The Torrish is a mixed wing fly from the
mid 1800s credited to Mr. Radcliffe. The book
Classic Salmon Flies by Mikael
Frodin, has this to say:
"The renowned fishing tackle company, Hardy
Brothers, employed a number of highly talented
fly-tiers and sold salmon flies the world over.
On their salmon fly list the Torrish appeared
amongst the twelve most popular salmon flies.
The Torrish received its name from a place in
the Scottish countryside, Strath of Kildonan. It
was designed for fishing the famous salmon river,
the Helmsdale, which runs through this areas."
The Helmsdale certainly was a famous salmon
fishery, and the Helmsdale Doctor is one of
several flies designed to fish it. The Silver
Doctor, one of the most famous salmon flies,
is actually a variation of the Helmsdale Doctor,
and has the same silver tinsel body and red butt,
fore and aft. The Torrish also has a body of silver tinsel,
and it seems that a flashy body of silver might
have been the ticket on the Helmsdale in those
It must be said that the recipes of full dress
salmon flies from the Victorian era were never
exactly carved in stone. The body of the fly is,
for the most part, what differentiates one fly
from the other, but liberties were taken even
there by different tiers in different areas.
The listing of the recipe below is per John
James Hardy, and this was undoubtedly the most
popular version of the Torrish. The fly shown
is a variation of Pryce-Tannatt's pattern, and
I have taken some liberties with the wing, as
is customary with many tiers. Other than the
wing, it is quite faithful to Pryce-Tannatt's
Recipe per John James Hardy
Tag: Silver tinsel and yellow floss.
Tail: One topping and ibis.
Butt: In two equal parts of silver tinsel,
butted with Indian crow and black ostrich herl.
Throat: A red-orange hackle.
Wings: Two strips of black turkey white
tipped, bustard, peacock wing, guinea fowl, golden
pheasant tail, red and blue swan; mallard and a
Cheeks: Indian crow.
From the book Classic Salmon Flies by
"Pryce-Tannatt's pattern for the Torrish differs
from the above-noted versions. One difference
from Hardy's pattern is that the yellow in
Pryce-Tannat's tag should be golden yellow,
and together with a topping he also uses tippet
fibres in the tail. Pryce-Tannatt's fly is, like
Hardy's fly, divided with a body butt and veilings
although they should be tied in 2/5 onto the body.
He also uses a lemon yellow hackle and a thin oval
silver ribbing over the front 3/5 of the body."