Posts Tagged ‘Fly Tying: Streamers & Baitfish


Fly Fishing Streamers: Adjustments in Order

Artwork by Blanca Pistillo

A few days ago, I was watching a man work a run outside of Eugene. He was working a nice little tube fly across and letting it swing through a nice seam. He was fishing for Steelhead. Obviously very eager for the vanguards of the Summer run.

About him, Caddis and a few Mayflies flitted about. More telling were the dozens of birds swooping right above the surface, dining upon the emerging insects. My immediate impulse, like most of us looking for indicators, would have been to put on a dry or emerger. And, minus the birds, I would have been nymphing. I have remarked about my mental block re streamer patterns. It almost never occurs to me, on an Oregon river, to fish a streamer (some how, it does for Browns on a lake). I have noticed the Sculpins scurrying about the rocks as I wade a river, and I did previously vow to tie more Sculpin patterns and to fish them this coming year (I need to get busy) .

Recently, on a FF discussion group, there was a decidedly pro swing the streamer contingent discussing the merits of the streamer and how some local shops downplay the worthiness of the patterns. So, this is a renewed vow to think broader….use more streamers (I know this sounds silly/elementary to many anglers about the world, who routinely swing streamers).

So for the beginning fly fisher this is a reminder to carry an assortment of streamer patterns to represent the baitfish of your regions rivers and lakes. There is a whole dimension re streamer fishing that is much like traditional Steelhead (or Pike) fishing. 

I won’t reinvent the wheel here. There are several good posts, on-line, regard (‘streamer pattern tactics’) on where to cast a streamer…how to retrieve the streamer…what type of fly line to use (floating, sink tips, clear intermediates)…what patterns to use…how to tie streamer patterns. My intent here is to say…’remember the streamer’!

Spruce Fly by SwittersB


Fly Tying: Spinning Deer Hair (Muddler Minnow/Streamers)

One of the best trout and bass flies around. Everyone should have this fly in their box. Spinning the deer hair head forms that blunt head that displaces water and attracts attention.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Spun Deer Hair and Muddler Minnow Variation (SwittersB)


Fly Tying: Mottled Experimentation

Nothing extraordinary here. Just experimenting with colors when wet. Odd, even goofy looking when dry, not bad when wet, but a little weak in the shoulders, behind the cone head. I do sometimes wet a nymph or streamer pattern to see how it looks wet, on a paper towel. Some materials, like marabou, are much more active in the water than when swept back out of the water. I think I would forget the front black hackle and build up that area with dubbing or hair collar of some sort.

Hackle Barring and colors for mottled look? SB

Hackle Barring and colors for mottled look? SB

Some mottling; too thin behind the cone (SB)


Fly Tying: Crawdadito

Several years ago, Tony Muncy had a fly fishing expo that he had been invited to tie at (14 y/o). So, I suggested the small crawdad pattern I had recently come upon. These are a few of the little crawdads he tied at the show. I found them in a plastic zip lock bag along with the precursors for the pattern. Somehow, after the show, they did not make it into a fly box for the true test. Found about a dozen of the little devils and they are going into a box.  Fishing crawdads.

The hook is a size 8 (4xl); some lead wire was wrapped mid shank and overlaid with tying thread; the body is an orange sparkle estatz type material; the backstrap is orange raffia with red copper ribbing; the antenna are hackle quills and the claws are feathers coated with a glue and then cut to shape after drying; the eyes are the plastic dumbbell eyes. Some of them have the marabou fluff tied in to suggest movement. Different colored threads were used from orange, black to clear mono thread.

Crawdadito by Tony Muncy (SwittersB)

Small Crawdad by T. Muncy (SwittersB)

Crawdad by T. Muncy (SwittersB)

Crawdad Pattern by T. Muncy (SwittersB)

Crawdad Claws (SwittersB)

Crawdad pattern tight & fuzzy (SwittersB)


Fly Tying: Hook Point Up (HPU) Streamers

I have been researching an area of fly fishing/tying that I admittedly don’t utilize enough…streamers on rivers (a staple in many areas of the country). I do fish them for Browns on Oregon stillwaters. But, otherwise they are rarely considered. So, I recently remarked upon seeing Sculpins darting about in a river. More research suggested Sculpins might be a reasonable Winter pattern to swing and dart along the bottom to entice those sulky Rainbows.

While researching Sculpin patterns I came across a style of hook that, when weighted, allows for a Hook Eye Up (HPU) presentation. Heavy lead eyes tied on the top of the hook shank are known to cause the hook to flip over and ride hook point up. But, the piece here uses a different off set worm hook.

The HPU presentation provides many options in tying (freshwater/saltwater). Fox Statler of Willow Ford, Ark. offers up pattern suggestions and kits for preparing HPU Streamers/Shiners.


Fly Fishing Insect Smörgåsbord & Bull Trout

Still amazing. Green Drakes and Flav’s, PMD, blue wing olives, mahogany duns, 4 types of caddis, little olive stones, yellow sally and golden stones are all hatching. sometimes at the same time which is a puzzle to figure out which fly the fish are eating on any given afternoon. Tons of bull trout in the system now, with kokanee just migrating up this week. We can expect to see them by the tens of thousands in the next 2 weeks spread out between the lake and the headwaters. That means aggressive Bull Trout and plenty of eggs in the drift for the trout.” A late September ’09 report from the Fly Fisher’s Place, Sisters, Oregon on FishEyeSoup. Bulls and Kok’s should give it away. To Oregonians at least.

1994 migratory study by ODFW on wired up Bulls….interesting small scale study that provides info for you, the fly angler on location, location. Oh, don’t get your panties pinched. Not talking redds or spawning trib’s. Fair target otherwise. A chuck & duck streamer pattern.

Peanut Envy (Kelly Galloup Pattern)

Peanut Envy Streamer Recipe

Peanut Envy (Kelly Galloup Pattern)

Oh, John Judy offers up even more incentives


Fly Tying: Side Flash and Overlay Ribbing

Black & Brown Woolly Bugger w/ Side Flash & Ribbing (SwittersB)

This is a straight forward Woolly Bugger, but the part I want to highlight is the use of side flash on the Bugger, which extends back into the tail. (Whew, long sentence). Also, a copper wire ribbing was used to weave around the fly to secure the side flash and the palmered hackle. These options provide lateral flash in the right water clarity conditions and a reinforcement of the fly’s hackle.

Lateral~side flash on Woolly Bugger (SwittersB)

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