Good morning from a festive Foxford. The town is looking good and I think Santa will be more than happy to pay us a visit tonight. Let’s just hope he’s not too strict with that naughty list… It’s been a mixed week weather wise, going from cool and dry to wet and mild. I’m not sure what’s ahead for the next week. At the moment water levels are still high but falling. Over the Christmas period we will take a spin around the spawning streams to see what’s happening. If we see anything interesting I will report
2022 fishing licences are available and as expected the prices have risen a little, nothing major. The cost of a one-day Licence is a bit ridiculous but I’m assuming IFI would rather not sell these. I would say it’s not a great way to encourage people to try Salmon angling but of course there’s bigger brains than mine doing the thinking. Anyway, on to this weeks must have salmon pattern, The Stoats tail “Tiernan Variant”.
The Stoats tail is one of those patterns that seems to be around for ever. It’s certainly a long time ago since I first used one and it wasn’t a new pattern then. A very simple and effective pattern, the Stoats tail takes fish throughout the season. On the Moy it is particularly effective for the early season Grilse. Around the late-eighties I had a pattern that was very effective for grilse. I used to tie it on a trout wet fly hook and was taking good numbers of salmon on it, particularly in the evenings. This pattern had a wing made of black squirrel tail with a red under-wing (I’m not telling you any more of it 😊). One summer we had a period where we were struggling to get fish to take the stoats tail. They were turning for it but not actually taking it. Thinking about my other pattern, as an experiment I tied a red under wing into the normal Stoats tail and it worked. Now you might say how does he know it worked. Well at that time there was a few of us who fished and guided regularly on the Cloongee fishery. Over a period of a few weeks we took it in turns trying the original pattern “V” the variant. Putting it on for clients, two of us fishing the same lie one using an original and the other a variant (real scientific stuff 😂). The conclusion was that it definitely out fished the original particularly on fresh run fish. We kept the “secret” to ourselves for a while but like all these things it got out and more and more Stoats tail Tiernan Variants started to appear. It’s a standard pattern now on the Moy.
Hook – Esmond Drury Trebble (size 10 to 14)
Thread – Black
Tag & rib – medium silver wire
Tail – Golden pheasant crest feather
Body – Black Floss
Wing – Stoat’s tail (or black squirrel tail) with dyed blood red squirrel tail under
Hackle – Black cock
Wishing you all a Happy and Peaceful Christmas, Take care.