Photograph by Steve Barnett

Wednesday 7 September 2011


a step-by-step of the Tup's Indispensable (Variant)
For use when the fish prefer to eat one of the flies that we anglers just call the Pale Watery.  There are several flies that get clumped together under the name "Pale Watery" but you don't need lots of different flies to match the hatch.  This very old fly serves well and the modification I have made to the dubbing renders it an even more effective fake of the real thing(s).

The dubbing in this variant of the original is fluorescent Sunrise Pink seal's fur.

Here's the very easy method of making the Tup's Indispensable (Variant)...

This is a size 16 Kamasan B980 the thread is Primrose Yellow, equivalent to Pearsalls' Yellow No.4.  Run on a short bed of the thread.

Tie in a bunch of pale Honey Dun or pale Honey cock hackle fibres to make a tail about as long as the hook shank.

Carry on with tight touching turns back to the start of the thread, tying in the hackle fibres as you go and trimming off any excess hackle fibres.  This makes the body of the fly.

Dub on a very sparse amount of the Sunrise Pink fur.

Wind a short "thorax" over the front part of the body, leaving enough space for the hackle in front, wind a tight ribbing turn onto the thorax as you bring the thread back to the front.

Tie in a pale Honey Dun cock hackle as shewn with the concave side of the hackle outermost.  You can use a very pale Honey hackle if Honey Dun is not available.

Wind the hackle four or five turns to the thread.  Tie it in tightly and wind the thread through the hackle to the hook eye then make a whip finish, varnish the head and clean out the wet varnish from the hook eye with the hackle tip left in your hackle pliers.  There you have it the Tup's Indespensable Variant, which, from July to late September, I would hate to be without.

Regular Rod


  1. Fine looking fly...will have to try my hand at tying it. Cheers!

  2. Great looking fly, I can't wait to tie some of these up. Thanks for the tutorial.


  3. I have always wondered what the pink colour is put in to match the pale watery dun? Is this in the natural fly or a trigger point?


  4. The pink colour is certainly not in any of the flies coming under the title "Pale Watery". However, the fly works well with the inclusion. The fluourescent colour probably looks nothing like pink to a trout or grayling's eye but there it is. It works so I use it.

    Regular Rod

  5. That fly looks like a must have to me. Can't to tie one up and whip it in the wind. The trout won't be able to resist, I'm sure. Thanks for the wonderful how to. Tight Lines.

  6. I've put a few in my box today. But I'm not expecting too muchnow the season is coming to an end.

    But Grayling love small flies, and I've done a few in 18s as well as 16s.



  7. great pattern!! Gonna give these a try tonight