Flies on this page Corniehaugh, Dark Bumble, Davie Caird, Dee Snow Fly, Dee Sun Fly, Deavan, Dodger, Dr Corbet (or Minister of Drumoak), Dr Forbes, Druggist. Please scroll down.


A super clean tie by Aberdeen tier Philip "Mr Dee Fly" Glendinning

Presumed to be named after the Deveron beat of Corniehaugh and Mains of Mayen, seven miles down river from Huntly near the village of Rothiemay. Used with success on both the Don and Deveron. The first dressing from the late Bill Borthwick, from Kennethmont and is as follows:


Tail: Golden pheasant tippet.

Body: Flat silver tinsel.

Ribs: Gold.

Hackle: Black

Wings: Cinnamon.

Cheeks: Red

Dark Bumble


Tied for fishing by Guy Heard

WM - 9th Aug, 1884, “The Dee (Aberdeenshire) Grilse Flies (third article)”, Fishing Gazette.


Tag; Silver thread

Tail: Small topping

Body: Yellow and claret mohair, well picked out; the claret to preponderate slightly and be nearest to head.

Ribbed: Silver flatworm, 5 turns

Wings: Double strips of very dark mallard

Hackle: Black, only at shoulder, longish likewise and spare.

Head: Black

This hook we prefer single – Limericks, 4, 5, and 6, suitable for grilse and salmon.


The Dark Bumble is the production of Mr Frank Farquharson, head keeper, Blackhall castle, than whom few can tie a neater fly.

Davie Caird


Superb vintage example

Dee Snow Fly

A couple of vintage examples - I have been given the pattern for the Dee Snow Fly but it does not include the wing - however as Snow Flies always seem to have a herl wing, I am convinced that the flies above are correct.

Dee Sun Fly


Vintage, note different wing materials

Tied by Aaron Ostoj, who gave it to Adrian Cortes

Who caught this with it! 

WM - 14th June, 1884, “The Dee (Aberdeenshire) Grilse Flies”,  Fishing Gazette.


Tag: Silver thread, and bright yellow floss.

Tail: Small topping, and two short sprigs of Indian crow.

Butt: Black herl

Body: Black silk floss, thinly laid on.

Ribbing: Tinsel: Silver; very narrow; 5 turns in spiral form.

Wings: Two or three Indian crow feathers to size of iron, and a couple of toppings.

Feelers: Blue macaw on either side of wing.

Hackle: Sparse black hackle from turn of tinsel nearest to tag; greenish-blue hackle sparely round shoulder.

Head: Black.

Range of irons, 5, 6, 7, and 8.


Principally a grilse pattern. When the day is scorchingly bright, and fish on the take at all, a proper-sized specimen of this pattern is almost certain to ensure a capture in any fishable size of water. WM describes this fly as “one of our own patterns”.



Tied to fish with by Guy Heard

WM – 13th Sep, 1884, “Salmon and Grilse Dee Flies For Summer Use”, Fishing Gazette.


Tag: Gold thread and magenta floss.

Tail: A small topping.

Butt: Bronze herl.

Body: Yellow and bright green silk floss; one third (that nearest tag) yellow, the rest green.

Ribbed: Gold twist, five turns.

Wings: Double strips of teal, topping over.

Hackle: Cock, black, half-way down the body.

Head: Green herl.

Double Limericks, 7, 8, and 9 are the best size.


This fly is a great favourite with many excellent Dee fishermen. It first came under our notice some years ago, when angling on the Dee in the neighbourhood of Ballater. If it stood in need of improvement, a little, we venture to think, has been made on it since then. The Devan, it is generally thought, can be used with greatest advantage when the day is bright and the water clear. It is, however, a fairly good lure for grilse and sea trout, even when the water is somewhat discoloured. The inventor we have failed to trace.


A super Dodger version 1 from Bob Frandsen that hook is a 9/0 !

The first two dressing of the Dodger describe a normal Dee style fly, the third dressing is of a Snow fly type


WM - 12th July, 1884, “The Dee (Aberdeenshire) Grilse Flies - Evening Flies”, Fishing Gazette


Tag: Silver Tinsel.

Tail: Golden pheasant rump feather.

Body: One turn orange, 2 turns greenish blue, and 3 turns clarety-red mohair all fairly picked out.

Ribbed: Silver tinsel, 5 turns.

Wings: In strips, ginger speckled turkey, lightish toward the tips.

Hackle: Grey heron, very spare, and only a little way down the body.

Shoulder: Teal round about – a small quantity.

Head: Black

Nos. 3, 4, 5, and 6.


A good general pattern.


WM – 14th Mar, 1885, “Dee Salmon Flies for Spring”, Fishing Gazette.


Tag: Silver thread.

Tail: Red saddle feather of golden pheasant.

Body: Orange mohair, two turns; light blue mohair, two turns; scarlet mohair, three turns; - all frizzed out a little.

Ribbed: Medium flat silver tinsel and silver twist, six turns.

Hackle: Same quantity of long-fibred grey heron as on “Peacock,” and to extend over the scarlet and blue mohair.

Shoulder: Teal, sparingly.

Wings: Ginger spreckled turkey strips, lightish towards the tips.


Mr. George Smith, Tackle Merchant, Ballater, has a splendid stock of these patterns, most of which are proved killer on all reaches above, and a good many reached below, that place.


William Murdoch – 20th Mar, 1886, “Salmon and Trout Fishing in the highlands of Scotland (IX),” Fishing Gazette





Vintage Dodger



Tied by Bob Frandsen



Tag: Silver tinsel.

Tail: Red rump feather golden pheasant.

Butt: Black ostrich.

Body: Light orange, scarlet, and medium blue mohair - three equal divisions; the scarlet and medium blue fairly well picked out.

Ribbed: Flat silver tinsel.

Hackle: Grey Heron of longish fibber, over the medium blue mohair.

Shoulder: Teal.

Wing: Bronze herl.

Head: Varnished.


The “Dodger,” the subject of our illustration on this occasion, being a snow-water fly of superior merit, is in our opinion that the present is just the proper time to bring it under notice of our readers. Often when a great deal of “snaw bree” is coming down, and the rivers run pretty high and clear, or, for that matter, when they are low and fringed with ice at the margin - and off and on this is pretty much the sate of matters at present - the best anglers fail to turn even a single scale in catches ever so well stocked with fish newly ascended from the sea. On occasions of this kind we have frequently seen first-rate anglers rummaging through their fly books in the hope of finding “a killer,” and pitching at last upon one “shoor to raise ‘im,” get straight to the pool and fish it with the greatest care, only, however, to find their favourite quite as useless as any other fly in their collection. We do not hint, much less venture to assert, that the Dodger would have killed; but we say with confidence that under conditions of the kind a deadlier fly cannot be mounted by anglers fishing on rivers north of the Tay.  We submit, as our humble opinion, that it will kill on almost any river; and it is a marvel of cheapness - 3d. - 1s. for the three sizes immediately less, and all the sizes larger, than the illustration - we would venture to suggest that salmon anglers who fish rivers in high altitudes often and much fed with melted snow should give it a thoroughly good trial if they have not already done so. In our experience the Dodger has done wonderfully good service. It was early in the season that the writer tried this fly for the first time, and on that occasion he killed two fish with it on the far-famed Invercauld Fishery, and that, too, despite the fact that the redoubtable Jock Sturton, a famous Dee fisherman, shook his head ominously, and assured him that there “wus only twa or thrae faish i’ tha peels, that tha wudder wus ower caul’, an’ ‘at he dinna’ like the licht,” and, furthermore, “that the Akroyd wus jest tha richt flee tae try, as thair wus naething ‘at cud compare wee’t; in fak, he thocht it wu’d rais tha verra deil himself if he chanc’t tae be i’ tha takkin humour.”


Patterns of Dodger and Akroyd from Mr. Wm. Garden, fishing tackle maker, 122½ Union Street, Aberdeen, N.B.


22nd October 1887, Aberdeenshire Rivers, Fishing Gazette, William Murdoch


The Dodger is a desperate killer when there is much snow-water in the river Dee, It’s a gran’ sight the first swill of a huge fellow after he has gobbled a big fly. He gets a good mouthful, and once the hook is set “home” it hold so well that his chance of escape is small.


Dr Corbet

A scruffy little Dr. C tied by me (Issy, my wife thinks that this a dull and boring fly - I'm very proud of it and think with that green "hot spot" in the middle of the body it would catch lot of fish)

Finally tracked down an original vintage one - so you can see how different my version is from the true version - lesson learnt !

MW – 1st Mar, 1884, “The Dee (Aberdeenshire) Flies (third article)”, Fishing Gazette


Tag: Silver tinsel

Tail: Golden pheasant saddle feather

Body: First half claret and green, second half claret.

Ribbing: Silver tinsel and gold twist.

Hackle: grey heron; guinea fowl hackle down body.

Wing: Brown mottled wing with black tips. Head: Black.


“Dr. Corbet,” or the “Minister of Drumoak,” a favourite of long standing, is often used with good success in a moderate sized water during the spring season.


Dr. Forbes

The Dr Forbes tied by Canadian Dwayne Miller


Tag: Flat gold tinsel

Tail: Golden pheasant crest and tippets

Butt: Black ostrich

Body: Rear half, bright orange silk, front, black silk

Rib: Gold and silver tinsel

Hackle: Black heron over black silk

Throat: Golden pheasant red body hackle

Wing: Dark mottled turkey.



Tied by Bob Frandsen


Hardy – Salmon Fishing, 1907


Tag: Silver tinsel; yellow floss.

Tail: Topping.

Body: Black Floss.

Ribs: Silver tinsel.

Hackle: Golden yellow.

Throat: Jay.

Wings: Tippet in centre; yellow, red and blue swan; bustard; peacock wing; golden pheasant tail; topping.

Cheeks: Jungle cock.

Head: Black.

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All researched material and pictures Copyright Colin Innes 2008 - 2015
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