What’s in YOUR BOX?

Steve Cullen highlights a few pat­terns from his grayling fly box …

Trout Fisherman (UK) - - Be Inspired -

STEVE is an ex­pe­ri­enced fly an­gler and no stranger to the com­pe­ti­tion cir­cuit on river and stillwater. As he says in this fea­ture, he goes fish­ing to catch fish so has the ut­most faith in his flies.

1 Steve’s Bug

A fly that came about through luck and ne­ces­sity. My mate showed me his Fox Squir­rel Nymph which fea­tured a black tho­rax. He was called Tam and the fly was called Tam’s Bug. I never had any fox squir­rel, but I did have lots of nice spikey olive seal’s fur. It was my main body ma­te­rial and again I used some black dub­bing for the tho­rax, cou­pled with a gold bead – and Steve’s Bug was born. I’ve caught on this fly the world over.

2 Red Tag vari­ant

A Red Tag but not the usual black-bod­ied one, this one fea­tures an olive Glis­ter body and red wire rib. I cou­ple this with a rain­bow tung­sten bead. I love this fly in smaller sizes in late au­tumn and early win­ter when the grayling are still look­ing up. I had my largest English grayling on this fly, a tiny size 18 ver­sion of it. The huge grayling weighed an im­pres­sive 3lb 2oz. It’s quite a feat land­ing a fish of that size on such a tiny fly!

3 Hare’s Ear Bug

A buggy-look­ing fly that works ex­tremely well on wary, pres­sured fish. It’s ba­si­cally a dark hare’s fur body and a darker tho­rax and a very thin gold holo­graphic rib through it all. Whether you are fish­ing two flies or a team of three, this one al­ways goes on the top drop­per po­si­tion! It’s a fly I have the ut­most con­fi­dence in, as I do with most drab-look­ing flies. There’s a time and a place for the brightly-coloured ‘bling’ flies, but I’ve yet to find any of them that out­fish the scruffy-look­ing plain ones. They just look more nat­u­ral to the fish.

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