Pearly Claret Bumble

My unbridled enthusiasm for the Claret Bumble is well known to you all, it has been one of the most consistent flies for me over the years in all sorts of places and for all kinds of game fish. I was rummaging in a fly box the other day and came across a variant of the bumble which I thought you might like to see. I think it is called the Pearly Claret Bumble in some quarters and here is the dressing.

I like to use red tying silk when constructing this pattern and I make it on hook sizes from size 6 right down to 16. The bigger hooks are for salmon fishing and the smaller sizes work for wild brownies and rainbow trout.

this is Fire orange silk but it will work just as well as red

Start the silk at the eye of the hook and catch in a guinea fowl body feather dyed bright blue. It winds easier and looks better if you tie it in by the tip of the feather. If you like you can use some blue barred Jay but I think the guinea fowl is a better choice. Next, catch in a black and a dark claret cock hackle by the butts and run the silk towards the bend of the hook, tightly binding down the ends of the hackles. Cut off any waste.

Now you don’t really need the next item, I have landed many fish on this fly without the tag but I do like to see a few turns of red at the end of the body. I like to think it goes well with the pearl tinsel of the main body of the fly. Some Glo-brite no. 4 is the colour I tend to use for the tag. The tail is next and it is made with some strands taken from a golden pheasant tippet feather.

tippet collar

Rib is fine silver tinsel and the body is made from flat pearl tinsel. Catch both of these materials in at the point where the tag and tail are tied in and then run the tying silk back up to where the hackles are sitting. Form a nice even body with touching turns of the pearl tinsel, tie down and remove the waste. Now for the slightly tricky bit, grab both cock hackles in your pliers and wind them down the hook shank on open spirals. This is not too difficult on the larger sizes of hooks but it is tricky on the smallest sizes. The hackles are secured with the silver rib which is wound in the opposite direction to the hackles in open spirals. Aim for 4 or 5 turns.

GP tail feather dyed claret

Take 6 knotted strands of pheasant tail which have been stripped from a feather dyed claret and add them on top of the hook. Trim off the waste ends.

Nearly there, now grab the guinea fowl hackle and give it 3 or 4 turns while stroking the fibres backward. Secure the end and trim away the waste. Make a small neat head with the tying silk and whip finish before giving the head a couple of coats of clear varnish. Viola! This is a really useful variation which I can highly recommend to you. It is a very good pattern for Lough Conn early in the season.

the finished Pearly Claret Bumble

7 thoughts on “Pearly Claret Bumble

  1. Growing up in South London floats and feeders are second nature to me, whereas I’ve always considered fly fishing to be the arcane and technical branch of the sport. Funny how your roots define your angling style. I’m with you on poles and whips though – they are just wrong.
    Good luck with the all-County Challenge (are you going for all 32 or just the 26). I now live on the Hants/Dorset border and, although I think this is a great idea, cannot see me embracing the driving (or the petrol bill) needed to replicate this in England.



    1. hi Clive, many thanks for getting in touch, it is always good to hear from fellow anglers. I am planning on doing all 32 counties (no half measures!). Learning how to use floats and feeders is really exciting me. Now I have started to do some research it turns out there is some excellent coarse fishing here in Ireland. Like you say, we are all so conditioned by our upbringing and find it hard to change. I bet you have some great fishing around you in Hants/Dorset.


      1. Yes, there is some great fishing around here, although I am currently doing my best to disprove this. Maybe 2020 is the year it all comes good!

        I’ll look forward to reading how your 32 County Challenge progresses. Especially interested in where you target in Co. Donegal as that is where my in-laws live. I’m guessing coarse fishing is most likely to be in the East/South East of the Co. Donegal.



      2. For Donegal I am thinking about some sea fishing in a secluded cove which is supposed to be stuffed full of flounder (or so the rumour goes). There is so much to pick from up there!


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