With another wild trout season not too distant and thoughts turning to drifting boats and rolling waves chasing aggressive hard fighting fish then obviously it’s not long before the required fly patterns fall into focus.

In the wilds a lot of our upland waters (throughout the UK and Ireland) have a fair degree of peat content, and big, brash flies can produce something special on the right day and something with that ‘little extra’ can really stand out.

That’s why I started tying a lot of my loch patterns slightly differently than the age old traditional dressings, especially when it comes to those all action palmered ‘bob flies’ we all know and love, not only for our resident wild browns, but also handy for stocked fish as well as the occasional migratory ‘passer-by.’

The Blue Zulu is ancient and would easily come under the category of ‘Fancy Flies’, but it’s certainly taken more than its fair share of fish over the years and a good fly to play around with a little especially with the wealth of ‘new’ materials we have on hand today.  For me it was a case of introducing the attraction of more movement coupled to a wee bit of flash that led me to producing this wee variation. (Not to forget the fact I don’t like moving too far away from the original, after all it is a proven ‘killer’.)

I like to fish this as part of a team of three flies when working the big waves, usually in the middle position but it has acted well on the ‘tail’ (ok point fly for those south of the border) especially if tied on a heavier wire hook (Wet Fly Supreme excellent for this).  It’s also not too shabby as a sea-trout attractor, especially if fished on the ‘bob’ (top dropper) in a team of two with success coming to me on salt water forays around our estuaries.

I also feel (although for me as yet untried I must add) it’s got the right ‘credentials’ for attracting stocked fish, flashy, mobile, colourful without being too gaudy, maybe we might get a bit of feedback on this sometime soon?

Hook: Partridge Patriot Wide Wet (PWW) size 10 – 14
Thread: Red 8/0 Uni Thread
Tail: Glowbrite Floss no 4
Rib: Fine Silver Wire
Body: Black Rabbit and Peacock Flashbrite (very sparse pinch) Mix
Hackle: Black Cock (palmered)
Head Hackle: Kingfisher Blue Cock Hackle Fibres and Peacock Flashbrite Mix


Tying Sequence:

Step 1 Lay on thread and return to head of fly

Step 2 Strip the longer softer cock fibres from stem and tie forwards over and below eye

Step 3 Repeat with Peacock Flashbrite ensuring strands are roughly same length as hackle (a few trailing strands are good however)

Step 4 Take a length of Glowbrite Floss (approx 200mm) and fold three times. Tie in middle of the fly, fold tope section back and secure with thread

Step 5 Trim tail square, catch in wire rib and cock hackle by stem

Step 6 Dub on body with pinch of Flashbrite over top of black rabbit.

Step 7 Run dubbing 'rope' up body to rear of head, palmer hackle then rib with wire. Secure all, trim and tidy

Step 8 Draw back the front facing hackles and secure

Step 9 Whip finish and varnish

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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