Colonel Dowman

The Colonel Dowman
The Colonel Dowman

The Colonel Dowman wet fly is a fly used originally on the River Tweed as an attractor to tempt Sea Trout.

Popular Misconceptions

Searching for information on this fly and its designer, Colonel Dowman, on Google these days is frustrating.

Google is Broken

Firstly because Google is not as effective as it once was: dishing out mainly shopping oportunities and YouTube content, and secondly because the content Google does find is flawed.

Wrong Feathers, Wrong Pattern

As mentioned previously, the Colonel Dowman was designed as a Sea Trout fly and not, as is commonly quoted, a Salmon fly.

The wing of the fly should be the blue and black barred feather from a Blue Jay’s wing – and not the grey wing feathers often seen.

Wrong Hook

The hook used for this pattern keeping in mind that this is a Seat Trout fly, should be smaller than is generally quoted: the examples I have were tied, correctly, on a size 10 standard wet fly hook.

My Colonel Dowman Flies.

I have a few of these flies tied for me by a professional fly-tyer in Berwick-upon-Tweed back in the mid-1990s. I forget the guy’s name, but he was very helpful and sent the flies to my then address in Brittany, France.

These flies are now around 25 years old and can still be found in my fly box, although they are very unlikely to see any Sea Trout where I now live and fish: West Bohemia.

Colonel Dowman Pattern

The pattern I have for this fly was published in an issue of Trout & Salmon magazine back in the 1990s.

Unfortunately, I no longer have the magazine – it was lost during one of my many house-moves – but I did copy the pattern from the article and still have my notes:

TailGuinea Fowl fibres
RibFine round silver
BodyBlack floss
BeardBlack Hen
WingBlue Jay wing feathers (blue and black) 2 matched feathers, back-to-back
cheeksJungle Cock eyes
The Colonel Dowman Pattern

As this is an attractor pattern, there is no reason why it should not be fished for other species. I will be using it on the Radbuza river to test its attractiveness to the native Chub population.