The Templedog is a style of fly rather than a precise pattern. The first of its kind was tied early 20 years ago for autumn fishing on the River Em in Sweden, and since then its fame has spread far and wide.
Its secret lies in its mobility in the water: tie one on and watch it pulsate and flicker in the feeblest of currents. It looks for all the world like a living creature. This seductive action was originally achieved by tying in a forward-facing wing and then folding it back over the tube. It can more easily be achieved by first tying in an underwing, which gives the fly bulk, so that the current will compress it, causing it to wiggle.
Templedogs should be tied only on lightweight (aluminium or lighter) tubes. A brass tube will kill the fly's action and the depth at which the fly fishes is determined only by the density of the fly-line.
Hook Lightweight tubes to suit
conditions Thread Black Butt Orange
yarn Body Rear half, flat silver tinsel;
front half, dubbed orange seal’s fur
Body hackle Orange cock Rib Oval
silver tinsel Head hackle Black cock
Wing Red and orange Arctic fox; red,
copper and pearl tinsel strands
1. Slide a length of rubber sleeve over the plastic tube then fix it securely on to the mount. Run tying thread down to the sleeve before catching in two inches of oval gold tinsel.
2. Wind on three or four close turns of the tinsel to form the tag. Secure the loose end of tinsel with tying thread.
3. Remove the excess tinsel before catching in four inches of orange yarn that has been folded double. Wind on two turns to form the butt, then secure the loose end.
4. Fold the loose end of the yarn back on itself to form the tail. Trim the yarn to length, then catch in four inches of wide oval silver tinsel.
5. Wind thread over the waste end of the oval tinsel, stopping about halfway back along the tube. Catch in six inches of flat silver tinsel and wind it in close turns to the tail.
6. Wind the tinsel back over itself to form a double layer. Secure, then remove the loose end. Dub on a large pinch of orange seal’s fur and use it to form the front body section.
7. Catch in a large dyedorange cock hackle by its base a short distance back from the end of the tube. Using hackle pliers, wind it in evenly spaced turns over both sections of the body.
8. When the hackle has reached the base of the tail, take hold of the oval silver tinsel and wind it up through the hackle, locking it securely to the tube.
9. Secure the loose end of the tinsel and remove it and the waste tip of the hackle. That done, catch in a large dyed-black cock hackle in front of the orange one and wind on four turns.
10. Secure the hackle and position it so that the fibres are around the sides and beneath the tube. Catch in red, copper and pearl tinsel strands so they project well past the end of the tube.
11. Take a generous bunch of dyedorange Arctic fox and catch it in so that the tips reach just past the end of the silicone rubber sleeve.
12. Catch in a longer bunch of red Arctic fox plus a few strands of pearl tinsel over the top. Complete with jungle-cock cheeks.
WHERE, WHEN & HOW TO FISH
W H E R E
Born in Scandinavia, the Templedog soon gained a reputation further afield. It is now a very popular fly (and becoming increasingly so) in Scotland, where its sinuous action in the water looks more appealing than the comparatively lifeless heavy tube-fly.
W H E N
Primarily for use in the cold water of spring and autumn, the Templedog may also be used on a floating line and stripped quickly in the summer, where it will often tempt a fish that has seen everything else.
H O W
Because the tube on which it is tied is light, the depth at which it is fished is determined by the sinking speed of the line. In spring and autumn, in cold water, fish it on a short (3 ft to 5 ft) leader and fast-sinking line.
T Y I N G T I P
To give the wing increased action, tie in the hair facing forwards then fold it back over the tube.