The Franc N Snaelda is a very popular pattern from Sean Stanton, Head Ghillie at Ballogie . It is a twist on Icelandic legends, the Frances and the Snaelda,and combines elements of both these hugely successful patterns. Ballogie regulars will know that the Frances, both red and black, is Sean’s specialty, and it is fair to say that he is an expert as both a tyer and fisher of this unique fly. The Frances is the top fly on the three Ballogie beats (Ballogie, Carlogie and Commonty) where over several years Sean has experimented and finely tuned his way of fishing it. The action of the
fly in the water and the method of presentation have combined regularly to take fish from pools which have yielded nothing to the conventionally fished fly.
The Snaelda too, has found a niche on the Dee as a very effective spring fly. Fished slow and deep it has also done well later in the season, when the fish are being difficult to tempt up to a regular fly. These patterns represent a radical departure from the accepted norm of what we expect a salmon fly to look like in the UK; yet results as they
say, speak for themselves and both the Frances and Snaelda are increasingly common on our rivers. Sean is an inventive and innovative fly tyer and spends a lot of time pondering improvements and enhancements and new ways of tricking the fish into taking a fly.
During the winter a few years ago, while sat at the vice, alone with his imagination, the Franc N Snaelda came into being when the simple thought popped into Sean’s mind: how could he combine his two favourites? The result is an effective and very attractive pattern; it is simpler to tie than the Francis and retains the strong profile and feelers to good effect.
For more information on the Franc N Snaelda and Sean’s other flies see the
or contact Sean directly at
Sean’s flies are also available to buy from George Strachan’s in Aboyne. http://www.georgestrachanltd.co.uk/
First Published in Trout and Salmon