The Soldier Palmer and The Zulu

by Jonathan

The Soldier Palmer is an old pattern which still finds favour as a bob fly by boat anglers. There are three flies of a similar vein which are tied in basically the same way, the others are Grenadier and Zulu. If you can tie one you can tie them all. There is a more recent variant which is popular and that is the Bibio. All are worth a place in your box.

Today we will start with the Soldier Palmer which has a palmered hackle. This means that the hackle is tied in at the head and wound down the body as far as the tail. It is secured by the gold wire rib. This makes the fly durable.

Soldier Palmer Materials

  • Hook sizes 10….12 wet fly or long shank
  • Red tying thread
  • Medium gold wire
  • A long brown cock hackle
  • Red wool or antron for body and tail


The Zulu Materials

  • Hook sizes 10….12
  • Black tying thread
  • Medium silver wire
  • A long black cock hackle
  • Black antron for the body
  • Red wool for the tail


Tools are simple. Vice, bobbin holder, scissors. Hackle pliers and grannies hat pin.

I am confident that you will find this lesson an easy one.
Let me know how you get on.

P.S. Thanks again for all your comments and I’m very pleased to hear you are all making good progress.

Happy Fishing
Dave Cammiss and the Team


{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

larry freshwater September 6, 2011 at 10:04 am

hi dave,thanks so much for the easy fly tying instructions.your step by step tutorials are excellent and easy to pick up on.thanks to you i,m back on the water pulling nice fish on the soldier pattern.i dont have a problem doing a whip finish with my fingers and the double half hitch sounds easy.the whip finish tool hasent been used yet.thanks again.cheers.

Calum February 5, 2011 at 7:17 am

Hi Mr Cammiss, What capes do you recommend for palmering wets?

Sgt John March 8, 2010 at 4:19 pm

Wron web site..correct one now

Sgt John March 8, 2010 at 4:08 pm

1st of all I want to say I do njoy your video’s…..
In making this fly I did change the color to Red yarn.
I still tied the fly just like you did in the video. I did catch
Crappie and Bass.
Thank you and Keep the Video’s coming.
Sgt John

topflyman December 10, 2008 at 10:04 am

Hi Peter
Thanks for you comments. We aim to make life easier and share the tips picked up in a lifetime. Jon’s comment was, ‘ I keep on telling you how good I am… do you believe me?’ He really does a great job and puts more thought into the photography than a lot of the ‘pros.’ The whole family is a team, unfortunately there is no room in the credits for the Tea Lady. We will do something about that when we do a DVD.
Happy Fishing
DaveC.and the Team

Peter White December 6, 2008 at 10:06 pm

Thanks, Dave.
Yours is a great site for anyone wanting to tie their own flies. I tied my first fly in1975 and you cleared up a lot of mysteries tonight while I browsed lessons on your site. Also what a wonderful son you have to help get your message out so clearly. I think you are one of the lucky few who went through life and got it righlt.

Roman Goik September 14, 2008 at 2:02 am

Dear David
Thank you so much for the excellent website. It is a first class resource for those of us beginning our fly fishing journey. Your relaxed manner, great knowledge and good quality videos have really helped me a lot. Thanks to you and your team.

I am a whip finisher by choice (can’t seem to make my fingers do your half hitches). The one video that was finally the key to managing the whip finisher can be seen at . Didn’t have a clue until I saw this. It may be of use to your viewers who are having trouble starting whip finishes.
Again many thanks and keep up the fantastic work.

John Deeney December 17, 2007 at 9:39 pm

Hello David ,I have just watched all your videos and let me say I am very impressed.I am a teacher and I know that simple instructions given in an interesting way are the best.I am a complete novice ( in fact I am waiting for my vice and tying materials to arrive as we speak). I was a little concerned about what to buy in the way of materials but I feel a lot happier now I have seen you construct the majority of the surefire winner flies.Many thanks and keep up the good work. By the way if you can kick a ball you can have my job,I would rather be fishing.
Cheers John

topflyman September 28, 2007 at 5:33 pm

Hi Steve
The whip finish tool is a mystery to me also. It takes me twice as long to do as the double half hitch and I just cannot be bothered with it. My fishing buddy does a whip finish with his fingers…..makes it look easy but my fingers dont seem able to do it, and he is only 82 years old.
Regards Dave C.

Chris September 26, 2007 at 10:26 am

How did I miss this site?
Fantastic, keep up the good work!


Steve Wall September 25, 2007 at 6:18 am

Hi David…

Just watched lesson 8, and yet another fly that looks complicated has been made to look easy!!…excellent lessons, excellent quality, excellent alkl round effort by you and your team…BTW…since your Spider tying lessons, i’ve gone spider mad!!!…now have a box full and fished a number of them with your PTN as the point fly……

if at all i’d like to see a whip finish incorporated into one of your lessons, i have seen a number of vodeo’s but just cannot get the hang of them, I think, with your help, I will…

again Well done all…..and thank you…….



topflyman September 22, 2007 at 7:05 pm

Hi Peanuts
Nice to hear of your success. We have a couple of clips to go out in the next two weeks.
The next shoot we will do the klinkhammer….not really a beginners fly but will come with practice. Get yourself some light buzzer hooks size 10. Kamasan B100 are about the lightest.

Jorge September 22, 2007 at 5:57 pm

Hey Dave,

Thank you so much for your lessons, I’m a “brand new” fly tier and I can’t even being to tell you how much this site helps… Thanks.

By the way I love the whole family thing going on the videos. Tell the guys that I really like their takes and music.



joseph binns September 21, 2007 at 9:56 am

Thank you David for lesson 8 you make it all seem so simple.I know its not of course but your relaxed style gives people inspiration I hope you continue with the lessons for many more sessions.

Peanuts September 20, 2007 at 8:10 pm

Many thanks for lesson 8, I am really enjoying your videos, and I’m getting quite a collection of materials together now. My husband uses the zulu quite a lot. Would you be able to show the Klinkhammer at some stage in the near future, that’s a big favourite with him at the moment, and he caught a few fish recently in the lake district on one of the rivers there. A couple of local fisherman had been trying all day without a bite and he bagged several on this fly and only started fishing late afternoon! Thanks again for the best fly tying site on the web!

topflyman September 18, 2007 at 9:19 am

Welcome aboard. Hopefully we will be able to keep you intersted. More patterns on the way.
David Cammiss.

lsm September 17, 2007 at 7:45 am

Thank you for the Zulu and greetings from Finland. At the moment you’re my mentor in fly tying. Keep up the good work!

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