As a fly tier, it’s impossible to ignore salmon flies. Whether you fish them or not, they are true works of art. They are all unique in their colours, their shapes and the story they tell. Even though I'm more of the freestyle type, I occasionally flip through books by renowned tiers to look for inspirations and to learn more about the origin of their patterns.
This is how I discovered the fly that would allow me to venture into the mesmerizing world of salmon flies: The Nuptiale. This 1984 creation by Yvon Gendron, appears in the book Flies for Atlantic Salmon by Dick Stewart & Farrow Allen. It was love at first sight. Being a tier who mainly uses sober and natural colours, I could only fall in love with this pattern which has class while remaining simple.
I started tying variations using different hook sizes and shapes. I went as far as to tie it as a dry, a wet, a low water and even on a gigantic Spey hook. Its effectiveness was proven by a good friend of mine when he first encountered the salmonid. Upon his arrival at the first pool, full of excitement, he chose it as his first offering. First cast, nothing. Let's call it a practice shot to stretch out and warm up after having traveled more than 1,500 km in the hopes of finding the prized fish. Second Cast, Boom! Worthy of a film script, there it was, his first salmon. It was, in my eyes, the result of wonderful teamwork.
True to my habits as a freestyle tier, I have completely revisited the pattern and came up with this variation I call: The Peacock Nupiale. I hope Yvon Gendron will forgive me.
Thread: Black and white 8/0 thread
Hook: Daiichi Alec Jackson #5
Tail: Chartreuse Krystal Flash
Tag: Small Oval tinsel
Crown: Black Ostrich Herl
Body: Ice Dub Peacock and medium tinsel rib.
Hackle: White hackle for the body and White Schlappen for the troat
Head: Head cement or gold varnish.
Step 1: For this version, use a Daiichi Alec Jackson #5 hook.
Step 3: Tie in the small oval tinsel for the tag.
Step 4: Add a drop of glue, make 5 turns towards the front of the hook with the tinsel and tie in place.
Step 5: Tie in a couple loops of chartreuse Krystal Flash for the tail
Step 6: Tie in the black Ostrich herl. Add a drop of glue before wrapping a few turns to make the crown. Tie in place.
Step 7: Tie in the medium tinsel and the white hackle(from the tip of the feather) under the hook.
Step 8: Use Peacock Ice Dubbing to make the body.
Step 10: Change thread to white 8/0 and tie in the schlappen.
Step 11: Make 2 to 3 turns with the schlappen, tie in place and whip finish.
Step 12: Cut the thread and cover with gold varnish.