Friday, November 25, 2011

Wickham's Fancy and a tutorial

   The Wickham was originally intended as a dry fly for the clear chalk streams of southern England.  This is an old pattern. Dating back to the late 1800's.  Its believed that Dr. T.C. Wickham created the fly. However there are records which disagree with this belief. Records from 1884 state that George Currell was the first professional to have tied it.   I have little doubt that the henryville special was based from this pattern. We all know how deadly the henryville is, But i will attest that the wickhams is equally effective. Its also great fun to tie. I could tie tons of these.  
    The wet fly variation is  a great diving egg laying caddis or sedge pattern.  The hackle will trap air giving the fly a life like shine.  When i tie wickhamss,   I tie them with all different shades of brown.  The one on the left i did with a furnace ginger hen hackles. The hackle is collins "greenwell" hackle. As the name suggests its the right color for greenwell's glory.

Lets twist one up. This one will be the dry version. 
Hook- Daiichi 1170
Thread- Mtfc black 8/0
Tail- brown/ ginger hackle fibers
Body- Gold tinsel/ Holographic
Body hackle- Brown/ginger saddle hackle palmered
Rib- Gold wire/or French tinsel
Wing- Mallard wing slips
Front hackle- brown/ginger. Neck hackle

Hook in vise, start your thread and lay down a nice even layer of thread, back to just before the barb.

Take 8-12(a small bunch) fibers of hackle for the tail. Tie them on with one turn.

Tie in the tinsel with one turn. This turn should be in front of your last.

Tie in the wire or french tinsel and bring your thread to the eye and back about two hooks length. Be sure to make nice touching turns. You want even body.

Wrap the tinsel, make each turn touch the previous one.  Tie it off and trim the excess.

Tie in the saddle hackle by the butt.

Palmer the hackle back to the rear of the fly.

Catch the hackle with the wire.

Bring the rib up through, tie it off and trim the excess. Break off your hackle .  Roll your fingers over the hackle, stroking it back.

Get your  self two slips of mallard wing. One from the left another from the right.

With the tips lined up, and the "good side" sides of the slips facing out, measure the wing length. It should be just a wee shorter than the tail.

Switch hands, now pinch the slips, be sure they are as close the shank as possible.

Pinch and loop.  Draw the thread down slowly.  Be sure to keep your pinch on the slips. Pinch and loop twice then take a couple of tight turns. Check your wing. You can always go back at this point.

Take a couple more tight tuns and then trim the butts. Nice and close.

Tidey up.

Tie in the hackle by the butt.

Wrap the hackle. Stroking the fibers back with each turn.

Trim the hackle butt and form a neat head.

Whip finish.

Coat the head with your favorite varnish.  You now have a great fish catcher. The Wickham's Fancy.


  1. Well done.
    I don't fish many wets. A Picket Pin, or Light or Dark Cahill. But this one looks to be next up.

  2. Brk- Thank you, The one in the tutorial is a dry fly all the way. But just sub out rooster for hen and you get a wet. Give it a go, im sure will not be disappointed.

  3. Thanks for posting, I think wets are completely underrated flies (by me also) but they are beautiful and fishy. You got me motivated to tie some of my own this winter. Any reason they wouldn't work fished with a tenkara rod? I think not. Cheers, Karel