Winter Steelhead Flies Tied on Pro Tubes, January 4, 2011

Thought I would share some messing around, converting winter steelhead flies to tube flies.  I am having fun with Pro Tube Fly System components tying flies for winter steelhead.  I hope to get these wet next week on the zookamus river near Noti, Oregon; a place where no one else will be fishing.  Ha ha.

Purple Peril Fly: tied for winter steelhead on Pro Tube.

Tail is royal purple Marabou fibers; butt is  loop spun purple crosscut rabbit hair with guard hairs included; body is Purple Cactus Chenille; wing is white Arctic Fox tail with Pearl Krystal Flash horns; collar is loop spun two-tone rabbit lavender and steelhead blue; head is a black Pro Cone; tube is a Pro Flexi Tube with the rear tube cut to about 1/4″ to seat a Gamakatsu #2 Glo Bug hook.

Purple and blue are among my favorite fly colors for winter steelhead.  And summer steelhead. Plus pink and orange; red; white; and black, don’t forget the black.  Black and blue too.

Blue Flashabou Hoochie Fly tied for winter steelhead on Pro Tube.

This is a Hoochie Intruder tied to imitate a blue Hot Shot.  Sorry, sad but true.  Not my original thought, but hey if I see a good idea out there why not give it a go?  l spun on a butt of UV Shrimp Pink Ice Dub, slipped a Pro Cone Disc at the rear of the tube, and then lashed on clumps of oddly cut blue Flashabou around the tube to make the Hoochie wing-thing.  Scary.  The , collar is loop-spun two tone rabbit lavender and steelhead blue; head is an orange Pro Cone; tube is a Pro Mini Tube plus orange Hook Guide; a double surgeon’s loop or non-slip saltwater loop knot is used to trail a Gamakatsu #2 Octopus hook at the rear end of the Flashabou.

Green Butt Skunk Fly (adapted) for winter steelhead on Pro Tube.

This fly has the red tail, white wing, black collar hackle in common with the Green Butt Skunk.  Not much else, but hey, I’m short on catchy fly names this morning.

Tail is red ostrich; butt is  Caddis Green Ice Dub; body is Holographic Gold Lagartun Mini flat Braid; fore-body isPeacock Ice Dub spun in loop; wing is white Arctic Fox tail, collar is loop spun two-tone rabbit lavender and steelhead blue; head is a green Pro Cone; tube is a Pro Flexi Tube with the rear tube cut to about 1/4″ to seat a Daiichi #2 Boss hook.

Dream Intruder fly tied on Pro Flexi Tube for winter steelhead.

Tail is natural Ostrich; butt is  Orange Ice Dub; body is fluorescent blue Lagartun Mini flat Braid; fore-body Claret Ice Dub spun in loop; wing is natural Ostrich, collar is loop spun Claret Ice Dub; head is a green Pro Cone; tube is a Pro Flexi Tube with the rear tube cut to about 1/4″ to seat a Daiichi #2 hook.  I tied this fly long and dressed very sparsely; Added an 8mm pro Drop Weight under the fore-body to put it down in front of Mr. steelhead.

I prefer the appearance of different hooks on different tube flies flies, usually depending on the overall proportion of fly and hook.  My favorite hooks for winter and summer steelhead tube flies include the following.

Gamakatsu C14S Glo Bug Hook, #2; this is a great hook when the fly is not very large, the short shank sucks up out of sight, not that the steelhead care, and it hooks and holds with the best.

Daiichi 2571 Steelhead Boss hook #2 (nearly straight eye, shorter shank); again, a fly perfect for not so big tube flies, especially traditional steelhead flies converted to tube flies.

Gamakatsu SC15 #1/0, #1, #2 (tin plated, straight ring eye); a great hook in #1 (rarely in size 1/0) for longer flies and #2 for short and slim steelhead tube flies.

Gamakatsu Octopus hook, #1, #2, #4 (turned up, beak point, offset, red or black); this is hands down my favorite, most often chosen, best-loved hook for tube flies.  Summer steelhead, winter, steelhead, or king salmon, this is a great hook.  Tie saltwater non-slip knot (non-slip Uni Knot), loop it over the hook, and let this Gammie swim at the tail end of your fly.  Use it on slim Marabou or rabbit-strip leech flies for steelhead.  Use it on big nasty King salmon Intruders.  Size this hook up or down to match your tube fly.

See ya on the river in 2011.

Jay Nicholas, January 4, 2011

5 thoughts on “Winter Steelhead Flies Tied on Pro Tubes, January 4, 2011

  1. Love the new Baby Blue & Purple cross-cut rabbit from hareline. Makes for nice Fuglies (MOAL-Intruder hybrids)… Tied up a few Fugly tubes this weekend too. I like.

  2. Great patterns! Jay,
    I enjoy reading it very much!
    I was curious what is the thought behind “half-butt” intruder? Ed Ward tie his intruder with full body lower section and Scott Howell tie his fly with this kind of half-butt. More stable swing in the water?

    1. So, this fly was a simple effort to create an Intruder-like shadow with far less thickness or opacity than either Ed’s or Scott’s flies. Although this fly is very lightly weighted, it is so sparse that it will go down quickly if not under tension of the leader. I think that both of the styles you noted will both swim true, if tied properly. The natural gray ostrich and heron gray Spey Plume are also sparse, but quite visible to the steelhead. So this fly is be what I consider a shy fish Intruder, a not so intrusive Intruder, a don’t scare ’em into short strikes fly for both winter and summer fish. I have often fished olive in clear water but it has been years since I have fished gray. I thank Ed and Scott for their inspiration at the bench and on-water. Skagit Master rocks. I am a worm, evolutionarily, compared to these gentlemen. JN

      1. Ha… you know I am always inspired by your witty writings, oh… and the videos too! Thanks for the response. I agee, Ed is always kind enough to answer my questions, I do truly appreciated we has such great pioneers (you included) that never shy away from the internet communications. I will be tying those flies this winter!
        Mark

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