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Tying Video – Winter Brown

I have mentioned before, in other posts and articles, about how much I enjoy learning new things about fly fishing and fly tying.  I recall a time a number of years ago I was teaching a beginning fly tying class and one of the flies we tied was a warmwater fly called It’s-A-Bug.  The version that I tie has a rubber leg tail in it and one of the final steps in tying the fly is to trim the tail about a body length long.  I generally guesstimated the length as it is not critical to the fishing or effectiveness of the fly.  Out of the blue a student lays the legs over the back of the fly and trims then just in front of the head of the fly and there you have it, body length legs.  I had been tying flies for years and right there someone taught me something new.  I bring it up because I learned (again) something new with the Winter Brown.  I was attracted to the fly because of it’s simplicity and the peacock herl head but as I read more about the fly I discovered it is “Yorkshire” fly and there is a whole category of Yorkshire flies.  One of the characteristics of these flies is the peacock herl head.  Now, I have all kinds of new things to learn about Yorkshire flies!

I found the Winter Brown in Sylvester Nemes book Two Centuries of Soft-Hackled Flies but it was really first written about in T.E. Pritt’s book North Country Flies in 1885.  It might have been written about before then but this is the book that Sylvester Nemes references the fly to and sure enough it is in North Country Flies as well as other information on Yorkshire flies.  One interesting item is the rib on the fly.  A rib is not mentioned in the recipe but looking at the photograph in Nemes book it shows a simple rib of what looks like tying silk.  I did not find anywhere in my research where a rib is mentioned and many places that have photos of this fly do not show a rib on it.  However, I decided to put the rib in because it was in Sylvester Nemes book and I wanted to show how a basic rib can be added to a fly just by using the tying thread.  I have also seen some version of the Winter Brown tied with dubbing along the body but I did not do this.  I ran across a number of people tying this fly with Partridge instead of the woodcock.  Don’t see a problem there but in T.E. Pritt’s book on plate VI there is another Yorkshire fly called the Brown Watchet which is the Winter Brown but tied with Partridge Hackle.  So, you would be tying a Brown Watchet instead of a Winter Brown.  Either way, I think the fish would like it.  – Enjoy.

Hook:Mustad 3906, 3906b or 3399, #10 – #16
Thread:Pearsall’s Gossamer Silk, Orange
Body/Rib:Pearsall’s Gossamer Silk, Orange
Hackle:Woodcock (not affiliate)
Head:Peacock Herl
Links above are to affiliate products as are the links to books or videos mentioned in this post.  If you purchase any of these products through the affiliate link it helps Dressed Irons.  Thanks in advance!

If you would like to purchase some Winter Brown Soft Hackle 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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