The Bourach

tying sea trout flies
softhackles.blog – seatrout flies - Bourach

and a bit of confusion

While continuing to take inspiration from salmon flies whilst creating a small number of sea trout flies for the fly box, the Bourach caught my eye and I decided to give this pattern a go, or at least tie a version of it, that may tempt a sea trout or two for me.

While it is well known salmon fly, my research didn’t shed much light on the patterns origins nor its name, other than that ‘bourach’ apparently means an untidy mess, great confusion or a rope used to secure the hind legs of a cow to prevent it kicking during milking! So, a bit of uncertainty and confusion surrounding the origins of the pattern and its name, or should I perhaps say that a bit of bourach exists?

In my humble version of the Bourach, I used some teal-blue dyed grizzle hen hackle fibres for the tail, flat silver tinsel for the body, fine silver wire as a rib, the dyed hen hackle again for the hackle and grey squirrel tail dyed yellow for the wing of this hair wing sea trout fly. I was quite pleased with the tinsel body as it worked out quite well; flat with no bumps and lumps! I sometimes find I get the odd lump appearing with tinsel bodies despite my efforts to keep the under-body of thread even and level. When tying the hackle, rather than tie in a throat hackle under the shank of the hook, I opted to wind it around the shank, as you would a spider or soft hackle wet fly. I like how the hackle will mingle with the hair wing as a result. Tying hair wing patterns can lead to a large head on the fly I find, but this time it seems not to have happened. Tying soft hackle and spider patterns naturally leads to you to be economical with your thread turns which I find helps when using bulky materials such as hair for wings.

Fishing the Bourach recently for the first time, it didn’t result in any sea trout to the net when I fished the pattern through the final pool and runs during my last session on the river. However it did grab the attention of several fish in the pool and resulted in a pleasing number of pulls, plucks and some solid takes, resulting in four brown trout from the small pool before it all went quiet and it was time head for home. I think the fact that the pattern elicited such a response from the trout was encouraging and it was a successful first outing using the Bourach for the first time. I am hoping to get out in the next day or two to try the other patterns I have added into my daytime sea trout box and can’t wait to be on the river again, especially as we have had some rain. Tight lines!

softhackles.blog – seatrout flies - Bourach
Bourach – Tail: teal blue hen hackle Body: flat silver tinsel Rib: silver wire Hackle: grizzle hen dyed teal blue Wing: grey squirrel tail dyed yellow

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