Fiery Brown and Black Beetle

Another fly from the latest swap.   On a roll!

Fiery Brown and Black Beetle


Size 14 hook

Black thread (I used 6/0)

Fine gauge copper

Crow feather fibres (I also used deer hair, but the feathers have a much more beetle like texture)

Fiery Brown dubbing – I mixed this batch up in my coffee grinder (permanently nicked from the kitchen) with a mixture of brown super possum and some hot orange nymph lifecycle.   Seals fur is the norm if you can get it.


The Tie

  1. Start your thread – I usually leave a bit of a gap at the eye as I tend to crowd it otherwise…   Wind on a little past the bend, and come back halfway.  The idea is to leave a bit of a tag.
  2. Tie in your wire ribbing, don’t forget to leave a bit of a tag.
  3. Tie in half a dozen of so crow feather fibres by the ends – adjust amount as required for larger hooks or according to taste.
  4. Dub on your body – aim for a bit of a bulge in the middle.  Stop when the thread stops (remember, you left a gap for visual cue didn’t you?)
  5. Wind your ribbing wire forward, tie it off and trim/break off the tag.
  6. Carefully pull the crow forward to the eye – you’re trying to keep them parallel to each other.
  7. Tie it off – I usually start a little back from the eye, wind forward to the eye to trap it, then fold the ends back, wind back a couple of turns and then trim what’s left.
  8. Whip finish.




Tom Jones (variant)

Typically the Tom Jones is tied with wallaby fur for the wing, but I reckon subbing it with rabbit fur might give it a bit more zing.  Here’s my version :-
Size 14 nymph hook
6/0 black thread
Black hackle fibres for tail
4 wraps of 0.15 lead (or lead free sub)
Fine copper wire
Fish scale tape
Olive super possum
Olive rabbit


  1. Mount hook in vise – debarbed or not per preference or location
  2. Wrap four turns of lead wire 2-3mm from the eye
  3. Start your thread, trapping the lead in place and then wrap down to in line with the point
  4. Tear off and stack a small bunch of hackle fibres for the tail
  5. Tie in the tail, length 1/3 to 1/2 shank length according to taste
  6. Tie in your copper wire in-line with the start of the tail
  7. Tie in the fish scale tape at the bottom of the shank
  8. Dub in a small amount of dubbing from the tail to be inline with the point
  9. Cut/tear of a small hank (slightly larger than a match head) of rabbit from the hide, and cut/remove the underfur (usually keep the leftovers to turn into more dubbing later)
  10. Tie the rabbit to the top of the hook facing back towards the tail – length about same as tail
  11. Dub over the butt ends, same length as step 8
  12. Cut/tear of another small hank of rabbit from the hide and tie in per step 10, maybe a mm or two longer
  13. Dub to the end of lead/start of the head area
  14. Pull the fish scale to the head area and tie off
  15. Carefully wrap the wire up, with out running it through the rabbit
  16. Tie a neat head and you’re done.



Nymph Fly Swap

Last year just in time for the start of the new season, some of the guys on the Flylife forum held one of their infamous fly swaps.   I’d been in one previously and embarrassed myself a little with a tad too much tardiness, but figured what the hey, let’s try again.   The theme was early season nymphs for the river season opening.   I’ve mentioned previously that I’d created a new pattern called the Harey Maclarey.   Finally got around to taking photos of all them and reckon the otherguys did a stellar job – any shortfalls are my crappy photography.  Now that they’ve been recorded for posterity, into the box they go!


Blowfly ~ Higa’s SOS
Blowfly ~ Higa's SOS

jas b ~ stick caddis
jas b ~ stick caddis

Stephen Hill ~ hare and copper
Stephen Hill ~ hare and copper

Herry ~ f/b peacock dubbing nymph
Herry ~ f/b peacock dubbing nymph

Flyfisher78 ~ drought breakers
Flyfisher78 ~ drought breaker -2
Flyfisher78 ~ drought breakers -1

crabby ~ woven nymph
crabby ~ some sort of woven nymph

blackfish ~ hairy scary pheasant tail nymph
blackfish ~ hairy scary pheasant tail nymph

jano ~ Daiwl Bachs
jano ~ Daiwl Bach

hingrock ~ UV pheasant tail nymph
hingrock ~ UV pheasant tail nymphs

newfly ~ Double Standard
newfly ~ Double Standards

SkyeWarrior ~ Harey Maclarey
11. SkyeWarrior ~ Harey Mclary

Matt H Gippsland ~ mayfly nymph
Matt H Gippsland ~ mayfly

Derek McKenzie ~ Promiscuious Peacock nymph
Derek McKenzie ~ Promiscuious Peacock nymph

Top view, the whole box.

The Harey Maclarey

Some of you might be wondering who or what is Harey Maclarey. Hairy Maclary is a beloved if mischievous dog from Donaldson’s dairy, and the main character in a wonderful set of children’s books that sprang from the mind of Lynley Dodd. Incidentally they’re wonderful books to ham up with the kids sitting on your lap at the end of a long day.

So is it a bird, a plane, or is it Superman?

The answer is no – it’s a fly, used as an early season nymph imitation based loosely on the Hare and Copper, a popular pattern that I believe originated in New Zealand much like old Hairy Maclary himself. Both are grey and shaggy, and at least in the case of the Harey, the shaggier the better.

Full SBS to follow!

And here we go.

We all have dreams.  Some days I think I would like to be a writer. Others a fisherman.  Then a musician.  Cafe/Pizza shop owner, preferably in a quiet little town near some sort of water?  In reality I’m a DBA.

This has been a long time coming, and the simple truth is you have to start somewhere.  Here’s where I start writing, with the added benefit of being able to write about anything I choose.

To that end :-

“It was a dark and stormy night…”