Flies For April
No. 7. THE SOLDIER FLY.--The body is made of scarlet-colored mohair,
ribbed with fine gold twist, and two black-red cock hackles run up over
the body from the tail, (it is made also with orange floss silk body,
ribbed with black silk), a small furnace hackle round the throat and a
darkish starling wing. The dark red furnace hackle has a dark mark round
It may also be made to advantage with peac
ck harl and black-red hackles
over it, and tipped with gold. The latter way makes it the "cochybonddu"
of Wales. It kills best on windy days in general, with the cow-dung fly,
and partridge hackle.
No. 8. THE CUCKOO HACKLE.--The body is made of peacock's harl, and two
dark dun hackles, with darkish bars across them, rolled up to the
throat; give it a tag of yellow green silk, at the end of the tail,
The Granam fly may be made thus:--The wings are made of hen pheasant
wing feather, hare's ear fur for body, and a grizzled cock hackle for
legs. It is a four-winged fly, and when it flutters on the water it is
very much like the engraving in the plate; but when it sails down the
surface, the wings lie flat on its back, and as soon as it touches the
water it drops its eggs; the trout take it freely for about a week in
this month, with the gravel or spider fly,--dun body, black hackle, and
woodcock wings; some use lead-coloured body.
No. 9. THE BLACK PALMER, OR HACKLE.--The body is made of yellow floss
silk, ribbed with silver tinsel, and two short fibred black hackles
struck on from the tail to the shoulder. Hook No. 8.--Vary the body of
this fly with peacock harl without the silver, and it will be a capital
one for light clear water on No. 12 hook. Use the cow-dung fly on windy
days, with the above-named one.
No. 10. THE DUN FOX FLY.--The body is made of the fur found on the neck
of the fox next the skin, mixed with golden yellow mohair. The wings are
the wing feather of the starling or fieldfare, with two fibres of a
stiff honey dun cock hackle for tail; pick out the fur a little at the
shoulder for legs; hook No. 12. Never was there a better little fly
than this thrown on the water, it will kill fish any day in the year.
Put on the little black hackle, with peacock harl body with it as a drop
fly; and when the dun fox is used as a drop fly, put on the March brown
as a stretcher. There may be seen three shades of this fly on the water
at the same time occasionally; the other two shades are the ash and blue
fox,--the first is a very light dun colour of the fox cub's neck or
face, the other is of a darker blue shade; they are great favorites with
the trout, artificially; in mild weather throughout the summer, a small
wren and grouse hackle may be used with them, the bodies made very thin
and taper, and rather full at the shoulder--the wren with orange mohair
body, and the grouse with golden yellow floss silk body.
No. 11. THE DUN DRAKE.--The body is made of golden olive mohair, mixed
with hare's ear fur, the light and dark, and forked with two short
fibres of brown mallard. The wings are made of land-rail wing, and a
little brown mallard, mixed nicely together. Hook, No. 9. There is a
dark red, and a dark dun fly on the water at the same time as the
dun-drake, all of which will be found good ones till the end of May.
The Irish name for the dun drake, is "Coughlan,"[A] made thus:--The
wings, grey partridge tail; the body, light brown bear's fur, with
bright yellow mohair, hare's fur from the face, mixed altogether, forked
with two stripes of a dark mallard's feather, and a partridge hackle.
No. 8 hook. In Ireland they consider this the most useful fly they have
in April and May, as a stretcher, used with the little dun fox, and
black-red, (soldier fly).
No. 12. THE STONE FLY.--The body is made of brown mohair ribbed with
yellow silk, a tuft or tag of yellow mohair or silk at the tail, and a
little yellow mohair worked in under the shoulder, over which roll the
hackle, which should be of a brown-red colour; the wings are made of the
hen pheasant tail mixed with copper brown mallard, made full, and larger
than the body. No. 6 hook. If this fly is made of good colours, as above
described, hardly any large trout, in humour of taking, can well refuse
it. An odd one of them may be seen in March, when the weather is mild;
but in April and May, when it becomes more congenial to them, they
appear numerous towards the evening. Ribbed with gold twist, it makes a
famous grilse fly.
No. 13. THE YELLOW SALLY.--The body is made of buff-colored fur, and a
small yellow hackle for legs round the head; the wings are made of the
buff-coloured feather inside the wing of the thrush. No. 13 hook. This
is the forerunner of the Green Drake or May fly. The trout take this
little fly freely, and it is a most excellent killer on fine days, if
made according to the description. It will be found on the water till
the end of May. The partridge hackle is also good in this month.