In recent years this simple little pattern has become the nymph to use on lakes and reservoirs.
Like the Hare’s Ear Nymph, it has become a fly that few stillwater trout anglers haven’t either heard of or used to great effect.
As with most truly great flies the key to its success is its simplicity. In its basic form it comprises merely a strand or two of peacock herl for the body plus a wisp of brown cock hackle fibres at the tail and throat. To keep the delicate body materials together a few turns of fine copper wire are wound over the top, which also add a little extra sparkle.
Although this version is still very effective, the pattern has rapidly developed a whole host of variants, from one tied with a red head to ones ribbed with various coloured tinsels. Gold, silver, pearl plus a range of holographic colours are now used as ribbing materials and peacock dyed a variety of colours is now being used instead of the plain bronze.
Hook Size 10-14 medium and
heavyweight wet-fly Thread Black or
brown Tail Brown cock hackle fibres Rib
Fine red holographic tinsel Body
Peacock herl Hackle Brown cock
1. Fix the hook securely in the vice before running the tying thread down the shank to a position opposite the barb. Catch in a few fibres of brown cock hackle as the tail.
2. Take a two-inch length of fine red holographic tinsel and catch that in, at the same point as the tail, with a couple of thread turns.
3. Select two slim strands of peacock herl and catch them in, too, at exactly the same point as the tail and tinsel.
4. Wind the thread back towards the eye in close turns. By using the thread to cover the waste ends of the materials a smooth base for the body is created.
5. With the tying thread now positioned just behind the eye of the hook take hold of the peacock herls and wind them in close turns along the hook shank.
6. Ensuring that the herls are not twisted, wind them right up to the head to form a slim body. Secure the waste ends of the peacock and remove.
7. Take hold of the holographic tinsel and wind it over the body in four or five evenly spaced turns.
8. Secure the end of the tinsel with thread then remove waste. Invert the hook before catching in a few fibres of brown cock hackle at the eye.
9. Gently ease the fibres under and around the sides of the body to form a sparse beard hackle. Replace the hook in its original position, build a neat head and cast off the thread.
WHERE, WHEN & HOW TO FISH
W H E R E
The combination of peacock herl body and hackle fibres at the tail and throat make the Diawl Bach perfect for suggesting something small and edible. For this reason it makes a deadly general pattern on any lake or reservoir when trout are feeding on nothing specific.
W H E N
As it can suggest anything and everything, the pattern will catch fish throughout the season, though it tends to work best when trout are actively feeding on a variety of small aquatic creatures such as midge pupae.
H O W
The Diawl Bach is at its best fished as part of a team on a floating line and long leader. Cast it out and allow it to drift slowly around with the breeze. A simple, slow figure-of-eight retrieve is all that is required to induce positive takes.
T Y I N G T I P
Keep this pattern nice and slim. Don’t be tempted to wind the body material too thickly.