It is re-assuring to know that the Cod Beck has its own fly pattern, a nymph known as Becky. This was designed by expert fly tier Derek Stratton, ex-chairman of this club, once owner of Thirsk Angling Centre, local councillor, certified casting instructor, game consultant……to save Derek’s further blushes I shall stop here and concentrate on Becky.  A little of its embryonic history can be found in an article published in the Dalesman by Leonard Markham where it was known as the fly with no name.

"Becky" tied by Derek Stratton

“Becky” tied by Derek Stratton

The tying sequenced and materials as described by Derek are detailed here.

Hook             Size 14   31310 World Class hooks by Fulling Mill.
Tail               Three small hackle tips from a natural red cape
Body             Well waxed pale yellow silk ribbed with peacock herl held in place with gold wire and the silk showing through clearly.
Thorax        Mole or musk rat fur dubbed onto the silk with a small grizzle hackle tied through and held in place with gold wire.
Wing cases    Moorhen or coot fibres or any grey fibres are suitable.

Tying instructions are as follows:

Wrap hook from eye to bend with silk. I put a small sliver of thin lead foil on the body section. Just forward of the bend I tie in the three hackle tips. Tie in the gold wire and peacock herl just below these fibres and take the tying silk in neat turns to the starting point for the thorax. Tie in the peacock rib and the gold wire over tying both in with the silk. Tie in the fibres which will form the wing cases on top of the shank. At this point it is wise to tie in a fresh piece of gold wire and then dub the silk with either mole or musk-rat fur. Behind the eye and leaving enough space for a neat head tie in the short fibred grizzle hackle and take it through the dubbing. Catch the grizzle hackle with the gold wire and take the wire through the dubbing holding in the hackle at the same time. Catch in the wire with the silk and bring the wing cases over to complete.

It sounds complicated , but with a little practise it can soon be mastered. Like all flies sequence of tying in materials is important to obtain the neatness required by all tyers. Having said that we all know that scruffy patterns as well as well-worn ones can at times be brilliantly successful.

Fishing Becky.
Derek send me the following notes on how he fishes Becky.

Usually upstream with a little weight, into the rings of a rise, one twitch, a pause and often a take occurs. Across the stream in traditional North Country Fashion (with mending obviously). It even works well when deep nymphing with an indicator, or High Sticking as it is called American style.

Becky has  worked in just about every river it has been fished in the UK. It has also proved very succesful in the USA where Derek himself has taken fish from the West  Fork of the Walker river and the Owens River. A letter acknowledging Becky’s International success was published many moons ago in the letters section of Trout and Salmon.

Have fun tying and fishing it.