Attractor Fly Patterns
To improve floating or sinking characteristics of a fly pattern, extra or bulkier materials may be used that distorts the silhouette such that no specific insect or non-insect food source is imitated, yet the fly pattern still attracts fish. Thus, attractor fly patterns may vaguely suggest a type of insect or other food source by silhouette but very often has unnatural coloring that simply gains attention.
Fly of the Month 10.2017
Our research, study and publication of fly patterns over the last five years covers great fly patterns that catch fish, originating by creative authors, industrious fly shop owners and staff, experienced guides or problem-solving anglers who are each tyers that innovate and develop a fly pattern locally. Then, the secret fly or the promoted fly at some point goes viral. Such flies may have been developed in the Catskills, anywhere in the Southern Appalachians, in the mid-west, in the Ozarks, out west, on the west coast, in Alaska, in Canada, in Patagonia, in Europe, In South Africa, in Australia, in New Zealand or anywhere there are fly fishing opportunities. The story and the origin of the fly pattern gives us a hint as to why such a fly pattern exists and possibly a background as to why it has been successfully utilized.
Thus, the Fly of the Month is more than a recipe presented. In this article, we present a fly of French origin that dates to 1964. Jean Paul Pequegnot first published his book of French Fishing Flies in 1984, 1987 and most recently the third edition in 2012. In researching ancient flies, we discovered that fly patterns based on a palmered body is a “tying technique of spiraling a hackle laterally along the shank or body of a fly; the hackled, artificial fly resembling the Palmer worm, a hairy, wandering tineid moth larva, dated 1651.” www.thelimpcobra.com. The dictionary definition of a Palmerworm is a caterpillar that suddenly appears in great numbers devouring herbage. The French fly we present is a palmered fly from page 22-23 of Jean Paul’s book.
Jean Paul’s approach is to combine the advantages of palmering with the attractive properties of speckled partridge hackle. At first this sounds like a soft hackle fly pattern, but his unique approach provides an excellent, high-floating dry fly pattern with the inherent attraction of a caterpillar. The high-floating capabilities come from the palmering of stiff hackle that provides both the floatation and the support to the soft hackle via three wraps adjoining.
In France, this fly is tied in size 10 and used during the Green Drake hatch. Although it is not intended to imitate any specific insect, the sizing should match the seasonal bugs. It is a no brainer to select this fly if you observe caterpillars on the banks and overhanging vegetation.
This is a simple, effective and easy fly pattern to tie in good numbers at a fly tying session.
HOOK : Tiemco 100 size 12,14,16
Abdomen/Thorax : Pearsall Silk Yellow
Hackle : Front wrap of Hungarian Partridge, Light Dun Rooster for abdomen/thorax
- Debarb the hook and mount in the vise. Begin wrapping the silk one eyelength back from the eye. Make several, alternating wraps on the same spot. This will build a small bump of thread. It will only take three or four wraps to accomplish. Let the bobbin hang.
- Select a light color partridge feather from the neck area. Remove all of the “fluff” from the base of the feather and grasping the tip of the feather (as far up as possible), stroke back the barbs leaving a small triangle of barbs at the tip. This ties in reverse to normal. That is, the natural curve of the feather should be facing the eye. Like a tenkara fly. Tie in this triangle immediately behind the bump of thread. Secure with two or three wraps of silk. Trim away the waste. Let the bobbin hang.
- Use hackle pliers and make one or two wraps of partridge in tight, touching turns. Secure the partridge with the one or two turns of silk and let the bobbin hang.
- Select a dun rooster hackle that is one and one half the size of the hook gape. Tie in the hackle by the tip, immediately behind the partridge. Push the rooster out of the way and begin making tight, touching turns of thread to the hook bend. Let the bobbin hang.
- Make open turns of dun rooster to the hook bend. Secure with the silk and begin taking the thread through the hackle using a wiggle to avoid trapping the barbs. Once the silk is at the partridge, whip finish and trim away the silk thread.
- Trim away the waste dun hackle.