This week's Fly Friday is from PRO-Team member Stevie Munn, it's Bradshaw's Fancy...

This unusual fly was first given to me when I was very young by a fantastic local angler that we all called Old Matt, his real name was Mr. Matthew Houston, he was a local fly fishing legend when I was growing up on the rivers that we fished.

Matt was an innovative angler and he was the only angler I ever seen that fished up to eight flies on his cast, these where not tied on using conventional droppers but some sort of knot that put them directly on his leader (I have no idea of the knot he used ). Matt had a twitch when he retrieved his flies that I remember as local kids we even tried to copy to see if it would catch us as many fish as Matt, it never did.

Sadly Matt drowned on the Sixmile Water in Co. Antrim in 1981 while fishing, when the river was rising into a spate apparently slipping while wading, perhaps a fitting end to a great angler, at least he was doing something he loved when he was taken to fish the great river in the sky. The Bradshaw’s Fancy is originally from Yorkshire in England and was first devised by Henry Bradshaw sometime in the 1880s; it is still used in England, although mostly as a grayling fly, I have found it to be a good fly to use on size 18s or 16s when fish are smutting, it also works when there is little sign of any fly life as a searching pattern for trout on sizes 12s and 14s, fish it like a nymph, just in the surface film.


Hook: 12-18 Partridge.

Thread: Black or purple

Tag: Red wool or floss

Body: Peacock herl (I rib with very fine wire)

Hackle: The original pattern asks for Norwegian or

Hooded crow but a soft blue dun hackle is a good substitute.

Head: Red wool or floss like a small tag at the front.

Fact File

Stevie Munn works full time as a fishing guide, writer and qualified game angling instructor in fly casting and fly tying, he has also appeared in many angling books, magazines and DVDs and gives casting and fly dressing demonstrations at angling events all over the world. He has fished many places in the world and grew up fishing on rivers and loughs of Ireland where he often guides. He runs teaching courses in Ireland and host groups to fish in BC Canada, Norway, Argentina and other parts of the world. You can contact him via email and for more information visit

Stevie Munn

Pro Fly Dresser Stevie Munn is from Co. Antrim in N.Ireland, he has fly fished all his life and grew up fishing rivers and loughs in Ireland. He is a qualified Advanced Professional Game Angling Instructor in Fly Tying and Fly Casting with APGAI-Ireland, and a APGAI fly casting instructor. He teaches fly casting and fly tying to all levels from beginner to advanced and has given lessons at many schools and clubs.

Stevie has been a Professional guide for many years for trout, salmon and a lough run wild brown trout called the Dollaghan which runs his local rivers to spawn, that said he will fish for any fish that will take a fly and also loves fly fishing in the sea. He has won many fly fishing competitions though mostly now fishes for pleasure and he has also won fly casting competitions including 2 Accuracy Casting Championships in England and at the CLA game fair 2011 Stevie helped set a new World record in fly casting which was done for the charity Help of Heroes, 141 miles of fly casting with Stevie setting the high score of 627 casts at distance in 30 mins.

Stevie hosts fishing trips worldwide and can help you if you want to fish many places in the world including Canada, Iceland, Norway and Argentina as well as his native Ireland, North and South.

Stevie flies patterns have appeared in many angling books including Malcolm Greenhalgh’s new book ‘A guide to fishing flies from around the World, Stevie also writes articles in many angling magazines including Irish Angler, Total Flyfisher, Trout & Salmon, Flyfishing & Fly Tying and Chasing Silver of which he is the Field Editor in Ireland.

Stevie has given fly tying and casting demos, at many game and fly fairs over the years, including the CLA game fair in England, Angling Ireland, Irish Game Fairs, Dutch Fly Fair, Rio Grande Fly Fishers in TDF, British fly fair International and The Irish Fly Fair .

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