By Belinda Thomas.
It’s hard to be original with fly tying and the Bitchslap is absolute proof of that. It’s basically what happened when some of my favourite wet flies had a few too many drinks on a cold night. But I’d never say it was just a happy accident. I have a few favourite materials that get thrown at hooks in various combinations inspired by and stolen from others that have proven to be a golden formula for attracting trout.
A bit of sparkle is a great attractor that draws trout in, so the body and tail-flash are the whistle-up. The hackle is soft and pulses well, and the soft collar is just enough to push a bit of water and remember to hold its shape on the hang. As for colour, they can be situation specific but cover most water. It takes a real man to fish with a pink fly but it’s my favourite for brown trout. I’ve had it happen several times where I have hammered a piece of water, caught nothing, changed to a pink bead and body fly and next cast got a crazy brown. I prefer to fish these in rivers swung through slow glides and pools, and in lakes.
Bitchslaps suit the slower waters and a slower retrieve is good, but picking up the pace often incites a take, and they work a treat under an indicator as a damsel imitation. How it came to be reproduced by Manic was what happened when I left the back of my truck open at the Lake Rotoaira boat ramp and wandered off.
I got back to find Rene parked up and helping himself to my fly-box. Funny that he picked out the favourite first. After a quick two-way interrogation he named the fly on the spot.
The Bitchslap was born.