Freddie produced all his own easy-to-follow illustrations which are published in the book. Its reference is ISBN 0 7153 6952 0 - I expect it is now out of publication but you might be lucky and get one at a second hand book shop.

The Epsom Salt is really a cross between a lure and a large nymph. It can be fished in either role and is capable of producing some terrific results. I have fished this Freddie Rice creation for approaching twenty five years and found it a most reliable pattern on a whole range of still waters ranging from giant reservoirs to small still waters. It can be fished equally well with either floating lines up in the water or down deep on a sinking line.

My friends and I used to fish with it on lead core lines at Datchet Reservoir to catch both rainbows and brown trout. The technique was to fish it with a very powerful fly rod and 30ft shooting head of heavy lead core trolling line with about a ten foot leader of 81b b.s. line. The line was cast out and allowed to sink to the bottom. This would normally take up to 45 seconds. The fly was then retrieved in slow, short, sharp pulls. Takes were often violent and we really needed the power of that powerful fly rod to get the fish off of the bottom. It was surprising to find that the brown trout fought more like barbel than trout.

The Epsom Salt also works well on the smaller, more traditional, still water trout fisheries that are well-spread throughout the country. I have down particularly well on this pattern in the early season on Cornish fisheries.


Although Freddie recommends sizes 6 to 10 long shank. I prefer a size 10 in long shank and have tied smaller versions on conventional shanked size 10. These have worked very well on floating lines.

Hot orange working thread, seals fur substitute in medium green and hot orange, hot orange hackle, natural peacock hurl and silver wire.


1. Start from the bend in the hook and wind on working silk.

2. Tie in 5 to 8 natural peacock hurls leaving at least 1/4 inch for the tail.

3. Tie in silver wire.

4. Dub on green seals fur substitute on silk and form rear two thirds to three quarters of the body.

5. Change dubbing to hot orange seals fur substitute to form the remaining body.

6. Move the silver or bronze thread forward in open turns. Tie off and remove the surplus wire.

7. Pull the peacock hurl over the back and tie off at the head.

8. Tie in a hot orange hackle to finish off with a collar. Finish with a whip finish.