Desert Island Dry fly Selection

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Our goal here was to assemble a go to dry fly box that would cover the most judicious dry fly anglers requirements throughout the season without any compromise in quality. We’ve incorporated some of our own designs and some classics with a twist. We ensured the selection had our “go to’s” and “must haves”. We wanted a range that covered from dawn to dusk and from Spring to Autumn.  Like a carefully worded Telegram, every fly had to have meaning and nothing superfluous. We arrived at 24 flies. Not easily mind you..
These are proven and are a range of flies that reflect our distilled experience. Keith has been guiding and giving casting instruction for many years and the questions about fly selection remain a constant. This package is the answer to this, your questions answered in a box. With regards to sizing, these are the sizes we use in these patterns. That’s it! Not 4 different sizes of Balloon Caddis to complicate your decision making. These are the sizes we have arrived at through years of trial and error. The sizes of fly vary by pattern and also the hooks, with different styles of hook and manufacturer depending on the pattern. Why? That is the type of hook we have found best suited to that particular pattern and application, our criteria varies from ability to hold onto big fish and keeling the fly so it doesn’t flop over on its side for example. the only standard is high quality. We don’t do brittle over tempered hooks. Like our Streamers, these are built only on quality foundations.

As with our Streamers we use only the best materials possible and appropriate and the quality is outstanding and separates these from cheaper, poor quality imitations. This is a stunning selection of dry flies that you will find use for and enjoy using known they are proven
patterns with a wonderful track record.

This is a serious selection of dry flies to cover you all season. These are all of Keith’s favourite Dry flies, some are his original designs and others are modifications of well known patterns. All have taken big trout everywhere. These are exquisitely tied flies with no expense spared on materials or hooks. We don’t compromise on quality. Hooks are Tiemco and Daitchi. Click on the flies below to have a closer look. In the box you get:

A modern classic from Austrian legend Roman Moser. Who doesnt love the Balloon Caddis but how many times have you seen a poorly tied one with thin foam and skinny ineffective wing? We’ve added rubber legs a poly yarn under wing and a curved hook. This one makes a V like it should! This is a serious fly for big trout on summer evenings, skate it, twitch it or drift it

 

The “everfloating gobstopper”…A very bouyant fly with a keeled hook foam dubbed body, an orange baboon butt of foam, it shakes up trout.. Has taken sea trout to 5lbs on Irish east coast rivers and is a great fly to twitch and skate at dusk.

 

Cree hackle, special blend of spikey dub and microfibetts, it’s a beauty! Deploy this one anytime and anywhere, from lake to river, if fish are on olives in flat water, it is tough to beat and has produced many specimen trout for Keith

 

TC loves this one…a variation of the fat mattress with it’s insides bust out. Excellent as a terrestrial, beetle lots of life like movement under it…

Hans Van Klinken’s wonder Fly needs no introduction. It is one of the best flies of all times. There are countless variations as it is such a great platform for the creative fly tier. Over years Keith has tinkered with it and arrived at this colour combo. the body is a mix of olive, fiery brown and black. Badger hackle and cdc post. This fly is amazing with or without the pearly rib. After the F-fly this is Keith’s number one dry fly. It is a brilliant fly, a real “cure-all” at times.. Look through our blog and see a couple of beauties this one has produced.

 

The Comparadun is lethal but notoriusly difficult to tie correctly. This variant of Keith’s has some cdc in there and the finest deer hair. It is light in colour to give the angler some added confindence if the fish are Yellow May duns but it works perfectly for olives and as a spinner imitation too

Keith tied this one to sit in the film for flat calms and oily slicks. The Deer hair body is very cool. It’s great on the river too.

 

A small and sparse pattern in nice olive dress. It has taken river trout to 6.5lbs for Keith. A nice one for the west of Ireland loughs when fish are on Mayfly Duns

 

One of Keith’s mayfly patterns. A reverse parachute styley, it sits low one the water and stands proud like a sailboat. Great for hatching mayfly on river and lough

Size 10 A good all-round Mayfly pattern. CDC body dubbing with a pinch of deerhair dubb.

This is a really good spent pattern. It has accounted for a number of big trout. Keith got a stunning fish estimated between 6 &7lbs on the river this year on this one. It takes the best elements of a number of spent patterns and includes a cdc body with a moose mane tail. 

 

Everyone needs their Daddy! Should have called this Daddy Cool…Daddy long legs are irresistible to trout and can produce some serious surface action.. You need to see this thing in the water. Trout are opportunists so its not just for action in August/September.

The grey duster is a classic. The addition of a cdc wing and our special spikey dubbing is not necessary but it makes this fly very versatile all round fly for lake and river. Clip the underside of the hackle if you want it to sit low in the water and have hook exposed.

The Hawthorn fly is an early season essential and this one takes some of the best attributes from successful imitations such as Davie McPhail’s pattern. If you are lucky enough to come upon a fall of Hawthorns in April this one has you covered. What else do we need to say about black flies? This one has a good tuft of polyyarn so you can see it, it is a serious floater and good as a hopper/dropper combo with a nymph hanging off the bend if you like that sort of thing. It’s gangly legs kick like a panicked swimmer in jaws!

 

This one is around since the 1950s. Tied the way it should be with the hackle kept short and sparse to sit in the surface film. We like the addition of some twinkle in the back to bedazzle it..

 

The Humpy is a classic it just works everywhere. In Ireland alot of lake anglers fish it for trout that are on Mayfly duns. However don’t be afraid to tie one on at anytime. It’s a High riding fly and a great fast water pattern too. We like them fat like our trout!

 

One of T.C’s favourite flies. An excellent long standing pattern for buzzer or as a general searching pattern where a small emerger is required, every flybox should have it..

Twinkle, twinkle little star, catching trout, near & far….when they are on the small stuff this can be a deadly addition. It produced a magic evening for Keith fishing along the shore of Lough Mask when trout were on really small buzzer one evening. 

A beefy fly for when the big Sedges are of interest to the trout. This one has serious Mojo and presents well with it’s size. Sometimes you want a beefy fly to cause a lot of commotion. This is your guy

A Sea trout killer, another great innovation from the US, this one really can bring up some great trout, works too skated as well as dead drifted and fishing pocket water.

A variant of the Devaux style tied by Keith. 

Everyone needs a good sherry spinner imitation. This one has a wing of cdc and polyyarn so it not only floats better. Sometimes a sherry with a bright white wing doesn’t look the part this one isn’t too bright and not too small either so you can hold onto the kind of donkey who like to gorge on Sherrys

The Klinkhammer is genius. We swear by a big klinkhammer when we have to search water and go prospecting. It can bring up trout when nothing is happening on the surface. This prospector has unearthed many gold nuggets of trout.

Regular readers of our site and social media know how we feel about this pattern. It is probably the best dry fly ever invented.