I recently got a batch of Mustad 80500BL hooks and had to tie up a Durham Ranger on it (a #2/0) last night to see how it came together. I like the hook bend better than 80500-NPBL (that hook is stronger though…), but I haven’t fished it yet, so this will go in the fishing box for 2016.
Hook: Gamakatsu F314 #4
Thread: UNI 6/0 Pink
Mouth: Mallard, Pink Craft Fur
Antennas: Super Hair Tan
Eyes: Easy Shrimp Eyes
Body: SLF Saltwater Shell Pink
Hackle: Pink Craft Fur
Shell: EP Fibres Pink UV, Bug-Bond
I have been chasing a Whiting Spey salmon pink cape for a while to tie up shrimps, but there is a shortage, so: craft cur can be used instead to tie them up. This is a pattegrisen pattern that I haven’t fished with previously, so I need to head out to fish this one of these days!
Hook: Alec Jackson Spey #1.5
Thread: UNI 6/0 Red
Tag: Lagartun French Tinsel, UNI-Floss Red
Body: UNI-Floss Black
Rib: Lagartun French Tinsel
Wing: Rabbit zonker
Hackle: Ringneck Rump Hackle
Head: Loon Hard Head Red
I have done some variants of this on tube earlier this winter, and after testing it earlier this week I had to tie this up on the Alec Jackson Spey #1.5 hook as well. The zonker and the Ringneck hackle makes this a brilliantly simple pattern that should be in any box, either for seatrout or salmon.
Hook: Partridge Bartleet Blind-Eye #3/0
Thread: UNI 17/0 Trico White, Sheer 14/0 Black
Tag: Lagartun Oval X-Strong Fine French Tinsel, Lagartun French Silk Floss
Tail: GP topping, Wood Duck
Butt: Black Ostrich
Body: Lagartun French Silk Floss, Seals fur Green Highlander
Rib: Lagartun French Tinsel
Hackle: Green Highlander Cock Saddle
Underwing: GP tippet
Wing: Dyed Turkey Yellow/Orange/Green, Wood Duck, Mallard Duck
Throat: Rooster Neck Yellow
Cheek: Red Crow Substitute
This one has been a long time in the making: I started last year with some married wings but it went on and off for a while and I didn’t have material that I needed for this pattern. I still don’t have everything I would like to have: the wing should have some GP/Bustard/Mottled turkey, a good JC and horns. But: step by step I’ll add more to this pattern, this time it was all about getting the 18 strands of wing to stay together and tie them in without the fibers going in every direction, and I did! Next time I’ll increase the wing to 21/24 strands and manage to tie that in properly, but I don’t mind doing more variants on this pattern (as long as I get some more silk gut soon….).
There are some adjustments on this (there always is!), but the parts I’m happy with on this fly: the GP that meets up in the back, the GP underwing that aligns (and the fact that I figured out how to do it), the fact that the wing stayed in one place when I tied it in (“Tying the classic salmon fly” helped me out there) and the mallard duck roof.
I’m also quite happy with the start of the fly: the silk was nice and (almost) even, together with the tinsel it was a good starting point:
The underbody of white UNI-Floss before I started to add silk and seals fur. This makes for a better profile on the final fly:
Up until this point the fly is flowing nicely: the hackle could be better and the yellow throat should be thicker:
The colors of the green highlander is what pulled me in the first time:
Rear-view of the green highlander:
The topping is forming a nice veil on top of the fly and packs it in:
If I were to save one fly I have ever created it must be this! I know that if I come back to this in a couple of years time I will find a lot of things to point out, but this is the process: tie up, learn, repeat. And for me part of that process is to put these patterns out here, together with a macro shot that shows all the little flaws it have, but that is one of the things that drive me to become better!
To give you a idea of how big this fly is: