Fly­box fillers

Russ Sy­mons’ easy-to-tie fry im­i­ta­tion, the per­fect choice when you need to work hard for your fish

Trout Fisherman (UK) - - Contents -

Step-by step to an easy-to-tie Black Pin­fry

AS sum­mer be­gins to mel­low into au­tumn the trout in­stinc­tively start look­ing for pro­tein to pack on as much weight as they can to with­stand the rigours of the cold win­ter months. The smor­gas­bord of in­sect life has very nearly shut up shop so the fish turn their at­ten­tion to fry. These fry-feed­ing fish are of­ten ful­lyfinned, long-term res­i­dents, which have learned sur­vival the hard way. These usu­ally wary fish will leave the sanc­tu­ary of the depths and weed plan­ta­tions to haunt struc­ture and the mar­gins, look­ing for fry. You will of­ten see hunt­ing packs of trout herd­ing fry against a dam wall, or driv­ing the fry into a small bay where their in­built preda­tory in­stincts then take over. It is now that an­glers un­lim­ber their cast­ing arm and start pulling lures to tempt these hard­feed­ing fish. These fast, strong fish know ev­ery trick in the book when it comes to break­ing free – of­ten giv­ing life to yet an­other hard-luck story! Most of the flies used at this time of year are large pat­terns like Snakes, Minkies, Float­ing Fry and Hu­mun­gus – and when fish are feed­ing hard these can be lethal flies. But fish don’t feed all the time. In fact fry feed­ers seem to feed in short dy­namic spells, then there are long pe­ri­ods when just noth­ing seems to be hap­pen­ing. The fish are still there and still look­ing for some­thing to eat, and this is when this lit­tle Black Pin­fry pat­tern seems to score. Work it along the edge of weedbeds and drop-offs, par­al­lel with the bank, and near any sort of struc­ture or out­crop where fry tend to con­gre­gate. Fish a float­ing, sink-tip or in­ter­me­di­ate line with a snappy fig­ure-of-eight re­trieve with maybe two Pin­fry pat­terns or a Minkie on the point and a Pin­fry on the drop­per. I have been more than sur­prised on a num­ber of oc­ca­sions when the best fish have come to the Pin­fry drop­per. It re­ally is a good lit­tle fly to keep in the cor­ner of your lure box for those dire days when you need to prospect hard for your fish.

Top ty­ing tips

In truth, the Black Pin­fry evolved from flies sim­i­lar to the Cor­morant. In fact, the first time I saw some­thing like this the an­gler called it a Sil­ver Cor­morant be­cause it had a wrapped and wire-ribbed sil­ver body, much like the tra­di­tional wet flies of the time... but it worked and it worked very well. Then came a spell when the sil­ver body lost the wire rib and was sim­ply painted with Su­per­glue and that still works as well as ever. To­day we wrap a car­rot-shaped body and coat it with UV resin which, when wet, looks su­perb. The body is wrapped from ei­ther sil­ver tin­sel or what­ever re­flec­tive tin­sel takes your fancy. For some years I have been us­ing a pearly pink tin­sel which is so old its ori­gin is lost in the mists of time. Truth­fully, I don’t think its colour

mat­ters that much, be­cause when shrouded with the black marabou wing I be­lieve it is the move­ment, flicker and sug­ges­tive flash that tempts the fish. If you have lot of coarse fish in your wa­ters then per­haps a hint of colour to sug­gest a tiny coarse fish fry would be a good thing to try. The red of the gill is sug­gested by Gel Core Mi­cro Body from Fly­box which makes a su­perb job of adding small hints of colour right where you want them with­out any fuss or bother. A green Mi­cro Body also works well. The wing of black marabou needs to be plucked to length so it is just a lit­tle longer than the length of the hook. Use your thumb­nail and fore­fin­ger to pluck the fluff from the stalks that you are go­ing to tie in, so that you can tie a tidy black head to the fly with­out marabou fluff stick­ing out every­where. Nor­mally I try to make the heads on my flies as small and in­con­spic­u­ous as pos­si­ble, but on this pin­fry pat­tern the black head is a part of the pat­tern. So af­ter fas­ten­ing the marabou tightly, build a black thread head in pro­por­tion to the fly.

Red and Green-throat Pin­fry ready to go.

Struc­tures such as rock walls or pon­toons are ideal places to tar­get au­tumn fry-feed­ers.

This Col­li­ford brown trout was duped by a pin­fry pat­tern.

Float­ing line, sink-tip or in­ter­me­di­ate Pin­fry 5ft 5ft Minkie

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