A Book of Trout Flies - 6

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Trout Flies for the River Clyde

Compiled by Tom Forsyth of Lesmahagow (1907 - 1999)

Page 6

 Salmon Spinhead




Grays of Kilsyth

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Favourite Flies for the River Clyde (continued)



Dressed on hook sizes 24 and 26, these tiny smut patterns are not too difficult to tie, as the dressing is fairly simple. All that is required is a body of dark brown or black seal's fur, condor herl or some similar material, and a dark coloured hackle. This of course must be very short in the flue to give a small silhouette, and as hackles of this type and size are now practically unobtainable, a clipped hackle may have to suffice. Wings are unnecessary.

The timing of the strike is very important when fishing these small flies. You should allow at least three or four times the normal time given to a trout after he takes the fly before striking. If this long delayed strike is observed, it will be found that the trout will almost swallow the fly, and will consequently be hooked in the back of the throat, where these tiny hooks stand a very good chance of taking a firm hold.



This Mayfly takes trout both early and late in the Mayfly season, when the more usual patterns are scorned. The dressing is as follows:

Take a long shank size 14 or 12 light wire hook and, after lapping the shank with tying silk, tie in a tail consisting of a few strands of feather fibre from a duck breast feather. Mallard will do for this purpose, but well marked Teal, Widgeon or Pintail is better. Tie in near the bend of the hook either a thin strip of buff raffia or a strand of light coloured floss silk, together with a length of fine copper wire. Then put on about four turns of bright red or crimson dyed hackle, a cock hackle at the shoulder of the fly and add a further hackle in front of this. The front hackle is a badger hackle (white or cream with black centre) and this should be slightly larger than the red hackle. Make about five turns with the badger hackle.



Also known as Murray's Spider, this extremely popular lake or river fly was invented by Mr David Murray of Hurlford in Ayrshire. Since it was invented, however - good fly though it is in its original form - the Bluebottle Spider has been subjected to a number of variations. Some modern dressings give it a tail consisting of several black hackle fibres, but the original fly had no tail, just a green fluorescent tinsel body and a black hackle. Other versions of the fly have a blue fluorescent tinsel body and there are variations in which the green or blue lurex tinsel was wound on in ribbing style over a black thread body.

A striking feature of this fly is that it can be fished with confidence from the beginning to the end of the trout season, and is successful in any position on the cast. It is a very easy fly to dress.

Bluebottle Spider

Tie in a piece of green or blue lurex tinsel and closely wind this towards the neck of the hook. Then wind on several turns of black hen hackle. Hook sizes 12 to 16. This is the dressing for the wet sunk fly. If you are dressing the floating fly, use a cock hackle. The dry fly is particularly deadly in the hot days of mid-summer and again in the autumn.


GREENWELL'S QUILL         Season - Use any time

Body: Dark Quill

Hackle: Red and black centre

Tail: Dark Olive

Wing: Hen Blackbird


DARK OLIVE DUN               Season - April

Body: Dark Olive Quill

Hackle: Cock hackle dyed dark olive

Tail: Dark Olive

Wing: Blackbird upright


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see also  




flies-1 ] flies-2 ] flies-3 ] flies-4 ] flies-5 ] [ flies-6 ] flies-7 ] flies-8 ] flies-9 ] clyde-wet-flies-1 ] clyde-wet-flies-2 ] clyde-wet-flies-3 ] clyde-wet-flies-4 ] clyde-wet-flies-5 ] clyde-wet-flies-6 ] clyde-wet-flies-7 ] clyde-flies ] clyde-dry-flies-1 ] clyde-dry-flies-2 ] clyde-dry-flies-3 ] clyde-style-nymphs-1 ] clyde-style-nymphs-2 ]

Trout and Salmon Fishing