The October fly of the month from PRO-Team member Paul Procter is a Pearly Cruncher. 

Pearly Cruncher:

Hook: Partridge SLD2 standard dry size 10-14

Thread: Claret 14/0 Sheer

Rib: Veniards silver holographic tinsel

Tail: Silver badger cock

Body: Natural pheasant tail fibres

Thorax: Orvis pearly ice dub  

Hackle: Silver badger hen


Sensing tough times lay ahead, backend trout will be keen to pack on weight, or at very least maintain their summer puppy fat to tide them winter.  Now, fish are more opportunistic in their feeding than ever before.  Naturally, buzzers, corixa, shrimps and the likes will feature in a trout’s diet, but various baitfish are bound to crop up too.

Of course, we could go all out and use an articulated fry imitation of some 6 inches long, which appear common on our larger reservoirs.  However, on intimate stillwaters such creations can sometimes be a tad daunting for trout.  Instead, they’re more likely to respond to a smaller, more unassuming fly, which echoes that of an infant fish. 

Lethal when buzzers or lake and pond olives occur in its various guises the Cruncher can be second to none.  Obviously, such a suggestive nymphs has worth where various invertebrates or bugs dwell too though deviate from the original dressing by including more flashy materials and suddenly you have a fly that can easily pass as a pinfry imitation too.

Silver badger hackle fibres posses a degree of translucency, making them ideal for both the tail and more so the hackle, which cloaks the front portion of this fly.  A narrow strip of holographic tinsel adds required flash that’s made all the more obvious by including a dubbed thorax of pearly ice-dub. 

It’s be to include this Cruncher as part of a team and where trout herding fry are encountered, or any fish seen bowing waving in the margins then simply flick the fly over and impart a slightly faster retrieve than normal.  I find foot long pulls, with plenty of pauses works pretty well.  Though as ever, try to keep an open mind here and vary your retrieve if no takes are forthcoming.  

Paul Procter

A resident of the Lake District, AAPGAI Master and Wild Trout Trust Vice-President Paul Procter is a dedicated fly fisher. With 30 years experience on rivers, lakes and tropical saltwater fly fishing, Paul is a leading contributor to the UK’s premier publications-Trout and Salmon and its sister magazine-Trout Fisherman.

A talented and innovative fly tyer, Paul’s flies have become recognised as a signature for his many articles. Having spent the last decade travelling extensively throughout Europe, the Americas and Southern Hemisphere, he has gained a wealth of knowledge on many of the celebrated rivers and streams with an intimate understanding of fly hatches and their imitations required to tempt fish. In turn this has allowed him to develop specialist patterns with the opportunity to field test hook models on a range of fish species and ultimately provide valuable feedback. However, having fished the far corners of the globe, his abiding love remains the light line approach on intimate Northern streams, fishing North Country spiders (soft hackled flies) and dry flies. Here the rivers offer such diversity that Paul has honed all fishing disciplines on systems like the Eden, Wharf and Ure.

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