Welsh pro fly fishing guide Steffan Jones, of Angling Worldwide shares one of his most effective sea trout fly patterns with us. He also explains how to tie one up in a great YouTube video. This lovely looking fly is an essential pattern to add to your fly fishing tackle box, and will surely help you catch more of the elusive river enigmas that are sea trout this summer.
‘Calon lan yn llawn daioni’; part of a very famous Welsh hymn and one that shares the name of my favourite sea trout fly, the daioni with daioni literally meaning ‘goodness’. I created this fly back around the turn of the century, whilst demonstrating fly tying at the Royal Welsh Show of all places. It has evolved slightly since then, but what it is meant to achieve has not changed at all – a large, rounded profile and silhouette, yet is light and easy to cast with plenty of mobility.
This is probably my most prolific pattern throughout the season and has accounted for sea trout into double figures. However, it is particularly effective when the main shoals of school fish arrive in July especially as these smaller fish love chasing and intercepting flies around the surface film. It was created specifically as a dropper pattern and can be fished with a slimmer profile single, double or even a tube fly beyond it on the point.
The key to a good selection of sea trout fly patterns is to have them in various lengths and profiles. Think of their key food items at sea – their last feeding memory – where sandeels, pin-fry, crabs, shrimps and more all appeared on their table. Think then of the silhouette these food items create; a silhouette of a shrimp of very different to that of a sandeel. As such, you should try and cover all these food items and best of all cover two very different lengths and profiles whilst fishing two flies at a time. For me the daioni is the perfect dropper pattern and covers a very wide profile, much the same as that of a shrimp, perhaps.
It can be fished on a full floater and fished right in the surface film or fished deeper on an intermediate line etc. it can work at all depths. However, it definitely works best when fished closer to the surface and in the surface film, especially on the mild, balmy nights of July and August.
Daioni tying ingredients
Hook: Partridge streamer (D4AF) size 6 or 8
Thread: Veevus 8/0 black
Body: medium silver holographic tinsel
Rib: silver wire
Body hackle: white cock hackle, palmered
Wing: black squirrel
Head hackle: Nature’s spirit grizzly collaring hackle in flu.blue
A step by step video of dressing the Daioni: