Steelhead, Sea Trout, Atlantic Salmon, Sea Run Cutthroat, Smallmouth Bass Tube Fly Pattern

Scott Howell likes to fish Olive and White Intruders; one learns from watching Skagit Master 2.  Hummmm.  I’ve watched this cool DVD about a dozen times already, and I have not grown ho-hum watching Scott make the fishing cast (sometimes a nice short plop rather than the long, tight-loop;  ramble about presenting his fly at the right depth to intercept steelhead; sometimes adding speed to his fly’s swing; reminding us to not over-think some aspects of steelhead fishing; and dispelling a popular and prevalent  myth that one must drag bottom to be fishing effectively.  Right on.

Where was I? Oh yes.

Scott Howell likes Olive Intruders and White Intruders.  I like to combine the two hues to blend the best of both worlds in a fly pattern I refer to as a Tube Leech or a Tube Intruder, depending on my mood.  I gravitate to using cream instead of white, unless I use white and black, a fly pattern  I will feature in the near future.  Point is, there are some effective color combinations beyond the black/blue, pink/white, and purples that we steelhead fly fishers often reach for. This Cream white and olive Tube leech could also be refffered to as a Tube Intruder if you wish, because it would probably be perceived as Intruding on the personal space of any steelhead, Atlantic Salmon, Sea Trout, big-ass cutthroat, or similar predatory, potentially territorial fish.  A smallmouth bass, on the other hand, probably wouldn’t consider this an Intruder, but a welcome food morsel to be promptly chomped.

Fly pattern: Olive Tube Leech for Steelhead, Sea Trout, Atlantic Salmon, and Smallmouth Bass (pus who knows what else).

Tube: Pro Tube Fly System Micro Tube, green.  Add Pro Tube Fly System green Hook Guide when fly is finished.

Tail:  Cream Rabbit strip.  Cut a strip of hide approximately 1.5″ and secure at the rear of the Pro Micro Tube.  This will give you a tail of about 2.25″ because the hair is about 3/4″ long.  (should this be called a tail or a body or a leechy thing?)

Tying instructions: 1.  Wind  Olive Spey plume, tied n by tip, three turns.  Select a plume that is fairly long.  (2) tie in a dozen or so natural gray ostrich fibers over the Rabbit Strip, make these about the same length as the rabbit strip.  (3)  Tie in 6 strands Peacock Krystal Flash over or alongside the Ostrich herl.  (4) Using Marc Petitjean Magic Tool medium material clamp, grasp hair on cross-cut rabbit, two-tone olive with black tips. (5) trim fur from hide, use clamps to transfer fur into pre waxed dubbing loop, and spin it into a nice fuzzy “hackle” that can be wound at the fore of the fly, covering all the Rabbit strip and Ostrich butts. (6) Finish with Pro Cone, color of choice.

This cream and olive, rabbit-strip,  Tube-leach (Tube Intruder) offers an appealing color palate, nice size (just under 3″ from nose to stinger hook bend); and will undoubtedly be as attractive to European Sea Trout as it is to Norway Atlantic Salmon, Kamchatka rainbow, Alaska Leopard trout, monster-size Sea-run Cutthroat, Sea-run Dolly Varden, Metolius Bull Trout, Deschutes and Rogue summer steelhead, Sol Duc winter steelhead, and gosh who knows what else?

Smallies!  Yeah, the Smallmouth Bass will inhale this Tube Leech.

I have never fished for Atlantic Salmon except in Hosmer Lake, which absolutely doesn’t count.  Atlantic Salmon and Sea Trout are fished with flies that are so much like the flies we fish here in the Pacific Northwest for steelhead and salmon that the differences are, I think, irrelevant.  First they developed their fly patterns in Europe for Atlantic Salmon and Sea Trout.  Then we pirated their flies here in the New World.  Then they peek at our fly patterns, our Tube flies, our steelhead and salmon flies, and naturally the evolution continues with innovation and mimicry the name of the game on all continents.  We have sea-run browns in Argentina, we have lake run rainbow in New Zealand, we have Alaska crazy wild fly patterns, and Intruders, and Tube flies and gosh knows what all.  And yes, the Smallmouth Bass absolutely gotta love these Olive-hued  Tube Leeches that were inspired by steelhead Intruders, sort of.

Jay Nicholas,  January 8, 2011

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