Try these four pairs of siblings for loch salmon and sea-trout
Hook Size 6-8 Fulling Mill Short Shank Special or size 8-10 Competition Heavyweight Thread Black Tail Hot yellow over red golden-pheasant crest Rib Medium red wire Body Mayo Flycraft flat gold tinsel Body hackles Orange and black cock* Collar hackles French partridge hackles – West of Ireland golden olive (WOIGO) over crimson * In small sizes, strip one side of the palmering hackle. In large sizes, tie them full.
LOCH SHRIMP MUDDLER
As above – with a WOIGO deer hair head, tied on size 8-10 Fulling Mill Competition Heavyweight This pattern stems from the Red Lady (devised by John Murdo Macritchie) but differs so much from the original that I have renamed it. The Loch Shrimp is a nod to the efficacy of shrimp-style patterns on rivers, which is not, currently, being addressed by loch patterns for salmon and sea trout. In bright weather I use the Muddled version as a top-dropper, backed up by the standard (non-muddled) as a point fly; in dull weather, I may fish the standard as a middle fly, but more often I use the Muddler as a point fly.
Hook Size 6-8 Fulling Mill Short Shank Special or size 8-10 Competition Heavyweight Thread Black Tail Hot yellow golden-pheasant crest Rib Silver wire Body Claret seal fur Body hackles Claret, dark magenta and black cock* Collar hackles Blue guinea fowl over black hen (or bottle-green peacock body feather for more “kick”).
STONE GOAT MUDDLER
As above – with a black deer hair head, tied on size 8-10 Fulling Mill Competition Heavyweight The Stone Goat is gaining a reputation as a taker of all big salmonids. Devised by Mark Hirst for Lochaber ferox, it has made the transition to the migratory field where it is fast becoming indispensable. Primarily a dull-day, good-wave fly, it rarely fails to get a positive reaction. I always grease the standard dressing and, as such, it has taken quite a few sea-trout for me when static on the surface and an even greater number of salmon and sea-trout when fished as a “wet” fly. For my best-ever salmon-day on a loch I used the Muddled version on Loch Scourst, Amhuinnsuidhe estate.
Hook Size 6-8 Fulling Mill Short Shank Special or size 8-10 Competition Heavyweight Thread Black Tail Hot yellow golden-pheasant crest Tag No.5 Globrite floss Rib Medium flat silver Lagartun Body Black seal fur Body hackles Red and black cock* Collar hackles One turn each of blue guinea fowl over black hen, over red guinea fowl
CLAN GOAT MUDDLER
As above – with a black deer hair head, tied on size 8-10 Fulling Mill Competition Heavyweight A cross between a Clan Chief and a Stone Goat, this pattern has been a revelation, and yet I have no idea why. Perhaps it is the dressing elements, the basic ingredients of black, red and silver, which are the basis for most sea-trout patterns, as well as the fly’s copious movement. Whatever the reason, this is far and away my best sea-trout pattern, although it has yet to prove itself on salmon. I always have the standard version in the unfashionable middle position, where it works miracles.
Hook Size 6-8 Fulling Mill Short Shank Special or size 8-10 Competition Heavyweight Thread Black Tail Scarlet cock pheasant fibres Rib Silver wire Body Black seal fur Body hackles Claret and black cock* Collar hackle Natural French partridge
STORM CROW MUDDLER
As above – with a black deer hair head, tied on size 8-10 Fulling Mill Competition Heavyweight An interesting story, this. I was fishing on South Uist with friends a few autumns ago. One of my party (Neil Patterson) was given a fly to try on the understanding that I never saw it – not an uncommon situation. Neil fished with it all day on Fada and caught a 10lb sea-trout. I helpfully netted and unhooked the fish. I have a photographic memory. Nuff said.in my experience, the Muddled version is a better salmon fly, but one of my buddies would argue this point, and he rarely has it off his cast.