FLY OF THE MONTH- November 2017


The Hairwing Coachman

(courtesy of Peter Leuver)


Years ago, when I was living in Warrnambool, I purchased a copy of John Turnbull’s book, A Fly on the Stream, and came across this pattern. It looked interesting and reasonably straightforward to tie, so I tied some up and used the pattern to great effect on the rivers around Warrnambool.


When I moved back to Melbourne in 1984 and started fishing the rivers around Thornton I discovered that it worked rather well there too. This fly is not hard to tie, and it’s well worth putting a few together and trying them on an evening when the caddis are about.


I didn’t have time to tie some of these up and photograph them, so have used a photo I had scanned from Peter Leuver’s fabulous Australian fly tying classic, Fur & Feather, some years ago. I sincerely hope Peter doesn’t mind.

The Materials:

Hook: Dry fly hook in sizes 16 – 20, preferably size 18

Thread: Black 8/0

Tail: Golden pheasant tippets

Body: Peacock herl

Wings: Small bunch of white bucktail tied crosswise and trimmed

Hackle: Furnace or Brown cock hackle (two turns only as a weed guard)


Tying Notes:

  1. Wind thread along the shank and tie in a small bunch of tippets for the tail.
  2. Tie in one or two peacock herl feathers and wind them forward along the shank to build up a nice fat body, but finishing so that there is plenty of room behind the eye for the bucktail wing.
  3. Take a small bunch of white bucktail and place it horizontally across the shank behind the eye and in front of where the peacock herl body finishes.
  4. Secure the buck tail wing by tying a few strong figure of eight turns to hold it in place. A tiny drop of superglue on the knot will also help keep things secure.
  5. Trim the two ends of the tail so that the wing is even and its length is about equal to the length of the hook shank.
  6. Tie in the hackle feather in front of the wing, and then make two turns.
  7. Tie off the hackle feather and whip finish to complete the fly.