The Green Highlander has been highly praised over the years and has proven itself to be one of the ‘classic’ salmon flies, but this was not the case in the early years. First designed in the latter part of the 19th century by a Major. Grant from Wester, Elchies, its origins probably originated from the older salmon fly, the ‘Highlander’, which was first mentioned by a Mr. Francis, in his book ‘A book on Angling’ in 1867. The fly, which was one of the few, if not only, green fly at that time, was not popular in Britain and did not take root here as it did in Ireland.
This is a fairly difficult fly to tie due to the mixed wing and my first attempt, not that long ago, nearly ended in disaster when I accidentally cut the tying line at near end of project. Nonetheless, it is a fantastic looking fly and one that I would encourage all tiers to have a go at.
The illustration shown is mine, but this is a fairly basic first attempt and can be improved upon significantly. One design which is featured in T.E. Pryce -Tannatt's book 'How to dress Salmon Flies' from 1914 is excellent, and will be my next attempt. Materials of many of the exotic feathers required, which are not available today can be replaced by modern day synthetics.
Materials Required if tying the original T.E. Pryce-Tannatt's from 1914: Tag: Silver tinsel. Tail: A topping and barred Summer Duck in strands. Butt: Black herl. Body: Golden yellow floss, bright green floss. Ribs: Oval silver tinsel. Hackle: A grass-green hackle. Throat: A lemon hackle. Wings: Mixed–tippet in strands; “married” strands of yellow, orange and green Swan, Florican, Peacock wing and Golden Pheasant tail; “married” narrow strips of Teal and barred Summer Duck; narrow strips of brown Mallard over. Sides: Jungle Cock. Cheeks: Indian Crow; a topping over all. Horns: Blue and Yellow Macaw.