Fly evo­lu­tion

TF re­veals how two pat­terns have evolved with the in­clu­sion of mod­ern ma­te­ri­als

Trout Fisherman (UK) - - Contents -

We track the pro­gres­sion of the In­victa and Dab­bler as new ma­te­ri­als hit the shelves

The In­vic­tas

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.

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