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Tuesday, 2022-08-09

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The Black and Peacock Spider

No fly collection for North-West brown trout can be complete without a fly made from peacock herls. One of the best from this category is the Black and Peacock.
Tom Ivens developed this pattern in the late 1940's to imitate black snails of English reservoirs; incidentally materials and colours make it an ideal fly for our peaty waters.
In Northern Germany's lowland rivers I caught plenty of chubb and dace on this particular pattern. So, if you like to give new species a try: don't forget the Black & Peacock.


If you want to fish it as a heavy nymph, just tie a lead under-body first.
Hook sizes 10 to 14 are best for this one.

Thread - black
Body - peacock herl
Ribbing - black thread, to strengthen body, has no visual effect
Hackle - black hen or cock, fibres slightly longer than hook

The Black and Peacock Spider

No Time

I was sitting on a stool at the bar of a well known pub of the region. It was a Thursday evening, so there were no other guests, but I was very contented with a pint in front of me, having a chat with the publican.
It could be regarded as a mild sensation that on this particular Thursday the door opened and another guest appeared, and a stranger at that. The way he spoke as he ordered a beer told us : yer man is from Mayo.
On a little holiday, yourself? asked the man behind the bar, pulling a pint.
No no, came the straight answer, I'm working up here, on the bypass, since last Monday.
And you are from Mayo, yourself ?
Westport, nodded the man, paying for his beer.
How is the fishing down there?
I came straight to the point.
Oh, great, very good sea angling, Lough Mask close by and Lough Carra, not too far away from the Moy, just great. That river I crossed just now, at the main road there, is that any good? the man took a good bite from his beer.
Can be very good at times, I fish it regularly. When you have the right water it fishes very well, I explained.
And I have heard up there at the windmills is a lake that has good fishing? the man became lively and the conversation moved along.
Oh, can be mighty at times, but hasn't been too good lately.
And when you turn right there at the crossroads, just here at the end, you come along a couple of lakes.
Of course I knew which waters he meant: LoughNaman Finn and Lough Tamur, Aye, now, when you hit them at the right day, you can have real fun; the fish are not too big in it now.
You must do a lot of fishing.
He lives it
, said the publican.
I had no time at all in the last two years, groaned the man from Mayo.
That's not true, I said astonished, you had exactly as much time as I had during the last two years.
There was a lengthy pause here, in which the Mayo man blushed, the publican lit a fag and I finished my pint.
I must head off now, were the next words spoken and the newcomer left without even finishing his beer.
The publican pulled a new pint for me, looks like yer man hasn't got his priorities right.
Aye, was all I said.