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Over the last number of years in the course of my flytying experience, i have experimented with a lot of different types of materials. I have had mixed results with these materials ranging from success to complete failure. One such material that i have had success with and is well known to the angler is  Fluorocarbon. It has many excellent properties including strength and invisibility. It is also known for its excellent sinking capability. It is the sinking capability of it that i am  interested in when it comes to flytying. It is about four years back when i first started to incorporate it into some of my flytying experiments. 

One of first patterns i used it on was a pattern for a sedge pupa which called for an over body of monofilament.  This pattern i got from the book River Trout Flies by John Roberts. I had regularly used this fly pattern tied with the recommended mono during a sedge hatch and it always produced some trout. I then changed to fluorocarbon for the tying, noting that each time i used the fluorocarbon tied fly, i had better luck with it, so i decided to experiment further and compare the two tyings. I used a three fly cast to test both flies, two tied with mono and one tied with fluoro, most times the fish took the fluoro tied one. It made no difference as to where on the cast the fluoro tied fly was positioned. I concluded that the fluoro tying was by far the fly preferred by the trout.  

One of my next experiments using fluorocarbon with flytying, was when i tied it in again as an overbody on a simple North Country pattern Snipe and Purple. Again i noticed my catch rate improved with this tying. I found the most successful patterns i tied in this North Country style were Waterhen and Claret, Waterhen and Yellow tied with a fluorocarbon overbody. I noted that when there were Iron Blue Duns on the water, the Waterhen and Claret beat the Snipe and Purple most times. I also noted that Waterhen and Yellow worked very well when olives were on the water. I fished these flies using both upstream, across and down methods, each with good results. The fluorocarbon tied fly which was the most successful so far, is one based on the legend by Hans van Klinken the brilliant Klinkhammer.

Why This Fly? I have used this particular pattern all over Ireland from boulder strewn mountain streams to limestone rivers, from lakes and loughs to small stillwaters. Whether i was fishing for wild brown trout, stocked rainbow trout or stocked brown trout, the results were much the same at producing fish. I have tied this version of fly to some of the well known patterns such as Greenwell’s Glory, Tup’s Indispensable, Wickham’s Fancy etc. My belief through the years is that once i find a pattern that works for me i then tie it as a Klinkhammer.

In nearly all cases i found that the Klinkhammer version brought about better results for me. The version that i tie with the fluorocarbon body added has brought this fly a stage further. I think the addition of the fluorocarbon to the body, gives this fly a translucent look that is akin to the natural fly. The addition of fluorocarbon also helps  the body of the fly to sit below the surface as if it were about to emerge. Well whatever the fluorocarbon does it certainly has increased my catch rate whenever i have used it.

Blue dun version

Blue Dun Version

Hook: Partridge 15BNX Sz. 20

Wing post: Natural dun CDC

Thread: UNI purple 8/0

Hackle: Light blue dun cock

Overbody: Fluorocafbon .15mm

Note: Head finished with black varnish.

Greenwell version

Greenswell Version

Hook: Partridge 15BNX Sz. 20

Wing post: Natural dun CDC

Thread: UNI yellow 8/0

Hackle: Greenwell or Furnace

Overbody: Fluorocarbon .15mm

Note: Head finished with black varnish.

I tie these flies in different hook sizes and types but i find the light wire of the Partridge Klinkhammer Extreme suits best. I have also found that the size 20 hook is the one that gave better results. As yet i have not put a name on this fly i just refer to it by WTF meaning Why This Fly?

Waterhen and Claret

Waterhen and Claret

 Hook: Kamasan B405 Sz. 14/16

Thread: Claret 8/0

Overbody: Fluorocarbon .15mm

Hackle: Waterhen

Note: The hackle is prepared by stripping one side off. I found that it was too bulky when i used it complete. The hackle is tied with the underside facing out. The head is finished with black varnish which i noticed gave a better catch rate compared to clear varnish.

Waterhen and Yellow

Waterhen and Yellow

Hook: Kamasan B405 Sz. 14/16

Thread: UNI yellow 8/0

Hackle: Watwehen

Note: as above.

These North Country style flies i call Carbon Spiders.

9 Responses to “Fluorocarbon and Flytying”

  1. decco says:

    what exactly do you mean by overbody

  2. wgsten says:

    When i am tying up the fly the main body as i call it is just tying thread which i first tie in at the head then on my way down to the bend of the hook i tie in the wing post. Then continue the thread down to th hook bend and tie in a lenght of fluorocarbon. Next i take the thread up to the back of the wing post then i wind on the fluorocarbon in touching turns up to the back of the wing post and tie it in. This fluorocarbon is what i call the overbody.

  3. Enda says:

    GReat article. My problem recently is the klinkhammer falling over on one side. WOuld the addition of gink to the body be causing this? I agree it’s a terrific fly, landed me a 4lb rainbow last week when no one else touched a fish.

  4. wgsten says:

    Hi Enda. Thank you for your feedback i always like to hear of how other anglers get on when using this pattern. I never use gink when i fish with this fly. What i use is Dry Fly Silicone Mucilin. I soak the fly in this before i start fishing then i usually cast it well away from where i want to fish to wash off any excess oil. When all excess oil is gone i start fishing. Also when you are tying up the flies try and be sure that your hackle is even all round the post of the fly.

  5. Enda says:

    Thanks, I’ll try that. Love the site

  6. rtc says:

    Hi wgsten.Great article by the way.Would those spider patterns work as well using a partridge hackle.I don’t have waterhen and I want to tie a few of these as well as the klinkhamers.What do you think of the kamasan B100 hook for the klinkhamers? Also how do you tie off the hackle on your klinks?.Cheers and keep up the good work.

  7. wgsten says:

    Hi rtc thank you.
    pm sent

  8. jerry says:

    i have tried the fluorocarbon on klinkhammers with success .The normal dubbed body goes very shaggy after catching a good few trout but this is great. I’d like to be able to tie the fly so that i can’t see the outline of the fluoro on the body where i tied it in. At the moment i keep it straight along the shank as i tie it down. The trout don’t care , just me. Love the site by the way

  9. wgsten says:

    Thanks Jerry, it is good to hear you are having success with this pattern. When i am tying in the Fluorocarbon i tie it in at the but with 2/3 turns of tying silk then i catch the Fluorocarbon and pull is so that there is only the tiny piece under the tying silk. No matter how neatly i do or do not tie up the flies i never once heard any trout that was fooled by them complain of how good or bad they were tied.

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