Video: How to Tie the Black & Tan Jig

For the past few years, the Northeast—and many other regions of the U.S.—have been experiencing low, clear water in fall. In fact, our local water, the Battenkill, was approaching historic low flows until we got some rain last night. These conditions make trout wary, so small patterns are the way to go. This led Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions to create this slim, elegant, subtle jig pattern, which he calls the Black & Tan.

In this great video, Tim shows you how he ties this neat little pattern, and he teaches you a few tricks in the process. I love the way he uses a short piece of lead-free wire to both stabilize the bead and create a nice taper of the body. So twist up a few of these for those times when the trout are especially spooky.

Editor’s Note: As an Irish-American and a former scholar of early-twentieth century Irish literature, I am aware that the “Black and Tans” were a particularly brutal and vicious band of mostly English policemen during the Irish War of Independence, so the term is considered disrespectful on the Emerald Isle. However, the term’s use as a description of a drink—layered dark and light beers—is much older, and folks from the Mid-Atlantic region (where Tim lives) know it as a mixture of porter and beer produced by Pottsville, Pennsylvania-based Yuengling, America’s oldest brewery. Given the colors of the pattern, it’s clear why Tim made the connection. But keep in mind that if you’re ordering a beer blend in Ireland, out of respect call it a “Half & Half.

          Black & Tan Jig
          Hook: 2X-short jig hook (here a Fulling Mill FM51 25), size 20.
          Bead: Black nickel slotted tungsten, 3/2-inch.
          Thread: Black, 8/0 or 70-denier.
          Weight: Lead-free round wire, .020.
          Tails: Medium pardo Coq de Leon fibers.
          Rib: Black Ultra Wire, XS.
          Body: Tan Antron Yarn.
          Adhesive: Head cement (here, Sally Hansen Hard-as-Nails).
          Tools: Plunger-style hackle pliers.

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