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Fly of the Month - September

Fly of the Month - February -  Goldhead Orange Fritz


Daddy Longlegs

  • Detached Body: Raffene or ethafoam
  • Thorax: Peacock herl
  • Legs: Knotted pheasant tail fibres
  • Hackle: Furnace cock
  • Wings: Grizzle hackle points
  • Tying thread: Black or Brown
  • Hook: Size 8-10 Longshank

At first glance, this looks like a really difficult dressing, but a lot of the work is in prefabricating parts. First of all, make a batch of six legs by knotting six fibres from a cock pheasant tail feather, and set them aside. Next we need to make the detached body. Trap a piece of raffene, about 2 cm long, in the jaws of the vice. Tie on some brown thread using a couple of half-hitches at the far end of the raffene. Wind this in open turns down the length of the body, make two or three tight overlapping turns, and run the thread back to the starting point, once again in open turns. Tie the thread off in a whip finish, and remove the body from the vice.

Set up a #8 or 10 longshank hook in the vice and tie on the thread in the usual way. Now, catch in the free end of the detached body about a third way from the eye, Make the body stand off from the hook shank by taking a couple of turns underneath it. Now, take the legs you made earlier, and tie them in, three on each side of the hook, facing the bend. Catch in a strand of peacock hurl and form a short thorax, tying it off and removing the excess in the usual way.

Now for the wings, cut off the top 1.5 cm of a pair of good grizzle hackles, and strip the flue from the bottom. Catch them in on top of the hook and set them either side of the hook using a figure of eight turn.

The final step is to catch in a furnace cock hackle, make two or three turns at the most, tie it in and finish with a whip finish and varnish in the usual way.


September and October are renowned for the numbers of Daddy Long Legs either blown onto the water, or laying eggs there - some species are aquatic. Once trout have started feeding on these insects, they will actively seek them out, and i have seen fish taken on every cast with this fly. It fishes as a big dry fly, Gink it up, make sure you have a good straight, well degreased leader and fish on a floating line. If the fish have been feeding on these insects at all, they will take. Most will hook themselves but some will swamp the fly first, then come back for the take, - COUNT TO THREE, then strike