The Hamill’s Killer is a fly pattern of New Zealand origin, named after its originator – Bill Hamill. Its original purpose was to imitate a dragon fly nymph or a cockabully – a small blunt nosed fish. The original version had mallard feathers lined on either side of the hook in similar style to the Mrs. Simpson. Several variations exist including versions tied in the Canadian style with the wing lain overtop and folded to the sides.
Regardless, the Hamill’s Killer can be an effective pattern for trout as well as warm water species.
For some reason, I decided to tie a variation with a gold bead head and a couple of them made it along on our recent trip in search of land locked salmon.
It wasn’t until our last day of fishing that I tied it on to my line and I am not sure whether it was the cause, but my fishing was great after I did.
So here is my Hamill’s Killer Variant. In addition to the bead, this particular version does include golden pheasant tippets with the squirrel tail and I keep the body quite sparse, using only tying thread wrapped over the extended squirrel tail fur.
Saturday was a spectacular fall day, warm, clear sky and little wind. A good day for yard work but an even better one for fishing. After power washing the decks and house siding in the morning, I jumped in the truck with the lunch Donna had prepared and headed out to meet up with Bob at one of the 4 S’s. There are four trout lakes that start with S in the area around Calabogie where we like to fish. Bob had started out earlier in the morning and my goal was to find him at one of the lakes. Just as I was leaving he called and told me he had checked out the first S and was now on to the second which was Shiner Lake. So I headed for Shiner – past the road to the first S, past the road to the second S and then as usual, I overshot the turnout for Shiner which is pretty obvious pretty as you round the corner and can see the lake to the right. The next spot to turn around happens to be the road to the fourth S – I wonder if it is fishing any better than it was earlier in the year?
But back to Shiner. After getting set up, I was on the water by 2pm. Bob was the only other person fishing which is pretty amazing. Often there are people fishing from shore but not today.
The lake is small so I could hear Bob clearly inform me he had just landed a fish on an orange Hamill’s Killer.
Since I only had yellow (like the one above) and chartreuse HK`s with me a seed of doubt started to take root. And that seed surely started to germinate as half an hour past with no bites while Bob landed two more fish. Feeling the pressure I removed my go to fly and put on a chartreuse HK – maybe it would be seen as adequate. And wouldn’t you know it a fish liked it except that I overplayed the fish and lost it. Oh well, that seed of doubt was starting to whither. The second hit pretty much destroyed the seed of doubt but then I lost that fish too and the seed started to take on a new form – perhaps I was an incompetent fisherman? Now that may be true, but today the fish seemed to be in a cooperative mood and the started hitting the HK on a regular basis. I landed three rainbow trout in fairly quick order – all in the 12 to 13 inch range, then played and lost a few and then landed a couple more.
Whether the fished grew tired of the chartreuse HK or I lost confidence, things slowed so I switched to a black leech and promptly caught a couple more fish (and lost a nice one) before the fishing slowed to nothing. Since neither of us could stay late, this seemed to be an indication that it was time to head for shore.
All in all I caught seven nice rainbows and lost about the same number. Bob says he lost count but I suspect he caught a few more than I did. We were heading home by 5 after what was my best day on Shiner Lake.