Saltwater Fly Fishing In The United Kingdom

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The Blonde.

While I had not intended to write an in between article as I am writing one article a month for your site, there is so much interest in the "Blonde" that I decided to send this as a fill in article.

The "Blonde" was developed by Joe Brooks in the 1940's and is actually a fly "Style" rather than an actual "Pattern". It consists of a tail or lower wing, a body of mylar and an upper wing. The material of choice is generally buck tail.

The "Blonde" was developed before the advent of such materials as flash a bou, crystal flash and some of the other flash materials and it is a good idea to add several strands of this material to the pattern in both the tail (lower wing) and the upper wing. The body can be any color of mylar tinsel with gold and silver being the most popular.

With the above said, with all of the new materials available today, there is no reason that some of the newer tailing and winging materials cannot be used in lieu of the traditional buck tail. Calf tail is a good choice for smaller Blondes, sizes 2 and smaller. The synthetics are more durable than the natural materials.

Eyes may or may not be added to the flies but it is generally considered that adding eyes and gills to flies, generates more strikes. Painted eyes are acceptable but with the new stick on eyes and the molded 3D stick on eyes, you can make the flies, much more natural looking.

Generally red crystal flash is added as the gills and is tied on either as a throat or on each side of the fly directly behind the head.

The fly is extremely simple to tie. The tail is tied on. If you allow the butt ends of the buck tail or whatever material you use to extend to slightly behind the eye of the hook and then over wrap it with the mylar, it will give a much more uniform body. The upper wing is tied on, leaving enough space behind the eye of the hook for a small, neat and tapered head.

If you tie on the tail and wrap the body, leave just enough space behind the eye of the hook fro the head. Tie in the upper wing and wrap the thread to the rear to just before the start of the body. The body will force the wing to stand away from the shank of the hook in an upright manner. You can also wrap a small ball of thread and wrap the thread over the wing to the ball of thread. This will also cause the upper wing to stand away from the hook shank.

Another method of elevating the wing is to tie on the wing, grasp all of the wing fibers and take several turns of thread around the base of the wing, next to the hook shank. If the wing sticks up too much, wrap the thread to the rear for several wraps to help it lay in the proper position.

The "Blonde" can be tied in just about any color combination. The only limitation is your imagination. Here are some of the colors that we use in the US. I will not put in any names that these colors have been called as they have been modified over the years, so I will just list the colors.

All white with silver or pearl crystal flash
All black with silver, black or pearl crystal flash
All yellow with yellow or pearl crystal flash
All Orange with orange or pearl crystal flash
Blue over white with blue or pearl crystal flash
Various shades of green over white with green or pearl crystal flash
Olive over white with pearl crystal flash
Red over white with red or pearl crystal flash
Red over yellow with red, yellow or pearl crystal flash
Black over white with silver, black or pearl crystal flash
Pink over white with pink or pearl crystal flash
Tan over white with pearl crystal flash
Gray over white with silver or pearl crystal flash


(1) Flash a bou or similar materials may be used in lieu of crystal flash.
(2) Pearl crystal flash may be used in any color combination with the exception of the metallic colors. The pearl will pick up the colors of the tail and wing and can be used very effectively instead of the individual colors.
(3)The "Blonde" can also be tied in the Bend Back Style or inverted with the hook point up to make the fly more wheedles.
(4) Using super glue on the upper wing will increase the durability of the fly.
(5)Coating the body with cement or epoxy will add to the durability of the fly.

Here are the tying instructions for the "Blonde" with step by step instructions and photos



Good Tying and Tight Lines

Joe Branham        

Joe Branham

                See you in the Forum





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