Stevie Munn: A Fly to Try Early Next Season

The McCormack Spring Bumble by Stevie Munn

Hook: #10-12 Dry fly or Wet Fly Partridge hook. The Dry Fly hook is the one I use if wanting to fish it on the top dropper.

Tail: GP Tippets and 2 strands of Pearly Twinkle

Rib: Fine oval gold

Body: Red Seal Fur Sub Dubbing

Body Hackle: Claret & Black

Head Hackle: English Grey Partridge

This is a fly I was often asked to dress by an old school pal Mr. B. P. McCormack, he fishes a lot of Irelands Seatrout and brown trout loughs and has always done very well with this pattern. It has also worked for me and many other anglers I know on wild brown trout when they are taking buzzers or duck fly in the spring and also late in the season on many of Ireland's big loughs.

I have done well with this fly on loughs Erne, Melvin and years ago on Corrib. It also works on many of my local still waters for rainbow trout and even on my local river, where some of my friends use it for river trout and also Dollaghan, the lough runs brown in N.Ireland when the river is low. Though not really what you would call a river style fly, It’ a lough fly and a very consistent fish taker in the old Irish bumble style. It was made popular by an Irish fishing legend TC Kingsmill Moore who wrote the classic angling book, ‘A Man May Fish’. A book by the way that all fly anglers should read, in my humble opinion. The book was described by another fly fishing legend, the late Hugh Falkus as the greatest book on sea trout fishing and one of his top 20 angling books. High praise indeed. TC Kingsmill Moore was a distinguished judge of the Irish High Court and Supreme Court and fished the Irish rivers and loughs for over 50 years. Born in Dublin in 1893 he died there in 1979 aged 85. He lives on, not only in the words of his great book, but in his great fly patterns which have helped shape Irish lough flies. His blends and shades of colours in the hackles and furs gave his flies’ translucency, which is perhaps the quintessential essence of Irish lough style fly patterns and Kingsmill Moore bumbles and there variants and of springs. This is just one of many will ride the waves for as long as anglers fish on the loughs of Ireland and beyond.

The McCormack Bumble, like most bumble patterns work well on the top or middle dropper, where I like to dibble it near the boat at the end of your retrieve - normally on a floating line pulled though the waves or ripple from a drifted boat. Brian also tells me he often fishes it on the point of a long cast and pulls this fly hard though a ripple on an intermediate line or even a sink tip line. Brian still gets me to dress a few dozen of these every season, he tells me he uses them to great effect on Lough Currane for Seatrout and also many of the hill loughs in Donegal.


Step 1: Place the hook in the vice and make turns of thread along the hook shank

Step 2: Tie in a small bunch of Golden Pheasant Tippet to form the tail. Add 2 strands of Pearly Twinkle and trim the waste then return to the bend of the hook

Step 3: Tie in the Fine oval gold rib.

Step 4: Add the red dubbing, wind on in touching turns to form the body. Stop a few millimeters behind the eye of the hook.

Step 5: Prepare one Black and one Medium Claret hackle of similar proportion by stripping away the fluffy fibers. Place one on top of the other and tie in with two or three turns of thread and trim the waste

Step 6: Wind both hackles together (you may need to use hackle pliers) until you reach the bend, you should aim for around 5/6 turns then wind the rib back through the hackles to secure them and trim the waste

Step 7: Prepare and tie in the Partridge Hackle. Tie the hackle in by the tip, when wrapping the hackle make sure the hackle wraps are side by side, not one on top of the other. Also at the same time as wrapping the hackle, stroke back toward the hook bend - don’t try to use too many wraps.

Step 8: The fly has now taken shape and all that remains is to whip finish and Varnish, you wouldn`t want all that good work to fall apart!












Stevie Munn works full time in the angling sector as a guide, writer and qualified game angling instructor and consultant, he has appeared in many angling books, DVDs and angling shows all over the world. He has also fished many places in the world and grew up fishing on rivers and loughs of Ireland where he often guides. He runs teaching lessons in fly fishing and host groups fishing in Canada, Iceland, Argentina, Ireland, and other parts of the world. You can contact him via email or get more info at ,