Easy .. Easy .. Easy - Big Daddies & Giant Haystacks

I send a variation of this email out at this time every year - it's one of my favourites - this one includes a new daddy pattern for us, to say 'it works' is an understatement ...

Easy ... Easy ... Easy

It's time to deploy the big daddies ... I'm sure you can remember sitting around the TV on a Saturday lunchtime with the dulcet tones of Kent Walton ringing in your ears!

These images and sounds came flooding back to me just the other day when I spotted a local newspaper showcasing some of the 'sporting' heritage of our local town (Scarborough) - that led me to think of the legendary bouts between Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks (and my personal favourite Kendo Nagasaki - whatever happened to him?).

I was looking for a way of framing this email  - which is all about the Daddy Long Legs - and bingo (another local favourite) the idea hit me!

So forgive the cheesy nature of this but ... Now we are nearly into September and the haystacks have started to grow it's time for the daddies to appear - I'm sure you've already begun to see them bumping into the windows around your house. 

Daddies (and Hoppers) are your main line of attack on both Stillwaters and Rivers at this time of year (late Summer and early Autumn). Both daddies and hoppers are tied in very similar styles - with long gangly legs tied facing backwards and long buoyant bodies. 


Generally seen from mid-August through to late October, Daddy Longlegs (the Crane fly, or to give it its latin family name Tipulidae) hatch in the ground on cool humid mornings.

It pays to fish these when the wind is blowing, the Daddy Longlegs is not good at flying and is always blown onto the water. The legs on these flies seem to act as a trigger to the fish (especially when twitched).

A NEW Daddy Pattern

Daddy Longlegs patterns are usually tied on size 10 or 12 barbless hooks with a slender hackle, this allows them to create a wake on the surface when retrieved - again another trigger point the fish home into.

Late last year, just as the trout season was closing, I was sent a NEW Daddy pattern to try - apparently, it had been cleaning up on the reservoirs and smaller stillwaters, but I wanted to give it a go on a river, to see if it would be equally successful.

It was ...

This new pattern is a crossover between one of our most popular flies, the Stillwater Dinkhamer, and a Daddy Longlegs ... introducing the Daddy Dinkhamer:

I was finding that on even the worst of conditions, this fly - teamed up with a standard Hare's Ear nymph tied to the dropper ring on the fly was tempting fish from all stretches of my local river - even the ones I would regularly walk past assuming that they were devoid of fish!

For the whole of last September, I was hooked on this pattern, and I knew that we must get stock of them for the 2023 'Daddy Season' - well, we've just received them from our 'artisan' fly supplier and the tyings are superb, all tied on the highest quality Ahrex FW501 size 10 hooks and use a 9mm Hi-Viz orange foam post.

To give you the best possible value, we've decided to offer these Daddies in three different quantities:

  • Individually - for £1.95 each
  • Pack of 6 - for £10.50 (equivalent to £1.75 each)
  • Pack of 12 - for £18.00 (equivalent to only £1.50 each)

We do have quite a few of these and we're expecting them to sell out very quickly, so if you would like some you will need to be quick!

More Gangly Daddies ...

If you're looking for some daddies which are a little more conventional, then the two below have been our bestsellers for the past three years (the Deadly Daddy & the Glo Daddy) - we can never get enough stock of these - we've around 50 of each remaining - grab your's while you still can:

Image of Deadly Daddy

Deadly Daddy


This daddy is specifically tied so the legs splay out sideways, not as streamlined - but much more realistic.

Image of Glo Daddy

Glo Daddy


With added foam for buoyancy in rougher water and a nice white wing (used as a sighter), this daddy is great in rough water.

Or, Go The Whole (Daddy)Hog ...

Why not treat yourself to our Barbless Daddy Long Legs selection, a selection of 16 barbless daddies.

The Daddy Long Legs (or crane fly) are land-dwelling insects that are regularly blown onto rivers and stillwaters, where the trout devour them aggressively.

The patterns included in our selection are:

  • The DaddyHog - A twist on the classic Daddy Long Legs pattern. This is tied with an Elk Hair wing, black thread body (wrapped in silver wire) and detached tan foam abdomen. This selection contains 2 each of sizes 10 and 12.
  • Aero Daddy - A more aerodynamically tied Daddy Long Legs. Tied with a black foam body, short wings and swept-back knotted pheasant tail legs. This selection contains 2 each of sizes 10 and 12.
  • Orange Daddy - The classic Daddy Long Legs pattern, tied with an orange foam body, knotted pheasant tail legs and a short hackle. This selection contains 2 each of sizes 10 and 12.
  • Yellow Daddy - The classic Daddy Long Legs pattern, tied with a yellow foam body, knotted pheasant tail legs and a short hackle. This selection contains 2 each of sizes 10 and 12.

Our Barbless Daddy Long Legs Selection, containing 16 flies is available as a selection for only £22, including free delivery. We only have around 30 of these selections remaining, so if you would like one you will need to be quick!

*** Go on, you know you want to! ***

When Daddy Long Legs are hatching in the area, use these flies with a slightly heavier/stiffer tippet than you would normally use - it will reduce the amount of twist in the leader as these flies are fairly big and wind-resistant.

Daddy Long Legs are also surprisingly effective when fished as a wet fly, so don't be too quick to keep these flies dry, once they are wet and submerged.

If on a Stillwater, gently "figure of 8" them back to create a small wake, on a river try fishing them in the surface film, don't worry about any drag (you want these flies to move across the current where possible) and hold on!

Tight lines & enjoy it.