Friday, November 2, 2012


I enjoy fly tying but there is something about tying large bushy lake flies on large hooks that I really enjoy and always look forward to. Using large hackles and bronze mallard wings with glo-brite tags a fly tyer can create fantastic lough flies that really can catch trout and the big ones too. When I first came across these flies was fishing on the Corrib  some years ago and using them in a big wave at any time of the year would produce good fishing, sense then I have always had a large stock of them in my box made from ever colour under the sun to match the natural fly colour on the lakes. These flies can also be successful when fished on sinking lines on stocked and natural Lakes in calm conditions just like streamers. Some fly tyers tie their dabblers bushy or slim in body I guess this is up to the persons own confidence in their patterns  also the same can be said about the contents of the pattern  I personally like tying in some sparkle or glo-brite tags to give the fish something to aim at in the deeper waters we fish. However I  find Dabblers are most effective in the second half of the season when fish are looking to feed on the fry, in a large rolling wave I fish them on a floating line or slow intermediate and pull them fast through the wave.
Here are some of my favorite Dabblers that have caught fish through out the season:

The Lime Green Dabbler
One of my more recent additions to my Dabbler collection, very effective during the olive hatches and may fly hatches. Tied on a size 10 -8 hook with a glo-brite no.12 tail and natural pheasant tail fibers over it, the body consists of lime green Hends Spectra dubbing, the rib is green Hends Wire.  The body hackle is grizzle dyed green and a green french partridge hackle in front of it. The fly is finally cloaked in natural bronze mallard. A cracking fly that is well worth tying. 
These two Dabblers are often seen in a lough fishers fly box. The black and claret dabblers are good reliable flies that always deserve a swim anytime of the year. For the black dabbler the pattern id standard but I added red holographic tinsel by Hends in the tail. For the claret dabbler I put in glo-brite no.5 under the tail and I mixed Red metallic Hends dubbing with some black seals fur to create a natural looking claret with a nice flicker in it.   
Two more Olive dabblers that have proven successful in the past. A dabbler with a muddler head will always pull a fish, it is tyed just as a standard dabbler but the mallard wing is not cloaked it is sitting on top of the fly and the deer hair is dressed over it. The other fly has some sparkle in it, the tying is a preferred for a olive dabbler but with Hends Krystal flash in the tail and under the cloak, also a pearl rib is added to make the fly a real target for those overcast spring days. 
This fly is my center forward on dabbler days fished best on the point of a cast, tied with black or red thread. the tying of the fly is pretty standard but with Hends Sliver Krystal flash in the under wing. All these flies and many more dabbler patterns are reliable fish catchers and should be in a lake fishers fly box. All the materials you need to produce these flies and better are available at http://www.irishflytying.com/ so stock up for the forth coming season and happy fish catching 


  1. I have promised myself to tie some of these and try them in a couple of lakes I fish in Southern Alberta.

  2. Nice article and more so nice fly's Tom NC USA