A recent trip to Providence Atoll in the far outer reaches of the Seychelles, saw myself and Warwick tying up an absolute storm in the 8 months leading up to the trip.. regular “Whippet Wednesdays” sessions in Warwick’s Garage, which has been converted into a flytying, beer and whiskey drinking haven, saw us furiously tying vastly more flies than we would ever likely need for five trips, never mind one trip.. But “need” seldom enters into ones mind when discussing fish, tackle, or flies… “want” is a far more suitable emotion…
We tied all the usual suspects ( Brush flies, Sempers, NYAP’s etc ) and then started thinking about “experimental” patterns to keep ourselves entertained.. We ended up with a number of patterns in the “experimental” group, which we ended up putting to good use on our trip.. in fact I ended up fishing these new patterns almost exclusively, and getting some damn good fish on them..
One of the patterns, since nicknamed ” The Mighty Ugandan” stood out in particular for a number of reasons:
1 – Durability: A lot of patterns after a few fish ( GT’s, Snapper, Grouper, Emperors etc ) tend to start falling apart, and can lose their effectiveness. Because of the head design on this pattern, it protects all the tie on points, and as such remains incredibly durable
2 – Effectiveness around coral heads: Fishing around coral heads in particular, this pattern really stood out.. at one point Warwick and I were fishing side by side off a flat into a lagoon section with a small coral head in it, and I think I went 6 for 6 on Grouper and Snapper and Emperor, with Warwick, fishing a similar color Semper, not getting a touch.. I’m not 100% sure why it was su much more effective, but could be due to the flies bulkiness.. it creates a BIG profile, and the big head creates a lot of turbulence which in turn gives great movement to the rear of the fly..
The fly itself could be tied in so many ways, so its not really a specific pattern as such, but rather a method of adding a big bulky head up front, without using Deerhair for example, or building a head with Epoxy/UV resin, while still painting a relatively light fly.. I say relatively light as bear in mind this version is tied on an 8/0 Game SL12S, and being thrown on a 12 weight… and its a BIG fly..
The main feature is the use of Blane Chocklett’s Body Tubing for the head. Blane is a genius fly innovator, with numerous patterns to his name that have become famous such as the ground breaking Game Changer. He’s also widely credited with the insane popularity of huge articulated streamers for Musky and Pike in North America.. specifically his ingenious way of using this Body Tubing of his to help create flare and bulk on these enormous flies, often with 2 or 3 or even 4 articulations, but keeping the weight down. This fly below steals from his method, but utilizing the Body Tubing just for the head section as shown below.
Hook – Gamakatsu SL12S or similar depending on application. This version is tied on the 8/0
Thread: Veevus 240 or similar for the big version. You need a strong thread, especially if you are ham fisted like me. Smaller versions you could use GSP or Nanosilk or 140..
Hackles: Chineese( eBay hackles! ) 6 in total on this version.
Body: Brush – I’ve used the EP Foxy Brush… original version used the 5″ brush, but I’d run out so the version below uses the 3″… you could make your own brushes up for this quite easily.
Head: Blane Chocklett body tubing in 1/2 inch ( or Flexo material for smaller versions )
I tried tying some smaller versions, using the 1/4 inch tubing which worked out pretty nicely too. These are on 4/0’s..
Warwick tied a pair in plain white, using the Flexo tubing in white, which is slightly bigger then the Blane Chocklett Body Tubing 1/4 and they came out absolutely fantastically… I think the versions above should have been tied on 3/0 or 2/0 size hooked, and with a little less body… but either way the came out pretty nicely.
Here are Warwick’s freshwater versions, tied on Game B10S hooks.. I love theses in all white and I think the head size using the Flexo tubing on this is perfect: