TF reveals how two patterns have evolved with the inclusion of modern materials
We track the progression of the Invicta and Dabbler as new materials hit the shelves
The original Invicta was created by James Ogden in late 19th centur y and it’s an all-round wet f ly. Dick Walker likened it to a baby perch fr y but it also resembled sedge. The original used webby hen pheasant tail feathers for the wing, but modern patterns use hen pheasant secondar y feathers, which are better for creating a paired wing. The small fish comparison was reinforced with the development of the Silver Invicta with its dark back and silver body tied slim. The Pearly Invicta is a modern update thanks to a variet y of tinsels being available. Then the Invicta returned to its sedgey origins with the Sedge Invicta incorporating a fatter body with teased out fibres and hen pheasant centre tail wings.
The birth of the Dabbler
The stor y starts with that classic Irish may f ly pattern, the Gosling, tied by Michael Rogan of Donegal. Apparently, during a conversation with Donald McClarn (of the Northern Ireland Benson & Hedges Dromore match team) the term ‘mallard’ was used to describe the wing. Donald assumed he meant bronze mallard as opposed to grey as used in the Gosling. Donald duly tied his with bronze mallard cloaked and the Dabbler was born. From that point the Dabbler received a variety of colour variations including the Silver Dabbler along with the various seal’s furs of the day. Finally, modernit y hit the f ly with the arrival of Straggle Fritz, creating a modern traditional pattern. In Ireland and Scotland many maintained the traditional t y ing st yle but incorporated new materials – eg Mick O’Farrell’s U V Claret Dabbler.