Just the other day when I was surfing through my favourite fishing forum, The Wild Fishing Forum, I came across reference to what may well be referred to as a Hebridean wet fly pattern called the Charlie McLean. Although the name sounded vaguely familiar I wasn't aware of the fly pattern. After a doing a bit research [ Google really is a wonderful resource] I found out that this pattern is a firm favourite with one of my favourite angling authors, Bruce Sandison. Bruce got to know about this worthy trout pattern whilst researching his excellent book called, The Sporting Gentleman's Gentleman. Which is a collection of fascinating and entertaining stories about Highland Gillies.I'm lucky enough to have a copy of this book which I managed to source in a wee secondhand book shop in Thurso whilst in that area on a fishing trip.
Today I refreshed my memory by reading chapter 2 , Hebridean charm and the heather Isles. In this chapter Bruce gives some insight into Charlie McLean a man who appears to have been a very popular gillie and a bit of a character too. I digress, Bruce mentions that. The fly was devised by one of Charlie's guests as a mark of affection for Charlie’s ability and unfailing courtesy.You can read more about Charlie here at http://www.wildfisher.co.uk/wildfisher/index.php/articles/articles-index-newest-first/505-the-right-place-at-the-right-time or why not track down a copy of Bruce's book. It really is an enjoyable read. I think the fly looks great and is tied in a style which I like to tie and fish. The above example is my interpretation of how it should look.