Photograph by Steve Barnett

Saturday 9 April 2016

Learning About the Grannom

What a bonus this fly is in a cold April!  Your blogger is not as well acquainted with the Grannom as he is with the other flies of the Derbyshire rivers.  Whenever it has been the trigger for spectacular sport in the past this was as a most fortunate guest of pals on the Yorkshire rivers during their "Grannom Fortnights" in Aprils past.  It is just possible to count on the fingers of both hands how many of those weeks have been enjoyed by your faithful correspondent up on those boisterous, free-stone, rivers.  The Grannom has hardly figured on the mother river the Derbyshire Wye...

That is until recent years, which have seen this fly appearing on the Derwent and the Wye in greater and greater numbers and the fish have noticed!  Historically on the Derbyshire Wye's lower reaches the Grannom was of no direct import to the dry fly angler because the season didn't begin until May 15th.  The Grannom is over and done with by the end of April.

It's a fly that actually changes colour as it flies away from the water.  It emerges with quite a green body and with dun coloured wings.  Catch one on the surface and you will see.  Catch one a few minutes later when it is on land and the green has turned to an ashy tan and the wings are a cold dark brown.  Copy the later fly and cast it at fish taking freshly emerged Grannom and you will fluke a fish or two.  This is what your blogger used to do as the Double Badger was pressed into service when the Grannom had been identified ON LAND...

It was only after scooping one out of the water, by trapping it in the hairs on the back of the hand, that the colour difference was noted.  A loud and clear signal to get back to the vice and prepare something more like the newly emerged colouring.

You are already aware that your blogger prefers a ragged style of fly for fakes of the sedge (caddis) flies.  The anatomy of the Nondescript Sedge (NDS) was therefore chosen as the basis for the fresh attempt at a fresh fake of the Fresh Grannom.

Here is the Step-By-Step for tying the "Fresh Grannom".

Pinch out three equal amounts of Highland Green, Green Olive and Lime Green DRF dubbing (this is Seal's Fur but not essential)
Mingle them together thoroughly
Collect the rest of the materials: Thick Black Thread; Size 14 LS Hooks; Dun Cock Hackles; Deer Hair; the mingled Green Dubbing.
Start at the bend and run on a bed of the thread to the point where the front of the body will be.
Dub on sufficient dubbing to make the body
Wind on the body down to the bend as shewn and rib it through to the front with open ribbing turns of the thread.  Carry on with the thread to make a bed for the wing to adhere to.

Tear off enough Deer Hair to make a straggly wing and tie it in with three tight turns.  Trim the wing roots to a taper.
Using the brush in the cap of some Sally Hansen Hard As Nails nail polish, stipple a good dollop into the trimmed roots of the wing and wind the thread tightly to the front just behind the eye.

Strip off the waste fibres at the root end of a Dun Cock Hackle and, with the concave side towards you, tie it in tightly into the still moist nail polish (or tying cement) finishing at the base of the wing.
Wind the hackle 6 to 8 turns back to the base of the wing.  Catch it in with the thread and quickly wind the thread through the hackle back to the very front of the fly just behind the hook eye.   Tweak off both waste ends of the hackle.  Make a whip finish and lacquer the head, remembering to clear the eye before it dries.  Voila!  The "Fresh Grannom"!

So far, during a hatch of Grannom, it seems to be working better than my browner fakes used to do.  The results are better than the flukes experienced before.

I hope it works for you too!

Regular Rod


  1. Thanks for the tying lesson Rod. Here in Colorado we have many varieties of caddis including the grannom. I think this will work here as well. I can't wait to give it a try.

    1. My great pleasure Howard and thank you for your kind remarks. Please do let me know how you fare with it.

      Best wishes