|KLIPPIES WITHOUT THE COKE — A better recipe for taking trout
By Gordon van der Spuy
WHO would have thought that a little rock jumping antelope on the Southern tip of Africa would provide fly-tyers with what I’d like to think of as a near-magical material. I don’t think Tom Sutcliffe knew what effect the DDD would have on local fishing when he first tied the fly with klipspringer all those years ago. Nearly 40 years later the fly is still working wonders.
Call it fur voodoo if you will, but klipspringer just seems to have something going for it which fish love. It’s rough, buoyant and buggy, crunchy even in a sense.
The DDD changed stillwater fishing in this country forever. It made people aware that there were alternative methods of catching fish in stillwaters other than dragging flies on sinking lines. It changed people’s mindsets and got them thinking differently. Thanks must go to Tom Sutcliffe, Bill Duckworth and Mr “Hooks and Bullets” Huntley. We are forever indebted to you guys.
Klipspringer is brilliant, versatile stuff that adds mega fish-pulling powers to any fly it’s used on. I prefer it to deerhair or elk; it’s not as clean and clinical looking and is definitely more interesting in terms of colouring and texture. That said, klipspringer hair can vary greatly. Not all klipspringer is equal; some bokkies have better hair than others ...
The stuff you want is the hair with ample contrast and interesting colouring in the fibres. I don’t like that “sandy” looking stuff that feels rough to the touch and looks dull like one of those mixed carpets one used to get in your average house in the ’80s. Distinction/contrast between colour in the fibres is what you’re after.
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