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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Fishing in Ireland

Flies for Lough Conn, part 2

Following on from a previous post I will discuss a few more patterns which have worked on Lough Conn for me over the years.

  1. Malloch’s Favourite
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Malloch’s Favourite

Firstly we will take a look at a Scottish fly which has worked for me during the olive hatch. Each spring the Western lakes get good hatches of lake olives which in turn get the trout feeding high up in the water column. Many trout anglers will tell you this is the most frustrating time of the year with fish showing but unwilling to take the anglers flies. On a rough day Bumbles and various other bushy patterns will produce the goods, but in a small ripple things get a bit tougher. This is when I turn to the Malloch’s Favourite. Originally invented for use on the lochs of Scotland’s central belt, including Loch Leven, this old stalwart has fooled trout for me on days when little else would stir a fish. Back in Scotland I fished this fly in sizes 14 and 16, but a size 12 is about right for imitating Lake Olives.

The dressing is:

Silk: Brown or black

Tail: a few fibres of bronze mallard

Tip: two turns of flat silver tinsel

Body: Stripped peacock herl. I varnish the body before winding the hackle

Hackle: Blue Dun

Wings: Matching slips taken from Woodcock primaries

Cast to rising trout this fly can be lethal. I probably fish it most often as a middle dropper.

2. My Ginger Sedge

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My Ginger Sedge

I first tied the next pattern as a general sedge imitation about 15 years ago and it has proved to be a consistent killer of fish. It’s easy to tie and uses materials which are readily available.

Hook: all sizes from 8 down to 16, standard wet fly hook such as the Kamasan B175

Tying silk: Brown

Body: Ginger seals fur, dubbed fairly heavily

Rib: UNI Fl. 1/0 thread in either yellow or chartreuse

Body hackle: A good quality ginger cock hackle, palmered

Wings: Cinnamon hen quill

Head hackle: Ginger cock, longer in fibre than the body hackle

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1/0 UNI thread

I like the yellow ribbed version better but the green ones are good in the gloaming. Tied on a size 14 hook and with Woodcock wings it works very well on the rivers too, often fooling large trout as the sun dips below the horizon.

3. Bloody Kate

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A size 12 Bloody Kate

Next we have the one of my patters which grew out of pottering about at the vice a couple of seasons ago. Back in my native Scotland the Kate McLaren enjoys almost universal use for browns, ‘bows and sea trout. Here in Ireland it is rarely used and while I have boated a few trout on it over the years I can’t say it was a consistent killer. So I started playing around with the tying to try to make it more attractive to the lough trout of Conn and Cullin. Different coloured head hackles were tried and rejected, as were new tails and additional tags. Adding some legs seemed to make an improvement but that is hardly a ground-breaking innovation. I finally hit on this pattern when I substituted the normal GP topping tail with a piece of Globrite no.4. The fly seemed to require more red and I swapped the usual red game hackle and replaced it with a hen hackle dyed fl. scarlet. The result was an instant success and this fly has been a steady supplier of trout for me since its inception. Dark, stormy days with big waves are when I reach for the Bloody Kate.

Hook: heavy weight wet fly, size 12

Silk: black

Tail: a piece of Globrite no.4 floss

Rib: fine oval gold tinsel

Body: black fur

Body hackle: black cock

Head hackle: a long fibred hen hackle dyed fl. scarlet, 4 or 5 turns.

So there you go, 3 flies worth a cast on Lough Conn. Feedback is always welcome so please let me know what you think of these flies and any others here on the blog.

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Brown’s Bay, Lough Conn with Nephin as a backdrop

 

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