dryfly, Fishing in Ireland, fly tying, trout fishing, wetfly

That Black Sedge I was on about…..

I mentioned this fly in passing in my last post so I figured you might like the dressing. I know it annoys me when people allude to specific flies then don’t tell you how they are made! I make a couple of different versions, one wet and one floater, to cope with different conditions. Let me be very clear, this is not a fly for ever day use. My experience of this one is a dismal failure on most waters but just occasionally it works and when it does it works very well indeed. So tie up a couple and tuck them away in a corner of a fly box, you never know………….

Let’s start with the wet version. Size is important, the naturals are not big, so a size 14  is about right. Maybe in your part of the world there are larger black or very dark sedges and you could risk going up one or two sizes. I like to use a Kamasan B175 for the extra strength that hook provides. The waters where I find this fly works hold large browns, so that little bit of extra metal gives me some degree of security in the heat of battle.

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magpie tail feathers for the wings

Tying silk is purple or crimson. I form the body with rabbit or moles fur which has been dyed black. I have been known to add a small gold tag before winding the body but I seriously doubt if that additional effort is appreciated by the fish. The wing is made from matching slips of crow secondaries or you can use magpie tail just as well. The hackle is a couple of turns of black hen tied in front of the wing.

the body is formed of dyed black fur

The finished wet fly.

The dry pattern is very similar but I add two CDC feathers dyed dark grey as an underwing. This gives both a better shape to the wing and at the same time increases the floatation qualities of the fly. The black hen hackle is replaced with a short fibred cock hackle of the same colour and I give it at least 4 turns to increase ‘buzz’ effect.

here are the paired CDC feathers being tied in over the back of the dry pattern

The dry version

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fly tying

My take on the Gold Butcher

Everyone knows this fly – right? Gold Butchers are just a ‘normal’ Butcher with a gold tinsel body instead of a silver one! Well I see this pattern very differently, and I would urge you to make up a few for yourselves. It is a versatile fly which works well for trout (brown and rainbow), seatrout and it will even tempt an occasional salmon. Here are the basic instructions for making them:

  1. Start the black tying silk behind the eye of the hook. Here I am using a size 12 Kamasan B170 and, keeping it traditional, some black Pearsall’s Gossamer silk.

2. A small slip of swan or goose feather dyed blood red is tied in to form the tail.

3. Continue to wind the silk towards the bend in touching turns, catching in a length of fine gold wire as you do so. Snip off the waste end of the tail material.

4. At the bend tie in a piece of flat gold tinsel of a strip or a narrow strip of Crunchie wrapper.5. Wind the tying silk back up to a point about 3 mm behind the hook eye. Now wind the flat gold tinsel up in touching turns a secure with the tying silk. Rib the body with the fine gold wire to give the tinsel some protection from the fishes teeth. 

6. Cut two matching slips form opposite secondary flight feathers from the wings of Crow or Jackdaw. Tied them in on top of the shank, taking care to align them properly. When tying this pattern it pays to concentrate on getting the proportions just right, especially if you decide to use the crow feathers for wings. It is very easy to end up with a fly that looks ‘wrong’ if the wings are too short or the hackles are too sparse.

7. Select two cock hackles, one dyed blood red and the other dyed black. Trim the excess ends of the wings and tie in the butt of the red hackle.

8. Wind one turn of the red hackle and tie off before removing the waste. Repeat with the black hackle.
    

9. Whip finish to make a neat head and varnish.

10. As an alternative you can make the wings from a bunch of Squirrel hair dyed black.

Hook sizes range from miniscule size 16’s all the way up to wolloping great size 6’s. I love this fly for those small bog lakes and sizes 12  – 14 would be my favourite when fishing these smaller waters. It does its best work as a tail fly on those overcast days with something claret as a partner on the cast. Those of you who know me will not be in the least surprised to hear that I often add a small black muddler head to the larger sizes. Happy tying!

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