Don's Fly Tying - The Orange Mallard

[the Orange Mallard]

I have a question for all you fishermen who have walked on this planet for a while, have you had a fishing dream that remains unfilled? I certainly have! Some years ago I did a fair bit of research on fly fishing summer steelhead on the lower Dean River. Stories from my good friend, sporting clay shooter Rich Haavik, who guided on the lower Dean when he was a young man only intensified my interest! In fact, I tied some flies just for a trip to the Dean River but somehow with family, work and a myriad of other excuses, I never did make that trip. I have fished the Upper Dean, well beyond the falls that limit steelhead access, with Rich who knows the area well. We did catch dozens of feisty rainbows, both on dry and wet flies, a ton of fun but of course, they were not the same thrill as catching a vibrant steelhead on a fly! What I can offer you now is a fly pattern tied for the lower Dean that is unproven but may yet feel the bite of a steelhead! I call it the Orange Mallard.

Below is my friend Rich Haavik, about to release an upper Dean river trout

. [Rich Haavik with a Lower Dean River rainbow]



Unless you are lucky enough to afford a trip to warmer climates, we BC fly fishermen just dream of fishing new waters in January. January is also a good month to tie new fly patterns that you may have heard are the latest big fish killers or otherwise are a must for your flybox! The pattern I am offering this month has not been proven but just may be a good steelhead fly so why not give it a try?

Start with a brown or dyed gold mallard feather tip for the tail. Next, attach a length of holographic silver tinsel to the hook shank for later use as a rib. Now form a dubbing loop and twist in orange superfly imitation seal dubbing to wind a body, hook bend to eye. Wing the tinsel in spaced turns to near the hook eye to complete a rib. The fly wing is next, first tie in one or two orange hackle feathers near the hook eye and sweep them back low over the hook shank. Follow up with a brown mallard feather of the same length on top of the orange wing. A natural gray mallard feather is then added as a fairly long beard hackle. Finish the fly with orange tying thread for the head, cement, tie off and do let me know if you catch a Dean River summer steelhead with this fly! Happy New Year!

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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