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Tup's Indispensable Variant (Video)

Fly Tying with Alberto Calzolari

The story of the Tup’s Indispensable fly is more or less well known and we are assuming you are aware of its origin and the meaning of the name. For those who know nothing about it let’s spend few words on the subject. The fly dates back around the end of 19th century and it was conceived by A.R. Austin to imitate tiny mayflies and midges. It is one of the easiest fly to recognize, as soon as you see its body color combination you know you are in front of a Tup’s, with the yellow abdomen and its distinguishing thorax of a pinkish shade. The name of the fly has to do exactly with the thorax, made of a mixture of wool found on the testicles of the ram plus some additional hare’s fur and red mohair. A light grey hackle was normally completing the fly. 

Countless are the variations of this pattern used since then and we can find around examples of wet flies, dry flies and nymphs using this color combination for the body. Most probably it is this chromatism given by the light yellow and pink body combined with the light grey hackle that makes the fly so effective in catching trout and graylings, more than just the exact mixture of the pinkish dubbing. We love to fish this fly down to very tiny sizes and we love to give it a bit of sparkle with the addition of some synthetic material. 

This fly presented in the video can be used wet or dry or fished in the film when light colored mayflies are hatching. You can vary the abdomen using a pale yellow pure silk floss or thread  instead of the biot and use hen or rooster hackle depending on the way we want to fish the fly.