By Leonard Flemming

I fished New Zealand for five months in the 2010/2011 season and found eight flies that worked exceptionally well for me. I could have chosen ten flies to make this post sound better, but then it wouldn’t represent the best. So here they are with their recipes. I’ve also decided to include some of my best fish, just in case you were wondering how well these flies worked…


The Cellophane-wing Mayfly

Hook:          #16-18, TMC 9300 or Knapek Wet Fly hook #14

Thread:      14/0, Gordon Griffiths Sheer, black

Tail:             Black hackle fibres

Abdomen:One stripped peacock herl

Wing:          Cellophane, precut to match mayfly wings

Thorax:      Black hackle and CDC spun into the thread


The Para-foam Beetle (yellow)

Hook:                               #16 (or #14), Knapek Wet Fly hook #14

Thread:                           14/0, Gordon Griffiths Sheer, black.

Post:                                CDC puff, white.

Hackle:                            Ginger, Whiting Genetic.

Underbody:                     Pheasant back feathers (green, blue or brown).

Wing covers (Elytra):     Loco foam, Bluewater Flies, pearl yellow.

Legs (optional):              Two knotted pheasant fibres can be added to imitate

hind legs of monkey beetles.


Hare and Copper

Hook:                                     #16 (or #14), Kamasan B170 or Gamakatsu S10

Thread:                                 14/0, Gordon Griffiths Sheer, black.

Bead:                                    Tungsten, black (optional)

Tail, body and thorax:         Hare’s ear dubbing

Rib:                                       Copper wire

Wing case:                           Pheasant tail fibres


Bionic Nymph (inspired by Stu Tripney’s “A Foam Odyssey”)

Hook:                                     #16 (or #14), Kamasan B170 or Gamakatsu S10

Thread:                                 14/0, Gordon Griffiths Sheer, black.

Bead:                                    Tungsten, black (optional)

Tail and legs:                       Fine rubber strands, black

Abdomen:                            Stripped peacock herl (wrapped over wet Hard as Nails)

Thorax:                                 Peacock herl

Wing case:                           Loco foam, Bluewater Flies, black


CDC Parachute Adams

Hook:                               #12 – 14, Knapek Wet Fly hook (the #12 worked exceptionally well).

Thread:                           14/0, Gordon Griffiths Sheer, black.

Tail:                                  Black hare’s ear or black hackle fibres.

Abdomen:                       Hare’s Ear dubbing, natural.

Rib:                                  Half-stripped CDC feather and fine copper wire.

Post:                                White yarn.

Hackle:                            Brown and grizzly mix.

Body/thorax:               CDC spun into the thread and wrapped over hare’s ear dubbing.


Red&Copper Brassie

Hook:                              #12 – 14, heavy wire scud or caddis hook.

Thread:                          14/0, Gordon Griffiths Sheer, black.

Abdomen:                      Red copper wire

Thorax/head:                 UV ice dub red (make sure it reflects UV light!).


Tungsten ZAK

Hook:                               #10 – 12, long shank dry fly hook.

Thread:                           14/0, Gordon Griffiths Sheer, black.

Bead:                               Tungsten bead, black.

Tail and hackle:       Olive hackle.

Abdomen and thorax:2 x Stripped peacock herl + 2 x plain peacock herl + 1 x pearl crystal flash strand all twisted together and wrapped forward.

Rib:                                   Fine copper wire

Wing case:                    Mix of stripped and plain peacock herl


Rabbit zonker (perfect for sea-run browns in river mouths and also for brook char)

Hook:                              #6, Long shank streamer hook.

Thread:                           8/0 Red.

Bead:                              Tungsten bead, black.

Tail and collar:              Grizzly marabou.

Body:                              Peacock herl or brush – Angelina

Wing:                              Large grey/natural rabbit zonker


Leonard Flemming

Leonard Flemming

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6 Responses

  1. Hi Andrew, the cicada might have been part of the “10” pack, but I had very little success on it, so I decided not to include it in the post.

  2. Just tied some of those the Cellophane-wing Mayflies for NZ later this year. I like the combination of hackle and CDC and the wing is really classy (Haven’t done cellophane before). The one I got just right might be one of my favourite ties! Although I best let the fish do the judging.

  3. Excellent! – these are great…. I’ll definitely adding a few to my box this trip. I went back for the 1st time back in 2015 and can’t believe I’m getting to go back again! Look like you were on South Island with all those huge Browns… or not?

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