Sunday Share - Lock Down Kwan

By Gus Lapin 04/05/2020

It's funny, I love tying flies at the best of times however, this lock down has had me feeling reluctant to hit the bench. Maybe it's because I know I can't use them for the foreseeable future, maybe it's because I have very limited materials right now, or maybe it's because I'm lazy. Whatever the reason, I thought I would force myself to share some ties every Sunday until who knows when.

I thought I would start with one of my all time favourite patterns. The simple Kwan.

From my reading, I believe that Florida guide Pat Dorsey was credited with tying the first Kwan (correct me if I'm wrong) and it was a cross over between a Brown's Merkin and a Borski's Shrimp. It's a sweet pattern that is so customisable the possibilities are virtually endless. Different sizes, weight, colours, materials can all be interchanged to perfectly adapt to your saltwater (and freshwater) situtation. I personally have taken down Redfish, Barra, Golden Trevally, smaller GT's, Queenies, Murray cod (with a few tweaks), Black Drum and Trout.

Myself and Amos Mapleston from Australia Flyfishing Outfitters constantly bounce images of our Kwans back and forth feeding into my personal challenge to see how many species I can get to eat my different Kwan flies.

All materials used can be seen in the above image. I like to make my own mono eyes (or in this case fluoro eyes) usually with Loon Knot Sense and some Black Hard Head, (a black sharpie works a treat too) this is basically so I can customise the size. I reckon EP Fiber or equivalent is probably the most used material with the Kwan these days, it's also super easy to find at most fly shops across Australia.

It's a really simple fly to tie, although it takes a little bit of practise to get the cross thread on the EP without losing your marbles. I'll continue to tie the Kwan fly as long as I fly fish as it's one of the fishiest, most universal patterns out there. I have full confidence the Kwan will get eaten by a majority of the species we target on fly here in Australia. And if not, challenge accepted!