One of the all-time favourites, tied here with a hair rather than a feather wing. Famously good in low water.
Material list for the Blue Charm
Hook: Partridge Patriot CS16U/2 double
Tag: Silver wire/yellow Glo-brite floss
Tail: Golden pheasant crest
Butt: Black ostrich
Rib: Silver wire
Body: Black floss
Throat: Blue hackle fibres
Wing: Natural squirrel tail
Eyes: Jungle cock
Step 1. Fix the hook in the vice by the far bend of the hook. Apply close turns of white thread along the shank then catch in a length of silver wire.
Step 2. Wind on six touching turns of wire to form the tag. Lay the loose end of wire along the underside of the shank and secure with thread.
Step 3. Remove the waste end of the wire then wind the thread down to the tag. Catch in a length of yellow floss in front of the wire tag.
Step 4. Apply close turns of the yellow floss to form the front half of the tag.
Step 5. Secure the loose end of the floss then trim the waste. Select a medium-sized golden pheasant crest feather, strip fluff from its base and catch it in at the tag to form the tail.
Step 6. Secure the waste end of the crest feather along the shank then trim the waste. Catch in a strand of dyed-black ostrich herl and apply touching turns to form the butt.
Step 7. Secure, then remove the waste end of the ostrich, then swap the white thread for black. Catch in a length of silver wire on the underside of the shank.
Step 8. Catch in the black floss at the butt then run the thread up to the eye. Apply overlapping turns of floss to form a smooth body.
Step 9. When the floss has reached the thread, secure the end and trim the excess. Wind three or four evenly spaced turns of wire over the floss.
Step 10. Secure and remove the end of the wire, then invert the hook in the vice. Select a dyed-blue cock hackle, snipping off the tip to leave a V-shape, which will form the throat hackle.
Step 11. Tie in the hackle at the point of the “V” with two thread-turns. Draw the hackle under the thread so the fibres merge and splay around the body. Trim excess hackle. Revert the hook.
Step 12. Prepare a slim bunch of grey squirrel tail and catch it in so that the longest hairs project just past the tip of the tail.
Step 13. To help fix the hair in place, coat the thread with superglue.
Step 14. Add further thread turns, then trim the ends of the hair close to the eye – twisting the hair will aid this process.
Step 15. Add further tight thread turns to lock the wing firmly in place.
Step 16. Take two medium-sized jungle-cock eye feathers. Strip fibres from the stems and catch them in, either side of the wing.
Step 17. Fold the stems over, secure with thread, and trim waste. Build a head with thread and apply a whip finish. Add black varnish to the head.