Branchu is the Québecois word for wood duck, and a very suitable name for this fly with its characteristic wood duck wing.
It's originated by Jean Guy Côte of Uni-Products, but has been slightly modified by GFF partner Martin Joergensen for his fishing.
Branchu is the Quebecois word for wood duck, and a very suitable name for this fly with its characteristic wood duck wing.
I first stumbled over this fly in an article by Paul Marriner in the magazine Fly Tyer. I immediately fell for its simple beauty and perfect winter fly colours. I tied up a few very close to the style that were tied up for the article. Quite a beefy fly with a good body volume. Cote's fly also bore a couple of Jungle Cock eyes. None of mine ever did that, not even the first ones.
The original was made for trolling large lakes, but I wanted a fly, which was more in the tradition of my usual sea trout streamers meant for casting. These are slimmer and typically have more swept back wings and hackles. I need the flies to be able to sink down to fishing depth themselves. Very fluffy flies have troubles sinking quickly enough for my type of fishing.
Well, the conversion wasn't that difficult. I basically just removed a bit of the body material and wound the rest on a bit more tightly. I also replaced the original seal's fur with Scintilla. Not out of political correctness, but more because I had plenty Scintilla and not so much seal's fur.
I also switched the prescribed Partridge CS42 Bomber hook with a straighter Kamasan B800 streamer hook. Again to get a more elongated fly.
I have been vary pleased with the result, which in my eyes has kept the beauty of the original, which is mainly in the colours, but still adheres very well to the style of fly that I want for my sea trout fishing.
I haven't fished the fly lately, but hauled it out of its storage because this winter seems to become a very mild and productive one. I used to have the fly in my winter box, and probably will again. Winter sea trout can be difficult to entice, but this fly can do the magic.