Pro Tube Tubefly System: Winter Steelhead Fly Demo December 23, 2010

Pro Tube Tubefly System: Winter Steelhead Fly Demo December 23, 2010

I actually got the opportunity to spend a few hours swinging Intruder Leeches for winter steelhead this week.  Just a brief period at day’s end.  It was wonderful to feel a Spey rod in my hands and marvel at the wiggle and slink in the rabbit strip and marabou/ostrich flies hanging in the current at my side;  Clearly, several months of shooting-head casting has taken its toll on my modest two hand casting skills.  No matter.  I had fun, soaked some of my just-tied winter steelhead Intruders, felt the anticipation, and had a chance to see a good friend again after months of not seeing him or her.  Ah ha, we want to be gender respective, now, don’t we.  Truth be told, though, him was a he.  Positively.

Anyway, I saw a beautiul fish on the river.

And another friend showed how impressed he was with my chances of hooking a winter steelhead, after watching me stumble around dumping my fly in the middle of a line-pile for a few minutes.

Arriving home in the dark, I checked the mail.  Oh boy, a  just-in-time-for-Christmas package of Pro Tube fly tying goodies.  Using the catch-prase “goodies” is the best way to categorize the array of tube fly products from the folks at Pro Tube System.  The Tube Fly System just might finally simplify my tubular life.  So to speak.  Sort of anyway.  Maybe.  Oh forget it, I will undoubtedly find a way to make this Pro Tube Fly system complicated too.

Let’s cut to the chase. I love this Pro Tube Tubefly System.  No, I am not going to throw my HMH tubes away or flush my Eumer Tubes either.  Nostalgia. And then there is the fact that the HMH and the Eumer tubes look good and fish good too.

Here we go with Pro Tube Tube Fly System gear. All the Pro Tube cones, discs, and various weights are designed to fit on the tubes, all of the tubes, not just some of the tubes.  There goes half the fun and intrigue of trying to figure out which cone or bead or metal body will fit on which tube.  No more.  I had a sample of the Pro Tube Flexi Tube and the Micro Tube.  One of my buddies immediately gravitated to the Flexi Tube.  Me?  I headed straight to the vise with the Micro Tube.

First lesson, and no surprise, a Pro Tube requires its own tube mandrel, the Flexineedle.  Turns out that the Pro Tube tubes are a little on the skinny (inside diameter) side.  I am open to someone showing me otherwise, but I wasn’t smart enough to get my HMH adaptor to fit the Pro Tubes.  When I tried my Eumer adaptor, I found one needle that worked, sort of, but not as securely as the Pro Tube Flexineedle did.  By the way, the Flexineedle did not seem to work in my Nor Vise In-line head, but it was a breeze to secure in my Regal, my Dyna King, and in several other vises I tried it in.

Went to work after playing with components for two hours. Gear lizards are gear lizards, right?  Here are the basic components of a nice subtle winter steelhead fly.  Not black, or pink, or purple even.  Not too big,  Not too flashy.  A winter fly to show  a steelhead that hs had stinky eggs and pink worms drug around his or her head all afternoon long. Something nice and olive, I decided.

Basic elements for tying a tube fly using the Pro Tube Tubefly System gadgets.  there is a Pro Tube Microtube (green); Flexi weight (10mm), Hook guide (blue); Pro Cone (Hot orange), and hook (Gamakatsu #4 Glo Bug hook).

Now, demonstrating an expert ability of tube fly component assembly, check out this display of all the pieces put together, minus any fly tying material.  Possibly, this bare bones tube fly, if attached to a fly line with a leader, could catch winter steelhead in low water if fish are pressured.  Use of a strike indicator and dead-drifting this assembly would definitely be a killer, but is not recommended.Here is the finished winter steelhead fly pattern of the day, the season, and possibly, the year.  Ha ha.  Betcha if you fish this olive winter steelhead fly it will out-fish every fly that you don’t fish.

Winter’s Olive.  Catchy name, don’t you think?  Joking?  Not at all.

Tail and wing: Olive  Craft Fur.

Body: Senyo’s Sculpin Olive Laser Dub.

Collar:  Hareline Grizzly Olive Soft Hackle collar.

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve. Maybe I will tie a few flies while I’m dreaming about winter steelhead.  Munch a few scones with the family.  Coffee.  Definitely coffee in the morning.  Probably at 4 AM.  Tidy my fly bench and find some tips to stash in my waders, ready for another day on the river, with a half dozen Winter’s Olives in my box.  On second thought, forget tidying my fly bench.  Not gonna happen for months.  Too many cool tube flies and Intruders to tie.

May the winter days bless all of you, setting the stage for a new year of good karma and jujumojo. Tie some winter steelhead tube flies.  Tie some winterr steelhead Intruders.  Add some tube leeches and traditional tube fly patterns.  Think summer steelhead and Chinook salmon too.

These are the days to fill our boxes when we are not on the river.

Jay Nicholas,  Decenber 23, 2010

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