Illawarra Flyfishers Club

Coch-y-Bonddu (version 1)

Text and Photos by Steve Chatterton

Hook #12 - #16
Thread Black
Body Peacock herl
Tail Flat Gold Lurex
Hackle Red cock


Although this fly was designed in Wales to represent a beetle that lives among bracken and heather it is equally at home representing a large number of the thousands of beetles in Australia.

Tying Procedure

1) Wind the thread in touching turns to the bend of the hook.

2) Tie in a length of flat gold Lurex right at the bend of the hook.

3) Wind the gold Lurex two turns around the bend of the hook and back over itself. Tie and trim off the surplus gold Lurex.

4) Tie in several strands of peacock herl. It is best to tie in an equal number of herl and to tie half in from the butt end after trimming of the white butt section and the other half by the tip/s. By doing this you avoid a situation, particularly with poorer quality herl, of the finished body showing nice wide flue (Flue = the small individual fibres on the Peacock herl or Ostrich herl) at one end of the body and poor thin flue at the other end of the body.

5) Wind the herls around the silk to form a herl rope. 

6) Wind the herl rope ĺ of the way along shank of the hook shank toward the eye of the hook to make a plump body. Tie off the herl and trim the loose ends.

7) Tie in 1 or 2 red cock hackles depending on their length and quality. The barbs on the hackle should be around 1 Ĺ times the gape of the hook.

8) Wind on the hackle/s in touching turns toward the eye of the hook but stopping so as to leave room for the head. Tie the hackle/s off.

9) Build up the head whip finish & varnish.

Coch-y-Bonddu (version 2)

Text and Photos by Andrew Susani 

Hook #10 - #18 (usually #12)
Thread Black or Brown 6/0
Body 3 strands of peacock herl, twisted
Tail Gold tinsel or flashabou
Hackle Brown or ginger cock

This a good fly to fish on both rivers and lakes, it is taken well as a beetle, a grass hopper or any number of terrestrial bugs right throughout the summer. Fish it along overhanging grassy edges of rivers or on the windward shore of a lake.

Tying Procedure

1. Start the thread at the bend of the hook and tie in some gold tinsel or a strand of gold flashabou. I have chosen to leave a little extra hook exposed to make the fly sit a little deeper in the surface film, but the original has the body covering the entire shank.

2. Wind the tinsel along the hook shank for 2 or 3mm, tie it down and trim the excess.  

3. Tie in 3 peacock herls and take the thread forward to about 4mm from the hook eye. Gently twist the herls together to form a 'rope'. As you twist them, carefully stroke the fibres up the opposite way so they sit up and fluff out nicely. You may want to clip hackle pliers on the ends of the twisted herls so they don't untwist on you.

4. Wind the twisted herls forward and tie it down with one or two thread wraps once you reach the thread. Take the herls back down towards the bend of the hook and hold them still when you reach the wound tinsel tail. Wind the thread back over the body and then bring it forward to its original position. This will make the body much stronger and less prone to totally unravelling after a fish has eaten it.

5. When you have formed a fat little body, tie off and trim the herls.
6. Tie in a hackle feather by the butt - the hackle fibres should be at least as long as the hook gape.
7. Take the thread up to just a millimetre behind the hook eye, then wind the feather around the shank to form a nice hackle. Build a small head of thread, whip finish, then carefully varnish, being careful not to get any on the hackle fibres.


Stroke the hackle backwards as it is wound so that you donít get fibres sticking out towards the front of the fly that will get in the way when you are trying to make the head.

Remember that the less weight you have on the fly, the better it will float, so keep thread work to a minimum and use nice stiff hackles.

For fast water, you might want to have a few flies tied up using 2 hackle feathers instead of one so the fly is more buoyant and wonít get dragged under by the turbulent water.

For slow water, it is better to have flies tied with a sparser hackle so the fly sits in the surface film. It may be harder to see from an anglers point of view, but the fish will always find it more easily if it is partly submerged in the film.


For all the original instructions and methods, see: "Fur and Feather" by Peter Leuver