Fly to Tie & Try October 2022 by Les Lockey
Fly of the Month – October
Hook: Partridge Patriot Grub and Buzzer, or similar, size 8 or 10.
Thread: Pearl Fusion thread, (from Flybox) and black Semperfli Nanosilk, 50D.
Body: Pearl Fusion thread.
Rib: Pearl Fusion thread.
Thorax: UV red micro Straggle.
Wing: Natural Pine Squirrel zonker strip.
Photo 1. Secure the hook in the vice and starting about 2 mm. back from the eye, wind on a short bed of thread and remove the waste.
Photo 2. Continue to wind the thread in touching turns to part way round the bend, then spin the bobbin holder clockwise to tighten the thread, and wind it back up the shank in open spirals as a rib, stopping at the thorax.
Photo 3. Tie in a length of red straggle and remove any waste.
Photo 4. Attach the black thread behind the eye and run it on to anchor the pearl thread, then remove the pearl thread. Now wind on a few turns of straggle to form the thorax, secure with thread and remove the waste straggle.
Photo 5. Cut a piece of zonker strip to about twice the length of the hook and trim away the fur from the head end. Using well waxed thread, tie in the zonker strip securely on top of the shank immediately in front of the thorax and cut away any excess skin.
Photo 6. Tidy the head with thread, whip finish and remove the thread. Varnish the head to complete the fly.
- This is a very simple pattern to tie and several variations can be created simply by altering the colour of the materials. A black body and wing with a red or green thorax, or an olive body and wing with a chartreuse thorax are very effective alternative combinations.
- As the name suggests, Fusion thread is a combination of standard thread and fine metallic tinsel and as such, it speeds up the tying process, but standard thread along with tinsel bodies can also be used.
- The straggle thorax should be substantial enough to kick the squirrel wing upwards away from the hook allowing maximum movement in the wing.
- Pine squirrel micro zonker strips are used for the wing to maintain proportion in the fly and to provide maximum mobility. They can be bought either as pre-cut zonker strips, or as whole zonkered skins, which is my preferred option, but they are expensive to buy and are only available in natural, black, olive, chartreuse and orange. That said, it is one of my favourite fly tying materials. It makes great dubbing and is ideal for wings on mini lures and larger wet flies.
- Before tying in the zonker strip, I cut it to length and strip away some fur at the front end so the bare skin can be trimmed to fit neatly at the head. This avoids cutting the strip in situ and allows a small, neat head to be formed.
- Nanosilk GSP thread is arguably the strongest and thinnest thread on the market. Its use here allows me to pull down really tightly onto the fur strip to produce a very robust fly.
- Depending on the colour combinations used, the Mohican can be fished either as an out and out lure, or as a fry imitation, as in this case, and can therefore be fished throughout the season and on any density of line.
- Due to its lack of bulk and weight, this pattern is at its best when fished towards the end of the season, in shallow water over dying weed beds, along the edge of bankside vegetation and around the jetties.
- I prefer to fish this fly on a floating line but depending on the depth of water being fished and the strength of the prevailing wind, a sink tip or a fast glass intermediate make useful alternatives.
- Allow the fly time to sink, particularly when used on a floating line, since takes regularly come “on the drop”. If the fly sinks without being intercepted, pay particular attention to the early part of the retrieve, when a change in movement and direction will often provoke a take.
- Retrieving the pattern in short pulls with lots of pauses or with a jerky figure of eight, have worked well for me.