A recent trip to the Cowichan River convinced me that it was time to provide you with a dressing for an excellent steelhead fly. While living in Prince George a few years ago, I frequently made steelheading trips to the Morice, Bulkley, Skeena and Babine Rivers. Joe Friesen, then of Telkwa, gave me a recipe for a steelhead fly that has a tremendous attraction for Bulkley River sea going rainbows! Using this fly, an early October trip that I made to a run just below the Morice - Bulkley junction, yielded bright, wild steelhead on two successive casts! Joe's fly is a variation of the original fly invented for the Squamish River by a Lower Mainland steelheader but it has proven itself many times over in the gorgeous Bulkley River waters!
I begin by wrapping several turns of lead on the bare hook shank as the fly is more productive when bounced along or near the bottom. The next step is to tie in the kip tail at the hook bend, allowing it to project up to 1/2 inch past the bend (this represents the "feelers" on a shrimp's head). Then cut a 1/4 inch strip of surveyor's tape, slightly longer than the hook, and tie it in at the bend as well. Next also tie in the chenille at the bend and where you will build up a head and thorax a little larger than the rest of the body. However, before wrapping the chenille at the head, cut two pieces of green monofilament and burn the ends to form eyes. Place then outward at the head and tie them down about 1/8 inch apart. Continue by wrapping the chenille about half way back to the hook eye to form the larger thorax. At this point, attach an orange hackle feather, tip first and palmer it back to the shrimp eyes, carefully working your tying thread up and then back to the hook eye (opposite end to the monofilament eyes). An option is to palmer the full length of the fly. Now finish wrapping the chenille to the hook eye. Next, stretch the surveyor's tape back to the hook eye and tie it down. The final step is important, rib the strip of surveyor's tape through to the shrimp eyes (and back again if you are careful) with the orange tying thread. Tie off, cement and you have just completed a great steelhead fly!
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