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Tying the Black & Pearly Snatcher

Allan Liddle demonstrates the tying technique for the Snatcher


Step 1 Place hook in vice and catch in thread along with fine silver wire and Lurex ribs as you run thread  down shank
Step 1 Place hook in vice and catch in thread along with fine silver wire and Lurex ribs as you run thread down shank
Step 2 Run thread well round the bend of the hook in touching turns locking down both ribs.
Step 2 Run thread well round the bend of the hook in touching turns locking down both ribs.
Step 3 Form dubbing 'rope' with black rabbit.
Step 3 Form dubbing 'rope' with black rabbit.
Step 4 Dub body and pick out.
Step 4 Dub body and pick out.
Step 5 Select black cock hackle and catch in at eye.
Step 5 Select black cock hackle and catch in at eye.
Step 6 Wind hackle in open turns towards tail making a maximum of four turns.
Step 6 Wind hackle in open turns towards tail making a maximum of four turns.
Step 7 Tie off and trim hackle waste then run Lurex rib in open turns to the eye.
Step 7 Tie off and trim hackle waste then run Lurex rib in open turns to the eye.
Step 8 For strength and durability, run fine silver wire over Lurex, matching each turn.
Step 8 For strength and durability, run fine silver wire over Lurex, matching each turn.
Step 9 Prepare a jungle cock feather by cutting down centre.
Step 9 Prepare a jungle cock feather by cutting down centre.
9a  Cut feather three quarters way down ready to tie in.
9a Cut feather three quarters way down ready to tie in.
Step 10 Place the feather onto the top of the fly at point you want the jungle cock to sit, then simply press into place and tie
Step 10 Place the feather onto the top of the fly at point you want the jungle cock to sit, then simply press into place and tie
Step 11 Once happy with position, secure jungle cock.
Step 11 Once happy with position, secure jungle cock.
Step 12 Form thorax using thread.
Step 12 Form thorax using thread.
Step 13 Spin thorax dubbing 'rope’.
Step 13 Spin thorax dubbing 'rope’.
Step 14 Wind thorax.
Step 14 Wind thorax.
Step 15 As there’s a lot of soft material in the head area I think it’s best to varnish the thread before whip-finishing.
Step 15 As there’s a lot of soft material in the head area I think it’s best to varnish the thread before whip-finishing.
Step 16 Brush out thorax, it’s ready to snatch.
Step 16 Brush out thorax, it’s ready to snatch.

Born in the white heat of competitive ‘battle’ the Snatcher was spoken in hushed terms for a long time before it finally became widespread news and swiftly found a place in most stillwater anglers’ selections in one form or another.

For me, this fly has travelled well, and although I tie it in its more common form on a K4AY Grub Hook – giving it that steep curve from the surface film, I also like to dress it as you see here on the Czech Nymph Heavy which gives it a nice sweeping profile and I feel offers a slightly different target for our trout, especially if fishing in, or near, the surface film.

I’ve also altered the fly slightly at the head forming a small thorax, which I feel gives a more ‘emerging midge’ appearance. That said, to be honest I catch equally as well on both forms, so the dressing becomes more a personal taste matter, rather than out-and-out fish appeal.

However, that’s not all. When fished deeper, the Snatcher is a cracking general nymph and excellent shrimp pattern (especially in olive) and on the Czech Nymph hook with a thorax it can really stand out. It also performs better for me in this style on running water than the original steep curved Grub Hook version.

Fished in a team, this fly works equally as well if pulled fast (it sits well above a couple of mini lures), slow figure-of-eight retrieves often result in confident takes from the fish, and if fished static, the fish are happy to pick it up, making it a true all-rounder for both wild browns as well as stocked fish.

Black, claret and olive would be my main colour choices, however I’ve also caught on brown and natural hare’s ear as well, so don’t limit yourself when tying these, find what suits you best and give them a blast.
The fly’s easy to tie and easy to fish and if you don’t have any in your selection then you could be missing out.

Snatcher
Hook: Partridge Patriot Czech Nymph Heavy, size 10–16.
Thread: Black Uni 8/0.
Rib: Pearl Mirage under fine silver wire (Veniard).
Body: Black rabbit fur dubbing.
Hackle: Black cock saddle tied sparse (a common fault for many is to over-dress this pattern; it’s really all about how little hackle you put on).
Cheeks: Natural jungle cock.
Thorax: As body.

In the April 2020 issue, Allan Liddle explains why he uses CdC on sub-surface Nymphs and Spiders – Editor.

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