The Interloper

Most loch style fishing is done with a team of flies, usually 3, sometimes 2, or, less frequently, 4. The point and top flies on a team are easy to choose, but what do you put in between?

You want something with more body to it than the point fly (furthest from the rod), but less bushy than the bob fly (closest to the rod).

This has been an ongoing problem in my fishing, only a tiny fraction of the fish I catch come to the middle fly. Room for improvement I think.

It is in the search for better flies for the middle position that the Interloper came about. Over the last couple of seasons it has proved itself worthy of a place on my cast.

To tie the Interloper you will need

Hook: Size 8 to 12 Wet fly. Wet fly hooks vary in shank length. If yours are on the longer side tie the fly short as in my example.

Thread: Brown, I’ve used UTC 70 but you can use whatever you like.

Tag & Rib: Gold oval. If you don’t have gold oval twist two lengths of gold wire together.

Tail: Golden pheasant topping (crest feather)

Body: Amber seal’s fur mix. A mixture of colours to achieve the overall colour you want, is always preferable to a flat colour. Mine contains amber, yellow, olive, red and grey.

Body Hackle: Red Game. The hackle should be stiff and quite short in fibre for the size of fly.

Head Hackles: First a couple of turns of dyed blue cock hackle. Longer in the fibre than the red game hackle. Followed by a hen pheasant outer wing covert feather dyed firey brown. Firey brown was the original but natural seems to work as well.


Start the thread well back from the eye. Two to two and a half times the eye size back from the eye. The start point of the thread is the point you want to aim for finishing your body at. With two hackles to fit on at the head you need plenty of room.

Catch in your rib.

Wind the tag from the ribbing material. 3 or 4 Turns are enough. Lock the tag off with a single turn of thread and hold it out of the way for now.

Tie in the GP topping to the top of the hook shank. Two turns is sufficient. There is no need to waste thread running up and down the hook shank, it doesn’t achieve anything. Trim the excess so the feather extends the full length of the body.

Dub the body up to where you started the thread. Look you have tied down the tail feather while you did it! Running up and down the hook shank, as so many people tell you to, is just a waste of time and thread.

Prepare and tie in the body hackle.

Wind the hackle 3 turns over the forward 2/3 rds of the body and secure by winding the rib over the body through the hackle.

Trim out the excess of both hackle and rib. Prep and tie in the dyed blue cock hackle.

Wind two or three turns of hackle depending on the fibre density of the hackle fibre.

Same again with the covert feather. Tie it in by the tip as the stem gets very thick and makes the head bulky.

Wind two or three turns of the covert feather. This isn’t a north country spider, it needs plenty of hackle to give it presence in the water. As you wind the feather draw the fibres back with the fingers of your other hand to create the proper shape. As you can see the feather is shaped without forming a large head to hold it back.

Form a small neat head, whip finish and trim out the thread.

As with all my flies I finish them with Diamond Hard for a clear shiny head. Best of all its dry in 2 seconds. No flies with wet varnish hanging around to collect any dust that’s about.

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