I got the idea for this fly whilst browsing through John Goddard’s “Waterside Guide”, Roger Fogg’s “Handbook of North Country Trout Flies” and John Robert’s “Dictionary of Trout Flies”.
I was looking at information on the Claret Dun (leptophlebia vespertina), a fly of slightly acidic waters, for example, highland and moorland lochs. They are occasionally seen on slow waters but are not very common on streams and rivers. There was a very restricted number of patterns, maybe for this very reason. So, I thought, why not try a Claret spider. I had been tying a range of spiders with coloured wire bodies and had a spool of Wine coloured from UTC. This seemed an obvious starting point, then a thorax of claret fur was tried with seal’s fur and when I decided to use a hackle of Coq-de-Leon hen with a nice speckle. The name immediately came to mind -“Coq-au-vin”, a favourite dish of mine.
I dressed on a hook that I really like, a Tiemco TMC 206BL size 12. The one thing I had doubts about was the thorax. It may have been the quality of the seal’s fur, it seemed a bit too coarse and hairy to me. Still, I took a picture and posted on FAOL. It seemed to be quite popular, I also posted on FLYMPHFORUM where it got an even better reception.
Although I had come to compose the recipe via the Claret Dun, it is really a non-specific pattern. It is quite a bright pattern and is a ‘fancy’ fly. I shall try a few variations - Spider, Flymph, Tenkara, Sea-trout/Salmon etc.