A classic Dee strip winged fly. The Akroyd originated around 1878 and was the inspiration of one Mr. Charles Akroyd, the father of the Dee strip wing, who lived in Duncraggie, Brora in Sutherland. The original fly sported cinnamon turkey wings and long black heron hackles with jungle cock cheeks. The fly is fairly simplistic in its design and construction, a style that is said to have been favoured by Akroyd.
A variant of this fly, also produced by Akroyd is called the White Winged Akroyd, where the two cinnamon turkey elements are replaced with white sections of turkey tail. Other family members include the 'Jock o' Dee', the 'Dunt', and the 'Glentana'.
Although fairly dull in colour, the Akroyd, like many flies of this era, proved a deadly weapon in the fly fisherman's arsenal and was nicknamed by Akroyd himself, as the 'Poor Mans Jock Scott'. Historically, dull colours were used prominently in the early season, progressing to more colourful variants as the season progressed. The Akroyd's of today, retain many of those original features, but with the use of modern materials they bring additional colour to the original design.
Pryce -Tannatt's recipe for the Akroyd follows Akroyd's virtually to the letter, only differing when employing the use a small black ostrich herl body butt, separating the junction between the black and yellow along the body length.
George Kelson's recipe, as in most cases where he comments on other creations, varied from the original design slightly more, and this one is listed below Akroyd's, for comparison.
Whichever design is used, this classic fly has now been catching salmon for 143 years, and I believe, remains a firm favourite of fishermen on the Dee to this day.
Akroyd's Recipe 1878
Tag: Silver tinsel
Tail: A topping and tippet in strands
Body: First half light orange seals fur, second half black floss, between the halves a butt of black ostrich herl
Ribbing: Oval silver tinsel over orange seals fur; flat silver tinsel and twist over the black floss
Hackle: A lemon hackle over the orange seals fur; a black herons hackle over the black floss
Throat: Teal (one turn)
Wing: Pair of cinnamon turkey tail strips (laid flat)
Cheeks: Jungle Cock (Drooping)
Kelson's Recipe of 1895 (The Salmon Fly)
Tag: Silver twist and yellow silk
Tail: A topping and tippet strands
Body: The first half of yellow seals fur, having a yellow hackle along it; followed by black seals fur, and a black hackle along it
Ribs: Gold tinsel
Throat: Black Heron
Wings: Two strips of cinnamon turkey showing light points
Sides: Jungle Cock (Short & Drooping)