The Dreich Palmer

tying and fishing palmered flies


three shades of grey

The weather. Conductive to good flyfishing or not there is no escaping it. As far as we humans are concerned, the weather seems do what whatever it wants to and often wildly changes its mind several times in one day. I must be a bit strange, for when the conditions are such that other anglers may head for home, I find that I rather like being out fishing in such conditions. I like the strong gusty wind, the grey skies and even the torrential rain. I find it all quite humbling and awe inspiring. The secret of course is appropriate clothing. Over time I have come to appreciate the grey, overcast and dreich rainy day.

Comfortable and cosy at home, I realised when looking over the palmered hackle patterns in my fly box that I didn’t have a grey palmered wet fly. Why not I wondered? After all, grey didn’t do any harm to that wondrous dry fly pattern the Grey Duster. ‘It would be fun to tie up a predominately grey palmered hackle wet fly’ I thought.  A few weeks after tying the pattern I read that the Scottish Book Trust had conducted a poll where you could vote for your favourite Scottish word: and Dreich, meaning grey and bleak (especially when used in relation to the weather) came out on top as favourite. And so, I chose to christen my newly tied grey palmer wet fly pattern The Dreich Palmer (or ‘The Dreich’ for short).

As you would expect, a fairly simple dressing: natural brown hackle fibres for the tail, a fine grey dubbing for the body, a silver wire rib, dun hen hackle for the palmered hackle and a badger hen hackle at the head of the fly.

I didn’t tie the fly for any particular situation or hatch and I will probably give it a swim as a general searching pattern.  It will be interesting to see what reaction the fly gets from the trout next season (if indeed any at all!). - palmered hackle wet fly - Grey Palmer

The Dreich Palmer – Tail: brown hen Body: fine grey dubbing Palmer Hackle: medium-dun hen Rib: silver wire Hackle: badger hen


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