a bit of this, a bit of that
A strange soft hackle wet fly? Perhaps so, but there is something about it I like. Perhaps it is the slightly unusual blue tail, or the crimson thorax of the fly combined with the overall drabness of the pattern. There is however, something almost oddly beautiful about the dressing. I simply had to add one or two into my flybox! I wasn’t too sure what the name Firkin meant, but it transpires that it means ‘a bit of this, a bit of that’ and that is how the pattern apparently got its name (Firkin also means a cask for liquids, although, I’m sure this had no bearing on the choice of name for this soft hackle wet fly!).
The Firkin then (taken from George Barron’s book ‘A Fine Line’ was fairly simple to tie. I used the materials I had to hand and began with the tail. I used grizzle hen, dyed teal blue, to form the tail – the original dressing called for macaw. Then I added in a silver wire rib to be wound over the dubbed body of fine grey dubbing. I think I used grey rabbit dubbing in the pattern below. A crimson SLF thorax was added and a soft black hen hackle was wound in front of the thorax to finish this soft hackle wet fly pattern. Just a turn or two of hen hackle was enough.
Still in lock-down at the moment, given our shielding status, I can’t wait to get out onto the water to try this fly. I think it is a soft hackle wet fly that will make a decent searching pattern, perhaps on those days and occasions where the trout just want something a bit different. I imagine, fished a bit faster or with an erratic/jerky retrieve, it may also tempt a fry-feeding trout into taking the fly, given the flashes of blue, silver and red within the dressing.