The second definition in the Oxford English Dictionary of a gadfly is:
“An irritating or harassing person”.
Flies devised for Sea Trout are often ingenious mixtures of colours and shape designed to illicit an aggressive response from the fish, so that they attack it and become hooked. So the concept of having a fly that is both irritating and harassing seemed to fit the bill for what I wanted, to illicit that response, to lure the Sea Trout.
The friends I fish with on the River Annan, and myself, had enjoyed mixed results at the start of our annual week. The runs of sea trout were slowed to a trickle. Falling water from the previous week’s rain held all the newcomers below the weir. We were therefore keen to capitalise on those fish that managed to navigate the pass and continue their journey.
Just a little rain on one day made little difference to the water level or water clarity but it just added an almost imperceptible tinge to river. This in itself might not have triggered any radically different approach. However, moderate catch rates determined that a new approach was called for.
At our pre dinner fly tying session we discussed the merits of this and that and we had heard that some other anglers had caught fish on a gold coloured fly. Some experimentation with gold’s, gingers and similar followed and led to the eventual creation of the fly we came to refer to as the ‘Gadfly’. Why, well initially because “by gad” it worked, and a number of fish fell to the pattern in the following days.
There could be many reasons why it worked so well, a bright fly, but not startlingly so, but one that perhaps reflected the subtle tinge in the water. Whatever it was, the fish seemed to like it, and who can argue with that.
It is good to devise a fly with friends that goes on to find the approval of the Sea Trout. Based on many old themes long since discovered, the mix produces a balanced fly that looks & moves well in the current.
The pattern is below for anyone who fancy irritating a few sea trout themselves:
Hook: To suit, but I used size 8 & 10 doubles
Thread: Golden olive or similar
Body: Gold tinsel
Rib: Fine gold oval
Hackle: Ginger, or Tan Brown Cock Hackle
Wing: Summer Duck
Over wing: Two strands of orange twinkle yarn
Head: Glo Brite Floss No 10.