PRO-Team member Allan Liddle's most recent tutorial is on the The Deer Hair Emerger (Bob Wyatt). To follow the tutorial, click on the materials image at the bottom of the blog...

When the 15th of March rolls around and I can finally throw off the ‘Winter Blues’ by chasing our native Wild Scottish Brown again (weather permitting) I generally reach for my ‘Go To’ fly for early season; Bob Wyatt’s Deer Hair Emerger.

Using dries from the off might seem a bit of an eye opener for some, but I like to seek out (stalk) surface feeding fish from opening day and generally resort to sub surface tactics almost on an ‘if all else fails’ basis, and Bob’s simple but deadly pattern has been a revelation for me.  In short - trout simply love it.

Early season and I like to fish a two dry set up (yup another bit of an eye opener for some, but it really works and you learn how to control drift and drag on both very quickly. Olive on the one position, natural hare’s ear on the other both in size 12 to represent March Browns and LDO’s and Olive Uprights as the month progresses.

Not only excellent as a fish targeting fly, it’s also very good as a general searching pattern and also good throughout the season, meaning it’s a very worthwhile addition to your selection (easier to tie than a Klink as well) the low riding half submerged position the fly takes helps fish target it as an easy meal.

My wee addition of a pearl butt can also help draw fish in, but I don’t do this with every fly as I feel it can have the opposite effect as well, just a case of trial and error. To add to the fly’s versatility it’s also pretty handy if you fish it through fast turbulent water submerged, sometimes even pulling it through maybe not something for the purists but it certainly works at times.  The DHE’s also a handy loch pattern both in its original dry position as well as worked ‘Short Line’ through the waves and varying the colour lets you target olive, buzzer and if you tie it big enough Danica feeding fish so I’d say it’s not a good edition to your fly box but a must have pattern.  Certainly is for me, let’s hope the weather’s kind enough to provide a few surface feeding targets, I can hardly wait.

Dressing (Hare’s Ear Version)

Hook: Partridge K4A or K4AS Light Grub Hook or Partridge Patriot K4AY Barbless Grub

Thread: Uni 6/0 or 8/0 Black

Butt: Medium Mirage Pearl Tinsel (Veniards)

Body: Sparse natural hare’s ear

Rib: Tying thread tag

Wing: Fine Deer Hair or Comparadun Deer Hair

Thorax: As body tied heavier and brushed out

FISHING TIP: Only ‘Gink’ wing and rear of thorax, i like to wet body and under thorax first to prevent floatant accidentally running onto body and causing fly to lie on its side instead of body and hook cutting through the surface film.


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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