The September fly of the month is from PRO-Team member Paul Procter, it's the Pearly Butt Fly.

Generally, when upwing flies are present a “go to” of mine is a Shuttlecock of sorts (Apr FOTM).  Whilst this serves me well, in the case of refusals or trout steadfastly turning their noses up at such, calls for an alternative.  Like many, I’ve long been a fan of the F Fly though these days tend to deviate from the original by using a curved hook and inclusion of pearly tinsel.

Obviously a hook cranked downwards is going to suggest a partially emerged nymph/adult which fish have a canny habit of singling out. With its long, sharp point and gently curve the K4AY is fit for purpose here.  Furthermore, suggesting a partially vacated shuck a pearly backside adds an authentic seal of approval.  Thinking their meal isn’t about to disappear in a blur of wings then, trout and grayling for that matter are hopefully fooled into thinking this is a sitter.

Whilst I’m not overly precious about a specific brand of dubbing, it’s crucial to select one fine in fibre (Superfine here).  This binds down much tighter to form a neat, yet compact body that easily penetrates the surface film, allowing your fly to sit correctly the moment it alights.  Many beginners fall foul of incorporating more wiry/prickly dubbings here, which have a nasty habit of exploding into an unruly mess, rendering the best part of your fly unsinkable…

As for the CdC, two plumes are about right on size 14-18 hooks.  Though rather than being secured immediately behind the eye the wing is set back a fraction further back, before a wisp of pine squirrel dubbing is added in front.  After all the wings on a natural fly protrude from the rear of their thorax and not the head!

Pearly Butt F Fly

Hook: Partridge K4AY size 12-16

Thread: 14/0 primrose Sheer

Butt: Fine pearly tinsel

Abdomen: Fine dubbing (B-WO Superfine shade here)

Wing: Natural CdC

Thorax: Pine squirrel and rusty spinner Superfine dubbing


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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