Royal Coachman Artificial Fly

Royal Coachman Artificial Fly

The Royal Coachman is an artificial fly that has been tied as a wet fly, dry fly and streamer pattern. Today, the Royal Coachman and its variations are tied mostly as dry flies and fished floating on the water surface. It is a popular and widely used pattern for freshwater game fish, particularly trout and grayling. Large streamer versions are also used for winter steelhead and Atlantic salmon. The Royal Coachman was first tied as a traditional winged wet fly and is a derivative of the Coachman wet fly. Created by John Haily in 1878  the Royal Coachman pattern is one of the very few patterns that appeared in Marbury's work that is still being tied and fished today in some form or another.

The Royal Coachman and its derivatives are considered attractor patterns, or as Dave Hughes in Trout Flies-The Tier's Reference (1999) calls them—searching patterns—as they do not resemble any specific insect or baitfish. Early in the 20th century, Theodore Gordon once was of the opinion that the Royal Coachman resembled some form of flying ant, while in the 1950s, Preston Jennings, a noted fly tier and angler thought the Royal Coachman resembled Isonychia mayflies.

The distinguishing features of any Royal Coachman or its derivatives are the peacock herl body partitioned with red silk or floss, a white wing and brown or red-brown hackle. Depending on whether the fly is tied as a dry fly, wet fly or streamer the white wing can be made with white duck quill, bucktail, calf tail, hen neck, hackle points or other white material. Tailing has varied over the years from the original wood duck flank to include golden pheasant tippet, brown or red hackle, moose, elk and deer hair.

  • Uses:   Trout, grayling, Steelhead, Atlantic salmon
  • Type        Dry fly, Wet fly, Streamer


  • Typical sizes        DF13 Royal Coachman 10–20 (Dry), 8-14 (Wet), 1-8 (Streamer)
  • Typical hooks        TMC 100 (Dry), Nymph hook 2X long (Wet), Straight eye streamer hook, TMC 9394 3x heavy 4xl
  • Thread        Black 6/0
  • Tail        golden pheasant tippet
  • Body        peacock herl partitioned with red silk or floss
  • Wing        white wing
  • Hackle        brown or red-brown

Reference: Wikipedia