Anyone trying to incorporate the deadliest colours for salmon and sea-trout would probably find something like the Executioner coming to mind. This striking pattern combines black, red and silver, set off beautifully by cheeks of jungle cock.
The pattern owes much to the Silver Stoat, another great fly for migratory fish, but the flash of fluorescent red floss gives it a distinct edge.
This Executioner has a rear section tied from fluorescent Glo-Brite floss, shade 4. The ratio of red to silver may be varied from the red being little more than a butt, right up to being half the body length. When applying fluorescent floss, it is worth folding it double to increase its thickness and make it easier to apply. It can also be applied with a bobbin holder.
Being used specifically for summer work, the Executioner is tied relatively small on doubles and trebles ranging from size 6 down to 12. Dyed-black squirrel tail is the preferred material for the wing. Having a soft, fine texture, this hair provides greater mobility on small flies than bucktail, which is both coarser and stiffer. The hackle may be tied long and slim as a simple beard or wound and swept to give the fly increased action for fast, streamy water.
Hook Size 6-12 doubles and trebles
Thread Black Tag Fine oval silver tinsel
Tail Golden-pheasant crest Rib Oval
silver tinsel Rear body section
Fluorescent red floss Front body
section Flat silver tinsel Wing Dyedblack
squirrel tail Hackle Black cock
hackle Cheeks Jungle cock
1. Secure the hook in the vice and run the tying thread down the shank to where the bends of the double separate. There, catch in two inches of fine, oval silver tinsel.
2. Take the thread a few turns back up the shank then apply three or four touching wraps of tinsel to form the tag. Secure the loose end and remove any excess.
3. Select a medium-sized goldenpheasant crest feather. Remove the soft fibres from its base and catch it in just in front of the tag.
4. Take a second length of oval silver tinsel and catch it in right at the base of the tail. Allow the waste end of the tinsel to lie along the shank of the hook.
5. Using close turns of tying thread, cover the waste ends of the tinsel and tippet feather to form an even base for the body. Take the thread halfway along the shank and catch in a length of red fluorescent floss.
6. Wind the floss down to the tail in close turns and then back to its catching-in point. This double layer creates the required bulk and helps produce a smooth effect.
7. Secure the floss and remove the excess. Carry the thread up close to the eye. Catch in a length of flat silver tinsel and wind it down to the red floss in touching turns.
8. Wind the flat tinsel back to the eye to form a double layer and secure the end. Next, wind the oval tinsel over both body sections in six, evenly spaced turns.
9. Secure the loose end of the oval tinsel and remove the excess of both tinsels. Catch in a dyed-black cock hackle by its base and wind on three full turns.
10. Secure the hackle tip and remove the excess then stroke the fibres back to form a throat hackle. Secure the fibres in place with thread before catching in a wing of dyed-black squirrel tail.
11. Secure the hair in place with tight thread turns before adding two junglecock feathers to form the cheeks. Build a neat head and cast off with a whip finish.
WHERE, WHEN & HOW TO FISH
W H E R E
Used mostly on Scottish rivers, the Executioner is a super fly for thin water.
W H E N
The Executioner is a great summer fly for both salmon and sea-trout. It is also an excellent pattern to try during a run of grilse.
H O W
Usually fished singly on a floating line, it also works well as a point fly with the addition of a simple hackled fly such as a Black Pennell on the dropper.
T Y I N G T I P
When using fluorescent floss to form a body section on a large fly, it is best applied using a bobbin holder. This way the floss can be wound smoothly without the risk of the very fine fibres being snagged by the fingers.