The Thunder & Lightning salmon fly has a long and successful history. First documented around 1850, the fly is credited to a Mr. James Wright but like many of these old classics, little factual information is now available.
During the earlier part of the 19th century the fly was commonly known as the 'Storm Fly', due to its perceived success following stormy weather and the subsequent rising water levels. During these times the feeding pattern of salmon and grilse is supposed to be more voracious and hence these conditions increased the anglers chances of being successful with this fly.
The fly was also favored on coloured water, but many fishermen including myself, have used it on clear waters during the autumn periods with limited success.
George Kelson once remarked: 'There is no river that I have visited, where it has not succeeded at one time or another'. I often wonder how many 'another's' he actually fished before being successful? Nonetheless, the fly has now been around for 150 years plus and is still a very popular pattern with salmon fishermen and women.
Today the original materials required to tie a 'classic' are mostly unavailable so alternatives have to be found. The fly can still be produced with modern and synthetic materials that substitute those originals, but having seen some very old originals, todays designs do lack a little of that 'authenticity'.
Hook No: 4 - 10
Tag: Small oval gold tinsel
Tail: Yellow fibre
Body: Black floss - silk
Rib: small oval gold tinsel
Hackle: Orange hen
Wing: Brown fox and angel hair HD
Hackle: Blue Hen
Sides: Jungle cock