When I was first learning to fly-fish, in the early 1990s, my older brother, Brian, often took me to Stonehouse Pond, in Barrington, New Hampshire. We’d canoe around the 14-acre pond, casting nymphs and Hornbergs for stocked brook trout. At the boat ramp, we’d often chat with a man named Ellis Hatch, who manned the small Fish & Game kiosk. (Great name for a fly fisher, huh?) At the time, we had no idea that he was such a big name in New England fly tying. Hatch passed away in 2018, and it’s cool to see his patterns still being used and still catching fish.
In this great video, Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions shows you how to tie one of Hatch’s well known patterns. Some of the materials can be fussy to work with, but Tim is full of good ideas–starting with soaking the peacock quills–for making the process easier and less frustrating. The result is a gorgeous wet fly that can be dead-drifted or fished on the swing.
Hook: 3X-strong black nickel nymph hook (here, an FM50 05), size 14.
Thread: Black Veevus, 16/0.
Tails: Wood-duck fibers.
Rib: Red Ultra Wire, small.
Body: Stripped peacock quill.
Adhesive #1: UV-cure resin or head cement.
Thorax: Peacock herl.
Hackle: Hungarian partridge.
Head: Tying thread.
Adhesive #2: Head cement (here, Sally Hansen Hard-As-Nails).
Tools: Hackle pliers, bodkin, tweezers, plunger-style hackle pliers, whip-finisher.