Fly Of The Week
Deerfield Special
Deerfield Special
Al Campbell
Photos by the Author

Previous Flies
Fly Tying Terms

Deerfield Special

Wet flies are exceptionally productive flies that can be fished in just about any manner you wish to fish them. The first flies used by fly fishermen were often wet flies or streamers. Dry flies are relatively new creations compared to wets and streamers. If you're purely a dry fly fisherman, consider the action you might be missing. Why fish with only a portion of the possible offerings when you can present the fish with a full meal deal? Think about it a moment. Are you missing out on some of the best fly-fishing to be found?

The Deerfield Special was created to imitate emerging sedge (caddis) on Deerfield Lake, here in the Black Hills. I use it in more places than just lakes. The fish don't mind, they just try to eat it anywhere I use it.


Hook:  Any wet fly hook that's 1X shorter than standard (I'm using a Mustad 3399A hook). Sizes 12 to 18.

Thread:  Black, 6/0.

Body:  Peacock herl.

Tail:  Red Hackle.

Wing:  Mallard flank feather.

Hackle:  Hackle: Soft tan, cree, ginger or brown neck hackle, tied wet style. Hen hackle will also work. (This is another place to use up some of that cheap hackle you probably own.)

Tying Steps:

1. Start the thread and tie in a tail of red hackle fibers.

2. Wrap a peacock herl body as shown.

3. Tie in the hackle, curvature down and back.

4. Make two or three wraps of the hackle and tie off. (If you're using cheap hackle, this is about all the wraps you'll get anyway. The feathers are usually too short to support anything more.)

5. Pull the hackle back and wrap thread over the front part of it to give the hackle a slight sweep.

6. Add a mallard flank feather wing as shown. Try not to use too much or too little wing. This is about the right amount. When the wing is attached, make a smooth head, whip finish, trim and cement your knot.

Fishing the Deerfield Special:

A lot of aquatic insects put effort into the swim to the water's surface. They swim to the surface, deflect off and swim back at it again. Sometimes this swimming action is across the current, sometimes it's with the current and sometimes it's against the current. That's why you can often fish a wet fly in many different fashions and achieve good results.

The classic wet fly swing is used to imitate active emergers. You cast across the current, let the fly sink a little, tighten the line and let the fly swing toward the surface, and twitch the rod tip to look like an emerger that is pounding on the surface tension trying to break through. Dead drifting and pulling the fly across or against the current also work quite well. This is the time when aquatic insect life is the most vulnerable. The fish know it and look for signs of an emerging insect. Fish usually take wet flies with an aggressive bite. ~ Al Campbell (Chat Room Host AC)

For more great flies, check out: Beginning Fly Tying and Intermediate Fly Tying.

[ HOME ]

[ Search ] [ Contact FAOL ] [ Media Kit ] © Notice