Step by Step tying of a simple Willie Gunn salmon tube fly variant
by John Gray
Willie Gunn, a keeper and gillie on the
Sutherland Estates, gave his name to the famous salmon fly,
the Willie Gunn, originated by Flt-Lt "Dusty" Miller in the
1940s while based at Kinloss RAF base in Moray. The fly
produced six salmon for Willie Gunn from the River Brora on
its first outing. The Willie Gunn, a hairwing fly dressed in
the colours of the classic Thunder & Lightning, was to
become one of the most successful salmon flies of the
century. It can be dressed on conventional hooks, Waddington
shanks or tubes and has spawned numerous variants over the
years. Below is a step by step illustration of the tying
sequence of a very simple variant, dressed on a bare silver
(stainless steel) needle tube. Alas, this variant accounted for
only three salmon on its first outing, on the last day of
the Spey 2010 salmon season.
The Willie Gunn Salmon Tube Fly (variant)
tube: needle tube 20mm long, diameter 1.8mm
wing: yellow and orange Arctic fox, black squirrel
tail with a few stands of Krystal Flash
Step 1 - Place needle tube in
and wind a short
bed of black tying thread.
Step 2 - Tie in a bunch of yellow hair top and bottom of the
Step 3 - Tie in a bunch of orange hair over the yellow, top
and bottom, plus a few strands of Krystal Flash to taste.
Step 4 - Tie in a buch of black hair over the orange, top
Step 5 - Form a neat head and apply two coats of Cellire No.
1 varnish. Add a short length of clear PVC tubing at the
rear and a hook of choice.
The Willie Gunn Tube Fly (variant)
Salmon Tube Flies dressed in the above style on 25
mm stainless steel
For more information on Salmon, Trout and Sea
Trout Flies, see
Trout and Salmon Flies