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Tying Video – Whickham’s Fancy

The Whickham’s Fancy is another very old pattern that I wanted to tie simply because it caught my eye.  It dates back to the 1880’s with some dispute as to who originated the pattern.  It is another wet fly that is in Ray Bergman’s book Trout.  It is located on plate #9 and the recipe is on page 449.  I mostly like the brightness of the fly.  Many flies are tied with just a minimum amount of flash as it can all to often spook fish.  However, there are times with lots of flash is just what the fish want.  The tail and hackle are a brown color but can sometimes come off as more ginger when applied.  The gray wings also adds to the “brightness” of the pattern.  The real flash comes from the gold tinsel and gold wire along the body.  Although the original pattern did not call for a rib I added it, as most do these days, because it helps protect the hackle and in this particular method of tying the Whickham’s Fancy it actually is used to tie in the palmered hackle.  The original recipe also does not call for a collared hackle in front of the wings but I have often seen this fly tied this way.  I think either method will produce a very attractive fly that would be a great searching pattern.

When tying the Whickham’s Fancy for this video I employed a technique for applying the wire rib and tying the hackle that is very popular.  In a situation like this fly a tier can secure the rib and the hackle at the end of the body and counter wrap the rib over the palmered hackle to secure the hackle on the fly and both are secured at the head of the fly.  It has become more popular to use the technique I used in this video where the wire rib is tied in at the end of the body, the hackle is then tied in at the head, palmered to the back of the fly and the wire is used to secure the hackle at the end of the fly and then palmer up as a rib to secure it along the entire body.  The wire is then secured at the head of the fly.  The second technique is a little easier as the tier is always wrapping material on the hook in the same direction; away from them.  I often do not use the latter because when breaking off the hackle at the end of the hook after securing it with the wire sometimes the end of the hackle ‘pops’ out from under the wire and it reduces that amount of hackle on the hook because it has to be trimmed off.  It does not happen often but it does so it is something to consider.  Tie a few Whickham’s Fancy’s and tie some both ways and decide for yourself.  I think either method works just as well.  – Enjoy.


Uni-Thread 8/0, Black
Tail:Rooster Hackle,Brown
Rib:Danville Small Wire, Gold
Body:Danville Silver/Gold Mylar tinsel, #14
Hackle:Rooster Saddle Hackle, Brown
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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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