109 phantomPresented from Issue 109, April 2014
This year’s fishing has certainly sorted the men from the boys - so to speak. The fly fishing sector has seen a tough year, but if the hard work is put in the rewards have come. Dry fly fishing has been tough in most areas - apart from small creeks, shark fishing on Great Lake and Western Lakes. I, like so many others, love to take fish on a dry fly, but if you want to catch trout you need to look at the whole water column. If fishing from a boat a fish finder will give you a pretty good idea of the different lines and weights of flies you need to be effective.

I usually start on top and work my way down. I use a floating line with two or three nymphs. I like the top fly to have a bushy hackle so it creates a wake and attracts attention when lifting the flies, the middle fly will be slim and the point fly almost always a weighted size 10 of several designs. Three flies that I often start with are a Claret Bits on top, gold ribbed Dawl Bach and a Hares Ear on the point.

If I need to go deeper I opt for two flies and a weighted fly line with a Peter Ross on top and my own weighted Phantom on the point. I don’t stick to just these flies though and change until I find the right recipe, often going up and down in size as well as different patterns.

The fly described would be the most popular fly in our boat and it is rare for either Bill or I to not have one on. It has even been successful in World Championships. It seems to work best in 8 and 10 as it can represent many small aquatic animals.

109 phantom vertThe Phantom

  1. Hook: Heavy size 8-10 long shank.
  2. Thread: Brown.
  3. Tail: Olive gizzle marabou.
  4. Rib: Bronze wire.
  5. Body: Olive and firey brown chenille.
  6. Hackle: Brown hen.


  1. This is weighted with lead wire along it full length. I coat the hook in head cement first.
  2. Take the thread down the hook and tie in a nice bunch of marabou for the tail.
  3. Tie in the chenille and rib, wind chenille forwards to the eye. Tie off firmly and cut off excess.
  4. Tie in a brown hen hackle, make four turns at the front and then wind to tail; wind rib forwards through the hackle, tie off firmly and build a well shaped head. Whip finish, cut thread away and varnish.
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