Let's not forget...

Let's not forget...

Viking Lars | Saturday, 5 August 2023

... the simple palmer fly. Palmer fly meaning a fly with a paltered hackle, meaning a fly with a hackle going from head to tail, also called a body hackle. In times where possibilities are near endless and flies can be tied as imitations so accurate that no one can tell the difference, were it not for the hook, that simple still works. Some flies are accurate imitations, some or general “imitations” of food, simply food.

One such is a palmer fly. I love fishing with palmer flies. One of my favourite patterns for the spring fishing for sea trout in Denmark is a simple, fiery brown palmer. I have them in many sizes and colours in my box. I fish them for sea trout in the salt, for sea trout in rivers, for salmon, for brown trout.

Dull colours, sharp colours, a mix, small, medium, large. Depending on size and colour choice, they can provoke or imitate. A large, fluorescent green one in the spring, a small grey one for summer mornings, even good old Red Tag is in my box for sea trout. They get picky in late summer and a size 12, even 14, Red Tag gets them. I doubt the pattern patterns, but the size does.

They are simple and easy to tie. Especially when sneaking around trying to lure a brown trout from a deep, undercut bank you’re bound to lose a fly or two. A fast and easy tie is a bonus. A feather or two, some dubbing and a ribbing is all the tying materials a palmer fly requires.

I was scrolling through a book the other day and my eyes fell upon a Danish palmer fly for the salt, Gremlingen (The Gremlin). The fly was originated by Jørn Mossin. I fished with this years ago. A small (#10-12) Gremlingen or a Fyggi often sat on the point of a two fly leader. The dropper was something bigger, usually. I tied some Fyggis not long ago and when seeing the fly, I decided I wanted from Gremlingen in my box again. Small ones are good in late summer and early spring and as point fly. Bigger ones are really good all rounders.

It’s not quite as simple as other palmers. The tail is flashabou in pearl, the body is fluorescent seal’s fur (originally SLF and if you need excellent quality seal’s fur, drop me a PM) and it sports two hackles: A grizzly and an olive. The hackles I have in olive aren’t of particularly good quality, so I leave them as they are. The grizzly ones are better, so I strip one side, to get a good balance between the two. I also tie a front hackle, one turn of both colours of feather. A little fiddly, yes, but an excellent fly.

Go and tie some palmer flies!

Have a great weekend!


Pod: A size 10 Gremlingen, a size 6 in the background.