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The Jingler - a river dry fly for those early season hatches

The Jingler is a dry fly which can be used to imitate March browns and olives, so is a useful addition to the river fisher's fly box for March, April and May

The Jingler has a soft hackle to sit in the surface film.
The Jingler has a soft hackle to sit in the surface film.

As spring approaches and the new season looms on the horizon, one dry fly that has created a lot of interest over the past few years is the Jingler, and it is one fly I certainly have added to my range, especially for March brown hatches.

Hailing from the Scottish Borders, this fly comes from the mighty river Tweed and is used in spring during March brown or olive hatches given its general impressionistic look of a struggling, hatching upright.

I tied them initially with a genetic cock neck hackle, but it didn’t sit correctly, so I resorted to trimming the fly level on the underside. This was OK, but it meant I was losing some of the overall appeal of the fly, as the hackle’s fibres are supposed to cut through on the bottom, creating that hatching / struggling look, which was why the originals were tied with softer Indian cock capes, which have a lot of ‘webbiness’ to them.

As a compromise I use a ‘webby’ softer saddle hackle now, but I admit to altering the partridge head hackle and tail fibres for a well-marked hen cape of a very close match (so close you wouldn’t know) from Chevron. The best news with this fly is that the scruffier you tie it the better which suits me perfectly!

Yes, others will have their own way of tying this fly, I’m merely showing how I like to do it and it works for me.

Hook: Partridge SUD 2 Barbless Dry or L4A Dry Fly Supreme, size 10 –14.
Tag (optional): 1/32” Mirage pearl tinsel (I like to cover with very fine layer of thin UV)  A good alternative is chartreuse fluororescent thread as a hot-spot.
Thread: 8/0 brown waxed thread. (Black is OK, yellow is interesting for March Browns, and light olive for, well, olives.)
Tail: Well-marked partridge feather fibres.
Body: Grey squirrel dubbing.
Rib: Tying thread.
Hackle: Light ginger or badger ‘webby’ soft saddle cock (tied in for the last third of the fly).
Head hackle; Well-marked partridge.

Notes:  When I apply ‘Gink’ I first wet the underside hackle and grip this tightly in my fingers, then ‘Gink’ the upper side to prevent the floatant getting onto underside hackles ensuring they sit correctly when cast.  The tag or hot-spot optional; I have a few with and a few without, as sometimes fish might shy away or ignore the the bright colours, especially in clear or heavily fished waters.

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