Monday February 13, 2017

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Blue Dun - step by step

Written by Dennis Shaw

The Blue Dun is an old pattern, over 300 years old in-fact. Although these old patterns have fallen out of favour, I believe there is still a place for them in the modern anglers fly box, if for no other reason than, that after 300 years surely it’s not one of those here today, gone tomorrow patterns that are so prevalent today?

Personally I fish it almost exclusively as a Loch pattern and always as an early season pattern, normally occupying the point on a two or three fly cast.

Some dressings of the Blue Dun call for dark starling wings, but my personal choice is for a paler wing taken from either a mallard or blue jay wing.

You call also tie this as a dry fly by substituting cock for the hen hackle and tying the wings upright and divided.

If you see some dark Olives on the water, try one on your cast. You might just be surprised.

Instructions assume right-handed tyers.

– Kamasan B175 #14
SILK – Pearsall’s Yellow
HACKLE – Pale Blue Dun Hen
TAIL – A Few Whisks of Pale Blue Dun Hackle Fibres
BODY – Lightly Dubbed Mole.

STEP 1 Attach the thread then make a few turns and tie the prepared hackle in. Remember to leave enough room for the wings and head.
STEP 2 Tie in 5 or 6 hackle fibres for the tail.
STEP 3 Lightly wax the thread with a tacky wax, then lightly touch dub with mole. You should be able to see the thread beneath the dubbing when the body is formed.
STEP 4 Wrap the dubbed thread to form the body.
STEP 5 Wrap the hackle. Two or three turns at most.
STEP 6 Pull the uppermost fibres down the side of the body, then secure with one or two thread wraps.
This will be the foundation for the wing.
STEP 7 Select and prepare your wing slips, then tie them in.
STEP 8 Trim the waste butts and form a neat head to complete the fly.
Varnish the head and the fly is ready for a swim.

Dennis Shaw was born into a fanatical fishing family at Dalbeattie in Southwest Scotland. He graduated from the local "Barr Burn", with the proverbial cane, wool and bent pin for eels, to fishing the local rivers and lochs. Now married with a son and daughter and fishing the chalkstreams of Southern England, Dennis is always yearning for "home". He has been tying flies for over 35 years yet still learns something new every day.


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