One of the oldest and yet still the best loch flies you can try is the simple Zulu, a true classic and still as deadly today as it’s always been.
Given a little bit of a ‘touch up’ using florescent floss and a pinch of ‘Glister’ through the body for added sparkle this is one of my go-to flies for the tail position when fishing a team of three, ‘short line’ out of a drifting boat.
Although regarded more as a ‘Bob’ pattern (top dropper) I like to tie it up using a heavier Wet Fly Supreme hook to cut through the water’s surface and work this a drab, subtle attractor on the tail, where it’s often taken by fish drawn in by the more surface ‘skipping and dancing’ patterns above it. The heavier hook also helps anchor the cast meaning the bob flies above fish correctly and well as that deadly just sub-surface offering tucked away just behind waiting for the unsuspecting fish to pounce.
Using a slightly more mobile saddle cock hackle for the body, along with a softer and more traditional black hen hackle for the head, you get a tiny bit of mobility with this fly which also attracts fish as it ‘pulses’ its way through the retrieve. Unassuming, slightly drab but simply deadly and a must for any wild loch angler, that said it’s also quite handy for their stocked cousins and a pattern that nowadays is simply overlooked.
Hook; Partridge G3A/L Wet Fly Supreme Size 10 – 14
Thread; Black Uni 6/0 or 8/0
Tail; Glowbrite Floss no4
Rib; Fine silver wire
Body; Black rabbit / hare and Olive Glister mix, 45:45:10
Body Hackle; Black saddle cock palmered in open turns
Head Hackle; Black Hen
Step 1 Place hook in vice and catch in thread behind eye
Step 2 Take a length of Glowbrite floss (approx 6 inches) fold three times and tie in at centre
Step 3 Fold floss towards tail, catch in wire rib and run thread down hook to sucure all materials
Step 4 Trim tail
Step 5 Form dubbing rope body and wind up towards eye
Step 6 Brush out dubbing
Step 7 Prepare body hackle, tie in at head
Step 8 Palmer fly with body hackle in open even turns then bring rib upwards (open even turns) to secure. Trim off hackle and wire
Step 9 Prepare hen hackle for head making sure fibres are slightly longer than body hackle. Tie in at the tip of the hackle
Step 10 Take around four or five turns of hen hackle, tie off, trim waste and form head before adding whip finish
Step 11 Apply varnish to head of fly