From shad to steelhead, this simple pattern works well for many migratory fish. On the North West Coast of the U.S. this small, but effective fly can produce steelhead when waters conditions are low and the water is clearing. This fly is typically swung on a sink-tip fly line and can be tied in many colors and sizes. The positive characteristics of this particular pattern are:
It isnít too heavy to cast all day.
If you desire greater depth, it drops quickly through the water column when given slack.
It stays at the desired depth during the swing of the fly when pressure is applied to the line.
Its glow-like color brings out the strikes.
Its hearty design makes for a long-lasting fly that can take the hits and bumps on rocks and river bottoms.
Choose desired size of fly to tie. For Northern California and Oregonís coastal rivers, this fly works well in sizes 4 through 10. My favorite size is #6. A quality hook is important, as always. After clipping your bead chain into barbells, attach eyes to the top of your hook, leaving enough room between the bead chain eyes and the eye of the hook to finish the fly. To get a solid attachment of the eyes, first lay several wraps of thread on the hook shank for the base. Attach the eyes on top of the thread and secure with a criss-cross or figure eight motion.
Using orange marabou for the tail of the fly, attach the marabou directly behind the bead chain eyes. Wrap thread over the marabou along the whole body of the fly, finishing your wraps just behind the barb of the hook.
The Edge-Glo material should be cut into long thin strips with the use of a razor. The strip of Edge-Glo should then be attached in the same manor as the marabou. Starting behind the bead chain eyes, tie in the Edge-Glo and wrap back to the lead end of the flyís tail. Attaching the material just behind the eyes of the fly ensures that the body will be smooth. Attaching the material only at the butt of the fly will give the fly a bulbous butt.
Tie in silver tinsel just behind the eyes. Wrap back to the tail and then wrap back to behind the bead chain eyes. Tie off the tinsel. Without the tinsel as an under-wrap, the Edge-Glo wonít do its thing.
Now bring up the Edge-Glo material from the back of the fly. Wrap over the tinsel with each wrap overlapping the last. Tie off the Edge-Glo behind the bead chain eyes.
Prepare your hackle. Pick two Chinese rooster saddle feathers. Use one fluorescent orange and one fluorescent yellow. Make sure the two hackles are close in size. Piggyback the hackles with the orange on the leading side. Tie them both in together as though they are only one hackle.
Using hackle pliers, wrap the hackles two or three times around the shank of the hook and tie off directly behind the eyes of the fly.
Finish the fly by bringing the thread ahead of the bead chain eyes and whip finish the pattern. Add a bit of head cement to secure the thread and keep the eyes from shifting while fishing the fly.
Donít be shy to tie this fly in different colors. If you need to really get down, consider using weighted barbell eyes in place of bead chain eyes. Iíve primarily caught steelhead with this fly, but it also produces well when the shad come in the rivers to spawn. Itís fun and easy to tie and really does bring on the grabs. Enjoy.