Sunday, 10 June 2012

Praising the Bibio!

I wanted to sing the praises of the Bibio - one of the great Irish wets for lough fishing and highly effective for trout, sea-trout and Salmon as well. Indeed, it has taken the biggest ever sea-trout caught in Ireland. In May of last year, an English angler Sean Smith took a 13lb 5oz beauty from Country Kerry's Lough Currane. What a fish!

From its orign in Ireland's West, it has now the affection of anglers across the British Isles - whether those fishing for wild brownies in the Hebrides or rainbows in Rutland. I think it is a great fly to have on the cast when any black flies are on water, especially midge. The body of the orignal dressing is black-orange-black seals fur.

The Bibio 
Hook:Size 10-14 wet fly hook
Body: Black, Red and Black (3 parts seals fur)
Body: Oval silver
Body hackle: Black cock
Head hackle: Black Hen

The original dressing is attributed to Major Charles Roberts of the Burrishoole Fishery, Country Mayo, Ireland. He was a long time vistor of the fishery and fishery manager for several decades.

It was orignally tied to represent the heather beetle for seatrout on loughs Furnace and Feeagh. More precisely, a guest at the fishery was seeking an imitation of the natural fly he had seen on the loughs. Major Roberts tied a few different patterns to correspond with the description of the real insect that earned the guest's approval (Trout and Salmon, 1980, p.53). So the Bibio was born! Yet, the dressing with a red centre is very common today. E J Malone (2000) states a West of Ireland tackle dealer is acredited with the red centered verision - 'believing that it was more effective for fresh-run fish' (p.55).

I always considered this a dropper fly and used it as such. Yet I never realised anglers use this throughout the leader. Charles Jardine in his Soetheby's Guide to Fly Fishing For Trout remarks that it fishes well on any point of the leader. Similary, Peter O'Reilly in his Trout and Salmon Flies of Ireland writes, "It can be fished on the lough in any position on the leader and is taken for a wide range of dark insects from duckflies to bettles" (O'Reilly, 2000: p.5).