Photograph by Steve Barnett

Friday 23 March 2012

Iron Blue Dun...

This is a remarkable little fly.  It appears rarely.  At least it appears rarely nowadays compared to the days before abstraction, pollution and dredging.  Nevertheless, it is still around and a mighty important little fly this is to the dry fly fisher when it turns up.  Woe betide you if it puts in an appearance when you are not in possession of a suitable fake!  Why?  The trout will soon show you why.  They love these tiny flies and eat them with extreme alacrity.  Your faithful correspondent has seen them appear during the Drake and the fish immediately eschewed the big mayflies and made all haste to eat as many of the Iron Blue Duns as they could get to before the brief hatch was over.  The hatch can last as long as an hour but is often of shorter duration and they put in an appearance at any time of the year.

It is best imitated on a size 18 or even a 20 hook depending on how the hook makers interpret their sizes.

Here is one way of making an attempt at a fake of the Iron Blue Dun (IBD) that was hinted at in the previous post.  It differs from the traditional anatomy of herl bodied, hackled, dry flies in that it uses the spare end of tying thread as the rib.  Again it is quick and easy to tie.

With the hook in the vice, run on a bed of yellow tying thread leaving two or three inches of "waste" end.  Do not cut this off.  This will be your rib later on.

Tie in a tail of a few Dark Blue Dun cock hackle fibres.

Tie in two herls from a primary wing feather of a Canada goose.

Run the thread back to the front of where the body will be, making a bed of thread as you further tie in the tail and the two herls.

Wind the herls to make the body and tie them in. Cut off the waste ends of the herls.

Rib the body with the "waste" end of the tying thread by winding three open ribbing turns in the opposite direction from the way you wound the herls to make the body.  Tie in the ribbing thread and cut off the actual waste end.

Tie in a Dark Blue Dun cock hackle like this with the concave (duller) side facing you. Finish up with the thread at the front of the body and leave it dangling.

Wind the hackle three or four turns is enough back to the thread and tie it in winding the thread quickly through the hackle fibres to avoid catching too many of them and squashing your hackle into a clump.  Tweak off the hackle tip.  Make a whip finish and varnish the head, using the hackle point out of your hackle pliers to pull through and clear the varnish from the eye whilst it is still wet.

The finished Iron Blue Dun. 

Make sure you have a few with you whenever you visit a water where they may live.

Regular Rod

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