Trout Flies

The Bumbles

If you read books about fly fishing in Ireland, Scotland or the chalk streams of England, you may notice some new types of fly patterns, or interesting terminology describing fly patterns. The Irish have all kinds of different terms to describe their sport and trout flies. With the trout flies, you may read the words; Dabblers, Longshanks and Bumbles, when it comes to fly patterns. Their lakes are referred to as Loughs and the Scots call their lakes Lochs.

Recently, I decided to tie up some Irish (lough) fly patterns to try them on some of our area lakes. The Bumble fly patterns caught my eye, in some of my research into UK patterns. A bumble is a heavily hackled trout fly. It is often fished dry on the surface, until the fly sinks, it is then retrieved in a stripping or slow pull, just below the surface. No fly floatant is used. The fly can also be used on a fast sinking line and fished deep.

I decided to tie up a large quantity for my fly boxes that I use to sell flies in, at the small store next to Kananaskis Lake. Some of the regular lake fly fishers can do the experimenting with this classic fly pattern, if they happen to stop in at the Boulton Creek Trading Post and see them in my trout fly selection. They should work pretty good, because they are not too far off in design, from a wooly bugger trout fly.

Above: These black bumbles were tied with the Kananaskis Lakes in mind. I tie these and some other varieties of bumbles on size 10 fly hooks. I think they should work just fine.

Another fly pattern that caught my attention is the Peter Ross wet fly, from England. This fly pattern is well known by reservoir and lake fly fishers across the pond, but little known out west, here in Canada. I tied up a bunch of Peter Ross wet flies in size 10, to see if they work on our area trout lakes.

The combination of red, silver and black should make this English wet fly pattern an effective one on some area lakes, here in Alberta. The Peter Ross is a very old fly pattern, but still commonly used in England in modern times. The teal wing on the pattern can be less prominent than some other wet fly designs. I like tying my wet fly attractor fly patterns, such as this one, on a size 10 – 1X or 2X hook design.