Fly patterns

  • Thread starter Ron Troversial Clay
  • Start date

Ron Troversial Clay

For fly fishers, winter is a time when many of us spend those long dark evenings in front of the fire tying flies. We all have favourites, those that have caught us a lot of fish. Why not share these pattern with others, describe how they should be fished and then give feed back if these patterns have been succesful.

I'll start off with a favourite pattern of mine that has caught thousands of trout, both brown and rainbow in the UK and Africa.

I call it the SA Damsel.

Hook: 10 and 12 long shank
Thread: Olive silk
Tail: A pinch of olive dyed rabbits fur.
Body: Olive chenille.
Hackle: An olive died brown partridge hackle wound palmer wise from the tail.
Wind in another similar hackle at the head.
Rib: Thin gold oval tinsel.

In addition you can put a few turns of thin lead wire under the body to make it sink quickly.

Fish the fly on a clear intermediate line or as the point fly on a team of three on a floater. A steady figure-of-eight retrieve seems to work best.

Colin North, the one and only

Simple to tie, and responsible for many trout, Black Pennel:-

Hook size - 14 to 10 wet
Tail - 4 or 5 golden pheasant tippets

Rib - fine silver wire

Body - Black floss or thread to form slight carrot shape, thick end towards the eye

Hackle - Black cock

Tie in the rib to end of straight part of hook shank, keeping the wire on top of the shank. Tie in the tippets, so that they are approximately the same length as the dressed hook shank. Tie in floss to form body or, if you are lazy like me, use the tying thread, and form the carrot shaped body. Take two or three turns of the wire ribbing around the hook shank but under the tippets, to make the tippets sit up slightly offset against the body and then in wider turns over the tippets and the body towards the eye and tie it off. Tie in and wide the hackle at the head only, tie off and whip finish.

Simple but deadly. Taken for buzzers, fry or just about anything.

Ross Turner

Colin,if you look at the original pattern you will find that the rib should be oval silver & the hackle should be black hen & not cock.

Colin North, the one and only

Hi Ross,

You're right but its whatever works for you. I've caught loads of trout on my dressing over the years.

I suppose its like everthing else; there are always bound to be variation from the original pattern, otherwise there would never be another innovative developement, like the Pearly Wickhams, for example.

Robert Draper

One that was deadly for me over the summer was something I knocked up trying out various tying techniques.

tail : two white cat guard hairs
body : the fur from a white cats belly
thorax: ginger cat fur dubbed thick
hackle : grey cdc collar with a black cock hackle in front.

Obviously you need a tortoishell cat or a white one and a ginger one. You've got to brush the damn things anyway so why not use the fur?

The fly looks a bit of a monstrosity but it has caught trout and grayling consistently over the year.

Ron Troversial Clay

And here is the ultimate dry fly.

The Keeskammer Whirling Puce Evening Dun:

Hook: Size 16 up eyed tempered platinum.
Silk: undied from the Mopani worm
Tail: Two snout whiskers from a Kaprivi Strip Bush pig.
Body: Cape Hydrax belly fur died light puce, dubbed.
Hackle: Wound palmerwise secondary from Zimbabwe green sunbird.
Rib: Oval gold 24 ct thread.
Throat Hackle: tuft of fibres from below spinnerets of the Central Amazonian Wandering Tarantula. The males have the best colour.
Wing: Male Dodo primary.

This is an absolutely brilliant dry fly which has worked for me in deveral countries of the world.

Ross Turner

& where does one get these materials to tie your supper fly Ron?

Mark Frame

try an old fly called the tupps indispensible (i think )

you need hair from the gonads of a ram!!!!

Ron Troversial Clay

Absolutely true Mark. The fine hares from the scrotum of the ram had to be naturally dyed a yellowish amber by the ammonia from the urine of the ram.

This was a highly prized material years ago. It's difficult to get nowadays because the best rams came from Wales and most of them are slaughtered these days before that rich colour could be obtained.

There is also the reason that Welsh shepherds find the big rams a bit of a handful when competing for the ewes.....