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How to tie a Dabbler

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Dabbler Dabbler

This Irish wet fly took the Irish competition scene by storm in the early 1990’s. It was conceived by Donald McClarn of Co. Down as a hatching Mayfly pattern for use on the Irish Loughs. Its success has travelled far and wide and works well stripped fast in a good rolling wave on either a floating or sinking line.

Materials needed

Tying thread

Wet fly hooks 8-10

Cock pheasant centre tail

Olive seals fur sub.

Fine oval gold tinsel

Medium Olive cock hackle

Bronze Mallard substitute



Step 1.


Start the thread behind the eye and tie in 4-5 cock pheasant centre tail fibres and bind them down to the bend. Return the thread to just behind the eye.



Step 2.


Tie in the oval gold tinsel rib and bind along the shank to the bend.



Step 3.


Sparsely dub the thread with the olive seals substitute and wind up the hook towards the eye, leaving enough room to tie in the body hackle and wing.



Step 4.


Tie in a softish body hackle with fibres 11/2- 2 the hook gape and palmer down the body towards the hook bend.



Step 5.


Wind the rib up the shank in open turns trapping the body hackle, tie in firmly and trim away the waste hackle tip and excess rib.



Step 6.


Take a wide section of bronze mallard feather and even up the tips and tie in on top of the fly but try to ease some of the fibres over and around the sides to cloak the palmered body.

When all arranged in place tie down firmly and trim away any waste fibres before doing a whip finish and varnishing the head.


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