When Frank Sawyer devised such a simple fly back in the mid 1950’s I’m pretty sure he would have been amazed and proud at just how popular and successful this little fly would become.

Since then many variations have been produced of which this is yet another one altering the original straight nymph profile for one tied on a curved hook which I feel can add attraction both imitating a nymph or buzzer in a state of battling against the current or a general dark shrimp type fly.  The use of the dark claret dyed pheasant tail gives a silhouette of haemoglobin but retains a dark easily seen by the fish profile.

The white bead is something I place occasionally on my nymphs as sometimes this can grab fish attention, especially in coloured water (little tip given to me by friend and fellow trout nut Liam Stephen which I must admit worked way better than I thought it would)  I also tie this one with silver, copper, gold or hot orange beads with the only other variation I like to do if bead colour altered is to try and match this with rib wire colour (i.e. silver bead, silver rib, gold bead gold rib, copper bead copper rib, orange bead actually not orange but copper)

The final touch on this one is the addition of the CDC collar which adds movement and the attraction of those tiny air bubbles trapped in the fibres that look so natural, this step isn’t essential and to be honest is something I don’t always add often substituting this for a simple very sparse collar of dark olive or dark brown ‘Glister’ and as this is such a simple tie it’s worth having a few of these varied finished examples to hand.

Works well ‘Kink n Dink’, ‘Euro’ or ‘Czech’ style or equally as good as a tail fly below two spiders for ‘swinging’ on running water, great as an anchor tail fly below a team on lochs, in fact options on use is almost as varied as the different tying styles that are out there.


Hook: Partridge Patriot Barbless Grub Straight Eye K4AY-SE Size 10 - 16

Bead: 2.0mm – 4.0mm white bead: size to suit hook size (demo fly 2.5mm on S14 hook)

Thread: 8/0 Black Unit Thread (Veniard)

Wire: Silver Uni Soft Wire –Small (Veniard)

Body: Dark Claret Pheasant Tail

Collar: Natural CDC


Tying Sequence:



Step 1 Place bead on hook, set into vice and catch in thread



Step 2 Catch in wire rib and run thread down to hook bend



Step 3 Take three or four pheasant tail fibre



Step 4 Catch in pheasant tail fibres at hook bend



Step 5 Run thread back up to bead forming tapered body as you go



Step 6 Twist pheasant fibres to form 'rope' and wind in touching turns to back of bead



Step 7 Run rib in the opposite direction to the pheasant tail, catch in at bead trim waste (i always bend wire back and forth to break off)



Step 8 Take CDC feather and lay over thumb and index finger



Step 9 Press CDC feather down using dubbing needle and complete fold using finger and thumb



Step 10 Grip folded CDC feather in clamp



Step 11 Trim off CDC from feather stem and set aside clamp for later



Step 12 Form dubbing loop at head of fly



Step 13 Place CDC fibres into dubbing loop and twist to secure (dubbing twister very good for this step)



Step 14 Wind on CDC to form head hackle



Step 15 Ensure CDC hackle is evenly formed



Step 16 Place small amount of fine varnish onto thread and whip finish


Allan Liddle

Based in Moray in Scotland's North East, Allan has specialises with the wild trout from the rivers and burns, lochs and lochans throughout Mainland Scotland and the Isles. A strong passion for fishing simple dries he feels there's nothing better than to see the fish take off the top, but isn't slow to fish a range of different styles when mood or conditions dictate. Although trout is his first love Allan occasionally chases the Salmon, Grayling stocked fish and even dabbles in salt water when the chance arises.

Allan has also represented Scotland at international level, is a GAIA qualified trout instructor and a has been a regular contributor to Fly Fishing and Fly Tying Magazine for almost twenty years. Allan’s love of fly tying spans almost thirty years and has been a regular at many tying demonstrations and work shops prior to, and since joining the Partridge Pro-Team in 2013.

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