- Body: Peacock herl
- Wing: Black Marabou
- Tying thread: Black
- Hook: Size 8-10
We have featured the Cormorant as our October Fly of the Month in previous years, but reading the recent catch returns with mini lures and minnow patterns taking fish, it seems the right choice again this year.
Originally conceived as a simple and cheap fly to produce, the Cormorant has become one of the mainstays of many fly boxes. The original dressing referred to above requires only a little skill, so even I can make a passable version of it!.
Set a suitable hook up in the vice and tie on some black thread. Run the thread to the bend of the hook and catch in a strand of peacock herl by the tip. Run the silk back to a point about three-quarters of the way back to the eye, leaving room for the wing. You might like to apply a little varnish to the body of the fly at this point, before winding the peacock herl forwards in touching turns. Secure the herl and remove any excess. Tie in a bunch of black marabou fibres, trim off the excess, form a neat head and end with a whip finish. Simples....
So simple in fact, that there are hundreds of variations out there. One of the first was the addition of Jungle Cock cheeks, or some strands of tinsel in the wing. Another was to move to a longer shanked hook as a more deliberate fry imitation. The picture shows the standard dressing, and one of my favourites, tied on a long-shank hook, with JC cheeks and a flat gold rib.
Oh, and why is it called a Cormorant? - Because it is black, and catches fish!
Fishing the Cormorant
At this time of year a lot of fish are looking to fry for a last stock up before winter, so try to look for surface movement, especially in the margins. Fish the fly on it's own, or on the point if you fish a team, and try a varied return with short, sharp movements, in the manner of a small fish.