A member of the Bibionidae Family, the heather fly is closely related to the hawthorn fly but is found in more upland areas especially those that support heather moorland. It is all but identical to the hawthorn fly, save for its brightly-coloured red legs, a feature that is a definite recognition point to be included in any imitation. While it might look very similar, the heather fly's season is a good deal longer and later than the hawthorn fly. Expect to see it from July through into September.
Hook Size 14 medium weight
Body Black micro-cellular foam
Wing Grey poly-yarn and pearl Mirror Flash
Thorax Black rabbit fur
Thorax cover Black micro-cellular foam
Legs Fine, black rubber legs
1. Run thread on at the eye and wind it halfway down the shank. Take a sheet of black foam and from it cut a tapering strip 3-4mm wide.
2. Position foam strip on top of the shank so that it projects well past the bend. Secure the strip in place with three or four turns of thread.
3. Take a fine, black rubber strand and apply a single overhand knot to create a leg joint. Catch in at same point as the foam strip.
4. Select a second strand and repeat the process but catch it in on the hook’s far side. These strands form the trailing legs.
5. Take a length of grey poly-yarn and split it down the middle. Catch in one half along with a couple of strands of pearl Mirror Flash.
6. Fold the yarn and Mirror Flash so that both ends lie on top of the foam body. Secure the wing with further turns of thread.
7. Apply a small pinch of black rabbit fur to the tying thread. Dub it on then wind over the base of the wing to conceal the fold.
8. Wind thread forward, in front of the loose end of foam. Make an overhand knot in a third rubber strand and place around shank.
9. Pull the knot tight to form a third pair of legs then apply a second pinch of rabbit fur to the thread. Wind up to eye to form the thorax.
10. With the tying thread at the eye, pull the foam strip loosely over the top and secure it with a few tight wraps of thread.
11. Cast off the tying thread with a whip finish. Finally, trim the foam strip to leave a short stub for the head.
12. Leaving a short length of foam in front of the eye slightly increases the pattern’s buoyancy.