The Irish Invicta

The Invicta was created by James Ogden of Cheltenham and is thought by many to be one of the most popular and reliable Irish patterns ever conceived for both lake and river trout fishing. It is a superb pattern during a sedge rise, perhaps imitating an emerging caddis or a returning egg-laying female of a species that descends beneath the water surface to oviposit. It is equally successful when mayflies are emerging. This is a pattern I favor only second to the Western Coachman for taking bream and bass in the Tallahassee area. I have found it to be particularly productive when the cinnamon sedge is emerging during fall, supporting the thought of it being a sedge imitation. This is a fly I always have in my box, whether fishing for bream, bass or trout.

  • Hook: Daiichi 1550 in size 10-14
  • Thread: Black Danville 6/0 or Gudebrod 8/0
  • Tail: Golden Pheasant Crest
  • Body: Yellow Davy Wotton SLF with Fine Gold Wire Rib
  • 1st Hackle: Brown Indian Rooster Neck
  • 2nd Hackle: Whiting American Hen Cape dyed Kingfisher Blue
  • Wing: Hen or Cock Ring-necked Pheasant Secondary Flight Feather
  • Head: Yellow Thread with Sally Hansen Hard as Nails or Cement of Choice

Tying the Irish Invicta as follows:

1. Bend the barb down as hook is placed in the vise and start the thread with a jam knot behind the hook eye. Wrap the thread to center point of hook shank, counter spinning the thread to flatten and lay each thread wrap side-by-side or touching; to maintain a flat thread base. Tie in gold wire rib on underside of shank and continue touching thread wraps to rear tie-in point, approximately mid-way between hook point and barb. Place wire rib in keeper and leave thread hanging at rear tie-in point.

2. Select golden pheasant crest feather for tail and tie in on top of shank with tail curved upward. Tail length should approximate shank length. Tie in with two forward thread wraps and adjust tail for alignment. Continue touching thread wraps forward, cut stub at mid-point of shank, and then wrap thread back to rear tie-in point.

3. Pull sparse pinch of SLF from packet and apply to thread as a loose noodle. Amount should be sufficient to wrap the body or abdomen to a point at 1/3 shank length behind hook eye. Sparse dubbing is better; more SLF can be added if needed. Twist far end of SLF onto thread by twisting thumb over thread towards rear of hook, approximately ½ inch from shank. Place finger along bottom of thread and far end of SLF and slide to underside of hook shank at rear tie-in point. Make two wraps of dubbed thread to trap far ends of SLF on hook. Twist remaining SLF on thread by twisting between thumb and finger in opposite direction of far end of dubbing. Wrap dubbed thread in touching turns to forward tie-in point of body/abdomen at 1/3 shank length behind hook eye. Do not allow dubbing to extend beyond this tie-in point; remove extra dubbing from thread and make one thread wrap rearward over front of body and then back to forward tie-in point of body if necessary to assure a clean and flat thread base in front of body.

4. Tie in brown hackle by butt end with top forward in front of body by wrapping thread in touching turns to eye and back to tie-in point of hackle. Make three touching wraps of hackle towards rear in front of body and then continue palmered wraps (spaced wraps) of hackle to rear tie-in point of body. Hold last wrap of hackle on underside of shank and tie in with two firm forward wraps of gold wire. Leave hackle tip hanging and counter-wrap wire rib forward through palmered hackle and tie in under hook shank in front of hackle. Wrap thread forward in touching turns to eye, wiggle wire to break and return thread in touching turns to front of hackle. Clip hanging tip of brown hackle at rear tie-in point.

5. Tie in Kingfisher Blue hackle by butt end with top forward in front of brown hackle and wrap forward in 3-4 touching turns (half way between brown hackle and eye). Tie in blue hackle on bottom of shank, wrapping thread forward in touching turns to eye and then back to tie-in point of blue hackle. Hold thread upward, grasp hackle tip with thumb and finger and break tip of hackle at thread with snap towards hook point. Feather stub will break cleanly at thread surface, leaving no stub; remaining single barbs can be removed with pillars. Thread will be hanging at rear tie-in point of wing.

6. Prepare paired wings by cutting two 1/4 inch slips each from leading edges of right and left secondary flight feathers. Wing slips should be placed together with undersides together and distal barbs on top. Hold wing between left thumb and opposing middle finger on top of hook shank and directly in front of hackles. Wing should extend to approximately over bend of hook. Make two soft touching loops of thread between thumb and finger over wing slips. Hold slips in place while pulling thread upward and allow slips to compress between thumb and finger on top of shank. Allow thread to hang, remove hold on wing slip to examine position of wing. Wing should be vertical and if not, can be re-positioned by holding slip between thumb and finger while gripping wing stubs with right thumb and mid-finger and adjusting position of wing. Hold wing in place with left thumb and finger, make two more touching thread turns forward and clip wing stubs. Continue touching thread wraps over stubs to hook eye and return to rear tie-in point of wing and rear of head. Apply touching thread wraps to eye and return to rear of head if necessary for complete coverage of wing stubs. Be sure to make all thread wraps forward of first tie-in thread wrap for wing. Whip finish from rear of head to eye in touching wraps, cut hanging thread under shank by holding thread firmly and touching with one scissor. Apply selected finish to seal head.




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