Close-up of a hand-tied fly fishing lure in a clamp with golden fibers.

Dirty Olive Banana Fly

"One of the most successful flies on our fishery in recent seasons"
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A Banana Twist - The Dirty Olive Banana

Banana flies, tied most often with a dirty curry yellow, have done extremely well in the past decade or so on Gaula. The fur is difficult to obtain in the right shade which for me is a darkish dirty yellow but with a touch of amber to warm it. Anglers like me spend ages trying to get the right shade and in my case, I dye my own be it hackles, fox or ice bear fur.

In recent seasons, mixing this dark yellow shade with some medium and sooty olive has emerged as even more acceptable to the fish than more typical brighter, flashier banana flies.

Notice the absence of flash and jungle cock eyes. This helps the fly blend in to its environment and the translucency of the materials used lights the fly more subtly than a clump of flash. The absence of the eyes makes the fly blend in. With jungle cock eyes, the fly can be seen from quite some distance. This is fine with running fish but not so much with residents. 

A close-up of a handmade fly fishing lure clamped in a vise.

The fly is tied what I call ‘comet style” with fully wound hackle and all round lower wing layer of fur before three successively longer layers are tied on top.

Tube: short mini bottle tube

Body: Olive cactus chenille

First Layer: warm yellow arctic fox tied short (to the hook points)

Second Layer: olive ice bear tied medium

Third Layer: Medium olive bucktail

Fourth Layer: Olive hackle tied long and fully round

Fifth layer: Sooty Olive Fox with several strands of peacock here over

The illusion

Once again, I am waxing lyrical about the qualities of a fly which blends with its surroundings. This helps the angler to present the fish with an illusionary flash of life at the last second. 

With fresher fish, the addition of the jungle cock eyes can help with attracting running fish. 

I would rank this fly as probably my go-to in the mid-summer period. If this won’t catch one then not much else is likely to. it does appeal to fish for almost the whole of the season, from late June onwards.

More salmon stuff from Winsnes