Fly-fishing for Steelhead is my passion, and I spend a lot of time tying and trying new flies for these fish. Long known as very artistic, Steelhead fly tying now combines the artistic with the effective. While floss bodied hairwings still catch their fair share, new synthetic materials and tying styles are creating flies that catch more fish and are better suited to specific rivers and conditions.
My favorite flies to tie and to fish are Steelhead Dry Flies. My Bomber and Foam Mouse are both “no-hitch” patterns that will wake and skate all day without the use of a riffle hitch. None of my Steelhead dries are tied on light-wire hooks, unless you specify otherwise. The lightest wire weight I use for these flies is the Alec Jackson Spey, which is a medium or standard wire hook. This hook does a great job of “keeling” a skated fly, and with its long shank hooks better than shorter, smaller hooks.
I refer to traditional wet flies as “grease-line” patterns. I use such a wide variety of hooks and materials for these patterns, that I won’t attempt to list them all here. My Peacock Undertaker is an excellent producer, particularly in “froggy” water. Traditional patterns, such as the Green Butt Skunk, and Mack’s Canyon are tied in both full and low-water versions . Again, I have tied a multitude of styles and patterns, so don’t hesitate to ask for something different.
Dredgers are an important part of your arsenal, especially when headed to B.C., or any coastal system where the river can go “out” without warning. Articulated and String Leeches are two of my most popular patterns. If you usually use a floating line only, or fish on small coastal streams, have them tied with hourglass eyes or coneheads. When using a sink-tip, weight is not necessary. I commonly tie these patterns in colors not found in fly shops. These big, pulsating flies, are must haves for winter fishing on the coast.
Below you will find some examples of the patterns I tie and the colors that are most popular. If something is not here, or a color is not shown, that doesn’t mean I don’t tie it. If you have any further questions, please give me a call or Email me at the address listed at the bottom of the page.
A dark winged pattern I developed several years ago for the Lewiston, Idaho area. It is very effective, especially in froggy lies. Proven colors and lots of movement. One of my favorite grease-line patterns. $3.00
|TRADITIONAL HAIR WINGS
Green Butted Skunk, Macks Canyon, Freight Train’s and many other northwest patterns that are found in every Steelheaders box. I won’t list them all here, just let me know what you would like. $2.75 green butt skunk,macks canyon,freight train,etc…
Kispiox regular Jim Holcomb developed this pattern for the Kispiox and other Skeena tributaries, but it has proved effective elswhere, especially late in the season as the water cools. A great fly that reflects tons of light. $3.00
I created this fly to “throwback” to fish that had turned on larger, gaudier patterns. Very soft and buggy, it also works well on it’s own, especially when the water is low and clear. $2.75 orange,olive/natural,black/natural
The most versatile pattern there is. The large moose and deer head creates a tremendous disturbance. Considered a surface fly, it works just as well deep on a sink tip. $3.00 green, purple, red, natural
These are beautiful patterns, tied entirely with golden pheasant. A great sink tip pattern tied on the new Alec Jackson heavywire hook. Don’t go to the Dean without these. $3.00 orange, purple, black
|2 TONE LEECH
Two colored versions of the string leech. Great for winter steelhead. Can be tied in any color combo. Weighted (shown) or unweighted versions. $3.00 black/chart,blue/pink,black/red,pink/orange
Improved version of the Bulkley Mouse. The foam lip keeps it skating without a hitch. A standard in the Skeena drainage. My favorite Steelhead dry fly everywhere. $2.75 black/blue, black/hi-vis, orange/natural
The best Bombers available. Very stiff spun moose body & wings keep this fly skating all day with no hitch. Dark patterns are easy to spot on gray days and Steelhead love them. $3.00 blue/purple, yellow/black, orange, green, natural
An older skating pattern, but still very popular and productive. Usually tied in smaller sizes, the stiff moose wings keep it skating through glassy tailouts. Many Dean River anglers swear by it. $2.75