Pulse Star – Michael Beaty
There are quite a few interesting techniques in this pattern. Michael has taken the Viva colours and blended them nicely to give an incredible effect. I also like the extra movement gained from the mono link so that the tail wiggles more – enhancing the marabou and the Arctic fox. Although the Nomad-style head is largely cosmetic, it does provide sparkle at the front. The long, hen hackle fibres look great and cloak the body while disguising the gold bead under the hackle. The dyed chartreuse guinea fowl at the front also provides a subtle effect and the long rhea fibres draw colour back to the tail. A very different lure.
Pumpkin Wonder – Henry Schembri
This fly takes me back to pre-marabou days and reminds me of the old American streamer patterns – it looks great and very nearly won the challenge. It’s just that there’s more going on in the Pulse Star.
Marabou Murderer – Peter Horlock
There are two patterns using a similar technique, namely marabou as a hackle – these are the Marabou Murderer and The Wraith, by Brian Dawson. The Wraith is better technically but the Marabou Murderer has more going on. I like the bright colour at the head going darker along the body on the MM as this works so well.
Rattle Snake – Jim Miller
Rattles are used a lot in the States on pike flies and the like. I’ve no problem with them being used on trout flies over here, although we don’t see them used very often. What I would say is that adding lumps of plastic or metal to a fly is going to make them harder to cast.
Decoy Lure – Michael Everitt
Adding weighted beads to the front and middle makes the fly sink evenly as opposed to head first, so it will flutter down nicely. The central orange bead provides a hotspot for chasing trout.
Flexi Redhead – Adam Collinson
Adam has used non-standard colours, I like the fact that he’s stayed away from the traditional black and green or white and green, which has become the ‘go to’ colour combinations. Red is a largely under-used colour so it’s refreshing to see. Love the way the red bars match the red Flexi-Floss. The barred marabou isn’t used as much as it should be these days – it just hasn’t caught on as much as barred rabbit strips.