Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Black Zulu

I've been intrigued with the name and history of the Adirondack pond fly I showed in the previous post.  I figured was probably and adaption of a similar classic wet fly so I turned to the plates of Ray Bergman's Trout and found a fly that looked very similar on plate #2 called the black palmer red tag.  The materials listed for this fly were a red wool tag, peacock herl body and black hackle palmered over the fly.  Here is my interpretation of the black palmer tied on a mustad S70-3399 #10.  You can see the similarity to the Adirondack fly which uses a longer streamer hook and a sparse red bucktail tail to create the illusion of a blood trail behind the leech.


The Black Palmer has an older relative from Scotland in the Black Zulu.  The Zulu is a classic loch fly which I found interesting in that the Adirondack variation is also used for still water fishing.  Below I've tied the Zulu on the mustad S70-3399 #10 with softer hen hackle  to give more movement to the hackle when fishing still waters as is typically the custom.



18 comments:

  1. The original red tag wet fly is probably another relative. It's one of my biggest producers on small streams.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. RML - there are probably a lot of close relatives and I would bet they all work well. Thanks for the comment

      Delete
  2. Cool ties. I especially like the second fly as it is a combination of a wooly worm/black palmer a soft hackle. Looks like a killer fly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. RI brook trout - they both look like serviceable flies to me but I am partial to wets!

      Delete
  3. Mark, the second fly will give much more action. I tied a fly similar to this, it's called a Black Fly. It was first tied by Charles Cotton back in 1630 I believe. The browns and brookies hit it well. Regular Rod did a post on the fly also.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alan - Yes the Charles Cotton fly is also a close looking dry fly relative which is also a good fly for small streams as you say. I am sure any of these will work equally well!

      Delete
  4. Man Mark - something about those amazing old Brittish/Scottish/Irish fly's. They reek tradition, function, and fish. They are awesome to tie and fish... I could sit down to do up some giant fly for saltwater with a bunch of layers and what not... or a funky pike fly or a Dahlberg Diver for example... all fun to tie, complex flies.

    But then you tie a "Black Fly" as Alan mentioned, or a Spider... It's like you opened the door to a different time. Even complex wet's like dabblers with so many layers to them are just things of beauty and are amazing to fish. Thanks for posting - really enjoyable to read about your "research" here!

    Will

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Will - there is often beauty in simplicity!

      Delete
  5. I sat next to another fisherman on a flight from Murmansk to Moscow. He was from Denmark and we got talking about fishing for seatrout (browns). He said that, hands down, the Red Tag (w/brown hackle) was the best fly he's ever used for those fish and some were over 15lbs.!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ben - Interesting! The brown palmered version is also known to be a good brook trout fly in the Adirondack ponds!

      Delete
  6. Another good tie Mark. Thank you for sharing. What kind of yarn did you use for the tail? This should work well for the Copperheads down here in Florida.

    ReplyDelete
  7. JH - I used 3 strands of UniYarn (2x Chinese red) and then teased them out with a velcro patched glued to a popsicle stick (great little homemade tool for teasing dubbing). That's what I had on hand but any poly yarn should do nicely. Hope you don't tie into a copperhead, that would give a new dimension to catch and release!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Mark
    Exceptional pattern not only for trout, but I would think that a fat super size bluegill would inhale this fly. Really like the color added as an attractor. By the way Happy Birthday--thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Bill - see Ben's comment regarding sea trout

      Delete
  9. This looks like a classic pattern, with variations, for sure. Thanks for helping to keep it alive today.

    ReplyDelete
  10. This looks like a classic pattern, with variations, for sure. Thanks for helping to keep it alive today.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Walt - I've always had a strange affection for the old stuff. These days "old" is "new"!

      Delete
  11. hi from Scotland. in the past the black zulu was once banned from many waters over here as it was considered so effective.there is a variant called the blue zulu which is a famous sea trout fly in Scotland.it is the same dressing but with a teal blue collar hackle at the head.
    Garry

    ReplyDelete