Fly Directory


Neil Dawson is the son of the late Brian Dawson the inventor of the North East's most famous and still deadly in all its guieses lure; THE MIGHTY DAWSONS OLIVE.

All the information in this post and tying instructions come from Neil.

This lures origins is based around the leech population in Tunstall Reservior, in the late 70's early 80's. Brian fished Tunstall Reservoir regular and whilst picking rubbish up at the waters edge, he removed a carrier bag and on the underside of the bag was leeches.

This prompted Brian to tie a fly to imitate these leech.

The flys I have tied are to the exact tying instructions of Neil Dawson and a good friend of Brian, and his family Laurence Hawley.

The first DAWSONS was all olive

Size 10 x2 long shank lure
Tail medium olive twice the lenght of the hook shank
Wing medium olive twice the length of the hook shank
Medium oval silver tinsel rib
olive chenille body.
natural guinea fowl not blue

NOTE : The wing must once wet fold to half the lenght of the tail.

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The fly was not right so Brian removed the olive tail and replaced it with an AMBER one not sunburst or hot orange

The second DAWSONS had a amber tail

Size 10 x2 long shank lure
Tail medium AMBER twice the lenght of the hook shank
Wing medium olive twice the length of the hook shank
Medium oval silver tinsel rib
olive chenille body.
natural guinea fowl not blue

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From that the Mighty DAWSONS OLIVE was born.

One thing he always said to Neil Dont nip the tail down !!!!!!! the secret is in the tail length and the way the olive wing blended into the amber tail. Tail nipping fish will get hold just keep fishing it.

What is a shame and promted me to do this post is the state of some of the Dawsons olives you can buy or sould I say attempts at a classic like this effort

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If you google image a Dawsons Olive you will not find a true classic fly just short tailed attempts at a classic.

I just felt the need to do my bit for a classic fly and its inventor so that it should not be forgotten in its correct form.

One more thing there was never gold beads on a Dawsons olive, it had a lead wire underbody built into the fly when needed.

This fly has caught me many a fish long may it do so.

Thank you Brian

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Thanks for looking 

On behalf of Neil Dawson.

Joe Forster.