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Advantages of Perdigon Style Flies

Published: 8th September 2020 | Author: Brian Kelso

Perdigonss, or Pellet flies, are gaining popularity—with good reason. Below I’ve outlined just a few of the advantages Perdigon Style Flies provides and why they’re so effective.

Sink Rate

Hackles, dubbings, and rubber legs are all great materials in their own right. However, they decrease your sink rate by creating water drag. Perdigons, on the other hand, are coated with either a varnish or UV resin and are very streamlined. This enables them to sink incredibly fast even with little weight.


The coating not only increases sink rate, but it also makes the fly extremely durable as well. Lots of fancier flies will also catch fish, they just don’t hold up for long. But Perdigons on the other hand, whether fish teeth, rocks, trees or any other obstacle, will hold up and look good in the water for a long time.


Perdigon patterns typically require few materials and are easy to tie. In fact, a Perdigon can be as simply as a tail and some thread wrapped around the body. From there, you can do all types of body colors, tail variations, wire wraps and other subtle add-ons. For that reason, they’re also extremely adaptable and versatile. From seasoned veteran tiers to beginners, you will have endless entertainment, as well as success, tying these patterns


Depending on the size and color you tie your Perdigon, you can mimic nearly any mayfly. From BWOs and Tricos, to PMDs and Drakes, the Perdigon has you covered. Perdigon style flies also work great for midge patterns as well. All you have to do is tie one without the tail, or tear off the tail from one you already have in your box.

This image shows the beautiful fish that one can catch with a Perdigon fly.
The above Rainbow was holding in heavy water, but was feeding on small mayflies. A BWO style Perdigon got down into the feeding zone quick, and ensured proper presentation. 

The Best Hooks for Tying Perdigon Style Flies

Jig Force Short Shank

Perdigon flies can be tied on a variety of different hooks. For both midge and mayfly patterns, the FM5125 (Jig Force Short Shank Hook) is a great option—particularly for those smaller midge patterns. With the FM5125, you will receive all the advantages of jig style hooks while still having the ability to drop down to a size 20 for your smaller midge’s.

Standard Jig Force Hook

For larger patterns the standard Jig Force (FM5045) is a great option as well. This hook will perform better if you are oversizing your beads and need the extra hook gap.

Ultimate Dry Fly Hook

If you really need a small/light presentation style Perdigon, the FM5050 Dry Fly hook is perfect, and with its upturned hook point, it really holds fish well.

A box full of Perdigon flies.

Fishing Perdigons

Due to their high sink rates, Perdigons perform particularly well in faster water. It’s one of the many advantages of Perdigon style flies. From riffles and tight pocket water to heavy runs, you can be sure that your fly is getting down into the proper zone quickly. This gives you a longer drift in the strike zone, and a higher chance at getting an eat.

Perdigons were originally developed by Spanish competition anglers, and are most popular with European Nymphing methods. However, they fish very well underneath a dry fly or on an indicator rig as well. For dry fly rigs make sure your dry fly is buoyant enough, otherwise your topwater presentation will be impacted. Smaller midge and may fly patterns are typically too delicate for Perdigons and will submerge quickly. Larger dry flies and foam bodied flies perform best.

Underneath an indicator, Perdigons are quite versatile. They pair well with larger stonefly patterns, crane fly larva, or leeches on the point position. Paired with smaller midge and mayfly patterns, the Perdigon will perform better with the smaller offerings trailed off of the back.

A stunning male brown caught on a Perdigon Nymph.

For more detailed info on technical nymphing rigs with small flies, check out this piece on our blog. Be on the lookout for more articles from Bryan this coming winter!

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