This week Fly Friday is from PRO-Team member Mick Hall, it's The Tassie Bug...

The stonefly featured above is a close cousin to an American species they call the “Salmon Fly”; just click on Google and type in “Salmon fly hatches” and you will see what I mean.

Back in 1995 yours truly, along with three other members of "Team Penn Tasmania", Frank Hussey, Laurie Matcham and team captain Ken Orr, witnessed the true value of fishing Stoneflies especially if they had rubber legs.

It was brought home to us big-time; simply because that year the Chernobyl Ant won the One Fly hands down and had everyone talking about this weird looking fly.

It was designed by members of the Emmet Heath camp from the Green River area.  Mark Forsland first put it together with a hackle over the body and called it the Black Mamba but during the One Fly event, Allan Woolley changed Mark’s pattern by replacing the hackle with rubber legs.  It is a no brainer to guess who won the One Fly that year.

As soon as Ken Orr saw the Chernobyl Ant, he said, "That  would work at home, as there are plenty of those big Stoneflies up in the highlands."  How right he was.  The fact is this stonefly is not only in the highlands but is widespread, as is the family that it belongs to.

This critter belongs to the Eustheniidae family; they are the largest and most colourful stone flies in Australia.

Today the Chernobyl Ant is well featured in many Tasmanian fly boxes and, as with many successful fly patterns, it has spawned a lot of variations.

A few days back I received a couple of packets of Partridge Hooks, being the "G3A/L, The Wet Heavy Supreme".  A key feature to this hook is its wide gape and its natural ability to handle the biggest of fish.  Believe me, we have some real brutes over here.  Bulky flies need that little extra gape and this hook was made for flies like the Chernobyl Ant.

The Pattern: The Tassie Bug tied by Mick Hall

Hook: G3A/L Wet Heavy Supreme

Size: 4

Thread: 6/0 Black multi fibred

Under-foam body: Beige Evasote 2 or 3mm thick

Top piece: Black Evasote foam 2 or 3mm thick

Legs: Spirit River Tarantu-leggs, colour Orange Medium.

Mick Hall

Mick Hall, although England born, has lived his life in Australia.  Over the last fifty years he has fished in England, Norway, Italy, USA, New Zealand and, of course, all over Australia.  As a fly tyer Mick has gained a worldwide reputation and has contributed to many books including Steve Thornton's acclaimed Fly Tyers of the World, published in 2007.

Mick has also contributed to a number of International magazines, being Fly Line in Italy, "Fly Dresser",  the journal of the Fly Dressers' Guild, Fly Fishing and Fly Tying England and the Russian fly fishing magazine.  For just over 25 years Mick has had a regular fly tying column in Australia's Freshwater Fishing magazine.

As a fly angler he has been the recipient of many awards; some of these include a number of International awards such as the Peter Crosby/Dick Carlsburg award for sportsmanship at the 1996 "One Fly" in Jackson Hole Wyoming.  He is an honorary life member of Club Altotevere in Tuscany Italy and was also awarded the status of Australian Ambassador for fly fishing in Italy during the 2007 SIM Festival at Castel de Sangro.  He has also twice been a juror at the World Tuscany Open Fly-tying competition.

Mick has demonstrated fly tying at the BFFI,  Somerset Fly Fishing Show in New Jersey, the Swedish Fly Fair and at the S.I.M. festival in Italy.

Mick is also on a number of pro teams, being Whiting Farms, Jarvis Walker (for Cortland Australia) and now Partridge and Regal vices.  

For a broader and more detailed list of his achievements and activities visit Micks website,     

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