Since I first discovered Madeira metallic threads, this pearl thread has become a staple for corixa patterns. This is a more suggestive pattern than other corixa patterns, but it is quick to tie in a range of sizes. Imitating the Corixa Punctata or lesser water boatman, these wonderful insects breath oxygen by trapping it beneath their wing cases – the pearl colour of the Madeira thread suggests this trapped bubble of air perfectly in this pattern. Technically, Corixa don’t have tails, but the tail here accentuates the overall shape of the insect which tapers markedly towards its rear.
Hook: Tiemco 3769 #10-14 Tail: Brown rooster hackle fibres Back: Hen pheasant Rib: Silver wire Body: Madeira metallic Col. 300 Hackle: Brown rooster Thread: Uni 8/0 white, switched for brown for head
Tim Flager’s Brahma hen reinterpretation of the classic US fly pattern the “Woolly Bugger” adapted for UK stillwaters. The original Pitsford Pea used a black chenille body and a lime green chenille collar, part Dog Nobbler, part Tadpole in its origins and has been around for over thirty years. Its origins are a little unknown, as the late Pitsford fly fisher, Bev Perkins , wrote in an article in Fly Fishing and Fly Tying “no-one really wanted to hold their hand up and say: ‘I devised the Pitsford Pea!'”. It has subsequently given rise to a whole series of “Peas” often named after the English midlands waters they were devised for, or at times even particular stretches of some waters. My favourite is the Ravensthorpe Pea, named after the beautiful Victorian reservoir just north of Northampton that I’ve fished many times. This adaptation uses the colour combination of the original “Pea”, hence the name. The Brahma hen should give it lots of motion, so will be interesting to give it an outing early season. Head hackle on this one is a single grizzly hen hackle, but could easily pop on a second to make the head a bit more pronounced. Equally easy to hide as much lead as one would like under all that Brahma.
Hook: Kamasan B830 #10 Tail: Brahma hen chickabou, dyed black Body: 4/5 Brahma hen hackles, dyed black Head hackle: Grizzly hen, dyed chartreuse Thread: Danville 6/0 black
One of the classic loch flies named after its originator, Peter Ross (1873-1923), who owned a shop in Killin, Perthshire. According to a history of the village he was the local barber . It’s a fly that has proven to be a long-lasting pattern and has given rise to several modern variants. The original has a reputation as both a loch fly and a pattern for sea trout. Early dressings tend to use red wool rather than the seal’s fur used here.
History, is seems, is somewhat unclear as to whether Peter Ross actually tied the fly himself or merely suggested it. Alfred Courtney Williams, writing in 1949 , suggests that Ross did not tie his own flies though acknowledges that he was nonetheless responsible for suggesting this variant on the Teal and Red. Similarly, Bruce Sandison  writes “Another Butcher, Peter Ross of Killin, Perthshire, gave his name to a successful brown trout and sea-trout pattern. Ross was not an angler, he simply enjoyed tying flies“. However, an article in the Killin News  from 1996 describes how Peter Ross, in his capacity as a tackle dealer “…was a skilled fly-tier. He sent flies all over the world and his fame was such that many a visiting angler bought flies so that he could say ‘tied by Peter Ross himself’. His variant of the Teal-and- Red, now known as the ‘Peter Ross’, was so successful that he had to take legal advice to protect the name.” The article, which cites a former angling companion of Peter Ross and his nephew and which includes a photograph of Ross complete with rod and fish, suggests that Ross was indeed an angler and that he may well have tied this famous fly himself.
Teal feathers are not the easiest of materials to work with when it comes to constructing a winged-wet fly. They can also vary quite a bit, as this version with a darker wing shows. The ‘perfect’ fly for framing would have all the bars neatly lined up in the wing! For smaller flies it’s feasible to take matching pairs from a Teal flank feather, for larger, seems easier to take a flank feather, fold it in half, and tie it on.
Hook: Hayabusa 761BN #12 Tail: Golden pheasant tippet Rib: Silver wire (note: original pattern used oval silver tinsel) Body: Rear silver tinsel, front red seal’s fur Hackle: Black hen Wing: Teal Thread: Danville 6/0 black