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Lunn’s Particular

The Lunn’s Particular invented in the spring of 1917, is the most famous of W. J. Lunn’s dressings. John Waller Hills remarked in his book River Keeper, published in 1934:

“It kills well when fish are taking olives, and is marvellously good when they are shy or are taking spinners. It succeeds sunk or floating. If I had to be limited to one fly, I should choose it.”

Originally tied as an imitation of the Large Dark Olive, Bætis rhodani. However, with a wider variety of sizes and with a pair of lighter hackle point wings in summer, it is also an admirable representation of many of the other olive species.
The pattern gets its name from its first outing on 26th April 1917 which is told in the River Keeper as follows:

Mr. Gilbey was fishing Park Stream. He had fared badly, and not even the famous extractor could do its business. He turned to Lunn and said, “The trout are too particular to-day.” So Lunn pulled out his new fly and asked him to try it. He did so, caught three fish, and then the short spring rise was over. “Why, what’s this fly?” said Mr. Gilbey. “It’s a Lunn’s particular.”

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The pattern is as follows:

Hackle, medium Rhode Island cock hackle.
Wings, two medium blue cock hackle-points put on flat.
Tail, four fibres of Rhode Island from large hackle.
Body, undyed hackle-stalk of Rhode Island cock hackle.
Tying silk, Pearsall’s gossamer, shade 13 – crimson.
Hook, o (size 15).


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