A well known fly that is not normally associated with being a Classic, but it certainly deserves that accolade if only for its longevity.
Created during the same period as the Jock Scott, The Durham Ranger and the Dunkeld, the Jeannie is a creation of simplicity and elegant design, a fly that any novice tyer with the minimum of materials, can produce with relative ease.
The Jeannie is a simple strip wing salmon fly that can trace its origins back to the mid 1800's. Accredited by Pryce Tannatt in his book 'How to tie Salmon Flies' (1914), to a Mr. William Brown, a well known angler who regularly fished the River Dee, he is also credited with the lesser well known fly the Jockie, as well as that more popular fly, the Logie (See Logie Blog).
The Jeannie is a favourite for fishing during the summer months and continues to remain as popular today as it was 170 years ago. Although many variants exist today, including the use of the more modern hair wing, the Jeannie still retains its catching power and is mentioned in many of the more popular fishing books from the mid 1800's to the late 1900's written by the likes of Hardy, Hale and Kelson.
Like all fly designs, especially those that have been around for a century or more, anglers will try variations to try and improve on the original flies, sometimes this is successful, sometimes not, what is not disputed is that the Jeannie was a killer fly from the outset, and whatever variants are used, they are in this particular case, only cosmetic.
Pryce Tannatts pattern uses lemon silk floss for two thirds of the body including a more pronounced high wing, this is a variation from the original design which is shown in Kelsons book with a much lower rake of wing and the use of yellow silk. Either recipe will produce a Jeannie, but my preference is the Kelson design, which is closely based upon William Browns original design.
The photo shown above is my own, following as closely to Kelsons design as my materials allowed. I had run out of jungle cock feathers, so I had to improvise using a jungle fowl feather cut down to size to make a single eye. Not as impressive as the jungle cock, but the fish wont mind. It took around 45 minutes to tie, and is far from perfect, but the Jeannie is well within the capability of most novice tyers.
Hook: Singles & doubles, 4 -12
Tag: Fine oval silver.
Tail: Golden Pheasant Crest
Body: In two parts: first third yellow floss; remainder-black floss.
Ribbing: Flat silver.
Throat: Black cock.
Top Wing: Mallard Grey Flank
Under Wing: Turkey Oak Mottled
Head: Black cement, 2 coats clear varnish.