Photos and Text by Steve Chatterton
|Hook||Long shank size 6-12|
|Tag||Purple marabou or purple Polar Fleece|
|Ribbing||Fine silver wire|
|Legs||Lower hackles of a Pheasant feather|
|Wings||Tips of Pheasant feathers or dyed Wood Duck feather or Swam Hen feathers|
Aeshnidae, genus Hemianax or otherwise known as the Couta Mudeye, is a
popular fish bait throughout Australia. Most fly fishers will have one
or more flies that they use to represent Mudeyes and these include
Craig's Night-time, Tiehape Tickler and Mick's Mudeye. An alternative
tie for the Couta Mudeye is set out below. It incorporates many of the
features of the flies mentioned above and utilises two of my favourite
fly tying materials, Peacock herl and Pheasant feathers. Peacock herl
is used to advantage in a lot of flies and imparts a natural sparkle.
Pheasant feathers such as those used in Mrs Simpson and Hammel's Killer
range in colour from browns through greens and blues and with careful
selection you can match the colour of the natural Mud Eye. If you don't
have Pheasant feathers then dyed Wood Duck feathers or Swamp Hen
feathers can also be used. The other point of difference with this fly
is that the tag is purple in colour rather than red. Red is one of the
first colours of the spectrum to be lost as light fails whereas purple
is one of the last.
| 1a) Starting at the eye wind the thread in
touching turns to the bend of the hook.
b) Tie in a small bunch of marabou or Polar Fleece and trim as a short tag extending just beyond the bend of the hook.
c) Take the thread three quarters of the way along the hook shank and tie in a length of wool. I find that wherever a fly recipe requires the use of a length of wool that it is nearly always better if you strip a couple of ply from six or eight ply wool and lay down a couple of layers rather than using the full piece of wool.
| 2a) Now wind the wool toward the bend of the
hook and then back to the three quarter point building up an under-body
which is slightly plumper in the middle that at each end.
b) Take the thread back to the bend of the hook and tie in a length of fine silver wire and 3 or 4 Peacock herls.
| 3a) Twist the herl around the thread to form a
rope and then wind the herl rope in touching turns to the three quarter
point covering the under-body. Tie the herl off and trim the loose
b) Pick up the silver wire and wind it to the three quarter point forming 4 or 5 ribs. Tie the silver wire off and trim the loose end.
| 4a) Select two matching Pheasant feathers.
b) Cut a small bunch of fibres from just above the fluffy fibres at the base of the feather. The bunch should be about half a match stick in thickness
c) Tie these fibres on the side of the hook just in front of the three quarter way point with the tips trailing backwards so as to partially obscure the barb of the hook.
d) Repeat this process on the other side of the hook.
| 5a) Now take one of the selected Pheasant
feathers and strip all of the fibres off the quill except for those at
the tip of the feather. The unstripped section should be about as long
as the hook shank.
b) Tie the stripped feather on top of the hook with the feather tips terminating above the end of the tag.
c) Repeat the above two steps with the second feather.
| 6a) Tie in two or three strands of Peacock herl
at the three quarter point.
b) Twist the herl around the thread to form a rope and then wind the herl rope in overlapping turns to the eye of the hook forming a plump head. Tie the herl off and trim the loose ends.
c) Whip finish the thread and lock it down with a touch of varnish