Don's Fly Tying - the Orange Bustard

[Orange Bustard]

Fall on still waters is a season of surprises. Yes, early fall can bring exciting back-swimmer action but sometimes a bit of colour can also create fast and furious trout activity! Some time ago almost by accident, I tried an orange fly in late October on Barnes Lake located in the hills above Ashcroft. Can you imagine my surprise when those Barnes Lake trout tried to rip the fly rod out of my hands? Let's have a look at a very similar orange pattern that actually originates in Europe! It is called the Bustard after the fly wing feathers that come from a vulture like bird. We do not have access to Bustard feathers here but brown mallard comes very close and does an admirable job. The orange bustard fly in a way matches the bright autumn landscape colours and from my point of view, it is an excellent pattern to have in your fly box!



Tie in the golden pheasant tippet for the tail first. Next attached a length of gold tinsel at the hook bend followed by a piece of orange wool or thin orange chenille. Wrap the wool forward to the hook eye and tie off. Then a rib is formed on this orange body by spaced wraps also to the hook eye. Select some brown mallard feather to create a back-flowing wing just past the hook bend by tying in this material on top at the hook eye. Keep the mallard low to the fly body. The final step is to make a hackle with about two wraps of a dyed orange feather and trim the top off, that is, any hackle rising above the wing. Cement, tie off and you have created a bright autumn fly that will catch fish!

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