The Kate McLaren is a Scottish loch fly, intended to be the top dropper (or bob fly) on a team of three. While its traditional use is on still water, I’m going to be fishing this on rivers. And while I might give it some time as a top dropper, it’s going to get the lion’s share of action on point.
Hook: 8-14 (this is a 1x short, 2x strong Orvis 1641 size 10)
Tail: Golden pheasant crest
Body: Black seal fur (I used angora goat)
Rib: Fine oval silver tinsel
Body Hackle: Black rooster (I used soft hen)
Head hackle: Brown rooster (ditto on the hen)
The next time you fish the Peter Ross, be grateful that his name was not Aloysius Karbuncle. The Peter Ross is a traditional Loch style fly that dates back to the late 19th century. Ross based his pattern on the Teal and Red, another stillwater fly. With its silver body, I’m thinking small baitfish or fry. Something that looks alive and good to eat. I’m going to try it as the point fly on a team of three wets this spring.
Hook: 8-16 (this is an Orvis 1641 size 10)
Tail: Golden pheasant tippets
Body: Rear half silver tinsel, front half red angora goat
Rib: Fine silver tinsel
Hackle: Black hen
Wing: Teal flank
I first learned of the Catskill when I read Ray Bergman’s classic, Trout. While it lacks the garish palette of the majority of the flies that appear on the color plates at the beginning of the book, the Catskill is nonetheless an attractive fly – albeit in a rather understated way. There’s something seductive about wood duck. The soft brown hen hackle will collapse and pulse in the current, contrasting nicely against the orange floss body. It’s easy to imagine this as an over-sized caddis.
Hook: 1x short, 2x strong size 8-16 (this is an Orvis 1641 size 10)
Tail: Wood duck
Body: Orange floss under brown hen, palmered
Wing: Wood duck
The old-timers up in Maine (or down East, if you’re going for authenticity) who were fishing for brookies thought their quarry to be highly territorial. So after they creeled a fish, they’d clip off one of the fins and use it for bait. And what an attractive bait it was: shiny, deep orange, contrasted against dramatic black and white bands. An enterprising fly tyer named Phil Armstrong realized he could replicate this bait in the form of a married-quill wing wet fly. And thus was born the Fontinalis Fin. “Fontinalis” from the second half of the brook trout’s taxonomic name, Salvelinus fontinalis. “Fin” for rather obvious reasons. What a brilliant concept.
Hook: 6-16 (this is a 1x short, 2x strong Orvis 1641 size 10)
Tail: White hackle fibers
Body: Orange wool with fine gold tinsel rib
Throat: Furnace hackle fibers
Wing: Orange mallard married to a thin strip of black or natural grey mallard, then a slightly thicker strip of white mallard