Apparently salmon go wild for these things. And what a great name – conehead. Like an egghead but less, um, ovoid. More pointy. Possibly.
These flies sport a wing of soft mobile fur – for example Arctic fox or possibly a soft synthetic fibre. This is tied in facing forward then folded back to create a sinuous teardrop-shaped fly that flutters and darts enticingly in the stream.
I love fishing flies – the sheer audacity of the colours and shapes and textures, exotic and sensuous, fur and feathers and sparkles. I adored helping my father when he tied his own. All the little plastic bags and transparent boxes full of brightly dyed fur and feathers, lengths of metallic thread and shiny stuff like very tiny tinsel. The miniature vice to hold the hook as the layers of extravagant fluff and fibre are built up. It’s jewellery-making for boys. (And girls too of course.)
We were in Farlows, my father and I. “One for me and one for J [my stepmother] to steal off me” he muttered as he poked through the compartments of different coloured and sized pieces of spangly fluff.
“Where is the fun,” I asked, over espresso, later, “in fishing with something infallibly attractive. Surely it takes the skill and excitement out of the chase?”
His answer lasted some time. Almost as long as the video of him fishing in Argentina which I have been privileged to
sit in front of watch on more than one occasion. The subtleties and nuances of the exegesis were possibly similarly infinitesimally varied, to the un enthusiasticinitiated viewer/auditor. However for those unversed in the piscatorial arts the response can be condensed.