Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Donne Flye

This dressing applies partridge as a hackle rather dressing it as  "wyngis."
Hook:

12-18
Thread:

Tan
Abdomen:

Natural dun wool, in this instance the raw fleece of the New Zealand Romney breed
Hackle:

Gray partridge from the shoulders or back

Dame Julianna Berners, the nun who published A treatyse of fysshynge wyth an Angle (1496), originally described the Donne Flye as a universally effective pattern or, at the very least, an early spring, pre-April fly. Berner’s dressing calls for “the body of the donne woll & the wyngis of the pertryche.”

In his History of Fly Fishing (1921), John Waller Hills famously argued that Berners' Donne Fly was tied to mimic the February Red: it "is the Treatise's 'dun fly, the body of dun wool and the wings of the partridge.' That is the dressing of 1496. It is the same to-day. The Partridge and Orange, dressed with a partridge hackle and a body of orange silk, is the imitation most commonly used between the Tweed and the Trent and kills hundreds of trout every year. So that fly has not changed at all in four centuries and a quarter."

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