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Thread: ‘White Tip’

  1. #1
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    Default ‘White Tip’

    As the trout season draws closer and minds turn to restocking the fly box, I thought I’d share this old pattern that I found in my fly box. It uses those few white tipped wing slips you get on a Mallard drake and so I don’t believe you’ll ever find it commercially tied - it’s hard enough trying to find this fly on the internet at all!

    If I remember correctly it’s an old pattern originally devised for the River Clyde and was highly effective from dusk into dark for brown and sea trout in size 14 to 8, the fly size getting bigger as darkness fell.

    The tying is very simple with just black thread body, black hen hackle, and the white tipped wing. The rib is my addition which is pearl lurex stretched to give it the blue hue. The one in the photo is #14.

    Key points are the hackles not extending beyond the hook and the start of the white tip being level with the rear of the body. As with all clyde style flies it can be dressed very sparse with just a couple of turns of hackle and rather than sweeping the fibres back, tying them more like a dry hackle.

    Apologies for the slightly rubbish tie - it was from near the start of my tying career!

    -9d6f66bf-fdec-4369-9873-e52fa2735c5c-jpeg
    Last edited by iainmortimer; 12-02-2019 at 05:01 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: ‘White Tip’

    Think your recollection is pretty spot on Iain. All I can find is a reference from Andrew Herd's History to a "White Tip" from David Webster The Angler and the Loop-Rod 1885, but that uses a feather from the back of a starling's wing, though also tied with black silk. However, taking that as a lead and looking into Webster's book reveals both a Small White Tip (Starling) and a Large White Tip (Drake), the latter under a section on Night Flies. He mentions the Clyde throughout (the entire book is based on his Tweed and Clyde fishing) but the section on night flies is devoid of much info on their fishing other than it being a July-October fly.


    Last edited by olive_dabbler; 12-02-2019 at 06:24 PM.
    Iain

    Take care of the fish, and the fishing will take care of itself.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: ‘White Tip’

    It's called a Heckham, with a variety of body colours ,have a look at Stewarts Fly patterns, easker1

  4. #4
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    Default Re: ‘White Tip’

    Quote Originally Posted by easker1 View Post
    It's called a Heckham, with a variety of body colours ,have a look at Stewarts Fly patterns, easker1
    I'm not so sure, I can't find a mention of a pattern called Heckham in the first 1857 edition of The Practical Angler, only in the Plates of the later illustrated edition of 1905 which were of "A book of flies for loch and stream as used by Mr Stewart". According to Terry Griffiths, who wrote a note for the 2009 Coch-y-Bonduu edition, these took the form of colour photographs of leaves from a fly wallet holding flies tied 50 years after Stewart was writing specifically for that edition by Malloch's. Webster's book sits between the two in terms of date of publication, and makes specific reference to night flies on the Clyde whereas Stewart barely mentions the Clyde.

    Heckhams, as reproduced in the 1905 edition of A Practical Angler:

    Last edited by olive_dabbler; 12-02-2019 at 08:25 PM.
    Iain

    Take care of the fish, and the fishing will take care of itself.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: ‘White Tip’

    Quote Originally Posted by easker1 View Post
    It's called a Heckham, with a variety of body colours ,have a look at Stewarts Fly patterns, easker1
    I’m pretty sure it’s not that as the pattern I tied definitely has no tail and was specifically for dusk/night use. I think the reference Iain has found is the right one albeit the thread colour being different especially as the name matches. I just wish I could find my own reference to the pattern!

    Thanks for looking though.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: ‘White Tip’

    William Murdoch was around at the time, an Aberdeen angler I believe & originator of the Heckham range of flies, as already mentioned, his flies incorporated a tail. The "White Tip" is probably a fly from another tyer, a variant possibly & something many sea trout fishers would use due to a lack of appendage at the rear end. Sea trout are well known for coming "short" & tail nipping.
    2019 & it will be time for a change.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: ‘White Tip’

    Quote Originally Posted by taffy1 View Post
    William Murdoch was around at the time, an Aberdeen angler I believe & originator of the Heckham range of flies, as already mentioned, his flies incorporated a tail. The "White Tip" is probably a fly from another tyer, a variant possibly & something many sea trout fishers would use due to a lack of appendage at the rear end. Sea trout are well known for coming "short" & tail nipping.
    could it be a heckham and black? with out its tail heckham peckham VARIENT MAYBE
    Last edited by doobrysnatcher; 13-02-2019 at 12:05 AM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: ‘White Tip’

    There are two in Reid's book (1971) on Clyde flies. The Starling Tip which uses the yellow tipped starling feather and the White Tip which uses the white tipped duck feather.
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: ‘White Tip’

    Quote Originally Posted by taffy1 View Post
    William Murdoch was around at the time, an Aberdeen angler I believe & originator of the Heckham range of flies, as already mentioned, his flies incorporated a tail. The "White Tip" is probably a fly from another tyer, a variant possibly & something many sea trout fishers would use due to a lack of appendage at the rear end. Sea trout are well known for coming "short" & tail nipping.
    Which raises an interesting conundrum, if Murdoch (1853-1925) was the originator of the Heckham series, he'd have had to have done so aged 4 for Stewart (1832-1872) to have used them in The Practical Angler as claimed by A&C Black in their 1905 edition! I suspect Stewart was such celebrity that A&C Black and Malloch's devised a marketing gimmick.
    Iain

    Take care of the fish, and the fishing will take care of itself.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: ‘White Tip’

    It's another Stewart, Tom Stewart who contributed to the T&S magazine. His book (200 Popular Flies & How To Tie Them) was first printed in 1979.
    2019 & it will be time for a change.

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