Tuesday Tutorial: Loopwing Purple Haze

What is it about purple that trout like so much? I’ve done some reading about lightwaves and the trout eye and all that, but all that science and theory was written by humans. I think trout probably eat it because secretly they love girly colors like pink and purple and wish they could have all the princess fairy toys my daughters do. Think I’m wrong? How the hell do you know? Purple works.

And when it comes to purple patterns, there is none more famous than the Purple Haze, a simple variation of the always effective Parachute Adams. It works on freestone gulpers, it works on slick water sippers, and it has a cool name to boot. There are just so many variations on the pattern that I like to think of the Purple Haze as more of a concept than a specific fly. One of my favorite variations is this Loopwing tied by Walter Wiese of Park’s Fly Shop.

What sets this version apart from the rest is the use of a thin slip of foam to make a wingbud at the abdomen that really keeps this fly afloat without adding much bulk to the pattern. These loopwings can be tough at first, but stick with it. The end result is one sexy fly. Another variation is using dun badger hackle rather than the usually brown and grizzly that most patterns use. This is a fun change, but if you really don’t have any dun badger, I wouldn’t run out to the fly shop just to nab some. Chances are, they don’t have any for sale either. It’s not a common variation, and you can substitute in a whole lot on this fly. I’ve found them equally effective with a standard dun hackle, and grizzly as well. Though the dun badger is pure awesome in it’s end result. Other than the looping this fly is a fairly straightforward affair, and one that will be a much-used addition to your arsenal should you tie some up. Give it a twist.

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