Break Out The Big Bad Wulff's

With the main Mayfly season now over for the year, we thought it was a good time to slightly revamp our Barbless Wulff Selection. There are only slight alterations to the flies (a bit bulkier in the body to make them float higher and a new hook with a wider gape). These Wulff's will take fish all through Summer and Autumn, use the larger sizes when you spot the odd Mayfly appearing on the water and the smaller sizes to imitate Olives.

The Wulff dry fly was first tied by Lee Wulff, and with its bushy hackle is a great fly for those riffles which would sink a more delicate fly. Fish these flies as a standard dry, but don't be afraid to also fish these when they are wet - they are surprisingly successful fished in the surface film! See below for more history on the Wullf style of flies.

Read on McDuff ...

Wulff's also make great searching patterns and are good representations of the major up-winged flies found on the water in July & August. Here we have a selection of 16 Wulffs four different patterns (to cover the major fly types/colours in the UK) in two different sizes.

The patterns included in our selection are:

  • Green Drake Wulff - Tied on a wide-gape barbless hook. With a green ribbed body and olive green hackle. This pattern has dark grey wings just like the insect it imitates. This selection contains two each of sizes 12 & 16.
  • Grey CdC Wulff - Tied on a wide-gape barbless hook. With a grey body and grey hackle. This pattern has grey CdC wings, a really nice pattern to fish in those slower glides. This selection contains two each of sizes 12 & 16.
  • Grey Wulff - The classic Grey Wulff, tied on a wide-gape barbless hook. With a grey body and grey hackle. This pattern has grey wings with brown tips. This selection contains two each of sizes 12 & 16.
  • White Wulff - Tied on a wide-gape barbless hook. With a cream body and cream hackle. This pattern has white wings. This selection contains two each of sizes 12 & 16.

Here we have a selection of 16 Wullfs, four different patterns (as above) two each of sizes 12 & 16 (click on any image or link to view the flies in more detail).

Our Barbless Wulff Selection is now available, priced at only £20, which includes fast, free delivery to anywhere in the world. Click on any image or button to view the flies in more detail.

A Fly History - The Wulff

"A Fly History - Wulff "The story starts almost 70 years ago. Almost all dry flies available in the winter of 1929/30 were, according to Wulff, anaemic and too delicate, which he ascribed to their British tradition. The reason for very slim flies was that if a fly was too bulky the feather materials did not have the buoyancy to hold it up. A very popular pattern, for example, was the Fanwing Coachman that not only twisted the leader but also sunk at the tail due to the golden pheasant tail fibres used. Wulff also noted that dry flies with wings and tails of feathers get slimed up and are not very durable. To Wulff, the solution was obvious---use bucktail for tails and wings. The first Wulff flies were tied to imitate the Isonychia (Gray Drake) and Green Drake hatches in the Catskills. Wulff first fished these patterns with his regular fishing companion, Dan Bailey, who was then a science teacher in Brooklyn. In those early trials with these new patterns, Lee's was not disappointed. He found that the fish seemed to prefer the bulkier flies that "looked more" like the naturals than the more anaemic patterns then popular. With respect to durability, the hairwing f lies also excelled. Wulff reports he caught 51 trout on one Gray Wulff fly in an early outing, needing only to "grease up the fly for every 5-6 fish". The first patterns included the Grey Wulff and White Wulff"; Federation of Fly Fishers (

A stealthy approach is still required, so no wading unless you really have to. Where you can get away with it, use a much longer leader than normal - long-range fishing with minimum disturbance is the order of the day. If you are one for making up your own leaders, try these:

15ft Regular Taper:

15ft Steep Taper:

In the warmer summer afternoons, a high floating dry fly is an essential searching pattern. When fish are not rising and the water looks to be quiet you need to find where the fish are.

To search a river:

  1. From the bank, section the river into lanes about 3ft wide.
  2. Cast upstream and make 3 or 4 drifts in the nearest lane, repeat for each lane, working away from you.
  3. Return to the bank; and
  4. Step upstream and repeat the process.

TOP TIP: If you are an avid Grayling angler, now is the time to look for those deeper pools and make a mental note of where they are, ready for the Autumn!

Tight lines & have fun.