HOOK: Size 10 – 14.
THREAD: Brown 8/0.
WING CASE: Mottled brown turkey fibres.
ABDOMEN: Amber seal’s fur or substitute.
THORAX: Brown seal’s fur.

This fly, or more correctly pupa, was devised by Dr. H. A. Bell for fishing on Blagdon and Chew reservoirs early last century. It has certainly stood the test of time and is best when fished during a sedge (caddis fly) hatch. These hatches usually occur in the afternoon and evenings during the summer months and the fish make the most of it. I prefer to fish the pupa on the point and an Invicta on the dropper. The Invicta seems to represent the confusion of an adult sedge fly emerging from the pupa at the surface. With this set-up you have two good flies for the fish to choose from. A fly on a size 12 hook is probably the most useful. Most of the pupae I have found here have either yellow or green abdomens with black or brown markings. The thorax region is generally darker. Spooning the fish you have kept may give you an idea of the colours and sizes to make and use if you tie your own flies.

Above: Sedge pupae spooned from an East Lake fish.

If you find the fish are not responding to wet flies or nymphs, try a dry sedge. The G&H sedge, elk-hair sedge and various sedgehogs should all work. After casting out, allow your fly/flies to sit motionless for a few seconds. If a fish has seen them land on the water, it could take immediately. If there is no response after a while, a steady figure-of-eight retrieve across the surface may get some interest. In calm water it will help if your leader is sunk, use a good quality fluorocarbon to achieve this. The sinking leader may eventually pull the flies under, but they will still catch subsurface if you continue with the steady retrieve. Whether fishing dries or wets, if you have bank space, keep moving a pace or two between casts to cover plenty of water. Similarly in a boat, I would choose to drift rather than drop the anchor and stay in one place.
Other flies to try at this time of year are fry patterns, foam beetles, hoppers etc. Providing conditions are favourable, I will fish dry flies and emergers for most of the summer as this method seems to be the most reliable at Hallington.

Phil Bilbrough