no beef with this fly
The Aberdeen Angus is a palmered hackle wet fly that I wasn’t too familiar with at all. The original is quite a bright fly, with its yellow dubbed rear body and red dubbed front one. I have also seen this pattern tied with a mid-section of orange dubbing, giving a yellow/orange/red body to the fly. I quite liked the fly but wanted something altogether a bit more sombre coloured and wondered what would happen if I swapped the red dubbed front body for a claret one. Only one way to find out! I also swapped the ginger hen collar hackle used in the original and opted instead for a mottled brown hen hackle.
I understand that this palmered hackle wet fly was created by Angus Woodhouse and was a blend of two existing patterns: the Soldier Palmer and the Solwick (a fly reminiscent of a wingless palmered Whickhams Fancy with a red thorax). How did the name of the palmered wet fly come about? I suppose the ‘Angus’ part may be fairly obvious. As for the ‘Aberdeen’ part, perhaps he has connections to that northern granite-built city, the city of Aberdeen or perhaps it was simply a play on words, referencing that wonderful breed of cow, the Aberdeen Angus.
But what would a trout take the palmered wet fly for? Well, possibly a hatching sedge, olive or buzzer and I think it may do quite well as a general searching pattern fished just under the surface. I like how the yellow dubbed rear body and gold wire give the fly a bit of subtle colour and sparkle while the claret front body and mottled hen hackle give a sense of sombre gravitas to the pattern.