One of the really expert sporting clay shooters at our North Okanagan Trap and Skeet Club is Art DeVries. Art at one time worked for the Department of Fisheries in the Lower Mainland so he also knows a lot about salmon and trout. Here in the Okanagan, good salmon fishing requires a bit of a journey but trout fishing is another matter. Good trout lakes abound although the very best often are a little more of a challenge to access!
I see Art, who also happens to be a fly fisherman, a fair bit during the clay target season and I often ask, "How's fishing Art?" He usually has a report that is rather good! In fact, Art showed me a fly that in this past year, he used to catch over 100 trout! Even more surprising, they were all on the same fly! Art's fishing partner, Al, will attest to that! When I looked at the fly, (Art always carries his fly rod in his truck), and sure enough, the original fly was attached to his leader! You just cannot back away from a fly like that so I quickly tied up a few, some as Christmas tokens for fishing friends and a few for my "must try" fly box! I think a fine way to start the New Year is to share Art's pattern with you.
I think the near marabou tail of this fly is unique! I have used a mix of both whiskey jack and blue jay plumes. Now I happen to love these birds so I do not recommend you immediately take out your scattergun to shoot these friendly guys so any gray or blueish marabou will do. In my case, I do have both, collected from highway road kills found when I lived in Prince George so my conscience is clear!
Start by tying in the soft feather mix for the tail a few plumes at a time. Alternate with green or blue crystal flash between the feather layers. Next attach a thin grizzly hackle feather by the tip at the hook bend. Follow this by tightly winding medium black chenille or black mohair hook bend to the eye. The last step is to wind the grizzly feather as you would a rib, hook bend to hook eye. In your whip finish at the hook eye, I try to force the immediate hackles back a bit. However, as with almost all of my flies, I wrap my tying thread, a clear monofilament, to the hook bend and back through the palmered hackle, taking care not to distort the hackle fibers before I make the final tie off. This step ensures that the hackle will not come apart with the first savage trout bite!
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