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Want to know what flies are working best here at Fisherwick Trout Lake?

Have you ever wanted to tie your own flies but were unsure about what materials and equipment you need? Or how to tie the best patterns?

Fisherwick member, Al Stewart, shares his thoughts on flies and the tying thereof, and anything else that comes to mind in the noble pursuit of fly fishing.


Spare a copper, Guv!

by Unknown - 08:19 on 22 March 2014



I've noticed, over the past two years, that I seem to catch more trout on flies that have a good bit of flash in them. Nothing unusual about that, you could say. Plenty of fishermen catch on fritzes and other "flashy" flies. But a year ago, or so, I was looking for new patterns to try out and I came across one designed for Bonefish based on a Clouser Minnow. It had strands of copper-coloured Crystal Hair in it and I thought I'd tie a variant, smaller in size and try it out on Fisherwick trout.

On colder days when the water is a bit muddied, the fly worked perfectly! I was fishing the other Sunday (9 March) and, although the sun shone and it was a bit breezy, I fished the Clouser and pulled my bag within two hours whilst the seven or eight other fishermen (and women, and it was good to see them fishing, not just reading a book . . . I can see I'm going to get into trouble here! What I mean is, whilst it is great to see ladies "escorting" their husbands whilst they indulge their passion, it is always good to see more ladies actually fishing!) . . . to get back to the point! Everyone else was drawing a blank!

Left to right: Copper Cruncher, Copper Clouser and Bead-head Copper Buzzer

The fly I have called the Copper Clouser and it is very simple to tie (see pattern below). This got me thinking, and I looked at my fly boxes and the flies with which I had been successful before. Apart from two, the Belgian Cruncher and my own creation, the Sherbet Badger, all were of a coppery colour, ranging from rusty brown to flashy copper. So, is copper the Fisherwick colour? I set out to create some more patterns and test my theory.

The next creation I decided upon was the Copper Cruncher. If you know your "Cruncher" family, you will know that this is a very simple pattern, but very effective! In my pattern I just replaced everything with copper Crystal Hair and some holo tinsel and a gingery hackle.

This 3lb beautiful hen fish was snared on a false cast, into the wind . . . bad idea I thought . . . until the line tightened up . . . on the Cruncher on Wednesday (19 March). She gave a hard fight but succumbed in the end. Luckily the hook came out in the net after I landed her. Very pleased, I was! Unfortunately, the weather, which had been fine earlier (and was fine after I left!) got the better of me and I left it at that. But I still had my theory intact!

When I first arrived, I tried the Bead-head Copper Buzzer without any interest shown. This early in the season I wasn't too surprised as the trout are mainly going after fry as it's a bit early for buzzers and pupae, so I'll wait a few more weeks before I try again.

So if you're running out of ideas and you've tried everything in the box, Copper flies are definitely worth a try!

Tying the flies

Copper Clouser

This is basically an "upside-down" fly. The eyes help to keep the weight down and and the point up which helps in avoiding snagging weeds.

Hook: Kamazan B175 size 8-12

Thread: Rust Brown 8/0 (I use UNI)

Chain bead or dumbbell eyes

Tail: Crystal Hair Copper

Wing: A few strands of yellow Maribou or fox fur.

Tie on a bed of thread then tie on the eyes using figure of eight turns.

Wind the thread in touching turns down to the bend and back to the eyes. Take a few strands of Crystal Hair and catch them in at the eye to form the tail. Wind thread in tight open turns over the strands of Crystal Hair. Catch in two or three more strands of hair and take the thread back up to the eye. Then wind the strands of Crystal Hair back up to the eye and secure with the thread, folding back the strands. Trim them to just short of the tail length. Now turn the hook over in the vice and catch in a pinch of the marabou or fox fur at the eye so that the tips are level with those of the tail. Build a neat head. Carry the thread behind the eyes and use very tight turns to lock the wing in place. Cast off the thread and run a drop of varnish or superglue into the thread wraps holding the wings and eyes.


Bead-Head Copper Buzzer

Hook: Kamazan B110 Grubber size 10-14

Copper bead tied in at the eye

Thread: Rust Brown 8/0 (I use UNI)

Body: Crystal Hair Copper strands tied in at eye and then wind thread down to the bend. Wind back up to about 4mm before eye and wind strands to make the body, again to 3-4mm before the eye.

Thorax: Tie in a couple of turns UV Straggle Fritz, colour to match.

Whip finish and add a dab of varnish.


Copper Cruncher

Hook: Kamazan B175 10-14

Thread: Rust Brown 8/0 (I use UNI)

Body & tail: Crystal Hair Copper

Rib: Holo tinsel

Lay on a bed of thread

Catch in a few strands of Crystal Hair at the point leaving a tail, but ensuring you have enough to wind back up as the body.

Next tie in a strand of flat holo tinsel to rib over the body.

Wind thread back to about 4 mm from the eye.

Wind up the strands of Crystal Hair and secure.

Next wind up the tinsel and secure.

Attach a hackle of red game or any feather that gives you the right "copper" look.

You only need two or three turns: the hackle can be quite sparse.

Finish off with a neat head and add a dab of varnish.


Good Luck!





Comment from Peter Cleaver at 21:41 on 02 April 2014.
Just to put the record straight I was one of those seven or eight other fly fishermen on 9th March and would like to say I have never blanked at the lakes, maybe a look in the returns log for the day will confirm that others were also successful.

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