Heather Fly Palmer

tying and fishing palmered flies

softhackles.blog - palmered hackle wet fly - Heather Fly Palmerfor the terrestrial fall (… or not …)

I recently purchased a red grizzle hen cape which, as it turned out, I was rather really pleased with. But it left me with a slight dilemma: what to tie with it! I bought it in addition to a blue grizzle hen cape (… and a claret one …) thinking I could use both the red and the blue capes when tying up some palmered hackle wet flies or perhaps soft hackle wet flies. Looking online and through my reference books, I was surprised by the lack of red hackled wet flies that I found. So, I decided to put a palmered hackle wet fly pattern together of my own design (although I am sure the resultant pattern will have been tied a long time before I came along!)  using the red cape first. I suppose a heather fly pattern was the obvious choice for utilising the red grizzle hen hackles. I have found through experience that a fall of heather fly cannot be relied upon to occur at any particular time, but that shouldn’t matter too much. I remember one recent pre-season walk which took me passed seemingly hundreds of heather fly and prompted me to think that it was going to be a good season for the terrestrial insects, but the reality was, I didn’t see a single heather fly all season! But fall of heather fly or not, I’m going to give the pattern a swim this season, either in or just under the surface.

This palmered hackle wet fly incorporates a silver tinsel tag, silver wire rib, fine black dubbing for the body, black hen hackle for the palmer hackle and that red grizzle hen for the collar hackle.

The pattern utilises that well-known and very effective colour combination for wild brown trout: red, black and silver: very Bibio-esque! There are a few insects that adopt this colour scheme including of course the heather flies, shield bugs and soldier beetles. The hen hackles should give the wet fly plenty of movement in the water and that silver tag and rib, should add a nice touch of sparkle when the pattern is fished through the waves and will hopefully help to draw the attention of a passing brown trout…or two.


softhackles.blog - palmered hackle wet fly - Heather Fly Palmer

Heather Fly Palmer – Tag: silver tinsel Body: black SLF Palmer Hackle: black hen Rib: silver wire Hackle: grizzle hen (red)

top of page


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.