Swinsty Special

This is a quick and dirty lure to tie up, ready for next time you fish for rainbow trout. I originally designed it to use at Swinsty/Fewston reservoirs on a floating line, but it will work on intermediate/sinking just as well. It’s not a delicate little gossamer winged creation, it’s a simple and brutish lure for use by simple and brutish anglers, and easy to tie. It’s always served me well.

Chuck it out, let it sink (the lead underbody helps), bring it back using various retrieves – figure of eight, fast/slow pulls, manic stripping, sink and draw, you name it, it’s all good with this baby.

Materials used:

Hook: Size 10 or 12 Drennan longshank lure (or similar)
Head: Fluorescent plastic bead
Underbody: Self adhesive lead sheeting (lead wire will do)
Thread: Black
Tail: Good quality black marabou
Rib: Flat silver tinsel (medium, I think!)
Body: Black chenille
Hackle: Guinea Fowl

1. Crack open a beer, nonchalantly slide your fluo bead head onto hook, then fix hook into vice and catch on your thread.

2. 2) Cut a thin strip of lead sheeting out, approx 2 ½ – 3 inches long and catch this in a couple of millimeters behind the eye (trim one end into a ‘scalpel blade’ shape to make tying in easier).

3. Wind lead down in touching turns to a point just before where the bend starts then back up to where you started. Pinch off excess and tie down. As you can see from my example, a neat underbody isn’t vital (feel free to make more of an effort than I have though!).

4. Put some turns of thread around the lead underbody to help bind it all down and neaten things up, ending up with your thread down at the tail end of the fly.

5. Crack open another beer, you’re only tying a lure, it doesn’t matter! Take a good pinch of marabou off the feather then moisten the end that you’re going to tie in (this helps reduce bulk).

6. Catch in the marabou tail with a few turns then tie in a length of flat silver tinsel for the rib.

7. You’re not quite done at the rear yet. Heh heh. Take a length of black chenille (about 4 inches), strip off about 5mm of the chenille with your fingernails to expose the core. Tie your chenille in by this bit.

8. Trim off the excess marabou , lash down the tips and take your thread back up to a point just behind the head. God it’s a lumpy mess now. Pah, who cares. Grab another beer.

9. Wind the chenille up to the head, tie down with 3 turns of thread then snip of excess, then do the same with your tinsel rib (about 4 or 5 turns is enough).

10. Another beer? Sure, why not. Take a nicely marked guinea fowl feather (the one I’ve used is a little on the lengthy side but will create plenty of movement in the water that perfectly mimics the massive, fluorescent- headed, silver ribbed aquatic insects found in Northern reservoirs. You’re going to tie this in by the tip, not the hackle stalk so hold the tip between your finger and thumb whilst stroking the other feathers backwards. Tie the feather in at the head, using the gap that dividing the tip and rest of feathers has created. Lock it down nice and tight then put in 2 turns and tie off. Snip off your excess, whip finish then squeeze in a bit of varnish with the tip of your dubbing needle if you can to tighten that thread up. Job done.

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