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7 Jan 2012

Yet more Irish sea-trout flies....

Because I've been working on (and have just finished) the draft section of Nomads text relating to fly patterns for white-trout then obviously I've been thinking through colours, translucencies, sizes and dressings and taking some photographs to accompany the text. I've set the text out into sections about stylisation and representation (of the two, stylisation is by far the most important...usually) and from there have gone on to discuss patterns for saltwater and then freshwater, including patterns for night fishing. The 'flies for freshwater' section is itself sub-divided into remarks about black-based, blue-, yellow/orange- and claret-based patterns since I tend to think in those terms - colour and translucency - when selecting patterns for the lough, with the selection depending on the relative clarity of the water, the sunshine or cloudiness of the day and the freshness of the fish. Pictured below are some wonderfully effective traditional patterns together with an experimental tying I was given by one of the great Currane gillies last year:

Connemara Black, here in a version tied by Brian McShane.

Dunkeld. Great fly for peat-stained water and days of sunshine.

Teal, Blue and Silver - a fly I'd never want to be without, and particularly effective on fresh-run fish.

Clarets, blues, yellow-oranges form the palette of many West of Ireland white-trout patterns....

And yet I suspect that I'm far too hidebound when it comes to pattern selection. White-trout are in some ways capricious, even playful, and can take experimental patterns spectacularly well on occasion. Here's one such experimental tying that was doing good work on Currane last July. Unfortunately I can't tell you its name, nor even the name of its creator, but include it here simply to illustrate what can be the persuasiveness of the hitherto unsung: