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Tying a Cockscrow Fly

I designed this fly after a really hot day in The Highlands last spring. Heather flies were starting to hatch in small numbers along with what I can only describe as needle flies. Slim black insects about 8mm long, rear swept wings and fine black legs. I had not seen these before but the wild brown trout were gorging on them as they blew onto the lochans we were fishing. Nothing in the numerous fly boxes we carried came close, so out came the vice as soon as we got home.

Materials:

  • Hook: Certus Pattern CH921 by Caimore in sizes 12 and 14. I tried some built on Kamasan B401 hooks but the trout just straightened them. The hooks have just the right amount of shank & weight to sit the fly in the film.
  • Body: Crow wing slip from secondary feather, from the herl side, not the shorter, biot side.
  • Rib: Fine silver wire
  • Hackle: Black, hen or any soft webby hackle the correct fibre length.
  • Wing Case: Medium Black holographic tinsel
  • Thread: Black, size 6/0

Tying:

Cockscrow Fly Step 1

Cockscrow Fly Step 1

Start your thread at a position opposite half way down the shank, twisting the thread to wind flat. Wind close touching turns towards the bend of the hook then stop opposite the barb.

Cockscrow Fly Step 2

Cockscrow Fly Step 2

Catch in a length of black holographic tinsel with one turn of thread. Position the tinsel so that the thread is about 15mm from one end and the tinsel is on the back of the hook. Add one more turn of thread to lock it down working toward the eye.

Cockscrow Fly Step 3

Cockscrow Fly Step 3

Bring the tag back to the rear of the hook to double the tinsel and wind the thread one turn forward.

Cockscrow Fly Step 4

Cockscrow Fly Step 4

Catch in the rib material and continue to wind the thread in touching turns forward to a position between point and barb.

Cockscrow Fly Step 5

Cockscrow Fly Step 5

Select a slip of crow wing feather about 6mm wide. Cut it from the shaft. Tip first; catch it in to the back of the hook with two turns of thread. Manipulate the slip carefully then tie down with further touching turns to 2mm from the eye.

Cockscrow Fly Step 6

Cockscrow Fly Step 6

Wrap the slip forward creating a slim body as far as the thread end point. Lock the slip down to the shank with three firm turns. Remove the surplus.

Cockscrow Fly Step 7

Cockscrow Fly Step 7

Counter wrap the ribbing material in four equal turns towards the eye. Lock the wire down by twisting the wire around the thread once then two wraps of thread over the shank, keeping the tension on the wire. Remove the surplus.

Cockscrow Fly Step 8

Cockscrow Fly Step 8

Bring the doubled up tinsel forwards over the back of the body and lock down with 3 firm turns of thread. Remove surplus tinsel.

Cockscrow Fly Step 9

Cockscrow Fly Step 9

Select and prepare a hackle for the head with fibres as long as the shank. Wind two full touching turns of hackle with no overlaps, ensuring that fibres are swept back as you wind. Take the thread over the second turn then in front to trap it. Remove surplus hackle tip, build a small head and whip finish.

Cockscrow Fly Step 10

Cockscrow Fly Step 10

Add a drop of head cement, let dry then re-coat as a shiny head is very important on this pattern.

Cockscrow Fly Complete

Cockscrow Fly Complete

View from above, showing the “wing case”. Tight Lines


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