Monday, 16 March 2015

More North Country Wet Flies

As I acquire more and varied materials I find myself tying more North Country wet flies. Something that took a while to purchase was a black hen neck, I couldn't find any I was happy with at the BFFI, Cookshill were sold out so I held off. Becoming impatient I bought one from eBay; now it's not to be recommended to buy hackles unseen, but I was buying a cape that was pictured and I was confident it wouldn't be a dud purchase.

I also found myself in a lucky position to spot a dead tawny owl on my journey to work; it saddens me to say I frequently see barn owls laying on the side of road but I have never come across a tawny. To try and stay within the law I removed a few marginal coverts to tide me over - I'm unlikely to ever need lots of them so they should see me through for a long time.

I have also tried herl heads for the first time. The first fly I tied I made the mistake of making it far too full, not something I repeated again - a lesson learned.

Brown Owl
Brown Owl
Hook: Partridge Spider size 14
Thread; Pearsall's Silk no.6a orange
Body: Silk
Hackle: Tawny Owl marginal (upper) covert
Head: Peacock herl
This was my second attempt at a herl head, a much better effort.
Winter Brown spider
Dark Spanish Needle
Hook: Partridge Spider size 14
Thread: Langley superfine silk golden brown - an
almost exact copy of the old Pearsall's colour 6b
Body: Silk
Hackle: From the armpit of a starling - a dun coloured feather with cream edge
Head: Peacock herl
Black Magic Spider
Black Magic
Hook: Partridge Spider sizes 14-20
Thread: Pearsall's silk no.9 black
Body: Silk
Thorax: Peacock herl
Hackle: Black hen
Another crack at a winged wet fly - Broughton Point - I'm particularly pleased with this effort, however the silk is the wrong colour, dark claret instead of cardinal, that will teach me to select colours under tungsten light bulbs.

Broughton Point Wet Fly
Broughton Point
Hook: Partridge Spider size 14
Thread: Pearsall's silk no.12 cardinal - this is no.15 dark claret by mistake
Wing: Starling primary feather bunched and split
Hackle: Black hen


  1. Hi Ben
    more nice examples of some classic wet flies, but can I suggest you consider using Magpie tail feathers where a head is required. They may be a little more fiddley to use, but the finished result is well worth it. You'll soon be putting your wet fly box to good use. Well done

    1. Thank you Peter, I have only just got a magpie tail and as yet I haven't used it but I do intend on trying a few things with in including herl heads. I really hope I get to make use of all these wet flies I have been tying up.