I've been reading in this site for several years but have never posted any of my flies. Time to be a contributor and not just a lurker. So here is my first entry with a photo., I hope.
I first learned of this fly in the early 1980s. I had just started in fly fishing and fly tying and read a number of magazine articles on the wonderful trout fishing on the southern island of New Zealand. In hopes of experiencing the fishing there myself someday, I wrote letters to several of the guides who had ads in the magazines where the articles appeared asking for fly and equipment recommendations. No email in those days, actual postal letters. All those I wrote responded with very personal letters containing extensive information. This convinced me that the Kiwis were very friendly and helpful and that a trip to New Zealand would indeed be fun. So, a trip there was put on my bucket list. Unfortunately, it’s still there to this day. But, I remain hopeful.
One common fly recommendation from all the guides was a small beetle. One of the guides even sent me a sample fly which I present here. Of course back then I just had to tie up many copies of the beetle for a possible trip. And, having many on hand, I just had to try them on local waters. And, as you’ve probably guessed, they worked very well on both slow moving and still water. I live in west/central New Jersey and the pattern worked particularly well for my home stream, the South Branch of the Raritan River and for the native Browns on the Little Lehigh and Little Bushkill in eastern Pennsylvania. After all feathers from a peacock add magic to many famous patterns so a pattern with two different peacock materials must be double magic.
In the midst of several household moves and cleanups, I’ve lost all documentation so I don’t have a record of the name of the guide nor the pattern name given by the guide. So, in honor of the fly’s New Zealand origin and the famous New Zealand rugby team, the All Blacks, I’m calling the pattern the All Peacock Beetle.
In fishing, the fly sits deep in the film, just like a real beetle. If your eyes are good and the lighting is right, you can follow the sparkle from the peacock sword topping. Trout sip it very gently so remain focused. I fished it originally as a solo but now occasionally add the beetle as a dropper behind a small parachute. Some grease is needed to keep the beetle floating. But trout like it as a slightly sunken pattern also, maybe even better on some days. Experiment.
Hook: Regular Dry Fly Hook, e.g. TMC 100, size 20 or Short Shank Dry Fly Hook, e.g. Dai Riki 305 or equivalent, size 18. Flies in photo are tied on a Saber 7210, size 18 (a Black Nickel Barbless hook)
Thread: Danville 6/0, Black or UNI 8/0, Black
Back Cover: Peacock Sword
Body: Peacock Herl
Mash barb on hook if barbed and mount in vise.
Attach thread to hook at eye and wind back to bend. Return thread to just behind eye.
Tie in 6 peacock sword fibers by tips, bases pointing back, and wind back to start of hook curve.
Cut the weak tips off 2 peacock herls and then tie them in, bases pointing back. Wind herls behind thread to eye. Tie off herls on top of shank but don’t trim.
Pull sword fibers forward keeping them flat over body. Tie off and trim sword fibers.
Pull one herl back on each side and tie in the bend so herls point backward and slightly outward.
Whip finish at eye. Trim herls to length. Add head cement.