Over the years I have become more than fond of Bob Wyatt’s fantastic Deer Hair Emerger with it becoming my go to pattern for many an outing especially early season, in fact this season was little different and the good old DHE caught more than its fair share of spring river trout.

When the going gets tough I simply switched to another fly from the Bob Wyatt stable, the Dirty Duster (or at least my adaptation of this) which allows the angler to tie up a more delicate imitation which is especially effective when fine emerging patterns from sizes 14 downwards is called for.

That’s all well and good but what then for times when the fish are locked onto a ‘straighter’ pattern, or more accurately put one that doesn’t have an abdomen trailing sub-surface on a curved style hook?  Sticking with the Deer Hair wing I thought the best way I could approach this was to tie a simple Comparadun style pattern but still in keeping the main trigger points displayed on the DHE, a robust but natural looking wing, tapered abdomen and a spiky thorax.  I also didn’t really want any form of hackle to confuse things and a simple tail to aid the overall process, more importantly I wanted all the above profile with the added advantage of a low riding dry that sits in rather than through the surface meniscus imitating the overall appearance of a recently emerged dun but still vulnerable enough for the fish to pick it out amongst the naturals.

After a couple of trial efforts I came up with this one which in effect was simply a DHE (apart from the addition of the Coc de Leon tail) but on a straight hook.  Tying sequence is more or less the same, materials likewise and the style adopted to present it identical (wet the body, ‘Gink’ the wind and upper thorax.

Like Bob I was looking for something very effective but quick and easy to tie, something that looked the part on the water and something the fish would / could lock onto and I’m pleased to say that from the very first ‘trial’ it has proved to be as effective as I could have dared hope it would be.

Great in glides but equally at home in rough water I’ve done well both covering targeted rising fish as well as working ‘blind’ over likely looking water on a variety of rivers including the mighty River Spey, the brown trout paradise of the River Deveron and the ‘Enigmatic’ (read unpredictable) River Don.  Confidence clearly plays a part when selecting your given dry and this one has already slotted straight into my ‘Go To’ list already, so much so it would be a crime of me not to share it with you all.  Not only a cracking wee olive pattern but it’s also been very effective tied small and dark as a kind of Black Gnat imitation meaning so far so good.

Simple is the key word here, simple to tie, simple to fish and I suspect (although still to be proven as yet) that this will also prove to be a handy wee dry to have for our lochs, lochans and general still waters as well, I suppose it’s a case of ‘Watch This Space’ as I’m sure I’ll have a good number of wee variations on the original to follow soon.



Hook:  Partridge Dry Fly Supreme size 12 – 16

Thread: Black 6/0 Uni

Tail: Coc de Leon

Body: Superfine olive dubbing (Orvis)

Rib: Tying thread.

Wing: Natural Short Fine Deer Hair (Wapsi)

Thorax: Hares ear, Hare spiky guard and pinch of Olive Glister dubbing mix brushed well out.


Tying Sequence:

Step 1 Set hook in vice and lay on thread, run to about 4 - 5mm down from hook eye to provide room for thorax

Step 2 Cut a small 'bunch' of deer hair to form wind (approx  size of bunch around 5 - 6mm diameter)

Step 3 Place deer hair in hair stacker and tap to even out tips

Step 4 Remove hair from stacker facing forward

Step 5 Offer hair up to hook setting length (rule of thumb, just beyond hook eye)

Step 6 Secure deer hair on top of hook

Step 7 Trim excess deer hair in a steep angle tight to hook shank then secure with thread turns forming tapered under body.

Step 8 Tie in a small amount of Coc de Leon for tail.

Step 9 Drop a couple of thread turns below CdL tail to help it sit at angle, secure and trim, tidy up body running thread to rear of wing

Step 10 Form dubbing rope with a pinch of Orvis Superfine dubbing

Step 11 Run dubbing down hook towards tail then rib with open thread turns back up to wing.

Step 12 Lift wing and drop two turns of thread directly below ensuring no gaps with body

Step 13 Run a few thread turns to form bed for thorax.

Step 14 Form thorax dubbing rope using hares ear  hares mask  Olive Glister mix

Step 15 Run dubbing rope tight below wing then forward to form thorax (take a couple turns bare thread over thorax to help secure)

Step 16. Whip finish and varnish then take velco 'scrubber' and brush thorax out a little

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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