3 Dip.


  1. On your materials list for the $3 Dip, it calls for Danville thread #47, Tobacco Brown, and working thread for the body. In the picture for the fly, the body appears red? Is the working thread for the body different than the #47? Confused fly tyer.

    1. Great observation that the thread description and thread color don’t seem to match. Yes indeed, there is a red cast for the “brown” thread. I believe that’s why it works so well.


  2. Hum $3 dip have used serendipity for years worked really well on the Colorado at Lees ferry . New name new fly . All that counts is does it fool the fish!

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