red, bumbled and chocolatey
Storm Barra is here, currently battering its way across and up the country. A day off work too, and how better to spend a freezing, stormy afternoon, than being snug indoors and at the flytying vice? This palmered hackle wet fly uses an interesting colour combination of a palmered red hackle with a chocolatey brown, mottled hen hackle at the head of the wet fly. The fine gold wire rib gives it a little bit of sparkle while the tippet tail contrasts with the red palmer hackle and dark brown shoulder hackle.
To tie the fly, I first wound on some black thread and tied in the tail along with the gold rib, with the tail being just short of the length of the hook shank. After dubbing the body using some fiery brown SLF dubbing, I tied in and then palmered the body with a soft, red hen hackle, taking care to stroke the fibres back towards the tail of the fly as I wound the rib through the hackle. I wound the soft, mottled brown hackle (in this case it took two turns to get the desired density of hackle), and again I took care to stroke the fibres back towards the tail of the fly when building the head of the fly. That just left a whip finish to do and a spot of varnish to complete my palmered hackle wet fly.
Rather than imitate a specific hatching insect, I hope it will give a general impression of an insect at the point of hatching instead. Although it is a palmered wet fly, it is quite a slim wet fly pattern, simply because rather than the bulkier dressings of the north of the country, I find I have more success with a slimmer pattern. That of course may not prove to be true for you on the waters you fish! It may need a bit of a ripple to fish well and I am definitely looking forward to fishing it under such conditions next season.
After another odd fishing season where I didn’t get out fishing the lochs anywhere near as much as I would have liked, it was time to take stock of what was working as far as the flies went. Normally, I would sort through the palmered hackle wet flies, the soft hackle wet flies and the flymphs that needed to be replaced. However, with this season being a bit shorter than usual and me just not getting out fishing as much, I have decided to concentrate more on the flies that worked instead. The thing that jumped out from the few sessions I did manage, was that spider patterns featured quite highly in my catches, with the Black Spider being the most consistent wet fly. In the coming months then, I will tie a few more spider patterns and add those to the fly box, particularly some of the darker spider patterns and see what happens.