This month I am starting to really see my fishing on the horizon and I am enjoying my fly dressing even more at the moment. You see as an avid angler and professional angling guide, I spend a lot of my life in or on the water. I say 'in' or 'on' the water as I fish rivers where I am mostly wading and also Irish loughs where I am afloat. Over a season my fly boxes get a real hammering and are often depleted, so now is a good time to dress flies that I will be using later in the year.
One of the flies I have used a lot on the loughs over the past two seasons is a version of the Green Dabbler. This fly was first given to me by a great friend and a excellent lough angler, Mr Gerry Teggart. Gerry has fished most of Irelands big Loughs, although the ones he fishes most, like myself, are Sheelin, Erne and Melvin and I often spend a wonderful day in his company adrift one of these magnificent jewels. We are lucky in Ireland as it is covered in great fly fishing lakes or as we say 'loughs', from the north to the south and these places are steeped in angling history. This is one of the things I love about fly fishing, it has a tradition. I love the fact that we can always learn the history, read and most importantly - keep adding to it. Fly fishing and fly patterns though are almost the same as they where 100 years ago and at times they also evolve. The Dabbler basically came about as two anglers discussed the dressing of another great Irish Lough pattern - the Gosling. Like the Gosling the Dabbler has many variants and this is one of my favourites.
When fishing dabblers the fly is normally retrieved fast, or as we say pulled and then dibbled near the boat before the next cast is made. Although this take can happen at any time. I have found that the moment for a take is often on the first three pulls and then the dibble at the end of the retrieve, as frequently fish follow your fly, so get ready for the take just before you lift. A little tip (as it is often hard to hook fish close to the boat as you lift you rod to dibble your fly) if a strike cannot be made sometimes a well timed roll cast can hook a fish.
Hook: Partridge #10 or 12 Wet Fly Supreme. I also dress this fly on a Partridge #10 or 12 Dry Fly Supreme hook as at times I like a ligher fly to be fished on the top dropper or bob fly.
Tail: of pheasant cock fibres
Rib: of gold or silver wire
Body: of olive or gold glister dubbing A great pearlescent dubbing from Veniard.
Hackles: of olive palmered
Collar hackle: of blood red hen or soft cock.
Cloak: of bronze mallard with very small jungle cock eyes, does not matter if it is split .
If you are attending the British fly fair on the 7-8th February why not come along to the Partridge stand? Stevie Munn will be dressing some of these great flies as well as others and can give some great advice on how to dress and fish them sucessfully.
Stevie Munn works full time in the angling sector as a guide, writer and qualified game angling instructor and consultant, he has appeared in many angling books, DVDs and angling shows all over the world. He has also fished many places in the world and grew up fishing on rivers and loughs of Ireland where he often guides. He runs teaching lessons in fly fishing and host groups fishing in Canada, Iceland, Argentina, Ireland, and other parts of the world. You can contact him via email firstname.lastname@example.org or get more info at www.Irishflyfair.com