Don's Fly Tying - Clements' Purple Bitch

[Steve Clements' Purple Bitch]

I first met Steve Clements in a round about way many years ago through a coffee break discussion in the Prince George BC Telephone Engineering Office. Joe Bernat, an Outside Plant Technician, maintained a summer RV trailer at Tachick Lake, near Vanderhoof, BC. Steve and his wife Pat, who reside in Seattle, Washington, frequently used the Tachick Lake RV Campsite as their RV base in order to fly fish area lakes and streams. As all fishermen do, evening campfire visits soon brought Joe and Steve together on a first name basis. One night Steve asked Joe if he knew of any other keen northern area fly fishermen and Joe replied, "One of our Engineers, Don Haaheim, just lives and breathes fly fishing!" An invitation to visit Steve at Tachick Lake soon followed and the rest is history. Over the years Steve and I have fished many BC rivers and lakes where I have come to appreciate Steve's fly fishing enthusiasm, expertise and unwavering conservation ethics!

In May, 2001, we reviewed fly number 55, the Clements' Bitch, a pattern Steve devised from carefully observing Hobson Lake leeches. He has also tied a similar fly for steelhead which he calls the Purple Bitch. It seems that this fly is equally successful for those huge river rainbows as the related leech fly is on lakes! Therefore, let's have a close look at his Purple Bitch for our September 2016 fly tying article.

[Steve Clements Releasing a Monster Kispiox Steelhead, a copyrighted Steve Clements' photo and cannot be used or reproduced without Steve's permission]



Steve's steelhead fly is not hard to tie; just ensure the marabou wing flows back along the hook body. Start by tying in a body purple marabou fairly thick. Next in two or three progressive steps, add a purple marabou wing, with the last tie near the hook eye. Complete the fly with either a black tying thread head or green peacock herl. The picture of Steve with a fly caught steelhead on the Kispiox River proves the worth of his creation! Now keep your ear to the ground because years ago when I lived in Prince George, September was an excellent steelhead month also on the Bulkley and Morice Rivers!

Your comments are welcome at "dhaaheim at telus dot net"

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