Most of the flies I describe on the blog are generally designed or used for Brownies, sea trout or salmon. We don’t have any rainbows around here so my boxes of lures and other rainbow trout flies lie gathering an accumulation of dust. Every now and then I take an urge to make up some more of lures kidding myself that they will be used one day in the near future. One of my favourites is the Gold Head Daddy.
I have often asked myself what the hell the trout take this fly for? Do they really think it is a daddy long legs? I assume that they do on occasion as this fly has produced a good catch one day many years ago at a put and take fishery in Fife. It was late in the season and some naturals were being blown on to the surface where they were greedily snapped up by the fish. I caught a limit using a Gold Head Daddy and there is every reason to think this was due to it resembling the live beasties. However, many other times there has been no sign of a natural fall of daddies and yet the gold head was effective.
The dressing is pretty simple and can be knocked together in a few minutes. Slip a bead of your choice on tot he hook first and secure it with a dam of tying silk. I like to tie mine with a fl.lime or yellow tag and also give the pheasant tail body a rib of fine copper wire for protection. These days the colour of the bead can be varied to with copper, fl. orange and fl. green all worth a try, Legs are made from eight cock pheasant fibres, each knotted twice. Wings are a pair of red game cock hackle tips and then a long fibred red game cock hackle is wound at the head right behind the bead.
When it comes to actually fishing this fly I have a very effective trick for you to try out. Find a rising fish and cast into the rings of the last rise. You need to have your wits about you and reasonable casting skills to change direction and distance quickly to do this effectively. Once the fly has pitched into the diminishing circles of the rise do – nothing. No movement, no pulls or jerks, just let the fly sink freely. You will be amazed how often the line simply tightens and the rainbow is perfectly hooked in the scissors. Other techniques include a figure of eight retrieve and a fast strip on a sinking line, so you can see this is a versatile pattern to have in the box. I can’t say that have ever caught anything other than rainbows on the Gold Head Daddy but maybe it would be worth a go on some waters stocked with browns. Gartmore near Alloa springs to mind as a likely candidate.