On the face of it, creating a single fly that is irresistible to a trout, whatever the wind, light and weather conditions, involves little more than combining the recognised trigger found in other patterns with proven records.
The truth is, the vast majority of these attempts fail to impress and invariably end their brief flirtation with fame in the forgotten corner of the fly-box.
One of the few such hybrids to have stayed the course is the Jungle Bunny, which is believed to have been created by a group of regular sea-trout fishers on Ireland’s Lough Currane. The body is formed from bands of yellow, red and black seal’s fur, a silver rib and the long black hackles found in a host of successful Scottish and Irish stillwater flies.
It is the addition of the jungle-cock eye feathers that make the Jungle Bunny so distinctive. They are set not at the tail, like that other seatrout killer, the Delphi, nor at the sides, as in a host of Irish wet-flies, nor fixed low and long as in the distinctive Irish Shrimp flies, but almost upright like a rabbit — hence its unusual name.
While it still accounts for a high proportion of the seatrout caught on Currane, the Jungle Bunny has developed a firm following in Scotland and, in particular, with the brown trout fishers of Orkney.
Hook Size 8-14 Thread Black
Butt Yellow seal’s fur Body Seal’s fur, red
behind black Rib Medium oval silver
tinsel Body hackle Black cock
Head hackle Black hen or cock.
A variant has a longer, natural-red
1. Fix the hook in the vice and run the tying thread down the shank to the bend. Dub on a small pinch of yellow seal’s fur and begin winding it on at the bend.
2. Apply two or three turns of the dubbing to form a tag then take two inches of fine oval silver tinsel and catch it in so that the waste end lies along the shank.
3. Take a second pinch of seal’s fur. This should be larger than the first and dyed red. Dub it on to the tying thread to form a tapered rope.
4. Wind the dubbed red fur in close turns so that it covers approximately half the length of the hook shank.
5. Dub on a pinch of black seal’s fur, the same amount as used for the red section. Use it to form the front part of the body. At the eye, catch in a dyedblack cock hackle.
6. Using hackle pliers, take hold of the hackle by its tip and wind it over the body in evenly spaced turns. Carry it down the body until it has covered both the black and red body sections.
7. With the body hackle in position, wind the silver tinsel up through it, again in evenly spaced turns. These lock the turns of hackle to the body.
8. At the eye, secure the loose end of the tinsel with thread and remove the excess. Also remove the excess hackle tip at the bend. Catch in a second black hackle, longer in fibre than the first.
9. Take hold of the hackle and wind on three turns to form a dense collar. Secure the hackle tip with tying thread just behind the eye.
10. Remove the excess hackle before selecting two small, matching jungle-cock feathers. Place them back-to-back and secure them in an upright position to form the “bunny’s” ears.
WHERE, WHEN & HOW TO FISH
W H E R E
The Jungle Bunny is a reliable allrounder for both sea-trout and brown trout from the first day of the season to the last.
W H E N
While effective in all conditions, it probably performs best on a greyish day with low clouds and a good wave. As a general rule, the bigger the wave, the bigger the fly that should be used.
H O W
A reliable fly on both point and middle dropper, the Jungle Bunny excels on the top dropper. While it will produce fish on a slowsinking line, it is best offered on a floating line and dribbled across the ripple.
T Y I N G T I P
The much softer and more mobile hen hackles are better used on smaller versions of the fly which are more suited to fishing in a slight ripple.