Tup's Indispensable Hot

Tup's Indispensable

Fly Materials

Tail Cream hackle fibers.
Body Yellow silk with front dubbed with Tups.
Hackle Cream hackle.

Tying Instructions


This fly was tied with "Tups" dubbing provided by Jeff Serena.


About Tup's
This unusual dubbing material originated from a dubbing described by Alexander
Mackintosh in his book, The Driffield Angler, in 1806.  It was used in his
Green Drake pattern and described as "a little fine wool from the ram's
testicles, which is a beautiful yellow."  The word "tup" refers
to a ram that hasn't been castrated.


Although G. E. M.
Skues put a name to the Tup's Indispensable, the fly was actually created by R.S.
Austin in 1900.  It represented a female Olive called the Red Spinner. 


Austin's dubbing
ingredients for the body was kept secrete so that he could maintain a monopoly
on it.  The secrete continued for 20 years after his death in 1914 so his
daughter could maintain the monopoly.  It wasn't until 1934 that the secret
was revealed.


Austin's original
recipe for Tup's Indispensable is described below:




Yellow-spangled lightish-blue cock hackle fibers.

Mixed white fur from a ram's testicle, lemon-colored fur from a spaniel, cream
seal's fur and a small amount of yellow mohair.  A small tip of yellow
tying thread is exposed at the rear of the body.

Yellow-spangled lightish-blue cock.


Skues replaced the yellow mohair with crimson seal's fur.

Yellow silk with front dubbed with Tups.

Fly Tying and Fly Fishing: