Barred Rock Sea-run Trout Lure
By Allan Burgess
The Barred Rock is another excellent old Canterbury lure that is very good for sea-run brown trout. It is typically fished by anglers working it across and back up the current as close to the bottom as possible.
It is fished on a 9 weight fly rod in the slower water and is often used when fishing the Canterbury lure rod. It is typically fished on a trout double rig when targeting sea-run trout in fast water near river-mouths. It is also readily taken by kahawai.
The popular body colours are silver, white, yellow and red. I have fished the silver, yellow and white bodies to good effect but so far haven’t tried the red version. This is a handsome lure that looks for all the world like a silvery or whitebait as you retrieve it upstream in clear water. A mate of mine who regularly fishes the mouth of the Rakaia River has had great success with the barred rock, particularly when fishing a double rig for kahawai. He prefers a white or silver body.
These lures are to my knowledge, not available in the sports stores nowadays, but the materials can usually be found. The Barred Rock or Plymouth Rock is a breed of chicken that originated in the United States. I have seen capes sold on TradeMe in New Zealand at quite reasonable prices around $30. Such a cape will give you enough feathers to make at least several hundred good quality lures.
Try to get a cape with the big wide hen hackles as these lures were originally tied with quite bulky torpedo-shaped bodies designed to imitate the locally abundant silveries – also called cucumber fish after their distinct cucumber smell.
When tied in a slim manner and used in the central North Island around Lake Taupo and the Rotorua Lakes this fly is called a Dorothy.
Tying the Barred Rock for Searun Brown Trout Lure
This fly or lure is tied in the typical Matuku style. The original tie would have been quite bulky having around torpedo shape. The thicker chenille that is sometimes sold in tackle stores is excellent for the body. I have some of this in yellow and white.
Hook: Black Magic chemically sharpened high carbon steel B2 long shank, or Kamasan B175 – Heavy Traditional Trout hooks size 2 – 6.
Tag: A small pinch of red hackle (optional).
Body: Chenille in white, yellow, silver or red.
Rib: Flat or round silver tinsel.
Wing: Either 2 or 4 spade hackle feathers.
Head: Black thread.
I like to add quite a bit of pearl Krystal Flash or pearl Mylar Flash to my sea-run trout lures. This is optional. You might like to useless. Once the lure is a bit battered from landing a couple of fish, the pearl Flashabou is the only thing that makes it still look like a baitfish!