The Idiot

Stream flies for sea trout and steelhead

An oldie pattern from GFF

By Martin Joergensen

The Idiot - or 'Idioten' in Danish - is another typical Danish sea trout pattern. The story of this fly is quite well known and documented. A team of Danish fly fishers including Erik Døssing were fishing in Norway when one of the company stated that he had never caught a sea trout on fly in the stream Karup Aa - probably Denmark's most productive and famous sea trout stream.

Erik Døssing promptly stated that he could tie a fly with which any idiot could catch a sea trout, and immediately produced a big, bushy red, black and golden fly on a size 1 hook. The fly was suitably named 'The Idiot' and has since taken many sea trout on said stream and elsewhere.

Hook Size 1 salmon hook.
Smaller will do too
Small head
Big hackle does not equal big head.

Thread Black
Tail Red hackle fibers
Rib Oval gold tinsel
Body Flat medium gold tinsel
Hackle Soft black hen hackle
followed by soft red ditto.
Head Black

  1. Start the thread two eye widths behind the hook eye
  2. Tie in tail fibers in the full length of the body. They should reach slightly beyond the hook bend
  3. Cover the base of the tail fibers with a smooth layer of thread
  4. Tie in the oval gold tinsel under the hook in the full length of the body
  5. Cover the tinsel with a smooth layer of thread
  6. Tie in flat gold tinsel in front of the body base
  7. Wind the tinsel to the rear of the hook shank and back to form a smooth tinsel body
  8. Tie down and cut surplus
  9. Select two large hen hackles - one read and one brown - and strip the webby part. The hackle tips should reach the hook point
  10. Tie in the black hackle, tip first, shiny side out, and hackle stem upwards
  11. Wind the hackle clockwise in wet fly style, folding it over and stroking barbs to the rear of the hook. The hackle should be heavy
  12. Tie down and cut surplus
  13. Tie in the red hackle and wind in the same way
  14. Tie down and cut surplus
  15. Form a nice, small head over the red hackle stem, but do not press down any barbules
  16. Whip finish and varnish

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