I have literally stayed up nights tying this fly at the last minute before a trip. Some flies you never leave home without, for me the Dark Montreal is at the top of that list. The fly itself, looks like nothing, and yet it imitates everything. It works in the earliest days of the season, all the way through the dog days of summer, into the cool waters of the fall. I have hooked probably thousands of Trout on this fly. I even hooked a Salmon on one. If you were in Nova Scotia and had a new fly angler with you, this would be the best fly to give them as a first try to actually get a fish.
The fly was first tied by Peter Cowan, and named after the city of Montreal. (As a Montreal Canadiens fan i like to think their team colours played into it, but i can find no proof of it). It has a claret barbule, or sometimes a red duck quill tail, a claret floss body, wrapped with gold tinsel, and a turkey quill wing over the back. The hackle is claret saddle hackle. I often tie this fly without the wing, and the hackle when wet sways back and moves along the body of the fly with the movement of the water.
At any time right before the start of a hatch, or after the fish are glutted, the Dark Montreal will take fish. For seatrout, it is one of the most reliable flies i use. Here is the recipe:
Hook: Mustad 3399 Or Equivalent, #8 - #14
Tag: Flat Gold Tinsel
Tail: Claret Barbules(hackle) Or Red Duck Quill
Body: Claret Floss
Rib: Flat Gold Tinsel
Wing: Turkey Quill