8/16/2011

Davie McPhail Hoppers: Part 3

 Personal criteria for my favorite grasshopper patterns: 
1 ~Use of all natural materials
2 ~A pattern that can be tied in less than eight minutes
3 ~Least wind resistant geometry on a hook no larger than a #10
4 ~A pattern that casts well using tippet down to 6x
5 ~Create a geometry that can be fished wet or dry successfully
6 ~A wing that does not use turkey feathers or other primary feathers
7 ~A hybrid pattern an attractor/imitation
8 ~Legs wispy and very flexible as not to influence a take or hook set
9 ~Can be tied as small juvenile or adult (variables only in hook sizes)

Davie McPhail is an outstanding Scottish fly tyer. Davie grew up in the south west of Scotland and fished rivers such as the Stinchar, the Nith, Girvan, and the river Doon while growing up. After watching Davie tye flies over the years, both traditional and contemporary I quickly came to realize that he definitely has a particular point of view and unique methods that make him stand out in a crowd. I can honestly say he is one of my favorite tyers next to A.K. Best. Davie ties three grasshopper patterns that fulfill my criteria for great hopper patterns. The first pattern is called his “International Hopper” which is absolutely deadly. The second is the “Half Blood Prince” a black hairwing fly with red dyed pheasant tail legs. This fly I have used as a cricket pattern quite successfully with some slight adaptations. The third fly is called the “Jungle Bunny Hopper” that uses a Jungle Cock wing, knotted black dyed pheasant tail legs, and a black hackle collar. This is a gorgeous fly to say the least. Overall his patterns have both influenced me and inspired me to take a hard right turn and a closer look at tying successful small and large Grasshopper patterns.


Davie McPhail “International Hopper”


Davie McPhail “Half Blood Prince”


Davie McPhail “Jungle Bunny Hopper”