Natal Minnow

Natal Minnow

This fly was originally tied by Robin Fick. Recipe courtesy of Eric Pattenden.


Hook #4 to #10 Long Shank
Thread Red
Head Black Thread
Tail Black Hackle
Body Red Thread
Wings 18 Selected Mallard Flank Feathers
Hackle Red Hen

Tying Instructions

1) Dress the hook with thread to above hook barb.2) Tie in the tail at this point. The tail length should be 1 to 1.5 times hook shank length.

3) From the tail tie in point dress the hook with Red thread to where the head would start and tie off. (Eric says that chenille should not be used as it is too bulky and the feathers would not lie flat.)

4) Sort the feathers into 3 groups of 6 equally sized feathers. the 6 tail end feathers should be the smallest and the head end feathers the largest. These must be the full length of the body and will end just past the hook bend. Measure the feathers against the hook and strip the fibres below the tie in point.

5) Tie in the first feather about 1/4 up the shank as shown in the picture above. The tip of the feather should be just past the hook bend. The feather must be parallel to the hook bend. Tie in two more matched feathers. If the feathers have a bias it should be downward. Then repeat on the back of the fly. Note: The stripped portion of the quill should extend to the next tie in point.

6) In loose turns take the thread forward to the next tie in point trapping the stripped stems to the sides of the hook.

7) Now tie in the next set of feathers as described above with the lining up with the first set. Then in loose turns bring the thread to the final tie in point behind the head.

8) Keeping the best feathers for the outside of the fly tie in the last set as before. This set forms the full body of the fly and should extend to the tips of the first set of feathers.

9) Next tie in a red hackle just in front of the last tie in point. After 3 or 4 turns tie off and form a neat head with the black thread. The red hackle should be forced back over the body feathers as the head is tied in forming a swept back collar around the body feathers.

10) Varnish the head with you favourite head cement.

11) The fly is traditionally tied with mallard flank feathers (partridge used in the demo tying sequence) Experimenting with different types of feathers can produce interesting results.

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