This month Allan is talking us through The Blue Zulu...

One of the oldest but still very effective Loch Flies you can use is the age old Blue Zulu, designed as a ‘Fancy Fly’ to work in, or slightly under the surface of our wild lochs in search of wild browns, sea trout or the occasional salmon.

From sizes 8 to 14 this is a cracking addition to any loch ‘team’ especially when the water carries a tinge of peat colour and the overhead conditions offer dark clouds which in turn makes the water surface appear almost black.

Worked on a ‘Short Line’ tripped over or through a rolling wave is when this pattern can really stand out and when the fishing can be at its most memorable, lightening fast often rod slamming takes with fish seeming to appear from no-where full of aggression and attitude and a blast of colour and water spray, fantastic.

A variation from the original Zulu with the simple amendment of a black hen head hackle for a blue one, I’ve taken the liberty of changing it again, both in a bid to make it quicker to tie, as well as to offer something a wee bit different from its original form.

Altering the tail from scarlet red wool to scarlet red ‘Glowbrite’ florescent floss adds a bit more flash and attraction to the fish and I feel helps even more when faced with dark peaty waters and aggressively competing residents.  The next wee alteration was to change from the traditional dubbed base body with open palmered hackle, to a fully palmered hackle body for more movement and, as it makes the fly a little lighter, helps it to ‘trip’ over the tops of the waves, an action that our wild fish can find devastatingly attractive.

Lastly a change away from a dyed hen hackle to dyed guinea fowl just seems to add a wee bit to the anglers’ eye, offering a more ‘muted’ colour at the head of the fly but one that’s not too subtle.

A style of tying and a pattern that’s well worth a place in any wild loch loving angler, not that it’s exclusive to this scenario as more than a few rainbows have shown a bit of interest for a ‘Bob Flee’ or two in the past and a wee throw with more traditional patterns can often be the wee change our fish are looking for.


Hook: Partridge Dry Fly Supreme (L5A) size 10 – 14 (a good alternative is the Sprite All Purpose Wet in same sizes)

Thread: Uni 6/0 Black

Tail: Glowbrite Floss number 4

Body: Black saddle cock palmered

Head Hackle: Dyed blue Guinea Fowl

Tying Sequence:

Step 1 Catch thread onto hook.

Step 2 Cut a three inch section of floss, and fold twice tying in at middle section.

Step 3 Fold floss back to rear and run thread down to tie in. Draw tight and cut.

Step 4 Return thread to just behind eye.

Step 5 Take a good sized section of Guinea Fowl and trim from feather.

Step 6 Set length so the fibres are slightly longer than body hackle and project over front of hook before tying in.

Step 7 Tie in and trim ends.

Step 8 Tidy cut ends and run thread back to rear of hook.

Step 9 Tie in saddle hackle and run thread to eye.  Palmer hackle up length of hook to form body taking care to brush fibres back after each turn.

Step 10 Brush guinea fowl back over body hackle ensuring even coverage around fly and tie in before whip finish and trim away thread. Varnish head.

Step 11 Set UV varnish, note how the florescent tail stands out under the UV torch.

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.

Facebook UTube