Flies on this page, Monaltrie, Moonlight, Moray Doone, Musker's Fancies, Mrs Higginbotham, Mrs Hogg, Olga, Oliver, Peacock, please scroll down



The Moonlight caused me confusion for quite a while - I think that it is an error on the part of Mr Pryce-Tannatt, it is simply the Moonshine with a different tail and tag. I think all of the modern reference books have taken P-Ts interpretation "Moonlight" rather the more historically correct "Moonshine". This is an entirely separate fly to the "Moonlight on Mrs Higginbotham" which was tied by J.D. Greenway (and documented in his book; “Fish, Fowls & Foreign Lands”) for the river Em in Sweden and is not a Dee fly.

Pryce-Tannatt - How to Dress Salmon Flies, 1914


Tag: Silver tinsel.

Tail: A topping and a pair of jungle cock feathers (back to back).

Body: In two equal halves - first half, silver tinsel, veiled above and below with a pair (or two pairs) of blue chatterer feathers (back to back); second half, black floss.

Ribs: Fine oval silver tinsel over flat silver tinsel; broader oval gold tinsel over black floss.

Hackle: A black heron’s hackle over black floss.

Throat: Speckled gallina.

Wings: A pair of cinnamon turkey tail strips (set flat).

Hook: 1½ to 3 inches.



Vintage 9/0




This one is from Bob Frandsen - not sure about that hook!

Forgive me for posting 3 of these vintage flies - the Moonshine perhaps coming from the firm of William Garden - is one of my most favorite of all the Dee flies and is a rare thing to find in vintage form. The first at the top is a awesome white winged 9/0 beauty. The Moonshine was listed in Gardens Catalogue c1917, but not in his slightly older catalogue of c1907 so I guess it came into being around 1910, it is also illustrated in Forrests Catalogue of the 1920s, shown below, and also the Drum fly is called the "Drum Moonshine".

Since writting the above paragraph I have seen a list of Salmon Flies supplied by William Brown in 1902 (See list on this page) which includes the Moonshine - adding weight to the argument that P-T got it wrong!

Here is the dressing:
Tag: Flat silver tinsel, yellow floss
Tail: Topping, chatterer
Butt: Black Ostrich
Body: 1/2 Flat silver tinsel ribbed fine oval silver, veiled with blue chatterer above and below, butted black ostrich, 1/2 black floss ribbed broad flat silver tinsel.
Hackle: Black over floss
Throat: Gallina
Wing: Pale cinnamon turkey (although many vintage versions have white turkey)
Head: Black

To finish off the Moonshine section, here is an oldie that has been to hospital:


After surgery from Dr Bob (like that hook!)


Moray Doone

Moray Doone by Dave Carne


Kelson – The Salmon Fly, 1885


Tag: Silver twist and pink silk.

Tail: A topping, peacock wing and summer duck.

Butt: Black herl.

Body: Quill dyed yellow, with four turns of red-orange seal’s fur at throat.

Ribs: Silver tinsel (oval, narrow) and silver tinsel (flat, broad)

Hackle: A silver coch-a-bonddu from second turn; hen pheasant hackle dyed yellow from seal’s fur.

Throat: Widgeon.

Wings: Two tippets (back to back). two extending Jungle (one on each side), swan dyed yellow and red-orange, and two toppings.

Sides: Jungle.

Horns: Blue macaw.

Head: Black herl.


A good early fly on the Dee, Spey, etc. Kelson attributes the pattern to himself.


Hardy – Salmon Fishing, 1907


Tag: Silver tinsel; pink floss.

Tail: Topping; peacock wing; summer duck.

Butt: Black herl.

Body: Quill dyed yellow with four turns of red orange seal’s fur at throat.

Ribs: Silver tinsel (fine); Silver tinsel (broad).

Hackle: Cock-a-bondu; hen pheasant dyed yellow.

Throat: Widgeon.

Wings: Two tippets; two extended jungle cock; yellow and red orange swan; two toppings.

Sides: Jungle cock.

Horns: Blue macaw.

Head: Black.

Musker's Fancies


A vintage Musker's Fancy No. 2

Dressings from Frederick Hill – Salmon Fishing – The Greased Line on Dee, Don and Earn published 1948


The Musker’s fancy was invented in by Captain H.T. Musker around 1943 and considered by Hills as the best greased line fly for low water that he had used, they are made to represent the Logie, Blue Charm and Silver Blue.


No. 1 tied by Bob Frandsen

Musker’s Fancy No.1


Tag: Silver tinsel.

Tail: Topping.

Body: Black, red silk, oval silver, equal parts.

Rib: Silver tinsel, oval or round.

Hackle: Blue.

Wing: Teal and mallard mixed, jungle cock.

No. 2 tied by Bob Frandsen

Musker’s Fancy No 2.


Same dressing with black hackle in place of blue., No jungle cock.


No. 3 tied by Bob Frandsen

Musker’s Fancy No 3.


Same dressing with brown hackle in place of blue, with jungle cock.

Mrs Hogg - See The Bruce


Illustration from Dickie's book

Go on Mr Dickie - give us a smile!

The Olga was invented by J.L. Dickie and the dressing given in his book "Forty years of trout and salmon fishing" published in 1921 (worth getting for his descriptions of fishing on the Dee at Balmoral, even if he has a slightly arrogant style). He named the fly after his daughter. 

Tied by Bob Frandsen

Tag: Flat silver tinsel.

Tail: Golden Pheasant.

Body: Light blue wool.

Ribbing: Flat silver tinsel.

Hackle: Blue one shade darker than the body.

Wing: Turkey or Bustard


The Olga is also mentioned as a Dee fly in “Pike fishing with some hints on Salmon fishing” by T.S Gray published 1923.




A fly for fishing tied by Guy Heard

WM – 21st June, 1884, “The Dee (Aberdeenshire) Grilse Flies (second article)”, Fishing Gazette


Tag: Gold flat worm.

Tail: A small topping.

Butt: Black herl.

Body: Black mohair, very, very sparely laid on.

Ribbing: Gold flat worm: - five turns.

Hackle: Black cock, rather sparely and fairly well down body.

Shoulder: Teal.

Wings: Mixed; peacock, pheasant, bustard, teal, summer duck, and yellow swan; topping all over.

Head: Black herl.

The “Oliver,” especially in the body, must be dressed neatly and sparely. Double Limericks – Sizes No. 4, 5, and 6.


An excellent salmon and grilse pattern; fishes best in a fairish sized water on a clear day. Some hold is equal to, if not superior, to any of the Dee summer patterns, while others dispute the claim. Though vouching for its killing qualities, we refrain from comparing its merits with others. WM states that “We have failed to trace the originator” of this fly.



Tied by Bob Frandsen, as Bob says - difficult to get a good photo on this little guy!


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


Tag: Silver tinsel

Tail: Double tippet, upright and proportionate with the size of the fly – for a No. 2 iron, about half an inch in length is a fair example.

Body: An equal proportion of orange and greenish blue mohair – the former to be closest to tag.

Ribbed: Flat tinsel (silver), 6 turns.

Wings: Strips from peacock’s wing.

Hackle: Grey heron, a third-way down body, fairly longish likewise, and spare.

Shoulder: Teal (sparely) round about

Head: Black.

Limericks, Nos. 2, 3, 4, and 5.


Though regarded principally as an evening lure, the “peacock,” if regulated in size, will be found a good all round fly.


WM - 14th Mar, 1885, “Dee Spring Flies”, Fishing Gazette.


Tag: Silver tinsel

Tail: two sprigs of tippet (set upright), half an inch in length, the bright side of both springs to face outwards.

Body:  Orange and light blue mohair, an equal extent, and not much picked out.

Ribbed: Broadish flat silver tinsel and silver twist, five turns.

Hackle: Good grey heron over the blue mohair only, and rather widely wound on so that there may not be more that 20 fibres altogether.

Shoulder: Teal, sparingly.

Wings: Well marked peacock strips; or, for the larger size of flies, distinctly barred black and white turkey strips.

Head: Black.


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.

Next Page




All researched material and pictures Copyright Colin Innes 2008 - 2015
  Site Map