Since I tie lots of flies and use a small proportion of them actually fishing it seems only sensible for me to show you all the patterns that I and my fishin’ buddies use. Let’s start with the Claret Bumble since that is where the name for this blog comes from.
I use it in big sizes (6, 8 and 10) for salmon and sizes 12 and 14 for brownies on the local loughs. There are hundreds of variants of the original and just being told a fish was caught on a Claret Bumble is not going to be the whole story (this is Ireland, so the chances are it was actually caught on a Green Peter or a Watson’s Fancy anyway, but I digress). The basic claret fur body with a black and a claret cock hackle palmered and a blue jay or blue dyed Guinea Fowl hackle at the shoulder is pretty standard. The shade of claret ranges from nearly magenta right through to almost black. Personally I like a rich reddish claret usually. The rib is fine oval gold tinsel. Tails can be tippets or toppings (dyed or undyed) and there are sometimes tags of floss, fur or tinsel added to fool the fish and confuse the fisherman even further. Legs are also a common addition and other assorted fancy bits and bobs can also feature. Oh, and then we have muddler heads to consider – black, claret, brown or blue are all alternatives. All these variants will catch fish on their day so don’t stress out too much about exact patterns with this one. I think size is much more important and would never stray bigger than a 12 for Brownies.