The Stoat is an example of a modern day hair wing that was first developed in Scotland during the mid 1950's. Primarily designed for summer fishing when conditions are bright and the water is clear and low. Originally designed by a ghillie named George Cooper it was also claimed by another gentleman going by the name of Eric Parker, who also fished in the same region. Strangely, the credit for the fly, went to the latter for reasons unknown. Like many of our older flies, the truth is out there somewhere and unlikely to be resolved until someone proves differently or original documentation is produced.
The Stoat can be said to have started the modern day trend towards hair wings instead of feather, probably due to the difficulty in procuring original materials used on the classics. Irrespective, the fly is a successful 'catcher' and remains a popular design to this day.
The Stoat comes with numerous variations such as the Silver Stoat and the Yellow Stoat, each being refined over the years. Strangely, many accounts that I have read and heard over the years, appear to indicate that the Silver Stoat is actually a better and more popular fly than the original Stoat. The Silver Stoat now sports jungle cock cheeks which does make it a little more appealing to the eye, probably more appealing to the fish also. Whichever pattern you use, you can be sure that you are using a tried and tested pattern which will bring results.
The Stoat is relatively simple to tie, even for beginners, like everything in life, the more you practice the better you will become.
Hook: Size 4 - 8
Body: Black Floss
Tag: Small Oval Tinsel
Tail: Golden Pheasant Crest
Hackle: Dyed Black Hen or Cock
Ribbing: Small Oval Tinsel
Wing: Dyed Black Squirrel or Artic Runner