Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Fly of the Week: the Leadwing Coachman

Our fly this week hails from the classic wet category. And if you've ever tried to tie a classic wet, you already know that this means it's going to be a pain in the a**......

I attempted to tie a wet fly once before. Once I realizes that it was only going to be an exercise in frustration, I promptly walked away and did not look back. So when Allen said that he was going to tie a Leadwing Coachman as one of the patterns for the NAFFF tie-a-long; I was a little apprehensive.

Allen did a great job of the step by step and a even better job of describing how to select and tie the paired wings(about halfway down the page.) He makes it sound easy. Oh, deceitful, deceitful Allen...... lol

With practice this may be easy, but practice I had not. After the first two failed attempts, the one pictured below came to be. I realized that I was using wing fibers that were to small. I then used some that I thought were way to big, but when I put the on the hook they were just barely big enough! Lessoned learned: use big wings, the can always be trimmed down after being tied in.

After a few more stabs at this, I might start tackling some of the more complex classic flies and turn it into a fly of the week series. (Or not, we'll see what the doctor says about my blood pressure after tying a few more first.)

the Leadwind Coachman
Hook: Size 6 streamer
Tail: white thread and copper wire
Body: peacock herl
Hackle: Ginger saddle hackle
Wing: Turkey Quill (traditionally these are mallard wing feathers. I didn't have any so I improvised. It might be easier if you use the mallard wings....)


  1. I have also tried and became very frustrated with this pattern, just might have go back and try again. It's been a few years since my last attempt. Thanks for the post.


  2. Your welcome. I've always loved classic patterns like this, but have honestly been a little intimidated by them.

  3. There is a lot to be intimidated about. I love em, but won't let myself get frustrated even trying to tie.

  4. Tell me about it.... I also found out that if you use Turkey feathers for the wings, the "face" of the wing has to be out, but if you use mallard the "back" has to face out. Talk about confusing.......???