Fly Fishers' Republic

Stoat’s Tail

October 23, 2007

by Raif Killips

Stoat’s Tail



This is a well established pattern for Atlantic salmon and sea trout, tied on a range of hook designs it can be used in a variety of conditions in high and low water. Its understated colour scheme make it especially good for fishing clear and low water.

How to fish:

Present using a wet-fly swing on a floating line, sink-tip or full sinker, depending on the run and conditions.


Like many Atlantic Salmon patterns this can be dressed on a variety of hook designs. The wing can be tied with dyed squirrel tail or bucktail. Traditionally the body should be tied with five ribs.


This pattern is named after the stoat's tail, the tip of which provides the fur for the wing. The pattern is recorded in a few publications but there is no definitive record of origin. Sutherland and Chance say the Stoat's Tail originates from Park on the river Dee, while Conrad Voss Bark ascribes James Wright of Sprouston-on-Tweed as originator of the pattern. Based on these references the SToat's Tail appears to have come to public attention in the late 19th century.