PRO-Team member Allan Liddle's tutorial is on the Lough Leane Hopper. To tie the fly, click on the materials image at the bottom of the blog...
A trip away wouldn’t be a real trip if you didn’t come home with a fly or two to try or adapt back home. This was certainly the case when I returned from my recent trip to Lough Leane and the 2015 5 Nations Championships in the stunning County Kerry and Cork of Southern Ireland.
Midge was well up the trout’s list of food to look out for when we visited and sparse dark Hoppers certainly attracted a fish or two, however the local anglers preferred a wee bit more substance to their flies and I noticed the hoppers they used had that ‘little extra.’
And what better way to check this outright than to swap a fly or two with the first thing that struck me. The fact is, I’ve been working hard to streamline and refine my patterns (predominantly to suit a static dry approach), while across the Irish Sea they still prefer a fuller hackle and a wee bit of attraction either a bit of flash or Jungle Cock (or both) as well as a full hackle, more in kin with our traditional bob style flies than a wee slim delicate dry.
'When in Ireland' thought I and as luck would have it these wee beauties certainly caught the attention of the local Lough Leane resident population, not to mention me to boot. Fish attraction features are right through this pattern, the movement of the legs, the flash of the uv, the pulsating action of the partridge hackle and the general profile of the fly itself, fish loved it both static as well as worked through, over and under the waves.
Home again and a wee adaptation from the original has produced this, which I’ve christened the ‘Lough Leane Hopper’ and put through its initial field run in the wild waters of our famous Orkney trout loch, a mere three days after my return from Ireland (yup I’m a very lucky guy to get two fantastic trips so close together, although it did mean I’d to make serious promises to finish all the building work around the house on my return!).
It's a wee deflection from my ‘less is more’ mantra but in a big wave, or even for that something a wee bit different this wee beauty will get a run or two, bet the Stillwater ‘bows will love it too…….
Hook: Partridge SLD2 Standard Dry size 12 – 14
Butt: Unit 6/0 Fire Orange UV thread
Thread: Uni 6/0 or 8/0 Black
Body: Davy’s Bug Dub hare mix (Veniards)
Wing: Sparse bunch of comparadun or fine natural deer hair (a wee variation from the Irish original but something that works well for me, trout take as either a midge or even a small dark sedge helping make the fly more versatile)
Legs: Natural pre-knotted pheasant tail
Hackle: three turns black cock below three turns natural partridge (I’ve substituted the partridge for a nice natural hen from Chevron Hackles which looks and acts almost identical with added bonus of being easier to work with)
Cheeks: Natural Jungle Cock