The Snatcher style fly is very popular fly in Europe and has found its way into fly boxes worldwide. Originally tied to imitate large buzzer pupae on the Scottish lochs where fishing subsurface in the waves is very popular.
Ideally the patterns should be fished as a team with a slow figure of 8 retrieve. In our South African waters this pattern has worked really well for both rainbows and browns. It can be fished on a floating line when the fish are just subsurface or on your sinkers and Intermadiates. My personal favourite way to fish them is on a RIO hover line (1ips) with a black with pink cheeks on the point, a buzzer in the middle and black with chartreuse cheeks as my top fly. With a hover line one can fish it very slowly and if you want to fish deeper, you can just wait a bit longer and the line will get there. It works for those days when simply stripping streamers is not working yet you don’t really want to drift buzzers (especially if the wind is up). I have found a few colour combinations that have consistently produced over the last few years. The original has jungle cock cheeks but with jungle cock being very scarce here I rather use goose biot, which can be found in the sulphur orange (like jc) or bright pink or chartreuse. The pattern should be tied on a scud hook to give the correct body shape. I prefer using grips new 14122bl xh competition hook. For the tying example I have tied on a #10 but I find the fish like them in a size#14 #16 and #18 and a little more bushier than what is done overseas. The takes can be very hard and double ups aren’t uncommon.
Ultra thread fl orange
Ultra thread black
Ultra wire xsml silver
Saltwater flashabou ice blue pearl (1604)
Indian rooster saddle patch black
Goose biot sulphur orange
1: Using the fl orange thread, make a hot spot trigger at the butt of your fly like in the picture.
2: Tie off and switch to your black thread covering the hook shank. Tie in the silver wire at the hot spot and ending off a few mm behind the hook eye, keeping an even base for you to wind your flashbou over.
3: Tie in the flashabou at the top of the hook. Using the flashabou, cover the hook shank working your way up to the trigger and then back to the top. Secure the flashabou and cut off.
4: Tie in the prepared hackle feather at the top of the hook with tight locking turns. Normally the hackle feather should be approximately one and a half times the hook gape.
5: With hackle pliers, wind the hackle backwards with evenly spaced turns up to the trigger tag. Without letting go of the hackle and keeping tension wind the wire through the hackle with evenly spaced turns which will lock the hackle in place. Tie the wire off. Remove the excess wire and hackle.
6: Tie in the prepared goose biots cheeks keeping them at approximately 45’ to the shank.
7: Tie in another hackle feather and make a few turns to finish off. Secure the hackle and remove the excess.
8: Go fishing.