Ah, December is rolling in and our wives, kids and grandkids are getting excited about Christmas, the ladies for that wild shopping mall experience and the kids, well, what will Santa bring this year! But for us true die hard fly fishermen (yes, and a few truly converted ladies), the thoughts of steelhead enter our very souls! In spite of some nasty weather, we cannot resist the urge to test the waters for that most magnificant of all fish, a bright fresh run steelhead. Sadly, as a teenager, I can recall seeing a dozen or more steelhead in certain river pools, a fact that will require herculean efforts on behalf of many to restore such a sight for modern fishermen. Let us hope that the fly we will explore this month can in reality find enough steelhead left to test the merits of a great pattern, the Skeena Bomber!
I happened to inherit a fine black squirrel tail when a neighbour live trapped a black "park" squirrel that took too great a liking to his walnut tree. His standard procedure was to relocate the animals across Okanagan Lake where there are many more nut trees that the squirrels undoubtedly like just as well. However, this particular one did not survive the trip and knowing I could put the tail into good use as a fly tier, the hair was definitely not wasted! Anyway, start by tying in a tail of black squirrel hair. The rest of the fly is really quite similar to a woolly bugger but I feel a small difference, besides the sqirrel tail, is the purple chenille body. After winding and securing the chenille hook bend to hook eye, tie in a long thin grizzly hackle just short of the hook eye, thick end first. Then wind the the hackle in spaced turns (palmer style) to the hook bend. Hold the hackle tip in place here with one hand as you carefully wind your thin monofilament tying thread through to the hook bend to firmly secure the hackle. I then wind the monofilament back to the hook eye in tightly spaced wraps but without distorting the palmered hackle. Tie off the mono and add a head of black floss. Cement and you have made a good version of the Skeena Bomber steelhead fly!
|Monthly Fly Tying Articles from November 1996|
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