Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Top flies of 2012 - Starling and herl

I'm starting a series of posts on flies that worked well for me in 2012.  First up is a classic wet fly that I did surprisingly well with throughout the month of March.  Spring in New England brings the first hatch of the season, the early black stones.  When fish are picking them off the surface they  can be difficult to fool with a dry fly, but a wet fly fished in the film and on the swing will do the trick since the skating movement of the naturals seems to be what draws the fish's interest. 

I usually tie this fly on a size 16 light wire dry fly hook.  Another tip is too leave a good tag of thread off the back to wind back through the peacock herl to give the fly a little more durability.  The fly is finished off with a couple turns of starling hackle, the feathers with the green iridescent sheen.

Not only does this fly fool trout keyed into early black stones but will also fool trout taking black caddis, ants, or beetles in the summer months.  This is a simple and versatile fly throughout the season.

#16 TMC 100 or Mustad R50
black thread
body, 1 strand of peacock herl 
starling hackle


  1. A fly with a soft shackle and peacock heel....how can you go wrong? Nice tie.

  2. Nice...simple and effective.
    Keep it away from "Pete"

  3. Thanks Kiwi

    Thanks Brk Trt - too late, Pete already has a few !

  4. I love starling hackled "spiders" , really nice, you've another follower.

  5. Col - nice to have you along. I will be posting some more effective wet flies in the near future.

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  8. Nice simple and effective.
    Thanks for sharing.