Published Jan 1. 2002 - 19 years ago
Updated or edited Jan 30. 2021

Loch Dhu Salmon

A pattern for salmon in the summer dusk. A salmon fly inspired by the Scottish pattern named after the lake Loch Dhu

The Loch Dhu is a Scottish lake (loch) and this pattern was originally tied as a wet fly and named after that particular lake. The basic pattern is a fly with a dubbed body, double guinea fowl hackle and a black body hackle. Seems like a sure killer to me - especially under dark circumstances - dusk, light Scandinavian night and early morning.
I was inspired by the colors and wanted to use the same materials and color scheme for a salmon fly. Adhering to the very basic construction, I had to build it with a tag, butt, ribbed body, wing and front hackle. I also wanted this to be a very sparsely dressed fly and even aimed for a low water pattern. The only wild thing I allowed myself was replacing the silver ribbing with a golden ditto.
Choice of hook was not difficult as I find the Partridge Bartleet hooks amongst the most beautiful generally available salmon hooks. The fly itself was simple - even from the beginning - but was actually further simplified before this result was reached. The first samples had a tail and a small underwing of Mallard, but even though it gave the fly a certain elegance, I wanted a simple tie and to get as close to pure black and white as I could come - so the mallard had to go.
The fly ended up as a very simple low water salmon fly, utilizing a short list of only five materials. As salmon flies come - even the hair winged ones - it's very easy to tie and easy to get to look good.  
Loch Dhu
Loch Dhu
Martin Joergensen


Hook Partridge Bartleet size 2 or 1
Thread Black 8/0
Tag Thin silver or gold oval tinsel
Butt Black ostrich herl
Body Flat silver mylar tinsel
Rib Thin silver or gold oval tinsel
Wing Black polar bear
Hackle Guinea fowl

Tying instructions

  1. Divide the hook shank from the hook point to the eye into three parts
  2. Tie in the thread just in front of the rear third
  3. Cut a piece of oval tinsel about 10 centimeters (4 inches)
  4. Flatten one end of the tinsel with a pair of pliers
  5. Tie in the flattened part under the hook shank pointing rearwards
  6. Wind the thread over the tinsel rearwards about 10-12 touching turns and back again. Keep the thread flat
  7. Wind the tinsel in 5-6 close turns forwards to the starting point and tie off under the shank
  8. Don't cut the tinsel, but cover a bit of the tinsel with 5-6 forwards wraps
  9. Return the thread to the front of the tag
  10. Take a piece of ostrich herl and notice that the 'stem' is flat with web on one edge
  11. Orient the herl so that it points away from you and the flat stem points forwards
  12. Remove a bit of web on the part you will tie in
  13. Tie in the herl on the lower back side of the shank pointing down and towards yourself
  14. Wind the thread forwards in touching turns. 10-15 turns will do
  15. Wind the herl making sure the flat stem overlaps. 4-5 turns will do.
  16. Tie down the herl and cut surplus
  17. Wind the thread forwards in touching turns, keeping the thread flat, ending a over the bent back part of the salmon hook leaving room for the wing, hackle and head behind the eye
  18. Prepare a 20 centimeters (8 inches) piece of flat tinsel and tie it in under the bent back part of the shank
  19. Wind it in tight, touching turns to the butt and back to the tie in spot
  20. Tie it down under the shank and cut surplus
  21. Prepare a short wing of artic fox, removing the guard hairs and hand stacking the underfur
  22. Cut the base of wing - it should reach out over the point just above the hook point
  23. Tie it in leaving space for the hackle and a small head
  24. Cover the stubs with touching turns of tying thread and return the thread to the base of the wing
  25. Prepare a guinea fowl hackle. The length of the barbs should be as the body
  26. Tie it in as a wet fly hackle - 2-3 turns will suffice
  27. Tie off, trim and form a neat head
  28. Whip finish and varnish

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