I was tying a few of these age old patterns today , The Partridge And Orange . This simple little soft hackle fly has accounted for many a saved day for countless fly fisherman over the years.
This fly was brought to my attention about 10 years ago by my good friend and fishing partner Nick . We were fishing the Little Lehigh and we were both having a tough day. We knew the fish were there but they didn't want anything to do with our offerings.
So we do what you do when this occurs start changing flies .. It wasn't long till I heard that inevitable war cry from Nick fish on! I looked up and he was into a very nice rainbow trout . He had that giddy look on his face you know the one ... He was proud of beating me to the first fish of the day, as there is always a little friendly competition between fishing buddies.
When he was done playing , landing and releasing his catch , I asked the the question . What fly did you catch it on ? And his reply was the partridge and orange and offered me one in the same breath.I cut the fly I was using off the tippet and tied on his partridge and orange and began to fish. As we worked our way down the stream casting and swinging , I finally got into a fish of my own a nice little brown that was full of fight.
Needless to say Nick proved his prowess on this stream as he's fished it many times before. It showed in the days tally, he landed 8 fish or so that day to my two.And they were both on a fly he had given me!
When I arrived home I headed straight for the vise and tied up a bunch to put in my box for the next trip. Since then I have fished the partridge and orange and found it to be effective on most every stream I fish . It has found a permanent spot in my fly box.
There are many ways to fish this fly and they all produce. You can swing it just like a wet fly,put a little weight on and roll it on the bottom like a nymph or trail it in a tandem tied off the bend of your favorite dry fly.Tye a few up and give them a shot you will be glad you did..
Recipe for Partridge and Orange
Hook wet fly nymph hook of your choice sizes 12 -20
Thread orange 6-8/0
Body orange silk or floss
Ribbing fine gold or copper wire
Thorax a small amount of dubbing if you like
Hackle one or two turns or partridge