Snatchers come in many variations and all trout anglers will have their favourites, however I find a lot of these tend to be a little bit overdressed with often (for me) the body hackle being too heavy.

Now I stress this is just a personal opinion and in no way a criticism, for me I feel these flies fish better if tied sparse and tend to suit the profile of an emerging buzzer more effectively.  Why then would I then take a slim, sparse fly and tie in a muddler head on it, surely this would spoil the profile and add too much bulk?

Again it’s all in the proportions used, if you keep the deer hair to a minimum you will get the desired appearance effect as well as the ‘action’ you want when fishing.  Put simply the muddler head adds a little bit more in the head / thorax area still in keeping with a struggling hatching insect as well as somewhere I can apply ‘Gink’ when I want to fish this fly static right in the surface film.  It can also help create additional attraction when fished sub-surface, or even better short line through a wave, as long as you don’t over dress it.

Hailing from the red hot competitive heat of competition angling on Scotland’s iconic Loch Leven, the humble Snatcher was an immediate success and perfectly imitated the hatching buzzers of which this water is so famous.  Simple and deadly wherever you use them and equally effective on stocked fish and wild trout alike, and one of my all-time favourite patterns to fish with.  This muddler version is simply a slight alternative to the norm and as described above can add a wee bit more.

Hope you guys all like it as much as I do.

Hook: Sprite S1100 All Purpose Grub size 10 – 14, or Partridge Patriot Barbless K5AY Grub Heavy size 10 – 14
Thread: Red Uni 8/0
Rib: Veniard Pearl Micro Glint Braided Thread (perfect for ribbing as both very fine and robust)
Body: Black Rabbit Dubbing with a pinch of Dark Olive Glister mixed through
Hackle: Black Cock Saddle Feather (strip one side to prevent overdressing)
Head: Natural Short Fine Deer Hair or Comparadun Deer Hair

Tying Sequence:

Step 1 Catch in red thread and pearl micro rib

Step 2 Run thread down hook shank to a point about a third way round bend

Step 3 Form dubbing 'rope' keeping reasonably sparse

Step 4 Form body with dubbing (note you can leave a tiny amount of thread showing as an additional attractor at the 'butt')

Step 5 Trim hackle points from one side of hackle (prevents overdressing) and tie in at head

Step 7 Take a very small bunch of fine deer hair and set length of tips as roughly half the hackle length

Step 8 Tie in deer hair allowing an even 'spin' around head of fly.  Trim hair ends.

Step 9 Draw all deer hair fibres back and form head.

Step 10 Work deer hair fibres forwards again and trim points to suit before varnish finish to head.

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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