Fly of the Week – UV Crystal Hackle Damsel

Fly Of The Week - UV Crystal Hackle Damsel

The Damsel is one of the most prolific insects which inhabit our lakes here in the UK. This is reflected in what anglers prefer to fish on small waters and reservoirs with most anglers ‘go to’ fly being a damsel of some sort. Variants consist of chain eyes, gold heads or leaded bodies with marabou tails either woven or stacked, both of these additions add the most possible movement. Kieron Jenkins shows how to tie one of the more modern variants using UV Crystal hackle fritz for the body.

Simply start off by attaching a bead of choice to your favourite hook. Here I have chosen the Fulling Mill Grip Gape Hook size 10, with a 3.8 silver brass bead. Attach your UTC Thread to the hook, building up a section of thread behind the bead to stop any slippage then run the thread down the hook creating a solid platform to latch your marabou tail onto.

Take an inch or so of olive marabou from a turkey feather and trim away the end waste. This makes tying the marabou in easier and it also adds less bulk to the body. Run the thread over the marabou to the bead to form a smooth, flat body then take the thread back down to the bend of the hook. Offer up a strand of crinkle flash to each side of the tail for added sparkle and tie in.

For the body I have used FlyBox UV Crystal Hackle in olive colour. The UV adds some extra sparkle in low light conditions, primarily what we get this time of year in the UK! Take the front end of the fritz, the tip where the fibres fall back down the hank. This ensures that each time you wind the fritz each turn falls perfectly into place and sits right. Latch the fritz to the hook and wind – in touching turns – back towards the bead, pulling the fibres back after each turn. Simply tie in, build a little hot spot with the bright coloured thread and tie off.

This pattern can also be tied in many different colour combinations, all black, black and green, white and green, all white… A great versatile pattern for grown on or stocked fish.

UV Crystal Hackle Damsel Tying Materials
Hook: Fulling Mill Heavyweight Champ Barbless Size 10
Thread: Orange UTC 140
Bead: Silver 3.3mm
Tail: Olive Marabou
Flash: Crinkle Flash
Body: Olive UV Crystal Hackle

Written by Kieron Jenkins

Fly of the Week – Red Holographic Stripped Quill Buzzer

Fly Of The Week - Super Glue BuzzerSuper glue buzzers are probably the most used flies in the UK, especially start of the season where midge pupa are in abundance in cold, silty waters. Bloodworm are a staple part of a fishes diet, expect anything from carp to trout to pick up a bloodworm pattern! This weeks fly of the week is the Red Holographic Stripped Quill Buzzer, coated with super glue to give it durability and add small amounts of weight. A good representation of the bloodworm, ideal for the point of a two or three fly cast.

Select an appropriate hook – Here I have chosen to tie this fly on a Barbless Fulling Mill Grip Gape hooks, size 10. Run one layer of thread down the hook shank and stop just short of the extreme bend on the hook. This gives the fly a great shape, almost as if it’s moving.

Take a length of stripped quill, I prefer to strip my own using my thumb and forefinger. Attach this to the bend of the hook with as few turns as possible and then wind in the medium red holographic. Take this to the thorax of the fly in touching turns, tie in and rib with evenly separated turns of the stripped quill. Getting the quill to sit at the bend of the hook on top of the holographic can be tricky, have some patients and get it sitting right (it took me three attempts!).

Tie off the stripped quill and build a neat tapered thorax to form the head of the fly. Take two Flu Orange goose biots for wing buds and latch in the fine ends to the bottom of the thorax at each side of the hook. Making sure the tips of the biots are covered, take your thread to the top of the hook and sit behind the eye. Pull each goose biot up and over the eye in a diagonal position, tie in and whip finish.

Glueing the fly

Simply take your bonding agent, my favourite recently has been the Airflo Stic-IT anglers super glue. A handy little tub of super strength glue with a fine point nozzle to get into those tough creases. Layer a small amount of glue down the body and over the thorax and take your needle to disperse evenly. Once the whole body is covered leave to dry and repeat the process as many times as possible.

Fly Tying Material List for the Red Holo Stripped Quill Buzzer.

Hook: Fulling Mull Grip Gape Barbless Size 10
Thread: Black UTC 70
Body: Red Holographic
Rib: Stripped Peacock Quill
Thorax: Black Thread
Cheeks: Orange Goose Biot
Coating: Airflo Stic-IT Anglers Super Glue

Written by Kieron Jenkins

Fly of the Week – White Minky

Fly of the Week
Minkies or Zonkers are the ‘go to’ fly when the fish are feeding on fry. They can be tied in many colour variations and size to represent their preferred food source. A minky offers plenty of movement, especially with the addition of a heavily leaded body. Not only do zonkers give a great ‘up & down’ motion when pulled but a ‘wiggling’ effect when steadily retrieved. This weeks fly of the week is the White Minky/Zonker. Watch the tying video and give it a go!

Tying Instructions

For flies such as these I prefer to use Kamasan b175 size 8 hooks, they give a good length shank and also add some additional weight. The hook is also very strong and reliable, you need something you can trust when playing the fish of a lifetime!

Run a layer of White UTC Thread to about opposite the barb and attach a length of lead wire. The wire density can be varied depending on how heavy you want the fly. Wind the lead to the eye, leaving sufficient room to tie the wing off. Cover the lead in a couple of layers of white thread.

Attaching the Rabbit zonker strip is simple. Measure against the hook the length of the ‘tail’ and part the fur to expose the skin, simply place the rabbit strip in position and wind the thread onto the exposed skin and pull tight. Two or three turns should do. Pull the whole of the rabbit strip back and attach a piece of hot yellow wire for the rib and also a length of white/uv hippy fritz .

Wind the fritz to about the same position of where you ended the lead wire, making sure to stoke the fritz back after each turn. This ensures none are trapped or bulk the fly up. Pull the rabbit strip across the back of the fly to the eye and part the fur again to tie in securely. Run the rib through the rabbit and to the eye, this secures the rabbit strip in place and enhances the overall durability of the fly.  I found the easiest way to part the fur when ribbing is to use a dubbing needle, place the needle through the fur and pull upwards parting each section and then run the wire through and round the fly. Tie off.

Adding eyes to a minky or zonker completely transforms a boring fly, I prefer to use funky 3d epoxy eyes, they are strong and very reliable. Ideal for attaching to fry patterns. Here I have used the ‘tab’ versions which are great for tying into small flies, or flies which have a hammering and the eyes can be changed or re-used. The extended holographic tab allows you to tie the eye into the fly wherever you want without the use of any glue substances. Simply attach an eye to each side of the hook and tie off. Glue the head to make sure your flies doesn’t fall apart.

Suspend Fry Tying Materials 

Hook: Kamasan B175 Size 8
Thread: UTC White 70 Denier
Underbody: Medium Lead Wire
Wing: White rabbit zonker Strip
Body: White/UV straggle Fritz
Rib: Hot Yellow Wire
Eyes: Funky Fly tying  gold holographic tab eyes

Written by Kieron Jenkins