Online Fly Fishing Magazine

Premier Patterns: MP81 – Red Spinner

Kieron Jenkins brings you a tasty summer dry to try for the rivers, small stillwaters and reservoirs as the fish search for food in the upper layers…

MP81 – Red Spinner


HOOK: Fulling Mill 5050 Ultimate Dry, size 10-18
THREAD: Black Uni Thread 8/0
BODY: Red Petitjean CDC, #15
TAG: Black Uni Thread 8/0
TAIL: Coq De Leon
THORAX COVER: Peacock Glister
WING1: Pink Petitjean CDC, #3
WINGS: 4x Natural CDC feathers
THORAX: Red Petitjean CDC, #15

As we edge ever closer to summer, the spinner falls are getting bigger and more prolific as each day passes. The spinner fall often happens late into the evening, usually when the light starts to fade – but remember, it can happen throughout the day depending on the timing of the hatches. Fly wise; it all depends on what time of year you are fishing and what’s hatching, so it’s essential to keep your eye on the hatches throughout the day if you plan on fishing the spinner fall. When the Duns hatch, for example the Brook Dun, they hatch from the riverbed and are relatively easy to see when they become fully mature, and trout make large splashy rises to them. Later in the day when they return to the river to do the ‘river dance’, egg-layers will dip to the surface and drop their eggs – and that’s their job done. As they become spent, they fall to the surface and become a very easy meal for the fish…

For around six or seven years now, I’ve exclusively carried this one pattern for the spinner feeders, the MP81 – a rusty spinner designed by CDC Guru, Marc Petitjean.

In my mind, nine out of ten fish will take this pattern as long as it’s presented correctly, whatever Dun they may be eating. Why? Because it’s an easy meal for the fish, it has all the correct proportions, and is a perfect spinner silhouette. Other than that, everything else is down to the angler. Your fly must lie with the body in the surface film, and the wings on the surface, this gives the correct footprint to imitate any spinner – Thankfully, the MP81 does this. You must also ensure it floats absolutely, positively dead drift. A spinner doesn’t move or skitter across the surface… Once they hit the water all movement stops – they are exhausted and can’t muster the strength to pull their wings from the surface tension.

Tying Tips

  1. Use the Marc Petitjean CDC tool to stack the wings into easily manageable bunches. It’s an expensive tool for sure, but makes tying with CDC much easier and more enjoyable.
  2. When securing the wings to the hook, ensure they are coming from one point directly on top of the hook. Once the wings are split, this ensures the fly sits perfectly on the water, body slightly in the film and wings directly on the surface.
  3. Spinners are a chunky fly, to ensure the fly floats well and gives the best profile, twist the CDC with a hackle pliers or a dubbing twister before winding on the body.

Kieron Jenkins

Born and raised on the rivers and lakes of south Wales, Kieron Jenkins has become one of the leading competition anglers of our time. With multiple ‘Brown Bowls’ under his belt, along with a creditable fourth position at World level, fly fishing and fly tying has become his life, passion and obsession for Fulling Mill’s Digital Marketing Manager.

Written by