tying and fishing palmered flies

an ancient one, but still a great one!

The Zulu; reckoned to be around 300 hundred years old, was once apparently banned from competitive angling due to its effectiveness. Well, that is an endorsement for any pattern and probably reason enough to include one or two in the fly box! There are a few variations of this palmered hackle wet fly, such as the Blue Zulu, Green Zulu and Peacock Zulu.

Rather than use red wool for the tail, here I have used soft cockerel hackle fibres as an alternative since I like to incorporate as much movement into my soft hackle wet flies as possible. Many dressings use flat silver tinsel (or gold) for the rib but I opted instead to use silver wire. This was just because I wanted to give my pattern a more ‘solid’ looking body, which in turn, will give my fly a stronger, black silhouette in the water (at least I hope it will!). Soft black dubbing created the body and was palmered with a nice soft black hen hackle. The head hackle was another soft black hen hackle and was swept back along the body. Overall, this palmered hackle wet fly had a nice slim profile and wasn’t too bulky.

The last few fishing sessions were typically difficult in nature. The last one consisted of a strong and gusty north-westerly wind which would often swing round to the west or south-west. Combined with a bright blue sky and occasional angry, grey-clouded heavy rain spells, resulted in me trying a number of different patterns. In the end I put on a Black Spider and Bibio combination and had three to the Black Spider. With the Black Spider being my most consistent soft hackle wet fly this season, the Zulu should make a fitting partner on the leader. Although the Zulu didn’t attract any interest from the fish that day, I’m sure it will at some point. After all, it was once banned from competitive angling and has also been around for quite some time!

softhackles.blog - soft hackle wet fly - Zulu
Zulu Tail: soft red cockerel hackle fibres Body: soft black dubbing Rib: fine silver wire Palmer Hackle: soft black hen Hackle: soft black hen

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