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Tuesday, 2022-08-09

Top Ten Flies for Ireland

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The Black Widow

Edwin Dickson had a Black Widow all the time on the point of his salmon cast. The one shown here is a variation, where the traditional rolled mallard wing has been substituted by bucktail and crinkle-flash.

It catches better later in the season, or where you expect to get fish which have already been in the river for a while.  It can be a very effective fly then, particularly when fished on the point.


I use single hooks size 8 or 10; the pattern doesn't work well on bigger ones.

Thread - black
Tag - oval gold
Tail - golden pheasant crest
Body - black floss
Ribbing - oval gold
Hackle - black hen or cock, one turn only
Wing - squirrel tail or buck tail, dyed black, slightly longer than hook, with three strands of dark crinkle-flash

Fishing and tying the Black Widow


Item: Conversation
Topic: Fly-fishing
Place: Eany, Devlin's Pool
Time: August 19, 1993, 5.45 am
Personae: Two well known anglers of the region
Additional Information: Well known angler # 1 is making up a new cast.

Well known angler # 2: the water looks great now.
Well known angler # 1: we should get a fish at some stage today.
Well known angler # 2: what flies are you putting on?
Well known angler # 1: ( browsing through his fly - wallet ) don't know really, maybe try with only two first, that black one of yours and an anchor on top should do.
Well known angler # 2: uhu.
Well known angler # 1: ( putting a fly on ) do you know that I always had my best days salmon fishing after a very successful night of love making?
Well known angler # 2: hu?
Well known angler # 1: ( putting a second fly on ) yea.
Well known angler # 2: uh.
Well known angler # 1: ( producing a little brown bottle from a pocket of his waxed jacket ) so I asked the wife to volunteer.
Well known angler # 2: ohu!
Well known angler # 1: ( shaking little brown bottle ) you see, the salmon has a very strong sense of smell.
Well known angler # 2: oh.
Well known angler #1:( applying a drop to each fly ) you can try a drop if you like.
Well known angler # 2: o!

Conclusion: some anglers would put anything on their hooks, when guaranteed a fish.