Friday, March 11, 2016

Another Famous Grouse Fly

The similarity I noticed in my last blog post between Bob Warren's Glenlivet salmon fly and a Glenlivet bottle got me to thinking that I should make another stab at a Famous Grouse fly, this time more modeled on that scotch's logo bird than my last effort and more "spey style":

Several years ago, a "forum acquaintance" from a U.K.-based atlantic salmon fishing forum (  sent me some samples of claret seal fur dubbing.  One of the packages came from Frankie McPhillips Traditional Irish dubbing.  It was lovely dubbing.  Fast forward to this project.  The package of McPhillips' dubbing I had looked perfect for the project, but not the right shade.  I wanted the body of the fly to go from darker at the butt to lighter towards the head, like the logo bird.  A quick google and I was at Frankie's website
(  Great color photos of all his dubbing; I was able to order the two I wanted and received them promptly.

Here's where it gets "it's a small world" cool.  My partner Bridget's parents came over from Northern Ireland many moons ago.  She is the first of her family born here.  I thought she'd get a kick out something I'd bought from Ireland.  She read the package and burst out laughing.  "Enniskillen, that's where the family farm is...I've been there twice!"  And that's where McPhillips' Irish dubbing is made.  Some one on the U.K. salmon forum told me that Frankie has a nice fly shop there.  We need to go.

Back to the Fly.  I selected Fiery Brown dubbing for the rear third of the body, and Ballinderry Brown for the front two thirds.  I wanted to use feathers from the red grouse skin I have for hackling but they are all too brown to match the logo bird.  I went with ringneck pheasant rump dyed orange for the body hackle, and mallard for the throat hackle.  Tag and ribbing are gold oval Lagartun's tinsel.  I did manage to use a tail feather from the red grouse for the wing and of course Jungle cock for the eye.

I still have a bit of a tremor in my hands, so the head isn't the best, but it'll pass.  Here ya go (click on the pic for a larger version):

I think we'll give it a swim this fall on the Miramichi.


  1. is a Famous Grouse fly, or a grouse fly that is famous?

  2. Like I mentioned on flyguy, Gary - make sure you have a few in your box for our fall shenanigans ;)

    Great looking fly, bud!

  3. Absolutely, Howie..can't wait!!

  4. I like it Gary! Looks perfect to me.

  5. Hehe! That's great! Raise a wee dram to that one!

  6. Would you consider it Spey Style?

    Nice fly to swing....

    1. I absolutely consider it spey style, Gregg. The wings are important to the letter of that style. Looking forward to giving it a swing this fall!