Orange Witch Trout Lure, the creation of Peter Laing, Canterbury, New Zealand
The creation of Canterbury angler Peter Laing the Orange Witch was a firm favourite of those who fished the once hugely productive trout streams that flow into Lake Ellesmere. The Witch took many big brownies from the streams that fed into this immense lowland coastal lake. In streams with names like Harts Creek, Irwell, L2 and the Selwyn River the Orange Witch was used to imitate the local bullies and silveries. It was also a popular fly on Canterbury’s high country lakes. The Witch is still a popular pattern with anglers in the know about its excellent fish taking qualities.
This handsome trout pattern is very easy to tie. The alternate pale blue, black, brown, and white flank feathers of the chukor partridge produce a striking effect that is surprisingly fish-like when seen in the water.
Depending on hook and feather sizes the fly is tied killer style with either one or two sets of feathers. On smaller hooks it is usually tied with a single feather each side fastened at the head. When tied in larger sizes it is normal to tie in one row of feathers midway along the body before tying in the finishing pair at the head. The body cannot easily but seen but it is always tied from orange wool or chenille.
This is also an excellent pattern for sea-run brown trout in the big braided rivers particularly when they are low and clear. Though most Canterbury anglers would regard the Witch as a night fly.
You should have no trouble acquiring the necessary chukor flank feathers as these are usually available from leading tackle stores where they are sold as French Partridge feathers. Why not get some chukor feathers and give this pattern a try!
Body: orange Chenille. Tail: black squirrel. Wings: chukor. Head: black.