The evolution of the “Silver Guinea”:
Patch is a cute looking, docile soft mutt of a Staffordshire Bull Terrier – Border Collie cross. He is actually my daughters and son-in-laws dog, but regularly visits and he enjoys walks and [off the lead] runs around our local dam. As you can see he is predominantly black with white patches and the odd fleck, and because of his colouration I call him my “monochrome friend”. Once off his lead he crashes through undergrowth, trees, bushes, fallen branches and the like chasing squirrels and birds, though in his three years of life he is still yet to catch one. As he disappears into the foliage you listen for the crack of branches, and rustle of bushes to focus on his location, because he is too well loved to be lost. However, a piece of cheese and a bellowing call will bring him hurtling back. It was during such adventures that I noticed his black and white colouring against the various shades of greens and browns. It enabled him to be picked out visually. Despite the density of the bushes and foliage you could always pick out a flash of black and white as he ran hither and yon, even at distance, or in poor light. Initially, I thought little of this until I later came upon a full natural Guinea Fowl skin at the British Fly Fair in 2006, and “ping” an association was made. If Patch could be picked out against a camouflaged background, with his black and white, then the same could well be true of a fly with such colours, particularly during the darkness of the night.
In my Seat Trout fishing I have had greater success either in the period just before total darkness, and then again as the dark emerges into the dawn. Often this is when using coloured flies. I have pondered on what fish see in colours and clearly there are days when one coloured fly will work well over another, but in the dark? I try to be rationale and logical in this regard and I cant see colours at night in the dark when I am up to my waist in running water, so can a sea trout. The truth is of course, we can never be certain, but you can certainly see flash, contrast and patterns even if these are in silhouette, so the truth must be so of fish. Black and White is about as contrasting as you can get, so I set to work with my Guinea Fowl skin.
To enhance the flash effect I introduced some silver, pearl and crystal flash to enhance the allure, and size, shape, profile, and movement are equally important with any fly, but the essential aspect of the pattern is the black and white.
Hook: ED Trebles or Doubles 10 to 16
Main Body: Silver tinsel.
Front body: Silver Lite Brite [just behind hackle and wing]
Rib: Silver oval tinsel, although I have also used Black wire as a contrast.
Hackle: Natural Guinea Fowl, body hackle
Wing: Natural Guinea Fowl, Feather from top of the birds wing, with Silver Crystal Flash mixed in [just 3 or 4 strands].
The front body of Lite Brite serves two purposes. Firstly it forces both the hackle and wing into a more open profile and secondly [with use] it will become straggly and add to the flashy attractiveness of the fly. I have also tied the body with some slight variation, replacing the silver crystal flash with pearl and the silver lite brite with blue. But, overall the profile of the fly is light and suggestive. For heavier water I have used a Silver Cone Head version on a single hook, but if I want to use a more solid looking fly with a larger profile I use a Silver Stoat