Online Fly Fishing Magazine

Favourite Flies – Ronan Baggott

When asked to do a feature on my top four favourite flies it really got me thinking and it was no easy task to narrow the selection down to just four patterns. In order to reach a decision I have examined each sub season and selected my four most consistent fish catching patterns.

Quill Buzzer


HOOK: Kamasan B170, size 12/10
THREAD: Black UTC 70
RIB: Stripped peacock quill coloured with a red Sharpie marker
THORAX COVER: Ice blue pearl tinsel, medium
CHEEKS: Hot orange goose boots
BREATHERS: Glo-Brite no.16
FINISH: One coat of Deer Creek resin

With spring comes the buzzer or “duck fly” hatches on the loughs of Ireland, it’s now that the angler has the opportunity of the first decent sport of the season. The Quill Buzzer is simple to tie and it always finds a place on my cast at this time of year. In fact it accounted for my personal best wild lough trout in April of this year, a fish estimated to be 5lb. I usually fish this pattern on the tail and it’s fished best with a slow figure-of-eight retrieve, just enough to keep in contact with the flies. I prefer to coat my buzzers with UV resin, as it is quick drying and as tough as nails, that’s a personal preference; using nail varnish will finish this buzzer just fine.

Carson’s Mayfly (variant)


HOOK: Kamasan B175, size 10
THREAD: Olive UTC 70
TAIL: Olive pheasant tail fibres
BUTT: Opal mirage tinsel, medium
TAG: Glo-Brite no.12
RIB: Gold wire
BODY: SLF dubbing, fiery golden olive
HACKLE: Yellow cock
WING: Yellow mallard flank
HEAD HACKLE: Yellow French partridge

This is a variant of the pattern tied by David McPhail. I fish it on the top dropper during the mayfly and I have to say it’s a consistent performer. The Glo-Brite no.12 tag and pearl butt provide an excellent trigger point. The French partridge head hackle pulses when retrieved through the water ensuring lots of movement.

O’Flynn Silver Dabbler


HOOK: Kamasan B175, size 10
TAIL: Pheasant tail fibre
TAG: Glo-Brite no.4
RIB: Silver wire
BODY: Silver tinsel
HACKLE: Grizzle saddle hackle
UNDER WING: Two to three strands of Crystal Flash
WING: Bronze mallard

A friend of mine for my local water, Lough O’Flynn, originally designed this pattern. I have since tweaked it to my own taste. This pattern comes into its own during the summer when the O’Flynn fish switch on to roach and perch fry.  I like to fish this pattern on the top dropper with an intermediate line. It acts as a great attractor and will often draw a fish up to one of the flies below it on the cast when dibbled through the surface or fished on the hang.

Chocolate Drop Sedge


HOOK: Kamasan B170, size 14
BODY: Chocolate brown seal’s fur
WING: Dark brown roe deer hair
HACKLE: Brown cock hackle

From the middle of July through to August the sedge hatches come into full swing and you can be almost guaranteed exciting top of the water action given the right conditions. The Chocolate Drop Sedge is designed to sit in the surface rather than on top of it, and from my experience given it’s realistic profile; trout tend to take it with more confidence. I find this pattern gives the best results when fished on the tail. It doesn’t need to be treated heavily with floatant because of the buoyancy of the deer hair wing

Ronan Baggott

Ronan Baggott was born and raised on the shores of Lough O’Flynn, a brown trout fishery in Co. Roscommon on the west of Ireland. He has been fly fishing and fly tying for over 20 years. He regularly fishes Lough Mask and Lough Corrib and also enjoys fishing his local rivers.

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