How to be a Flyfishing Master

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The best ideas and patterns will make you a Flymaster

Third challenge comment

With our fly-tying competition growing both in numbers and creativity, the task set for the third round was the Daddy Longlegs. Some good skills and ideas were on show with the detached body technique a firm favourite. Materials used ranged from deer hair and foam to the long hair from a Herdwick sheep – something I’d not seen before.

Some patterns were more impressionistic than imitative using mobile legs to add subsurface movement. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that; however an unfortunate few took the theme a little too far, dispensing with a number of the necessary Daddy features. The result was something more akin to an Apps’ Worm which wasn’t what we were after. Others, though very nicely tied, were a bit too Hopper-like to make the cut.

On a more encouraging note I’m impressed by the overall standard and it was difficult to decide who to leave out of the top nine. So well done to everyone who entered.


About Flymasters

TROUT Fisherman has teamed up with Barbless Flies to relaunch the Flymasters fly-tying competition, with Peter Gathercole as judge.

Each month a challenge will be set inviting you, the tyers, to put your creativity to the test. Your pattern should then be posted to us at the Trout Fisherman offices and will be passed onto Peter.

Now the Chairman of the Fly Dressers’ Guild, author of the bestsellers ‘Fly Tying For Beginners’ and the ‘Fly Tying Bible’ and all-round game fishing personality Peter is well placed to be judge. It’s up to you to impress him!

>> How to Tie the Foam-Butt Daddy

How flies will be judged

Peter is looking for innovation, a high standard of tying and creativity but this has to be tempered with the pattern’s prowess as a fish-catcher – after all, that’s what it’s eventually designed to do. All submitted flies should be squashed barb or tied on barbless hooks.

“Each month a challenge will be set inviting you, the tyers, to put your creativity to the test… with Peter Gathercole as judge.”


Barbless hooks are often seen as less effective at landing fish than their barbed equivalent – this isn’t true. Partridge of Redditch has played a long and innovative role in the development of barbless patterns – arrow points, dropped points and needle points all started here and have morphed into some of the most well known brands today. Partridge’s PATRiOT Barbless patterns are characterised by the best of the features and benefits required by competitive and productive fishers.

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