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The Black Funnel
A funnel-slash-Deveaux-slash-Joergensen pattern
I like flies with deer hair, and had an idea of something comparadun like, but half sinking like a Klinkenhamer. I believe that flies that are semi dry can have a strong appeal on trout.
I am also fascinated by "la méthode de Deveaux" - Deveaux' method - a way of tying flies devised by French André Deveaux, where the fly is tied from the front and back; hackle first, then tail and then body. In these flies the hackle forms a frontal funnel, which surrounds the hook. The fly rests on the water line an ordinary dry fly on the hackle and the tail, but there is something about this radically different way of tying that has an appeal.
And the Comparadun of course. What a fly! Hard to beat.
I also recall something I remember as the Funnel Dun, not unlike the Devaux flies.
|See a couple of interesting reader comments below.|
That worked - not a big surprise. Heavy nymphs are deadly.
But there were places where they were not well suited - especially large, calm, shallow pools. The bottom was close for one thing, and secondly the fish were rising.
Action in the air left little doubt about what they were taking: mosquitoes! And lots of them! For the first time in my life I felt compelled to put a mosquito net over my head. Jon, our local friend, said it wasn't even bad. Well, I don't want to see bad then!
But it stirred my urge to fish dries, and in my box I found the funnel contraption. A bit large, maybe, but certainly much like a hatching black mosquito. I tied on one, applied some floatant (Muceline) to the hairs and gave it a spin. And Eureka! It worked. Fish were not hammering it, but they showed interest, and a couple of small ones forgave my lousy casts and dragging drifts and took the fly. I imagine that a few flies smaller than the 12's and 14's I had tied would have done the trick.
The fly floats with the body right under the surface film.
Upon inspection the fly revealed to be a very good "vertical dry" in the British Buzzer tradition, floating in the surface with the body under the water and the tips of the hair hackle almost flush with the surface, showing just enough above surface for a poor sighted man like myself to see it and showing plenty for a large, poor sighted trout to see underneath!
It is indeed easy to tie and the materials list has few items.
|Hook||Traditional dry fly, size 10-18 - even smaller||Instructions
|Wing||Fine deer hair|
|Body||Black non-dry dubbing
When you fish the fly observe these points:
Floatant: Red means stop, green means go!
A comment came from Tasmania:
You may be interested to know that we have been using the Black Funnel here in Tasmania for quite a few years now. We call it the Shaving Brush, for obvious reasons. Here we use it as an emerging dun and tie it in sizes from 14 to 8. And a very successful fly it is too! Not much buzzer fishing is done here but next time I am at the tying bench I will tie up some small Shaving Brushes and do some experimental fishing with them at Brumby\'s Creek or Arthurs Lake.
Thanks for the Global Flyfisher, one of my favourite web pages.
Another one came from Wales:
As you say your idea bears more than certain resemblances to UK 'suspender' type patterns and as such I have a few comments that might be of interest to you both in terms of fishing these patterns and tying practicalities.
Firstly, I love the idea of tying off at the tail end off the fly. Your comment about 'vertical' dry flies perhaps hits the point more than you imagine. With existing suspender type patterns where the fly is finished at the head, care needs to be taken in not displacing the vertical wing by forcing it away from the line of the shank with lots of wraps in front at the head. You can combat this by tying off at the base of the wing, over the wing material, but this makes for an ugly collar of thread. I use the first method with a 3 turn finish on the bare hook shank under and in front of the wing. I'm going to try the Devaux style on my next batch of suspenders.
A tuft of CdC, is a perfect alternative to the hair wing, no floatant required, just as visible, probably more bouyancy for less material.
You didn't mention what type of imitation you were looking to achieve when you set out to tie this fly but you've come up with a midge pupa profile. One suggestion that will help with the correct fishing attitude of this fly would be to use a non-bouyant thorax and try to achieve a slimmer and shorter thorax profile. The use of quick sinking materials will help the hook weight counterbalance the wing giving the vertical alignment. This will obviate the need for a loop knot to tie the fly to the tippet. This is important, I'll explain in a minute.
Ok, hook size and weight. You mention using standard dry fly hooks down to an 18. In my experience of fishing these types of patterns I've found that the smaller the pattern the heavier the hook needs to be. There are two reasons for this, both related to the vertical fishing attitude of the fly:-
Your observations are quite to the point - including the notice about CdC. And you notes about grease, precision in casting and hook selection are a great addition to my own - more or less coincidential - findings about this particular pattern. Thanks!
Your observations are quite to the point - including the notice about CdC. And you notes about grease, precision in casting and hook selection are a great addition to my own - more or less coincidential - findings about this particular pattern.
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