When J. Stockard approached me about creating a fly for the cover of their 2023 Catalog, I was both excited and a bit nervous. It's one thing to post one of my creations to Instagram, it's another to think about a picture of my fly sitting on thousands of tying benches across the country.
After considering a few options, I settled on the “trude”, a style of fly patterns with hair wings. First introduced in 1901, the pattern is 121 years old and has many variants. The Royal Trude fly (the one I submitted for the cover) is in fact a hair wing version of the Royal Coachman. It is an effective fly and I personally use this pattern for high mountain trout. This particular pattern shines on small streams and it punishes the native cutthroat trout in my area waters! There’s just something about the peacock and red band that trout love and the white wing makes it super easy to see too!
You can read more about the history of the trude here and see the recipe and instructions for my version below.
Hook: Partridge G3A-LY (or any standard dry fly hook)
Thread: Semperfli 18/0 Nano Silk (black)
Tail: Golden pheasant tippet fibers
Body band: Floss (red)
Rib: small wire (silver) - use extra small or brassie if smaller fly
Wing: Calf body hair or you can substitute Calf Tail.
Hackle: Whiting coachman brown saddle or cape
Coating: Loon water based head cement
Fly Tying Instructions:
Start by putting the hook in the vise and start the thread at approximately 1/4 of the hook shank behind the hook eye.
Select a few golden pheasant fibers for the tail. Measure the length to be the hook length. Trim to length and tie in. Bring the thread to the beginning of the hook bend keeping the fibers on top of the hook.
Select 2 or 3 strands of peacock for the rear body bump. Align the butts of the peacock strands, trim off the very tips and tie them in by the evened out tips. Spin the peacock around the thread to form a peacock rope. Wrap a few turns of the peacock rope to form the rear bump and tie off and remove the excess but save the remaining strands for the forward bump.
Bring the thread the same distance as the rear peacock bump up from the rear bump to give an even section for the red band. Tie in the wire (optional) and the red floss for the band. Wrap the floss up to the start of the second peacock bump, then wrap it back, and then forward again creating a 3 layered band of red floss for the center bump. Wrap the wire over the floss in even spaced turns (2 to 3 max) and tie it off.
Tie in the same 2 to 3 strands of peacock used for the rear bump, spin it around the thread again to form a peacock rope. Wrap 2 to 4 turns for the forward peacock bump, tie off and remove the excess.
Select a small clump of calf body hair for the wing. After cleaning out the clump of hair, use a hair stacker to even the hair tips. Measure the wing to be the hook shank in length. Trim off the butts and tie in the calf body hair wing at the end of the forward peacock bump. Tie in the remaining wing butts and make a clean thread ramp for the hackle.
Select a hackle and tie it in on top of the hair wing ensuring that the “shiny side” faces forward. Bring the thread to just behind the hook eye.
Wrap the hackle in close touching turns, preening the fibers back after every turn to slightly compress the hackle turns and not trap any hackle fibers. Wrap the hackle to the hook eye, tie off the hackle, pull the remaining hackle back and whip finish behind the hook eye and in front of the hackle. Remove the thread and hackle and treat the thread head with head cement.