Although relatively new to South African fly fishermen, the snake fly saw the limelight over a decade ago in the UK. Accounting for multiple double figure brown trout in the early days, this pattern soon became as popular as a blob or booby. It continued to gain traction, especially among the competitive anglers, and soon became a staple across the board.

Now tied with booby eyes, bead chain eyes or simply unweighted – there are several techniques when whipping up this fly you can use to ensure your box is filled with variants for ever changing conditions. Now yes, we know this won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. It is a little unorthodox, and if nothing else, downright ugly. But the key thing is that it’s new. Have you ever tied or bought a rather unfamiliar, maybe crazy looking fly, put it in your box and then forgot about it until that one day where they’re just not biting. You open your box and think to yourself, why the heck not. You tie one the ghastly thing and bam! It can’t be, until you hook another, and another fish on it. Well, that’s a snake fly for you. We can get into the nuances of why it works, but in many a case the fish have simply never seen it before.

We’re heading into winter, and although this is a great time to be fishing a snake fly with the water cooling down and the fish becoming more active, the truth is you can effectively fish this pattern in any season. We would recommend fishing it on either an intermediate or sinking line. As far as retrieve goes, mix it up. A slower figure of eight, or double hand rolly polly will work, along with everything in between. However, with that said the water is starting to clear and the fish will start pairing in the next month or so. We all know the frustration of winter fishing during the spawn, but now you have a trick up your sleeve. Find a vantage point where you can spot the fish easily, ideally looking for single cruising fish, but paired fish might just oblige. Cast your fly three meters ahead of the cruising trout, wait for it to sink and get more or less eye level with the fish and begin your retrieve. Start off a bit slower and once the fish sees the fly you can increase the speed, this will hopefully result in some exciting fishing this season.

We’ve included a step by step tying video by Fullingmill on how to tie the snake fly, otherwise, we have a variety of colours in both our stores. Stock up HERE and give it a bash this season.