Would the real “DDD” please stand up.

DDD  (Duckworth’s Dirty Dangler) (With apologies to Tom Sutcliffe)

Will the real DDD please stand up? It becomes obvious that our version is the only one that can.

Fly tying is a creative pastime, demanding of skill, intuition, an understanding of the natural world and biology. However it helps that you have nothing better to do on a Saturday night, and have a new bottle of Jack Daniels to help those creative juices flow.

The original DDD

The original DDD

The DDD is perhaps one of the most famous dry flies in South African Fly Fishing history, designed by Dr Tom Sutclife with a primary role as a still water dry fly. Best heaved out and left well alone until a trout discovers its whereabouts and inhales the tasty looking morsel. The fly was named after Bill Duckworth and as a result of Sutcliffe’s success with the pattern on the lakes of the Dargle region was given the name Duckworth’s Dargle Delight.. The DDD

However whilst appealing and having gone through a number of transformations, not the least of which was substitution of the cock hackle collar for one of deer hair, we think that our new variant is far more appealing and a lot more fun to tie and to fish.

Duckworth's Dirty Dangler.. the modified DDD


Some years ago a lady asked if we could custom tie flies and of course the response was yes, our response to requests from attractive ladies is always yes, never mind the actual question. But then she suggested that as a fun present for her husband she would like us to produce a fly representative of male genitalia, certainly an odd fly tying request but one we felt for which we must rise to the challenge, if you will forgive the pun.

The Duckworth’s Dirty Dangler was born, the name derived because of the exclusive use of spun deer hair in its construction, much as its namesake, and the all too suggestive maintenance of the original acronym.

Duckworth's Dirty Dangler.. the new DDD

The foolishness was intensified when we decided to add “specific fishing instructions” to go along with this oddity, so for the record here is how best to fish the DDD (modified)..

Tying and fishing notes for the DDD:

  • The fly is tied in the semi-erect form as it should be remembered that this is primarily a cold water pattern.
  • Care should be taken when trimming, as variation in ethnicity is easily and frequently erroneously achieved should one become overly zealous in the use of the scissors.
  • The fly is best fished with a slow sink and draw motion and is particularly effective around interesting bottom contours.
  • Should the fly become tired and flaccid from over use the application of proprietary silicone paste can prove effective although rejuvenation is generally easily achieved by squeezing gently in soft absorbent fabric.  Ladies Lingerie seemingly producing the most miraculous results.
  • The pattern can be tied inverted but seems to lose much of its appeal in this form.
  • Most respondents suggest that the pattern is best fished both deep and slowly, with an occasional increase in the tempo of the retrieve to ellicit a response..
  • Whilst normally subtle, takes can on occasion be breathtakingly violent and caution should be exercised to keep your rod up at all times.

We trust that you will have fun with the pattern, most people seem to..

3 Responses to “Would the real “DDD” please stand up.”

  1. zamps Says:

    Would a self respecting cock fish look twice at this fly?

  2. Mark Tollenaere Says:

    perhaps only the the fish who also had a bottle of Jack Daniels 😉

  3. stillwater dry fly - Fly Fishing Forums Says:

    […] […]

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