Illawarra Flyfishers Club


Text and Photos by Andrew Susani

Hook #14 - #20 Standard wet fly or nymph hook (#14 pictured)

Thread 6/0 Black
Body Copper wire
Head One strand of peacock herl

Yes, this is a fly, and yes, it is that simple. In fact the Brassie is one of the world's most famous chironomid (midge) imitations. The weight from the copper wire also makes it a particularly attractive fly for upstream nymphing, especially versions with beadheads as they get right down to the bottom very quickly.

Although the original uses copper wire, many variations exist which use red, green or black coloured wire, depending on the colour of the midges in the area. The winding of the wire is done to emulate the fine segmentations in the midges body, with the peacock herl imitating the head and gills of the underwater stage of this tiny insect. Sometimes it is tied on a curved hook (such as a shrimp pattern hook) to suggest movement.

Tying Procedure

1. Start the thread at the bend of the hook and tie in a 10cm length of copper wire. It is better to estimate too much wire so you don't run out before you have wound the body. Take the thread to within a few millimetres of the hook eye.
2. Wind the copper wire evenly over the hook shank to form the body. Tie off and trim waste.
3. Tie in a strand of peacock herl, and make sure you tie it in securely with some tight thread wraps.
4. Twist the peacock herl around the thread. This make the fly a lot more durable and usually means that the fly won't come apart if the herl is broken by a fish or through use.
5. Wind the herl around the shank a few times to form a neat head. Carefully tie off the herl and trim the waste.
6. Build up a small head, whip finish and varnish.