The Red Twist is one of a series of patterns carrying the same name which were developed originally for catching sea-trout in daylight. The term simply refers to the number of turns or twists of hackle used.
All are tied on fine, outpoint trebles to maximise the hooking potential of the fly and all have silver bodies and black outer hackles. What changes in each variation is simply the colour of the inner hackle — the one that lies beneath the black one. This can vary from yellow to orange, green or blue though it is the red version that has become the most popular. The red colour combination gives it more than a passing resemblance to a Butcher.
The hackles are usually wound separately to provide two distinct colour bands but, for variety, they may also be wound together to produce an effect like that of the Bumble series. The length of the hackles may also be varied so that the hackles sit at different angles to the body creating either a more streamlined fly or a bushier one.
Cock hackles are used in preference to hen hackles as they are stiffer and create more fish-attracting disturbance in the water.
Hook Size 8-14 longshank treble Thread
Black Tag Red fluorescent floss Rib
Silver wire Body Flat silver tinsel Inner
hackle Dyed-red cock hackle Outer
hackle Dyed-black cock hackle
1. Fix the hook in the vice and run the tying thread down the shank, being careful to ensure that it doesn’t snag on a hook point. Catch in two inches of red floss.
2. Secure the waste end of the floss along the hank with turns of thread and then wind on a few turns of the floss to form a short tag.
3. Secure the loose end of the floss with turns of thread and remove the excess.
4. Take three inches of fine silver wire and catch it in, just in front of the red floss tag.
5. Cover the waste end of the wire with close turns of tying thread to create an even base for the body. Take the thread up to the eye and catch in three inches of flat silver tinsel.
6. Begin winding the flat silver tinsel in close turns down to the tag. As you reach the hook points, take great care not to snag the tinsel on them.
7. Once the tinsel has been taken as far as the floss tag, wind it back over itself in close turns to form a double layer. Secure the loose end and remove the excess.
8. Wind the silver wire over the body in evenly spaced turns. Secure the loose end and remove the excess. Next, take a long-fibred dyed-red cock hackle and catch it in at the eye.
9. Grasp the tip of the hackle with hackle pliers and wind on two or three turns to form the first section of the collar.
10. Secure the waste end of the red hackle and trim off the excess. Select a dyedblack cock hackle with fibres slightly longer than those of the red. Catch it in and wind on two or three turns.
11. Secure the waste end of the black hackle and remove it with scissors. Stroke the hackle fibres back over the body and position them with thread turns. Build a small head and cast off with a whip finish.
WHERE, WHEN & HOW TO FISH
W H E R E
The Red Twist was designed specifically for catching sea-trout from rivers, though it has also proved effective for the same species on lakes.
W H E N
Tied on a longshank treble hook, the pattern is intended to solve the problem of missed takes when fishing for sea-trout during the hours of daylight. Subsequently, it has also proved to be a very useful pattern for night-fishing.
H O W
On rivers, the Red Twist is normally fished singly on a floating, intermediate or fastsinking line. When used on lakes, its main role is as the point fly in a three-fly team.
T Y I N G T I P
When tying a tinsel body on a treble hook, especially one made from plastic Mylar tinsel, take special care when working around the hook points. Work the tinsel from side to side to avoid it snagging and being damaged by the points.