Fly Friday #181 by Alistair Hutchens

I’m known for tying Intruders and the larger style salmon flies amongst other patterns. I’ve been fortunate enough to have featured in a few magazines with these patterns and salmon flies on doubles/singles that are inspired by tying methods and materials used in tying intruders. 

This Friday Fly was no different. I was approached by a very keen salmon angler that has fished all over the world and wondered if I could tie him some smaller Intruders. I bored him half to death with the complexities of why Intruders are so big, because the materials create a specific style of movement when fished in the swinging method with a cast across stream and let them fall deep and then be pulled through the water in a swinging motion, enticing the fish to take.

He had seen and heard that I had been fortunate enough to have some success with this method here in Scotland and even on some smaller Highland waters where smaller patterns were the fly of choice. After a long chat, he got me convinced to tie him up some doubles that were as close an interpretation to the intruder as possible, whilst still imparting great movement by choosing the right materials for the way they react when under water in flow conditions. 

I have chosen Rhea for its great movement and colour in the water. Opossum fur too as it is fine but has great guard hairs for support and additional movement, and Amherst as it retains form when tied on top of this composite loop structure and gives a shrimp type appearance.

I was sceptical at first, but tied a few patterns up and came up with this fly. I am really pleased with the outcome and these will be getting a swim when I’m fishing on the North and South Esk next week. I haven’t named it yet and maybe some of the readers could make suggestions. I thought that “Needy Child” might be a good idea, and some may know the relevance of this?

Anyway, here goes……

Hook: #6 Partridge Down Eye double – Nickle
Thread: 6/0 Uni Black
Tail: Composite loop – Opossum fur (Future Fly) in orange tip dyed yellow, SSS flouro yellow, Orange Rhea. Once loop formed, spin onto tail and then individually select Orange dyed Amherst and place each strand around tail section to form shrimp like legs in a teardrop shape for form.
Body: Alta Gold SSS flat braid (excellent strong product) -0 tied up to 2/3 of shank length giving plenty of room for next composite loop.
Front section: Composite dubbing loop of Black (Future Fly) Opossum, Yellow flour SSS dubbing (No Rhea at the front section on this pattern.
Hackle: Black hen hackle (3 turns only to give a base for tying in Amherst last). Yellow with orange tipped dip dyed Amherst on top of the black hen hackle.
Eyes: Jungle cock slightly larger than normal on a double pattern this size – in keeping with intruder style as it gives appearance of not only an eye but gill plates too.
Head: Whip finish Uni thread and Zap-a-Gap glue, allow to set and then two coats of Sally Hensen clear Hard as Nails.

TOP TIP: When making composite loops I gather my materials on a business card on a flat surface. I add another business card on top then trim away waste. I make sure my dubbing goes at the top, them my fur with Rhea evenly spaced on top of the fur. The two business cards let you easily handle materials and place them into the composite formed tying thread loop.

When you spin the loop don’t over spin it. Do not tease out dubbing at this stage as it creates a good woven thread appearance that can be teased out once on the hook shank. Then tease out the fur from the thread (it gets trapped in the spinning process), with a Velcro strip applied softly. Wet this part of the composite loop and form a hackle in the same way you would a feather hackle (touching turns). Apply the first part of the loop (dubbing part) onto the shank on top of itself to create a collar that the touching turns of the remainder of the composite loop can sit behind. This gives support and a good tear drop shape. Wetting this part initially looks untidy but it is easier to handle the materials and then when you brush it at the end to tease out the dubbing into the tail, it forms perfectly.