January fly tying sessions

Still busy at the vice these days as I add some more trout flies ahead of the coming season.

The Kate McLaren or Katie as it is often referred to these days needs no introduction but like may other tyers I change the colour of the head hackle to suit different conditions. When fishing for sea trout I like to use one made with a head hackle of medium blue hen. Now I suppose you could argue this is a Blue Zulu with a topping for a tail instead of red wool. Anyway, what ever you want to call it this one works well when the migratory trout are in the lough.

When clearing out the fly boxes I could only find one rather bedraggled example of the Purple Palmer I use, so I made up a few more today. A simple fly consisting of a purple seals fur body ribbed with oval silver, a topping tail and a purple cock hackle palmered down the body. A dyed black hen hackle at the head finishes this pretty fly off. This is a sea trout fly but I suppose there is no reason why a grilse wouldn’t take it.

Silver sedges are a fly I have not used for many years but it used to work for me on Lough Carra. Since I am hoping to try there this season I tied up a few. I make them with a silver tinsel body and rib on a size 10 or 12 hook. Body and head hackles are best quality coachman brown cock. For the wing I like a pair of grey hackle tips but slips of blae feather from mallard or something similar are more commonly used.

Everyone loves the Teal Blue and Silver, me included. It can be a wonderfully effective tail fly but when I want a similar coloured fly for the top dropper position on my leader I use this pattern. Body and tail are the same as the original but I run a dyed blue cock hackle down the body. A blue hen hackle is wound at the shoulder then wind a teal breast feather in front. You can use the same method of winding a teal feather instead of tying it as a wing to convert any of the teal series of flies such as the teal and black or peter ross.

I don’t know the name of this next fly, I have seen it in other anglers boxes on the Mask so I made some up for myself. Use a long shank size 10 or 12 hook. Tails of moose main (in place of pheasant tail fibres) and a gold ribbed body of natural seal’s fur. A palmered body hackle of red game cock, picking one that is short in fibre is wound down the body. Then wind a shoulder hackle of blue dun cock in behind a natural french partridge.

The Pearly May is a nice pattern but I find the fine flat pearl rib is soon destroyed by the fish so I make a slightly different version. A tag of pearl tinsel sits under my usual moose main hair tails. The body is with floss ribbed with a strand of black flexfloss. Wind a long fibred blue dun cock hackle behind a natural french partridge feather.

I even make a silver mayfly. Moose tails, flat silver body ribbed with oval silver. A body hackle of blue dun cock and another, longer fibred blue dun hackle at the shoulder. Head hackle is a natural french partridge.

I still have a lot of flies to tie, mainly trout patterns but I can think of a couple of salmon flies that I want too. I guess I should be working on the house and making some flies this coming weekend but the urge to wet a line is very strong so I might slip out for a bit of fishing instead.


2 thoughts on “January fly tying sessions

  1. The colors in your flies are so bold! I really like them. I have no doubt those beauties will work well on migrating trout. Also, your Silver Sedge looks much like the Wickham’s Fancy that I tie. I do use gray mallard for the wings as you also mentioned but perhaps your hackle tips would be a little more durable.


    1. To be honest I use all kinds of materials for wings. The hackle tips are slightly more durable than the slips of mallard but hair is the best of all. The Wickhams is a wonderful fly that will catch just about anything. A size 14 on a wet fly cast just as the sun goes down on a summer evening can be deadly.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s