Trout fly of the month
The Black Klinky Thing is tied by Rob Denson
IHAVEN’T THE FOGGIEST NOTION where this one came from, so apologies in advance if anyone thinks I’ve pinched their creation. The reality is that this exact fly, and slight variations, will be in every selfrespecting dry-fly angler’s box. It’s been in my armoury for such a long time that, I kid you not, when I whisper “black Klinky thing” it jumps out and ties itself to my leader. It has been catching fish for me from Chew to Orkney to the rivers of Iceland for a quarter of a century and is showing no signs of slowing down. It’s 35 years, give or take a year, since Hans Van Klinken unleashed his masterpiece on an unsuspecting world. It wasn’t the first parachute dryfly on a curved hook, but it was the one that made the world fly-fishing fraternity think again about the style and fishing of dry-flies and emergers in general. Yes, people tied and fished dry-flies before, but the Klinkhåmer was a seismic shift. There was just something special about The Klink that captured the imagination, not to mention prodigious quantities of trout and grayling worldwide. The Klinkhåmer Special – to give its full and proper title – was perfect for big Scandinavian streams like Norway’s Glomma, where Hans’ creation first touched down and duped a fish. The Glomma was just the start, though. The ensuing years have seen every Tom, Dick and Harry copy and adapt the Klink. Whether any deserve to be called a Klink is debatable – there is only one Klinkhåmer Special, which has a particular and correct tying – but like it or not, for better or worse, any parachute emerger on a curved hook these days is deemed a Klink. I’ve called this month’s fly the Black Klinky Thing. For starters, the vast majority of its work is done on stillwaters (although, as you might imagine, it does cross over to streams rather well and bagged me my best-ever wild brown trout, 5lb-plus, from Iceland’s Minnivalla laekur river in 2003) and it’s a much smaller, lighter, sparser fly than the original. It’s an obvious choice when black gnats, hawthorns or indeed anything black is on the water but also works well as a safe, searching pattern. Most of my dry-fly fishing on stillwaters is done with three, sometimes two, or occasionally one fly (when there’s no breeze, to aid turnover) but not being the most streamlined, Klinks have a tendency to spin and need to be checked every dozen casts or so. For this reason, I’ll only ever have one on a cast at a time. On most days I suspect the colour matters much more to us than the fish. The fly is sold to them largely by virtue of the attitude of the body hanging just below the film, the air bubbles trapped in the seal fur with the pearl rib further suggesting gases, and the leggy, dimpling patterns in the film caused by the parachute hackle. It’s all far too much for most fish to resist.
Hook Size 10 to 16 Kamasan B100 Rib Fine pearl Mylar or Mirage Body Black seal fur Thorax Black seal fur Wing post White or grey poly yarn Hackle Dun/blue dun or grizzle cock Thread Black
has fly-fished for trout for 25 years, visiting all four corners of Britain and Ireland, combining his love of fly-tying, photography and a rolling wave. Web: robdenson.co.uk
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