Earlier this year I got a order for some Jock Scott with heron hackle instead of the normal body hackle, they turned out great, so before the last big trip of the season I tied up a Green Highlander with a similar approach. The fly turned out great – the movement in the water, the profile it had in the river left something to explore more! Sadly no takers, and the last day I fished a new pool with sinking line: the line & hook snagged deep down, so it was pulled so hard the partridge M2 #1/0 hook got bent (that hook can take a lot of beating….). Back to tie up a few more for next season!
Green Highlander is one of those patterns that I keep tying, it’s the one that caught my attention when I started out, and I have tied it in different versions the last couple of years (mostly hairwings/polarbear). This winter I have a project to tie up a box of classics for fishing and started gathering material this autumn when the season was over. The final piece that landed in my mailbox was florican and swan, so I set out to tie up 10 GH to get a feel for the pattern.
I tied up 3 first, then sat down to do the 7 other in stages; learning a pattern for me means breaking it down into sections: tail & butt, then body with hackle & throat and finally the wing. This way I can focus on one part at the time and repeat it within short timespan to become familiar with that part of the fly.
Here I have completed the body and started laying out the parts to start marrying the wing.
Married wing done, then the sides:
and finally setting the wing, sides, topping and horns:
With this process I also wanted to try out how different tails made for slightly different expressions (short tail vs. long tail) and how floss body vs. dubbed front-part worked out in the final fly. This is a good exercise if you want to get familiar with a pattern and how it turns out with small differences.
This set was tied on Mustad 80500 #1/0, so the next part will be to tie up on #2/0 and #1 to vary in size when the season starts up again.
I had some yellow and green whiting rooster saddle that I bought earlier this year, but hadn’t gotten around to use yet, and since I’m on a GH spree these days I thought about a spey version of the GH that was really buggy and would make a lot of movement. The hackel is of great quality, but I’ll cut down a bit for the next version and create something that is something more sparse than this.
Here is a GH I did this morning (on a Mustad 80500BL #2/0: http://flyhooks.org/mustad/80500bl ), but with a twist: I used polar bear in the wing instead of the normal married wings. I did some small GH earlier this year with PB, but not following the pattern as strict. I wanted to have a fly that would be easy to tie, didn’t take too much time, and at the same time gave me that composition of colours and flare that a fully dressed GH have. Going to tie up some more of this in different sizes (from #1 to #5/0)
One of the things to do this winter is to tie up some classics for fishing next year: since I have been tying up Green Highlander lately I thought I’d give it a go on a #1/0 hook, not just for display and practice but for practical use. The pattern is the same as I have visited before, but I did omit a couple of small things, and I might not be that exact when tying them in, but it is a very good practice since I have to marry the wings and mount them on the hook and get everything together. The one thing I did experiment a bit with was the length of the wing, so I have a idea on what I want this pattern to look like when I’m ready to swing it in front of a salmon next year!
To give you a idea of size: