Mention the Hardy Demon and
most contemporary anglers will envision a high-tech fly reel with a
cartridge-style spool system and sealed Rulon drag. It's a great
reel, but it's not the Demon we'll be looking at today. The Hardy
Bros. Demon Streamer is a direct descendent of the Alexandra wet fly.
Lost to the mists of time, most streamers called "Demon" today are
descendents of the Demon streamer brought to New Zealand by Zane Grey
prior to World War II. The Hardy Brother Demon most certainly
originated during that same epoch, but never did gather any great
following. The Alexandra, on the other hand, traveled the world.
Of course that doesn't mean the Hard Brother Demon isn't a great fly!
According to Joseph Bates'
classic Streamers & Bucktails (ISBN 0-394-41588-4), the Alexandra
began life as a wet fly in the mid-19th Century. Hans Weilenmann, at
www.danica.com, brings a bit more of the
story into focus. Originally called the Lady of the Lake, the
Alexandra wet fly was (re)named for Princess Alexandra Caroline Marie
Charlotte Louise Julia, the future wife of the Prince of Wales and eventual
Queen Consort of the United Kingdom. The fly came onto the scene
sometime around 1860, probably near the time that Princess Alexandra married
Prince Edward VII.
Bates continues the story. "
In 1929 Mr. Frier Gulline, of Fin, Fur and Feather Ltd. of Montreal, adapted
it as a streamer fly." He goes on to note that the Alexandra streamer
was adapted from the Hardy Brothers Demon - yet my (limited) research failed
to turn up how the Hardy Demon evolved from the original Lady of the Lake
pattern. Regardless, this is a fly pattern with roots deep in the
Anglo-centric history of classic fly fishing. And that makes it cool
to tie one on your tippet, so there.
Peacock herl is magic stuff.
Any fly with peacock is probably better than any fly without it. Dry
fly, wet fly, nymph or streamer - it doesn't matter. Add some herl and
give it a whirl. A full wing of the stuff can really get a reaction on
those tough days when the fish act like they've seen everything in your fly
box twice. I started fishing this fly in the mid 1970's and I've
pretty much had an Alexandra or Hardy Demon in my small streamer box ever
since. Salters loved it, bluefish destroyed it. Crappies ate it
like candy. The rainbow trout of Peter's Pond just couldn't resist it,
either. It's no surprise that Ohio smallmouth crush it.
This fly, to be true to the
pattern, should be tied with the greenest peacock herl you can find. The wet
fly is tied with peacock sword herls, which are a bright green. I
didn't have any really green peacock eyes for this video, and I've never
gone out of my way to get any for the flies in my fishing box. Regular
strung herl, though not as perfectly pretty as choice and hand-selected
bits, has always worked just fine. This is a very pretty and very
effective streamer. Tie up a few and see if they work as well for you
as they have for me.
Hook: 3XL down-eye streamer hook,
size 12 to 4.
Thread: Black 6/0 140 denier
Red wool yarn, short
Flat silver tinsel
Rib: Oval silver tinsel
Hackle: Light blue hackle, tied
full and drawn to a beard
Wing: Peacock herl, bright green