5 Essential flies

Derek has been a member of AFAC since 1975 and an Honorary Life Member since 2002.  The 5 essential flies nominated are traditional flies from 'way-back' covering the 3 basic methods of fly fishing, ie nymph, dry and lure. 

Although the patterns shown are traditional ties they may all be tied using any of the new sparkly materials and brass or tungsten beads etc.  There is a brief note with each fly suggesting what various insects or aquatic life they may represent, excepting the 'Doll Fly' which is purely a smelt imitation.

Five essential flies: How are these flies fished? To use an analogy Louis ‘Satchmo’ Armstrong once said, “If you have to have Jazz explained to you, you will never understand it.” So, how are these flies fished? They are tied onto a leader or tippet, cast into a river or lake and retrieved.


Closed-cell-foam Humpy (dry)

Depending on size and dressing it can be taken for a Beetle, or a Mayfly or Caddis on the water surface.



Hare & Copper Nymph

Depending on shape and bulkiness of the dressing it can be taken for a Caddis, Damsel or Mayfly or a Dragon Nymph.


Doll Fly (Smelt)

Represents a Smelt.


Pheasant Tail Nymph

Represents Mayfly nymph.


Rabbit lure

Depending on size and colour it can represent a Bully, Koura, or Smelt.