Published Oct 10. 2001 - 22 years ago
Updated or edited Mar 11. 2023

The Black Frede

The Grey Frede is a surefire pattern for sea trout. It's a very versatile and robust fly that has become very popular. I decided to tie a darker version of the same fly.

The Grey Frede is a surefire pattern for sea trout. It's a very versatile and robust fly that has become very popular. I decided to tie a darker version of the same fly.
The problem with this fly was primarily to find some good feathers for the tail and body. the Frede uses grizzly marabou wich can be bought in large bags, but I hadn't seen black feathers of the same type. Also Peter Loevendahl - father of the Grey Frede - uses dry fly grizzly hackles for the body hackle of his flies, and I had no black dry fly saddles or necks.
The solution was a Hoffmann Chickabou skin. These skins are available in all kinds of colors and they are sold both as grizzly - perfect for Grey Frede's - and black - perfect for my dark frede.

Also notice this very thorough article on The Magnus and Fred Clan

Version with bead chain eyes

Hook Partridge Nymph/Emerger, niflor, or large streamer 2-4
Thread Black
Tail A few straws of black flash black chickabou tailfeather. 1/2 hook length
Body Thick layer of black marabou dubbing - very thick
Rib Copper wire, fairly thick
Hackle Black chickabou bodyhackle
Eyes bead chain eyes under the hook shank (the original has the eyes over the hook shank)
Head Marabou dubbing over the eyes and a small head from tying thread

Tying Instructions

The tying instructions are almost identical with those of the Grey Frede.

  1. If using a nymph/emerger hook then put the hook in the vice and straighten it a bit. The hook gap has to be enlarged a bit. The finished hook looks much like a slightly curved Limerick hook.

  2. Tie in flash on top of the hook bend
  3. Find two dense marabou tailfeathers and tie in one on each side of the hook to make a flat tail. Leave the surplus as a base for the body
  4. Tie in a length of copper thread at the hook bend
  5. Cut of the barbs from a handfull of marabou feathers and mix them well
  6. Wax the tying thread and dub it with marabou in a thick layer
  7. Turn the dubbing over the hook to form a compact but fluffy body
  8. Let the dubbing stop approx. 1/3 from the eye
  9. Tie in a chickabou body feather as a hackle hackle in front of body. Tie in base first.
  10. Wind the hackle to the rear end of the body
  11. Lock down the hackle with the copper thread. Wind it opposite the hackle over the body
  12. Tie down copper thread and cut surplus
  13. Tie a couple of bead chain eyes on under the hook shank in front of body
  14. Dub the thread again and form a large head over and in front of the eyes
  15. Form a small head from thread, whip finish and varnish
  16. Stroke the whole fly lightly with a brush.

Alternative version with a bead

Hook Kamasan B840 size 2
Head Medium brass bead
Thread Black
Tail Black marabou feathers and a few flash straws
Rib Copper wire
Body Black marabou dubbing
Hackle Large, black hen hackle

Tying Instructions

  1. Slip the bead over the hook bend and secure behind hook eye with glue or varnish
  2. Start the thread behind the bead
  3. Cover the hook shank with thread
  4. Tie in flash over the hook bend
  5. Tie in two marabou feathers - one on each side of the hook shank
  6. Leave the base of the feathers and tie them down over the hook shank to right behind the bead
  7. Fold the feathers back and tie down to form a base for the body
  8. Cover the feathers with tying thread finishing over the hook bend
  9. Cut surplus
  10. Tie in copper wire under hook shank
  11. Dub the thread heavily with marabou dubbing. Use wax if necessary
  12. Form a thick, fluffy body
  13. Prepare a large, soft hen hackle
  14. Tie in base first, shiny side facing forwards in front of body, just behind bead
  15. Wind the hackle 4-6 times backwards to form a palmer hackle
  16. Wind ribbing 4-6 times forwards over hackle to secure it
  17. Tie down copper and cut surplus
  18. Whip finish just behind bead
  19. Varnish

Related articles


Log in or register to pre-fill name on comments, add videos, user pictures and more.
Read more about why you should register.

Since you got this far …

The GFF money box

… I have a small favor to ask.

Long story short

Support the Global FlyFisher through several different channels, including PayPal.

Long story longer

The Global FlyFisher has been online since the mid-90's and has been free to access for everybody since day one – and will stay free for as long as I run it.
But that doesn't mean that it's free to run.
It costs money to drive a large site like this.

See more details about what you can do to help in this blog post.