Hook: Mustad 80500-npbl #1/0 Thread: Semperfli 18/0 Tag: Silver and light blue silk Tail: swan & macaw Rear hackle: Black, cheeked with kingfisher Body: Black chenille with a black hackle in the center, cheeked with kingfisher Front hackle: Black, cheeked with kingfisher
Continuing the grub series, here a pattern from George Kelson “The salmon fly” from 1895. I substituted ibis with swan, powdered blue macaw with blue/yellow macaw and chatterer with kingfisher. The look and feel is the what is important here (plus the fact that I don’t have 6 chatterer feathers around for testing out new patterns). Will try to tie this one up with light blue hackle tips to see how that can work: the kingfisher is not maintaining that clear colour once it is in water, so for fishing purposes it would be good to have something that will last a bit longer.
A pattern that can be tied up with both shorter (and more sparse) hackle and one with longer hackle, depending on the movement you want in the water. A heron hackle in front of either the rear or front hackle could also be something to explore.
Always good to finish a set of a pattern: some Blue Doctors tied for fishing next season. This is a set I had 2 flies finished from earlier, but got some hours during christmas to finish the last 3: a good christmas session.
I follow Davie McPhail on youtube (something I would recommend to do), he publish a lot of good patterns and gives a lot of good insight on how to dress a fly. This one showed up not too long ago and the colour combination is one that immediately got my interest: a easy pattern to tie, and a pattern that will work in the river under the right conditions. I chose to tie on a up-eye salmon hook (Mustad 80500-NPBL #1/0) instead of the bomber hook that Davie tied on, but the pattern is the same. Instructions on how how to tie it in the video below:
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.