The Mallard and Claret is very old, going back as far as the 1850s designed by Aberdeen fly tier William Murdoch. Scotland has always been the home of good fly-tyers and the 1800s were particularly productive. It is possible that an Irish version existed already at that time.
DOUBLE HOOKED TROUT AND SALMON FLIES USED IN THE FJORDS OF NORWAY. Hook size 10 12 14 - $US each
The Mallard and Claret Double Hook Wet Fly was originally designed for Sea Trout but it was a great Brown trout taker and its fame soon spread. By the end of the century the Mallard and Claret could be found in American and Canadian fly fishing catalogues. Some times it was called the other way around; the Claret and Mallard fly. It has been long recognised a very good loch fly and can also be used to good effect on most other stillwaters.
In the "Dictionary of Trout flies", the author Courtney Williams, put forward the view that the pattern presented a nymph or shrimp. I think he was wrong. It looks more like a small minnow and I have caught many trout fishing it as a streamer.
It's difficult to imagine anything more exciting than wading a river in the dark, casting away for perhaps an hour, and then having the powerhouse take. If your doctor has warned you not to get too excited, then you'd better not go after Sea Trout at night. Fish the fly by itself either on a dead drift or on the middle dropper of a three fly setup using various rates of retrieve. The Mallard and Claret has accounted for a lot of fish for me, brown trout in the lakes, and regularly salmon and sea trout in the rivers. Fish it at the end of a cast, or when you use a three fly set up, put it in the middle.