Online Fly Fishing Magazine

Favourite Flies – Andy Taylor

Today’s FlyFisher Editor Andy Taylor opens his fly boxes and shares the patterns that have served him well on the “big” waters over the last few seasons.

Midlands Cormorant


HOOK: Anglian Water Competition Heavy Weight size 10 and 12
THREAD: Black 8/0 Uni Thread
BODY: Veniard’s Black UV Straggle standard
CHEEKS: Flu chartreuse Goose Biots- Flybox
WING: Black marabou

Cormorants have become part of my armoury on the midlands reservoirs over the past two seasons. The more I fish them the more confidence I have in their ability to catch both recent stock fish and those fish which have been in a while. The Midlands Cormorant has been a great early season fly for me fished on the top or middle dropper on my cast at Rutland and Blithfield in particular.

Olive Crisp Packet Buzzer


HOOK: Anglian Water Competition Heavy Weight size 10 and 12
THREAD: Golden Olive Spyder thread- Semperfli
BODY: Pale olive and yellow flexi floss pulled tight and wound
CHEEKS: Walkers Doritos crisp packet
BREATHERS: White wool
FINISH: Finished with three coats of Sally Hansen’s Hard As Nails

My number one buzzer pattern for Draycote which has taken its fair share of trout from May onwards. In recent years the fish I’ve spooned here have had lots of small olive buzzer in them along with one or two big size 10 buzzers. This fly was tied to stand out amongst the small naturals and to try and be a close copy for the big buzzers I’d seen. I like to fish this fly on a floating line or midge tip as part of a four fly cast – three buzzers and a booby on the point. From the boat I like to fish this fly across the wind keeping in touch with flies. A static or a very slow figure-of -eight retrieve works best. This fly helped me win the Severn Trent England qualifier at Draycote a few years ago.

Claret Bits


HOOK: Anglian Water All Purpose Medium size 10 and 12
THREAD: Red 8/0 Uni thread
BUTT: Medium red Holographic
BODY: Claret seals fur
HACKLE: Honey cock

A simple, but ever so effective dry. This is my number one dry fly for the big waters. It seems to catch fish everywhere I go from June until October. I like to fish it on the point or the top dropper on a two or three fly cast. Sometimes in a wave I will pull the fly back with great results. I will also clip the underneath of the hackle if the fish boil around the fly without taking so the fly sits lower in the water. The scruffier the body the better for this pattern, it seems to catch more once the seal’s fur has been picked out.

Flat Daddy


HOOK: Anglian Water All Purpose Medium size 10 and 12
THREAD: Red 6/0 Uni thread
Tan foam – Hobbycraft
BODY: Hares fur
RIB: Fine Pearl Holographic
LEGS: Six knotted Pheasant tail fibres
HACKLE: Red Game

Another dry which has done the business for me on big waters such as Chew, Rutland, Draycote and Blithfield. This fly is a real end of season dry coming into its own from August onwards. Last season it accounted for some quality resident fish from Draycote when those around were struggling for a take. The Daddy sits right in the surface film and this I feel is the reason why it is so successful. I like to fish two of these flies on a 14ft plus leader. The fly also works well pulled through a good wave.

Andy Taylor

Andy is the Features Editor of Today’s following three years as Editor of Total FlyFisher. Andy is a multi-capped England International in both loch-style and bank disciplines. A qualified instructor and lecturer, Andy has a wealth of fishery management experience.

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