Take one look at the Allrounder and it is easy to see why it has gained the reputation as an exceptionally effective sea-trout fly. It combines the iridescent green peacock sword and red wing of the Alexandra with a basic black hairwing to produce a pattern that really does live up to its name.
The seal’s fur body and the three-stage wing produce a very dense silhouette ideal for night-fishing. Not surprisingly, it also boasts cheeks of jungle cock, which are an absolute must for sea-trout.
Compared to some simpler patterns it might seem a little over the top and though its make-up does include “something for every occasion” the combination works. Indeed, it has a first-class pedigree, having been used successfully for sea-trout for well over 40 years.
Though this is the standard tying of the Allrounder, it seems that many regions have their own little twist on the pattern. A particular favourite on the River Taf omits the red section of the wing while a version from the Tawe valley uses tippets rather than goldenpheasant topping for the tail.
It may be tied as a tube fly for searching out deep pools but it is generally dressed on size 6-10 wet-fly hooks. However, it is the overall density that makes it so effective and the thickness of the body and wing may be altered to suit.
Hook Size 6-10 wet-fly Thread Black
Tail Golden-pheasant topping Rib Oval
silver tinsel Body Black seal’s fur
Wing Black squirrel tail under red squirrel
tail Topping Strands of green peacock
sword Hackle Black cock hackle
Cheeks Jungle cock
1. Fix the hook in the vice and run the tying thread on at the eye. Wind it down to the bend and catch in a small, brightly coloured goldenpheasant topping.
2. Secure the topping in place with further turns of thread before catching in two inches of fine oval silver tinsel at its base.
3. Cover the waste ends of the tinsel and GP crest feather to fix them in place and provide an even base for the body. Lightly wax the thread and apply a pinch of black seal’s fur.
4. Using a basic finger-and-thumb twist, dub the fur on to the thread to form a tapered rope. Wind the fur from the tail base up towards the eye.
5. Continue winding the fur in close turns, stopping a short distance back from the eye. Take hold of the tinsel and apply five evenly spaced turns over the fur body.
6. Secure the loose end of the tinsel with tying thread and remove the excess. Take a dyed-black cock hackle and catch it in, by its base, just in front of the body.
7. Using hackle pliers, grasp the tip of the hackle and wind on three full turns. Secure the tip with thread and remove the excess.
8. Stroke the hackle fibres back and position with thread so they sit around the sides and beneath the body. Take a small bunch of black squirrel tail and catch it in at the eye.
9. Secure the black hair with a few tight thread turns then take a bunch of dyed-red squirrel tail and position that over the top. Again, add further tight thread turns to secure it firmly.
10. Take three or four fibres of green peacock sword and catch them in so they curve nicely over the top of the hair wing.
11. Secure the peacock sword fibres and remove the excess. Take two small, matched jungle-cock feathers and catch one in on either side of the wing to form the cheeks. Trim away the excess and build a neat head.
WHERE, WHEN & HOW TO FISH
W H E R E
Originally tied for the rivers of west Wales, the Allrounder has travelled well and can be fished with confidence in any sea-trout river in the UK.
W H E N
Fish it in smaller sizes in the gathering twilight and in bigger versions dressed on large double hooks or two-inch tubes in full darkness.
H O W
A lure that really lives up to its name, the Allrounder can be used on a variety of lines, from a floater to a fast sinker. Add a Muddlerstyle deerhair head and you have a deadly surface lure. Dress it on a lightweight plastic or aluminium tube and it becomes a highly effective lure when presented on a medium-sinking line to sea-trout lying in a deep, fast run.
T Y I N G T I P
When applying jungle-cock cheeks, especially on smaller flies, it is a good idea to double over the stems once the feathers have been correctly positioned. This procedure locks the JC feathers securely in place and prevents them pulling out during use.