How to tie the Dennis the Menace Stillwater Fly


COMPETITION angling often throws up new and interesting fly patterns, but some are considered so secret by the anglers using them that they only appear on the general angling scene once the competition lads have moved onto the ‘next big thing!’ But that doesn’t make these patterns any less successful as they still pull their share of fish.

One such pattern is the Dennis the Menace, so called because of its distinctive red and black colouring. In my job at Rutland tackle shop I meet competition anglers from all over the country and I was first shown the Dennis the Menace Booby Blob by one of the Scottish lads. Since then the Dennis the Menace tag has been adopted for a whole range of mini lures, Sedgehogs and Buzzers with the characteristic red and black colouring.

The most important ingredient in the Booby Blob is the blob chenille – it needs to be a glossy jet black with a blood-red holographic tinsel running through it for best effect. There are various types but the best I’ve found is Dennis the Menace blob fritz from Bill McIlroy (£2.25 a bag, email

When blob chenilles are taken straight from the packet the fibres are often squashed flat and lying at different angles, so I roll the chenille rope briskly between the palms of my hands. This generates a little bit of heat to open the chenille up. Then I hang it from a bulldog clip after which it is much easier to tie with.

The type of hook is also important. A Drennan Trad Wet hook has a lovely wide gape and is a very strong hook. It also fits perfectly in the international rules hook gauge. Drennan don’t make them any more so if you can’t track down a supply then a size 10 competition heavyweight will do just as well.

This pattern can be used as an out-and-out lure, hammered back on a fast retrieve as a pure attractor. But its muted tones also make it perfect as the point fly on a washing-line set-up with nymphs. When fish have had enough of gaudy Tequila and Sunburst variations, this subdued red and black version can really produce the goods. You can even drop down to size 12s if the fish are being particularly fussy.

Hook: Size 8 Drennan Trad Wet or size 10 competition

heavyweight Thread: Black GSP Tail: Black marabou

Body: Black blob chenille with fine red holographic

tinsel running through it Head: Black ethafoam or plastazote booby eyes


1 Set hook in vice, add a drop of varnish to shank and run black thread to bend of hook.

2 Catch in a bunch of black marabou feather fibres. Secure with touching turns of thread.


3 Trim waste marabou and catch in a length of black and red holographic blob chenille.

4 Wind chenille in close touching turns, stroking back fibres as you go. Secure with locking turns of thread just behind eye. Trim waste.


5 Place booby eyes on top of hook, just behind eye, and secure with figure-of-eight locking turns of thread.

6 Secure thread with a whip finish and add a drop of Superglue between eyes to finish.