The F Fly was invented by the late Marjan Fratnik of Slovenia and it first became popular in the 1980s. It's a really simple fly to tie, consisting almost entirely of a lightly dubbed body and a couple of CDC feathers.
In fact, it's probably the easiest of all dry flies to tie, but is also among the most versatile, too.
The F fly looks like a lot of insects, while not really looking like anything in particular, so it's a really handy pattern to keep in your fly box in various colours and sizes.
The only downside is that they only last a fish or two before they'll no longer stay afloat. The trick with keeping them above water is to never use a silicone paste floatant such as Gink, which clogs the fibres, but instead to use a powdered desiccant such as Frog's Fanny.
A quick brush with Frog's Fanny every few casts and your F Fly will not only stay afloat, but you'll be able to pull it under and it will pop back up!
CDC Snowshoe F Fly
Davie McPhail's CDC Snowshoe F Fly is based on Snowshoe rabbit dubbing with a Coq De Leon tail, plus the usual CDC for the wing. The dubbing helps to keep the fly up and floating well.
Davie uses a Kamasan B160 size 14 and favours a chartreuse Uni thread in 8/0 to add a bit of fluorescence. The tiny bit of varnish he adds to the thread just before the whip finish helps it all hold together nicely.
Ideal for the beginner to fly tying, this simple but effective little fly can be tied in any colour combination.
F Fly Midge
This F Fly Midge has a buzzer like body and some little legs made from black and red knotted pheasant tail. The hook this time is a size 10 Kamasan B160. Thread is 8/0 black Uni thread. Davie ties in an orange holographic tinsel rib over a body of thinly dubbed black seal's fur.
This is a nice light little fly and Davie uses a neat trick of fluffing up the seal's fur with velcro to give the impression of legs without adding more bulk to the fly.
Olive F Fly
The Olive F Fly is a classic colour of this tried and tested pattern that will work pretty much anywhere, whether you're fishing a small stillwater, a big reservoir, a stream or a river.
Hywel says its the ideal fly for slow moving water as it sits really low in the water. We've had great success fishing these on Llyn Brenig and the trout there take them very confidently.
Improved F Fly
One of the downsides of the standard F Fly is that the wing can collapse once it's been dunked, meaning you no longer have an effective dry fly.
Hans Weilenmann's Improved F Fly is a modification of the original pattern. Hans ties the wing in facing forward and uses a small ramp of CDC stumps to lift up the wing in an attempt to keep it afloat longer.
It's a really versatile pattern, imitating mayfly emergers, midges and caddis.
The F Fly
Finishing with angling coach Terry Phillips tying a basic F fly.
Starting with a Kamasan 911 barbless hook and a base of white thread, Terry then uses bright yellow euro seal's fur to create the body. A nice tip at this point is to use a dubbing needle or velcro to tease out fibres from the fur to give the impression of legs and also increase the fly's buoyancy.
Finally, he adds a wing of only 3 CDC feathers, to make sure the fly doesn't sit too high in the water. A nice easy fly with clear instructions - ideal for the beginner.