Hardy Fin & Fly

Peter McLeod's Fly of the Issue

When chasing GT's there are really only a handful of patterns I use now but the most common is the Brush fly or 'Brushy'. Big fish like a big mouthful so these flies have a large profile but are tied with synthetic materials so they don't hold water when casting. Originally developed in Africa for hunting big Tigerfish the Brush fly is very simple to tie and the dressing can be adapted with colours and sizes to suit most predatory species. The benefit of the brush itself is its durability.

The dressing
  • Tiemco 600sp 6/0 hook
  • White Veevus big fly 150 denier thread or mono
  • White funky fibre
  • Pearl Angel hair
  • Large tan hackle x4
  • Tan marabou
  • Tan brush either bought or made from a combination of craft fur and sparkle flash
  • Large holographic eyes x2

Having secured the hook start the thread and wrap back.

Tie in a small clump of Funky fibre and some strands of pearl Angel hair and wrap up the shank.

Select four tan hackles approximately 5" in length curving in together. Don't bother stripping them down as the fluff will help with the body.

Next tie in a tan marabou stalk tip first and palmer in three or four turns and tie it down.

When it comes to the brush this is simply a giant dubbing loop that has been manufactured previously. You will need about 8" made up of material 2" in length. There are machines that can do this using thin wire and a drill or if you are lazy like me you can buy pre tied brushes in a variety of tones.

Tie in the brush and begin to wind forward. The key here is to use a small piece of Velcro or brush to make all the material face backwards allowing it to be wound on evenly. Win it forward to the eye in even turns and tie off. You will now have a body resembling an English sheepdog. Brush the material top and bottom and apply and good dab of glue to both sides so it can soak through the material before applying the eyes. Use a pair of hackle pliers or a clothes peg to hold them in place while it sets.

How to fish it

The Brush fly gives a fantastic profile of a bait fish in the water. The best method of retrieve is long strips increasing in speed if a fish gives chase as it appeals to the base predatory instinct.


Hardy ProTeam member Peter McLeod is a saltwater consultant and runs Aardvark McLeod International Fly Fishing Specialists. Find out more about Peter.