Fly Of The Issue
Is a pattern I've used in the spring (Feb - May) in the UK as well as June and early July in Norway when the water is cold and may also have a little colour (peaty). I first tied this pattern in the mid 1980's since which time it has accounted for a great many fish for both myself and my rods.
The inspiration for this fly however comes from the first of my visits to the Tweed in the autumn - a time where I learned from the Boatmen at Sprouston as the light changed in the late afternoons of October and November that fish tended to like a fly with some white - something I'd never seen on the Deveron or Spey. However the following spring the fly began to perform really well for me here where upon it was christened ‘The Swallow' as it was particularly deadly amongst fish which arrived in the river around the time the first Swallows arrived.
It's best tied on a size 2 - 4 double or single hook 25 - 40mm aluminium or copper tube or as has become very popular recently - a 50 - 80mm single hook intruder (see picture). Those fish extremely well in high water conditions or fished deep. The long wing is made from Icelandic Sheep providing lots of movement when stripped or moved in certain parts of the pool. Personally I like those to be fished on some form of sinking line.
One of the best mornings I had on the Gaula River in Norway was on this fly when after flogging the pool with larger more traditional Norwegian patterns we changed to a No4 Swallow resulting in four Salmon to the rod of a total beginner. Proves the point that size does matter and in Salmon fishing at least ‘big' is not always best!
Wing - Orange over yellow Icelandic Sheep
Hackle - Blue cock over long lady amherst hackle
Body - Copper flat tinsel
Rib - Silver oval tinsel
Head - Red