Pulling flies

I should have started my trout fishing by now but work and some other obligations have got in the way so far. I am hoping to sneak out for an hour this weekend but there seems to be an awful lot of chores to get out of the way first before I go swishing a rod about. In the meantime, here are a few pulling patterns I have been tying up for the warmer days which lie ahead.

  1. We all like a nice tag on our wet flies but it seems to me we have become used to either sliver tinsel or we use Globrite no. 4 floss. I wondered if a dark tag would work so I made up this fly.

Hook: 10 or 12 wet fly

Silk: black 8/0

Tag: three turns of Peacock mylar (the stuff that peacock green on one side and copper on the other)

Tail: GP topping

Body: holographic silver tinsel

Rib: fine oval silver tinsel

Body hackle: Yellow cock, palmered, the brighter the better

head hackle: Cock, long in fibre, dyed sunburst

2. Many old fly tyers swore by using oval tinsel in touching turns to make the body of a fly. I revived that tradition with the next fly. Who knows if the trout will appreciate the effort but it looks nice in the box!

Hook and silk are the same as above

Tag: Globrite no. 4 floss tied slightly around the bend

Tail: GP topping

Body: Heavy oval gold tinsel. The turns need to be just touching and no more.

Body hackle: A short fibred red game hackle. Tied in the the tip at the tail

Head hackle: Cock pheasant mexican blue feather from the rump of the bird.

Method: wind the tag and add the tail in the normal fashion. Tie in the red game hackle by the tip immediately in front of the tag. Tie in the oval tinsel and run the silk up to the eye. Now wind the oval tinsel in turns which leave a tiny space between them. Tie in the oval tinsel and cut off the waste. Now wind the hackle up the hook by carefully positioning it in those wee spaces between the turns of tinsel. The hackle will be protected from the fishes teeth bu the heavy tinsel. Tie in and wind the head hackle then finish the fly as normal.

3. ‘Bright day, bright fly’ is a popular, and often true, saying when it comes to fly choice. Well here is one you will need your sunglasses for! I tied this for those sparkling days when the sun glares down from a brilliant blue, cloudless sky.

Tag: Red Holographic tinsel, about three turns or so

tail: GP topping

Body: Opal Mirage tinsel

Rib: oval silver tinsel

Body hackle: bright yellow cock hackle, palmered

Head hackle: Either a guinea fowl dyed blue or a cock hackle dyed sunburst (or you can wind both!)

4. This next one is very popular on Mask but I don’t have a name for it. Definitely one for the daphnia feeders.

Tag: Lime floss tied well round the bend, lots of turns so it is prominent

Tail: a few red fibres from a golden pheasant body feather

Body: golden olive fur

Rib: finest oval gold tinsel

Body hackle: hot orange cock

Head hackle: Brown partridge. I have seen examples where the partridge hackle has been dyed olive. Also seen a false hackle of jay added too.

this one is a bit chewed but you get the idea

5. Of course I had to have a few muddlers in there too. Nothing too fancy with this pattern but it is a very, very good fly on all the western lakes.

Hooks: 8, 10 or 12

Tag: Globrite no. 4 or 5

Tail: a topping or a tuft of bronze mallard

Body: Seal’s fur dyed golden olive

Rib: fine oval gold tinsel

Body hackle: golden olive cock, palmered

Head hackles: A long fibred golden olive cock under a french partridge body feather also dyed golden olive

Head: spun deer hair, either natural or dyed golden olive


5 thoughts on “Pulling flies

  1. I really like #2 with the body hackle wrapped between the turns of oval tinsel. I like it because the hackle fibers stand out so straight and, of course, because the hackle stem is protected from the bite.


    1. I am going to try some other variations on the same theme but the idea of protecting the hackle this way seems to be sound. Now wondering if I left a bit more space could I wind paired body hackles, bumble style? Watch this space!

      Liked by 1 person

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