Egan's Purple Dart
Lance, January 2021
The Red Dart is a design combining the best parts of a couple of old favorite fly patterns and applying current materials. The result is a fishy attractor. I came up with the fly at the 2011 World Fly Fishing Championships held in Bolzano, Italy. Fish were being caught on red tags (old school style with yarn tail and peacock body), and prince nymphs. I was having the best success on prince nymphs tied with red thread (hotspot collar) and with peacock ice dubbing instead of natural peacock for the body. My thought was that if I combined the two flies I might find something the fish really liked. So, the red tail from the red tag replaced the biot tail from the prince. I used brightly dyed hackle fibers for the tail instead of wool yarn found in the old school red tag. Peacock ice dub has replaced natural peacock for my prince nymphs so I used the flashy synthetic. I removed the white biots normally found on the back of a prince nymph but kept the prince's brown soft hackle. One more addition and the fly was finished. The hotspot. Hotspots are very common in competition flies and will likely start to take over your nymph box if you start down the hotspot road... Anyway, the last piece of material is the sparse UV pink hotspot added right behind the bead. I have no idea why fish eat this fly. Though it certainly isn't imitative, it is effective, flashy and fishtastic. The Browns, Rainbows, Marble trout and Grayling in Italy liked it, as do fish everywhere I've tried the Red Dart.