This is the silverbodied version of the standard Invicta, which differs only in that the latter has a body of yellow seal’s fur. If anything, the silver version is now the more popular of the two, having the distinction of being one of the few traditional wet-flies to be in regular use on reservoirs as well as large, natural lakes.
Although many commercially tied Silver Invictas are tied with hen pheasant wing slips it is the hen pheasant’s tail feather which is the original winging material. This can be used either in matching slips or, as here, rolled from a section three times the width of the finished wing. This latter technique is both easier and gives the wing the right amount of bulk and taper. The proportions of the fly can also be varied from the standard one where the wing projects just past the end of the body to a slimmer, longerwinged version with a more rakish profile. This works particularly well when trout are taking small coarse-fish fry.
The Silver Invicta may also be tied super-slim and fished very much like a nymph. There is even a variant, the Silver Knicker, which dispenses with the body hackle and which some anglers find even more effective.
Hook Size 10-14 medium-weight wet-fly
Thread Brown or black Tail Goldenpheasant
topping Rib Fine silver tinsel
Body Flat silver Mylar tinsel Body
hackle Brown cock hackle Throat
hackle Blue jay Wing Hen pheasant tail
1. Fix the hook in the vice and run the tying thread down the shank to a point just in front of the barb. Catch in a small, nicely coloured goldenpheasant topping.
2. Catch in two inches of fine, oval silver tinsel at the base of the tail. Wind close turns of thread over the waste ends of topping and wire before removing the excess.
3. Take a four-inch length of medium width silver Mylar tinsel. Cut one end to a point.
4. Catch in the tinsel by the point a short distance back from the eye, This point will help the first turn of tinsel to sit flat and not cause a bump.
5. Take hold of the Mylar tinsel and begin winding it along the hook shank toward the tail. Ensure that the turns are closely butted together. Wind the tinsel back over itself. This double layer helps to create a smooth body with no gaps.
6. Secure the loose end of the tinsel just behind the eye and remove the excess. Next, prepare a brown cock hackle and catch that in just in front of the body.
7. Take hold of the hackle tip with hackle pliers and begin winding it toward the tail. Ensure that the turns are evenly spaced and that no fibres are trapped.
8. When the hackle has reached the tail, wind the oval silver tinsel through it in evenly spaced turns, locking the hackle turns in place.
9. With the rib in place, secure the loose end with tight turns of thread and remove the excess. Also, carefully remove the excess hackle tip still at the tail.
10. Take a blue jay feather, checking that it has a good, bright colour and that the fibres aren’t damaged. Remove a bunch of fibres, stroking them out so their tips are level.
11. Offer the bunch of jay fibres to the underside of the hook. Catch it in with a couple of loose thread turns then ease the fibres around the sides to form a beard hackle.
12. Remove a wide slip from the tail of a hen pheasant. Stroke the fibres so that any split ones remarry and so that their tips are level.
13. Roll the slip of feather fibre so that a slim, dense wing is created that comes to a point.
14. Position the wing slip on top of the hook and catch it in place with loose thread loops. With the wing in place, secure it with further tight thread turns before removing the excess feather.
WHERE, WHEN & HOW TO FISH
W H E R E
Though the pattern works on all types of water it is particularly effective on the larger lakes and reservoirs.
W H E N
The Silver Invicta fishes well throughout the summer months. It makes a great general pattern and scores well when trout are feeding on a range of aquatic creatures, from buzzer pupae to corixids and shrimp. It is also a good pattern to try during early summer when the trout are feeding on the tiny, almost transparent, pin-fry.
H O W
Being a traditional wet-fly the Silver Invicta is normally fished on a floating or intermediate line. Although it can be used singly the normal method is to fish it as part of a team on a 12 ft leader. It is usually positioned either on the point or middle dropper.
T Y I N G T I P
To get the taper of the wing right draw the fibres together so the tips are level before removing the section of feather from the quill. Stroke the fibres so they marry together then remove carefully from the quill ith scissors.