MR Black and Orange
Most of us have a friend like my friend Mike.
Mike is an avid fly fisher, conservationist, but
he's less addicted to fly tying. Perhaps this explains
his enduring quality of running his particularly
sticky fingers all over my tying bench. I cannot
hold this against Mike, for he is a fine fellow,
a great judge of single malt whisky, good company
and always willing to go fishing.
By Sheldon Seale
He knows what works, but his talents are not normally
associated with creating new fly patterns of his own.
Therefore, I was surprised when he arrived at my house
one day and, instead of indulging in his usual
light-fingered activities, produced a pattern he'd
invented himself. Actually, I shouldn't have been
surprised, as Mike is a good fly fisher and a
reasonable tyer—he's eminently capable of doing
his own creating.
So, in honour of Mike, here is a Great Canadian Fly
pattern, the MR Black and Orange. It comes in both
a trout version, listed below, and a longer and
larger bass version.
In hindsight, this pattern has some of the great
materials in fly tying, wool (especially off the skin),
ostrich herl, peacock herl and a bead. How can it miss?
The fact is — it generally doesn't.
Hook: Wet fly, sizes 12 and 14.
Bead: Black, medium.
Tail: Orange dyed wool, from the skin not yarn.
Rib: Fine wire.
Body: Back half black ostrich herl and front
half peacock herl.
1. Slip on a bead and tie in the ribbing and a
tuft of wool for the tail. Keep the tail about
the same length as the hook shank.
Fish this pattern as a nymph or strip it slowly
on a sinking or sink tip line. I have had success
with both approaches.
2. At the bend, tie in and wrap a black dyed
ostrich herl forward in touching turns for half
the hook shank (you may need a second herl
depending on the size of the hook).
3. Fill the space between the ostrich and the
bead with a few strands of twisted peacock herl
and secure with thread behind the bead. Counter
wind the ribbing, secure with thread behind the
bead and trim any excess. Tie off the thread
behind the bead and the fly is finished.
For the bass version, a larger and longer shank
hook is substituted; use a little lead wire to
add some extra weight along with the bead or,
as in the photo (below), a small cone.
You will need a couple of long ostrich herls to
get enough body length and a few extra peacock herl
to fill it out. Adding a soft hackle collar provides
additional movement to the pattern. Fish it like a
I think this pattern has potential in other colours,
especially the tail. It wouldn't surprise me a bit
if a red or chartreuse tail worked at specific times,
and it would be worth having a couple in your fly box.
It might even make a good steelhead pattern, especially
with a nice, long, soft hackle collar just behind the
bead. ~ Sheldon Seale
Credits: This article is from the
Canadian Fly Fisher magazine. We appreciate use permission!
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