First fly to this blog from Edward Fitzgibbons (written under the pseudonym of Ephemera) magnificent The Book of the Salmon from 1850. Fantastic little pattern that would be a good killer on most rivers in my mind.
I dressed this on a size 2 antique hook and think the pattern works best on these smaller hooks. I also omitted the horns from this because I liked the look and colors better without them. The pattern gives quite a lot of freedom to variations so have fun with it.
Here’s the pattern as listed in the book.
Body, green mohair, ribbed with gold twist and black hackle ; orange tag ; and tail of short, half an inch or rather less, orange or yellow macaw feather ; wings, silver pheasant tail, peacock wing, teal and guinea-hen feathers ; blue and yellow macaw feelers ; head, orange mohair, or bright bronze peacock harl. Hook, No. 7. and 8.
And here’s what Fitzgibbon had to say about it.
“This is a famous little fly in low clear water. I killed last year, towards the end of July, in the Shin, twenty-three salmon with it ; I should have killed more, but I wished to keep it as a memento mori. It should be used in the day time, for it is not a gaudy fly, and suits bright weather and bright water. It is an Irish pattern.”