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  1. #1
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    Default Kite’s Imperial - Variant

    Kite’s Imperial (variant) – An excellent all round dry fly that no angler should be without. A very good imitation of the Baetis dun.

    This is the step by step for the Kite’s Imperial. I have substituted a few of the materials to suit my tying.

    Original materials:
    Hook: 14 – 18 up eye dry
    Thread: purple
    Tail: grey or brown hackle fibres
    Rib: fine gold wire
    Body: natural heron or sub
    Hackle: brown or honey hackle

    The original materials above were outlined in Charles Jardines’ book, The Sotheby’s Guide to Fly-Fishing for Trout. I have also checked the FF & Ft website and Malcolm Greenhalgh uses ginger or dun cock hackles for the tail and hackle.
    From the FF & FT website:
    ‘Oliver Kite who invented the Imperial insisted on a honey-dun hackle and then, when he couldn’t get honey-dun, turned to these alternatives. He also used to ‘double and redouble’ the heron herl on top of the shank to create a thorax that the trout couldn’t see (so there was no point doing it!).’

    My tying:
    Hook: Tiemco 103BL
    Thread: brown (I have no purple!)
    Tail: brown hackle fibres
    Rib: fine copper (I don’t know why)
    Body: natural heron I found bankside
    Hackle: brown

    Anyway, to the tying.

    Tie in the thread and take it down to the hook bend. Pinch and loop in a few brown cock hackle fibers.



    Tie in your wire rib and take the thread down the hook shank.



    Catch in about 3 or 4 strands of the heron herl. Smaller hooks require less herl.



    Tie this down the hook shank. I tied the herl in this way to try and reduce any bulk produced by taking the thread back down to the bend and then tying in.



    Wrap the herl around the hook (try to keep it flat), and tie in as shown. I don’t ‘double and redouble’ the heron herl on top of the shank to create a thorax as the trout can’t see it, although it is in Oliver’s original tying.



    Take the rib up the hook in open, even turns and tie down.



    Select a suitable brown hackle and strip a little fibres off the stem.



    Tie in the hackle.



    Wrap the hackle around the hook towards the eye and tie down at the eye.



    Whip finish and trim the excess thread and you’re done!



    In the background of this picture I have tied up a few flies using a blue dun tail and hackle but I find that the hackle I was using was too light in colour. A ginger hackle would probably be the best.



    Any comments welcome.

    Cheers,
    Brennan
    Last edited by cb; 22-02-2011 at 04:41 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default

    Nice tie again Brennan, thank you.
    A couple of minor comments from me if you don't mind.
    The first one, more a personal preference. For me you have over dressed the hackle, on a fly like the Kites I would only do two or at most three turns of hackle.
    The second. It's looks like you are tying in the herl by the butts, if you tie them in by the tips you will get a slimmer body and a natural taper from tail to shoulder.
    As I said though, minor points. Still a very good step by step.
    All done

  3. #3
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    Default

    Thanks for the advice scotfly. I too like a sparse hackle, I don't know what came over me
    I was tying the herl in by the butts, well spotted.

    Cheers for the advice,
    Brennan

  4. #4
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    With regard to hackle colour I believe that Oliver Kite used Honey Dun for his original pattern, he also doubled the herl to form a thorax.
    “There is no more lovely country than Monmouthshire in early spring. Nowhere do the larks sing quite so passionately, as if somehow inspired by the Welsh themselves. There is a blackbird on every thorn and a cock chaffinch, a twink as they call him there, on every bush...... It moved me profoundly. I had been spared to see another spring, and I thank God for it.”

    Oliver Kite
    “A Spring Day on the Usk”
    A Fisherman’s Diary

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by sewinbasher
    With regard to hackle colour I believe that Oliver Kite used Honey Dun for his original pattern, he also doubled the herl to form a thorax.
    Did you actually read the post or just look at the pictures
    All done

  6. #6
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    Like the step by step Brennan.

    What do you think of the Temico hooks.

    I have had a few snap on me?

    WCB
    Hidden Content The BEST Fly fishing tuition guiding in Devon

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  7. #7
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    Hi WCB,
    I like the Tiemco hooks. I feel that they give a better hook up rate due to the large gape and weird bend. They are also barbless which is always a good thing. I mainly fish small streams so I've never had the chance for a fish to snap my hook.

    Brennan

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by scotfly
    Did you actually read the post or just look at the pictures
    I just looked at the pictures - apologies!

    However for the record Kite's own description of the tying is

    Silk: Purple

    Hook: Size 0 (or 1 in the Spring) I don't know what these equate to in modern sizes

    Hackle: Honey dun or pale ginger if you can't get honey dun. Kite doesn't specify the number of turns but Goddard's photo shows three at the most.

    Whisks: Greyish-brown in Spring, Honey Dun or nearest later in the season.

    Rib: Fine gold wire (it's the combination of purple and gold that gave the fly its name.)

    Body: About four undyed heron herls doubled and re-doubled to form a thorax.

    He refers readers to John Goddard's "Trout Fly Recognition" for a reference photo.

    For many years I have used a version of this pattern tied in an upside down or "Pobst" style and it works very well. I always tie on an Imperial for trout until I have a reason to change it. I have also used a wet version but have never done quite so well with it.
    Last edited by sewinbasher; 27-11-2006 at 09:16 AM.
    “There is no more lovely country than Monmouthshire in early spring. Nowhere do the larks sing quite so passionately, as if somehow inspired by the Welsh themselves. There is a blackbird on every thorn and a cock chaffinch, a twink as they call him there, on every bush...... It moved me profoundly. I had been spared to see another spring, and I thank God for it.”

    Oliver Kite
    “A Spring Day on the Usk”
    A Fisherman’s Diary

  9. #9
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    Hi Brennan,
    Excellent step-by-step with pin sharp pictures.
    Regards
    Bob
    PS Not too sure about the background, new Daz doesn't appear to be having much success with your whites.
    "If it ain't broke, fix it 'til it is" - Wordsworth (Quilled on his day off)

  10. #10
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    Cheers for the comments.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob G
    PS Not too sure about the background, new Daz doesn't appear to be having much success with your whites.
    Bob, It's actually a blue t-shirt

    Brennan

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