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Tying Video – Bradshaw’s Fancy

After many takes on recording this fly…the Bradshaw’s Fancy is finally here.  Not that it is a difficult fly to tie but my video recording equipment was giving me fits for a couple weeks and it set back my schedule for a bit.  Enough of that, I chose the Bradshaw’s Fancy for a couple of reasons.  They are both mentioned in the video but the one reason I found this fly most interesting is that it is a very old pattern and (I am guessing here) it probably pre-dates the Wooly Worm.  I mention this because many of the patterns we fish these days have pieces and parts that connect back to a older pattern that might have set the basis for the more recent fly.  The Bradshaw’s Fancy is almost the same fly as the Woolly Worm.  The first Wooly Worm I ever tied (which is also the first fly I ever tied) was a wool tail, chenille body and palmered grizzly through the body.  The Bradshaw’s Fancy is almost the same pattern except peacock herl and the hackle only makes a collar.  However, you can easily see where someone might not have peacock herl but they do have black chenille and they decided to palmer the hackle through the body instead of just a collar “just to see how it looks”.  As I mentioned, I am not an expert on these things but I have developed a number of patterns of my own over the years and almost all of them have parts of them based on other flies I was tying or fish at that time in my life.

Besides the connection to history, the Bradshaw’s Fancy is a very fun fly to tie.  If you want to work on your skills with peacock herl this is a wonderful pattern to do that.  Also, the original fly was tied with Norwegian Crow (which I have not seen yet) but you can substitute Startling.  I love working with Startling but the feathers are not that big and generally are best for size sixteen to twenty flies.  So, if you like tying smaller patterns and are interested in working with Startling the Bradshaw’s Fancy is the fly for you.  It is a traditional trout pattern but I know it would also work well for panfish.  As with many soft hackle flies, if you are fishing for trout or panfish, you do not want to try to impart a lot of action on the fly.  Simply cast it out, let it get to depth and let the fly work it’s magic.  Enjoy.

Hook:Mustad 3906, 3906b or 3399, #10 – #16
Thread:Danville 6/0, Red
Tail:Wool, Red
Body:Peacock Herl
Hackle:Starling or Black Hen Hackle
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If you would like to purchase some Bradshaw’s Fancy flies there are a number for sale (while supplies last).

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As always, if you have any questions about this fly (or any other) you can leave a comment on Dressed Irons or any of the videos I have produced and I will help in anyway I can. Enjoy!

Remember….. It’s Fly tying….. If you’re not having fun, You’re Doin’ It Wrong.

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