Trout fly of the month

The Black Klinky Thing is tied by Rob Den­son

Trout & Salmon (UK) - - Contents -

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

ROB DEN­SON

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

Visit www.ve­niard.com for more in­for­ma­tion and stock­ists

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