The Snatcher was invented in the mid- ’90s to imitate the large buzzers hatching on Loch Leven. Since that time David Wallace’s pattern has been developed so that although the basic profile remains the same the Snatcher is now tied in a vast range of colours.
This, the Doobry version, is based on a Stan Headley pattern and has the same black, gold and orange combination. Other variations are based on established wet-fly patterns such as Bibio, Blue Zulu and Claret Bumble.
Though tied to suggest an emerging buzzer, the Snatcher is invariably fished subsurface. Its slim, curved body and palmered hackle combine to produce a hybrid nymph/wet-fly, which catches fish on a wide range of waters. Although its original success came with rainbow trout it has since proved very effective for wild brown trout, especially when tied in the more natural colours.
The key to the Snatcher’s success is the curved profile along with its palmered body hackle, which works beautifully in the water. This hackle should not be applied too heavily. Although the original didn’t have cheeks these have become standard and comprise either dyed goose biots or jungle cock. As these cheeks are small, to suggest the wing buds of an emerging fly, it is worth splitting a larger feather to get the correct shape.
Hook Size 10-14 Kamasan B100 Thread
Brown or red Tag Orange fluorescent
floss – Glo Brite no. 4 Rib Fine gold wire
Body Flat gold tinsel Bodyhackle Black
cock hackle Collarhackle Dyed-orange
hen badger Cheeks Jungle cock
1. Fix the hook in the vice in a position that gives access to a point well round the bend. Using a bobbin-holder, run on fluorescent red floss.
2. Build a short tag with the floss then cast it off with a whip finish. Run on normal brown tying thread and catch in two inches of fine gold wire.
3. Wind the tying thread over the hook and the wire. This step helps to form an even base on which to wind the tinsel body.
4. Carry the tying thread along the shank, stopping just short of the eye. Take a three-inch length of gold mylar tinsel, cut one end to a point, and catch it in.
5. Take hold of the Mylar tinsel and wind it along the shank in close turns. Ensure that these turns do not overlap.
6. Wind the tinsel to the tag then back to the catching-in point. Secure the end then remove the excess. Prepare and catch in a dyed black cock hackle with fibres-length one and a half times that of the hook gape.
7. Take hold of the hackle tip, with hackle pliers, and wind it over the body in evenly spaced turns. Continue until the hackle has reached the tag.
8. Keeping tension on the hackle, begin winding the gold wire up through it. Ensure that the turns of wire are both tight and evenly spaced to lock the hackle in place.
9. Secure the wire at the eye and remove the excess and the hackle tip. Prepare then catch in a dyedorange hen badger hackle at the eye.
10. Take hold of the hackle tip, with hackle pliers, and wind on three turns.
11. Secure the hackle tip with thread and remove the excess. Finally add a small jungle-cock feather to either side of the fly to form the cheeks.
WHERE, WHEN & HOW TO FISH
W H E R E
In all its guises the Snatcher will catch fish from virtually any lake or reservoir.
W H E N
Depending on the colour combination the Snatcher can be used effectively right through the season. Darker colours tend to work best early in the year or on waters where brown trout are the predominant species.
H O W
When fishing for wild brown trout a floating or slow-sinking line is the standard approach with one or more patterns of Snatcher used as part of a team. On stocked waters in can be fished on anything from a floating to a fast-sinking line.
T Y I N G T I P
As the palmered hackle on the Snatcher should not be too heavy, when tying smaller sizes strip the fibres from one side of the hackle before winding it on.