Monday, March 20, 2017

The partridge and orange

I had a request by one of the regular followers here to put up a video for tying the partridge and orange.  This classic north country spider was described by T. E Pritt's Yorkshire Trout flies (1895) but was probably known long before that.  All that history means that this fly has been tied many different ways over the years with lots of opinions around the silk used, the hook and it's finish, and the length of the body relative to the hook and yet it remains a very simple and effective fly even today. Rather than being a direct imitation of a specific insect, as in the English tradition of the time, this fly sits squarely in the Scottish tradition of impressionistic flies that highlight movement by the use of the softer partridge hackle.

 I've had the most success fishing a partridge and orange when tan-bodied caddis are on the water.  I also tied the partridge and green for when the green-bodied caddis hatch in late spring. There are a couple of things to keep in mind when working with Pearsall's silk.  The silk comes in tiny spools so you will need a very small bobbin to hold the silk.  The silk also doesn't react well with head cement so you will need some bee's wax or cobbler's wax to fishing off the head.  This fly is best tied sparse in my opinion.


  1. Mark
    You and Alan convinced me that the soft hackle is a worthy fly on the tailraces I fish. Great job at the vice, this is another video I will save for future use when I start tying. Thanks for sharing