Jock Scott

The history of the Jock Scott can be a little confusing at best and mind boggling at worst. Many accounts record the invention as being made by the ghillie of Lord John Scott to pass the time of day whilst transiting between Scotland and Norway in 1845.

The precise location for geographical clarity and country of origin is also unknown, so is the fly Scottish, or Norwegian. A bit like giving birth in an airplane between two continents! If we use the inventors birthplace to establish the country of origin, then it should be Scottish, as long as the ghillie was a Scot? To confuse matters even more, the ghillies name, according to documented evidence.....was also Scott, but a Jock Scott not a John! Documented evidence also suggests that the fly was not actually named until 1850, i.e. 5 years after it was produced. What it was called in the meantime is not known. During my own research into this fly I came across an article written by J. David Zincavage, called the 'The True Original Jock Scott - All Three of Them' which goes into great detail about the history of the Jock Scott. This well written and fascinating article contained elements which I had heard about many years ago, concerning the use of a woman's hair in the dressing, which, according the Mr Zincavage is myth. A great shame as I always liked the romanticism of the story. If you have some spare time I would encourage you to read this excellent article.

Irrespective of the 'true' background, this fascinating and extremely beautiful fly has proved to be an extremely effective pattern, and in its day was considered by many anglers to be one of the best around for Atlantic Salmon. The original pattern is complex to tie and utilised materials that would be extremely difficult if not impossible to obtain in this modern day and age, but nonetheless, I will include the original materials if only for the purpose of historical accuracy.

Material list from T.E. Pryce-Tannatt Hook: (1 ¼ to 3 inches) Tag: Silver Tinsel. Tail: A Topping and Indian Crow. Butt: Black Herl. Body: In two equal halves – first half, Golden Yellow Floss butted with black herl, and veiled above and below with six or more Toucan feathers; second half, Black Floss. Ribs: Fine oval Silver Tinsel over Golden Yellow Floss, broader oval Silver Tinsel or flat Silver Tinsel and Twist (in the large sizes) over the Black Floss. Hackle: A Black Hackle over the Black Floss. Throat: Speckled Gallina. Wings: A pair of black White-tipped Turkey tail strips (back to back); over these, but not entirely covering them, a “mixed” sheath of “married” strands of Peacock wing, Yellow, Scarlet and Blue Swan, Bustard, Florican and Golden Pheasant tail; two strands of Peacock sword feather above; “married” narrow strips of Teal and barred Summer Duck at the sides; brown Mallard over. Sides: Jungle Cock. Cheeks: Blue Chatterer; a Topping over all. Horns: Blue and Yellow Macaw.

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