Friday, February 28, 2014

A wet redhead

The combination of hare (or hare-like) dubbing, gold tinsel and a prominent red head has served me well. It makes a first class emerger style dry fly, but the pattern translates nicely onto a wet fly hook too.

In fact the wet redhead fly has turned out to be my number one grayling wet fly, saving my day on those rare ocasions when grayling focus on feeding in medium depth. Not exactly hugging the bottom, as is their usual habit, but not freely rising either.

The tie:
#12 Hanák H260 BL short shank hook
beige elastic tying thread
brown rooster hackle tail
red fox dubbing
UNI gold tinsel ribbing
one turn of quail feather
head of Danville's 70 dernier red thread

Kite's Immortal Imperial

It is a frequent feature of common hacks to start by quoting something like "already the ancient Romans well understood ..." followed by whatever nonsense they feel compelled to propagate.

Now in fly fishing, as usual, a different apprach is required. First of all, an ancient Roman actually did describe the origins of our sport - as all who read Claudius Ælianuses opus magnus Περὶ Ζῴων Ἰδιότητος in the original Greek well know. The second reason is that the ancient Romans well understood the importance of the colour Purple well before the time of colonel Oliver Kite.

The tie:
#16 Dohiku dry fly hook
14/0 Sheer thread, grey
Coq de León tails
Heron herl body
CDC wing
Danville's 6/0 purple thread head

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Olive Quill Emerger

The "shaving brush" style emergers are gaining in popularity - and for a good reason, too. These flies work!
This pattern seems to have originated on several occasions, as it has been reported a novel invention from North American rivers, English lakes and Polish tailwaters. I am certain it scores well on all of the above locations.

The only problem I have with the pattern is that at it tends to work too well - the olive quill body wears out after three of four trout. Grayling are not a problem, with their soft mouth.

The tie:
#18 Dohiku 301 dry fly hook
14/0 Sheer thread, greyish
Peacock quill, dyed olive
2-3 tips of a CDC feather
a light touch of natural muskrat dubbing

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Utah Killer Bug

This fly is a variation on classic pattern by Frank Sawyer, infamous for its use of impossible to obtain Chadwicks 477 wool.

I first discovered it when browsing some US Tenkara pages and fell in love with it at the first sight. I suppose this is how Michael Corleone felt when meeting Apollonia Vitelli in the olive orchards; the Thunderbolt...

The fly is tied with Jamieson's Shetland Spindrift wool, which looks nice when dry but obtains a wonderful pinkish hue when wet, at the same time showing signs of translucency. To accentuate the pink color a tag of bright pink material is added; the US guys I copied the fly from used pink wire, but having tried one I felt I like the #4 hot pink Glo brite better.

The tie:
#10 Kamasan B110 hook, debarbed
a few turns of flat lead
elastic tan thread
tag of pink Glo Brite
body of oyster wool

Monday, February 3, 2014

Dennis the Menace Variations

Dennis the Menace is one of my two favorite buzzer patterns (the other is black & pearl). It has served me well over the years, especially on recently stocked fish. Apart from its appeal to the fish I appreciate that it consists only of 2 materials - red tinsel and black UNI floss, the butt end serving as ribbing.

I was wondering whether the concept of this very effective stillwater fly could translate to a river pattern. And so I tied a variation, using a red beadhead and barbless hook.

The tie:
#12 Hanák 260 BL heavy wire short shank hook
black UNI tying thread
a pinch of rooster hackle fibres dyed black (not too well dyed)
red Gütermann tinsel for ribbing
black rabbit dubbing for body
black Mohair dubbing for collar, teased out with velcro brush