A round of golf at beautiful Banstead downs golf club is not normally the place one would associate with fly tying. However, my skills with a golf club are at best erratic and I frequently find myself if not in the trees, certainly very close to the edges of the course. Yesterday with a bright sun shining from a cloudless sky my regular visits to the undergrowth resulted in clouds of Hawthorn flies dropping from the foliage. It is one of the heaviest hatch years I’ve seen for some time and, for a terrestrial insect these little flies form an important part of the trout’s food. Basically their problem is that they fly really badly. They look ungainly and even the slightest breath of wind will result on them falling onto the water in large numbers. The key distinguishing points are the large furry body and the disproportionately large legs that trail behind the insect in flight.
They are easy to copy, a black hackle palmered over black seals fur dubbing will often suffice but I prefer to tie a more realistic version.
Hook:- Size 14 grub hook
Thread:- Black 8/0
Body:- Micro chenille tied in to extend to the rear of the hook
Legs:- Knotted black pheasant tail
Wing:- 10 strands pearl crystal flash cut to half the length of the body
Thorax:- Black seal’s fur
Hackle:- Black cock hackle, about 6 turns. I use the best quality Whiting dry fly hackle as it gives more support to the fly without building a bulky thorax.
Of course there is already a famous fly called the Bibio, this will work in a b.marci fall but it is in fact a representative of a different part of the bibio family, bibio pomonae, or more commonly “The heather fly” This is also a land based insect that finds itself in trouble in the wind and falls in large numbers onto waters especially in upland areas. The key difference is that the heather fly has bright reddish orange thighs. The traditional Bibio fly pattern makes use of a red hot spot to show this difference.
Hook :- Size 8 to 14 Wet Fly hook Partridge G3A/L for example
Thread:- Black 8/0
Rib:- Silver wire
Body:- Seals fur in three parts, Black-Red-Black
Body hackle:- Whiting cock saddle hackle
Head Hackle:- Whiting natural black hen