The Fiery Brown is perhaps the archetypal Irish wet-fly. It is an effective pattern throughout the season and has even migrated across the Irish Sea to become a first-rate pattern on many reservoirs and natural lakes.
Typically, too, with an Irish pattern, matching the colour with that of the original is never as easy as it seems. Though the fly originated from Rogan’s of Ballyshannon, the secret of how to obtain the exact shade has been lost; however, Veniard’s produce a dye that approximates to the rich orangey-brown required for the seal’s fur body.
Added to the rich browns of body and hackle is a wing of bronze mallard. This feather comes from the shoulder of the drake mallard and has a beautiful speckled brown appearance.
However, it is not an easy feather to work with, as it is prone to splitting. To alleviate this problem try to choose a fresh feather where the fibres still marry together well. Also, roll a wide slip of the feather rather than trying to tie it in as a paired wing.
Hook Size 8-14 wet-fly Thread Brown
Tail Golden-pheasant tippets Rib Fine
oval gold tinsel Body Fiery brown seal’s
fur Hackle Fiery brown cock hackle
Wing Bronze mallard
1. Fix the hook in the vice and run close turns of thread down the shank to the bend. Catch in a few strands of golden-pheasant tippet feather plus two inches of fine oval gold tinsel.
2. Carry the thread over the waste ends of both the tinsel and the tippet strands to form a solid, even base for the body. Remove any excess material with scissors.
3. Draw a few inches of thread from the bobbin and apply a light coating of fly-tyer’s wax. This is sticky and will help the fur used for the body to adhere to the thread.
4. Take a good pinch of fiery brown seal’s fur and apply it evenly along the tying thread.
5. Between finger and thumb, twist the fur on to the thread in a process known as dubbing. Starting at the base of the tail, wind the fur along the hook shank. Keep the turns close together so no gaps are left but do not overlap them.
6. Carry the dubbed seal’s fur right along the shank, stopping just short of the eye. It is important to leave a small gap to accommodate the hackle and wing.
7. Take hold of the oval gold tinsel and wind it along the body in open, evenly spaced turns. Although it doesn’t really matter, it is traditional for a fly of this type to have five turns of ribbing.
8. Secure the tinsel at the eye and remove the excess. Next, take a cock hackle dyed fiery brown and, having removed the waste fibres at the base, catch it in at the eye.
9. Using hackle pliers, wind on three turns of hackle. Secure then remove the excess tip and stroke the fibres beneath the hook. Take a slip of bronze mallard three times the width of the intended wing.
10. Fold one edge of the slip to the centre then fold again to create a rolled wing. Catch the wing in on top of the hook with two or three winging loops. Secure with tight turns of thread then remove the excess feather.
WHERE, WHEN & HOW TO FISH
W H E R E
The Fiery Brown is a great fly for most natural lakes but it is also fished with great success on a number of reservoirs.
W H E N
A productive fly throughout the season it is especially effective during the summer when trout are feeding on anything from shrimp to caddis flies.
H O W
Being a traditional wet-fly the Fiery Brown is normally fished as part of a three-fly team. Used on a floating or intermediate line its usual position on the leader is either the point or middle dropper.
T Y I N G T I P
When dubbing a fur body, especially one with a springy material such as seal’s fur, it is important to wax the tying thread first. This wax is quite sticky and helps otherwise difficult materials to grip to the thread.