Don's Fly Tying - The Blue Zulu

[the Blue Zulu]

No vaccine as yet but the positive is that I have still avoided the virus! I am more fortunate than many others as I do have a pension from a 30 plus year work career that provides me with an income even though the pandemic rages on. Now what to do for an old retired guy with time on his hands? You guessed it, more reviews of Muriel Foster's Fishing Diary, a book that was given to me many years ago. Not only did Muriel keep track of her fish caught over a 36 year period, but as an accomplished artist, she included dozens of fine illustrations in the diary as well. Her sketches covered many aspects of observations made on her fishing outings including the flies that she used. The regular black zulu fly first came up in 1916 (we covered that fly in 2003 under but also included in that year was the Blue Zulu, a fly new to me. In fact Muriel caught a dozen or so brown trout with the blue zulu on her favourite river, the Dundonnell, on the west coast of Scotland. Moreover, in September, 1916, it appears she hooked and landed an Atlantic salmon on either the blue zulu or the blue doctor, again on the Dundonnell River!

My late friend, Tom West, a keen hunter and fisherman, had good luck fishing the black zulu on one of the plateau lakes east of Winfield. I have only recently found out about the blue zulu by reading Muriel's diary but I have concluded that it will also catch fish in our BC waters. As soon as the ice is clear on my favourite lakes, I intend to give the Blue Zulu a try! Do let me know if you have success with this fly.

The image below is is Muriel Foster's favourite Scottish stream, the Dundonnell River.

[Dundonnell River in Western Scotland]



This is a relatively easy fly to tie and, if it catches fish in our waters, it is a bonus! Start with a very short tail of bright red floss. Tie a length of medium silver wire to the hook shank for later wrapping forward as a rib although I believe Muriel's original was flat tinsel. Next wrap a fairly thin body with blue floss as in the original or bright holographic blue tinsel if you want a modern version. Follow this with a spaced wrap of the silver wire hook bend to hook eye to form the rib. The final step is to make a full blue hackle, hook eye to about 1/3 distance to the hook bend. Finish the fly with a thin head of black tying thread, cement and tie off to complete the Blue Zulu!

My book of true sport fishing adventures in British Columbia, "Willow Sticks, Earth Worms", is now available at Trafford Publishing or if you prefer a friendly voice, call their order desk at 1-888-232-4444 toll free in the USA or Canada. In Europe, ring the UK local order number at 0845 230 9601 (UK) or 44(0) 1270 251 396.

Do you want to see the previous fly tying articles?
Monthly Fly Tying Articles from November 1996

Your comments are welcome at " dhaaheim at telus dot net"

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