Challenges during a fly photo shoot

Chinook Salmon Comet Flies by Jay Nicholas.
Chinook Salmon Comet Flies by Jay Nicholas.

Yep, I’m working on another book, this one with a working title of Authentic Chinook Flies, due for publication by August, I dearly hope.  Fact is, there are unexpected challenges one faces when shooting such photographs, as the photo series below will reveal.

First trial photo: Comet I retrieved from upper jaw of Chinook in Nestucca during 2005. background photo is of Clay Banks Hog line in 2003.
First trial photo: Comet I retrieved from upper jaw of Chinook in Nestucca during 2005. Note that leader fragment is still attached to fly, just as I found it.  Background photo is of Clay Banks Hog line in 2003.
Uh, oh.  Some creature is lurking in the background!
Uh, oh. Some creature is lurking in the background!
Boomer loves to mrs with my flies, but honestly, he likes Rob Russell's flies just a tad better than mine.
Boomer loves to mess with my flies, but honestly, he likes Rob Russell’s flies just a tad better than mine.

Oh well, such is the nature of the silliness we deal with in the Nicholas family, and we do love our cats so I took a break to serve morning cat snacks to Boomer and Rollo, his brother, then closed the den door to resume shooting photos for the new book.

I hope this image gives you a smile for the day, and offers a hint of anticipation for the next book too.  Meanwhile, I have a party to go to this weekend with my family and then I just may fish a little.

May your day be bright and this season bring many great grabs.

Jay Nicholas,  June 11, 2015

While I was fishing recently… June 8, 2011

Every once in a while ……

Jay Nicholas –  June 8, 2011

Residency and Anadromy in O. mykiss, May 25, 2011

BTW, this here fish is a hatchery steelhead that was released into the South Santiam in April or May, and was still hanging out in the river in September, where it gulped a size 16 Renegade and was then released back into the river to compete with wild rainbow, cutthroat, and chinook juveniles.

Wow, what a complex question, that faced by a rainbow/steelhead trout which is now actually a member of  Oncorhynchus, not as it formerly was, of Salmo, and as such is a member of the Pacific Salmon family.

What was the question?  Oh yes.  I am a little O mykiss (rainbow) living in Hood River.  My mom and dad might have been anadromous (like they swam to the ocean and came back) or they might have both matured somewhere in Hood River, mated and produced me.  But now, gosh darn it, I have this strong impuse to head off downstream myself, swim out into the ocean and migrate way up between Alaska and Russia in the Alaskan Gyre (Google that if you will), hang out for a few years, and then come on home to the Hood.  (play on words?)

This blog ain’t gonna answer the question completely, as this would take more time and dilligence than I have at the moment.  But here is the deal.

O. mykiss is good at exploiting habitat and ecological opportunities.  Some fascinating research in Kamchatka indicates that rivers with very fertile feed production tend to produce more “residency” in mykiss, although a proportion of the rainbow do practice anadromy (as if they need practice) and head out to sea and back, thusly becoming steelhead.

Conversely, the anadromous life history was more common in rivers where we would consider food production to be on the stingy side.  This makes sense.  If there isn’t much to eat, then let’s go to sea, grow, make lots of big eggs, and then come home to spawn.  If on the other hand, there is a ton of food in the river, then why bother?

One cool aspect of this tendency to express fundamentally an anadromous or resident life history, with lots of interbreeding among both “types” of fish, is that it shows how O. mykiss can exploit significantly different ecological conditions by mostly staying in the river to mature or mostly going to sea to mature.

But I ramble, as per usual.  Go to southern CA, at the extreme southern edge of where steelhead persist these days.  Little streams.  Harsh warm climate.  Unpredictable stream flow patterns.  And on top of all that, a few impassable dams.  O. mykiss persists above these dams, sending some number of little fish downstream over the barrier each year, and amazingly, if there is water in the creek, there may be two,or three or six or heck, even a dozen or so steelhead come back to the creek in some years.

Many studies in Columbia River, if not all, have found that resident mykiss parents can produce anadromous offspring, anadromous parents can produce off spring that mature in the river, and parental pairings can include any possible combination of anadromous and non anadromous fish.

Jon McMillan has observed non-ocean going O. mykiss spawning with anadromous steelhead in Olympic Peninsula rivers.  If it goes on in those coastal WA populations, then why not here in Oregon?

In oregon, ask the coastal biologists if we have “resident” rainbow and they will almost universally say that we do not.  My guess is that there are indeed offspring of anadromous mykiss that stay in the river and spawn with non ocean going or ocean going mates, producing mostly offspring that go to sea, but an occasional little guy or gal that matures in the river.

What about steelhead through Ballard Locks?  I find it difficult to believe that the mostly river resident rainbow in upriver tributaries don’t produce at lease a few little guys and gals who do in fact migrate to the ocean and try to return as big adults.  It may simply be that this life history is so scant that no one notices these fish, or that survival is so low that none survive to make it back through Ballard Locks, but common, there have to be a few offspring of the upriver O. mykiss that are trying to express an anadromous life history, don’t ya think?

Our Oregon coastal rivers could be an example of an ecological setting where food supplies, rationed across many species of Pacific Salmon, are slim enough that the residency life history is so rare compared to the anadromous life history.  But to think that the stay at home in the river to mature life history is completely missing in Oregon coastal mykiss populations seems a stretch, given what we have seen in most every place where we have really looked closely.

Most every place, not every place, I should add.  Let’s consider the McKenzie River, in the upper Willamette River basin.  This river is big and bold, it grows tons (not that I have weighed the critters, but a lot of rainbow at any rate) of what we call resident rainbow.  We call ‘en resident rainbow because they live out their entire life cycle in the McKenzie, Willamette, and various tributaries of same.  These O. mykiss are in a river close to 200 miles from the ocean.  There is what I would consider decent food supply in the river, and it seems that these mykiss have evolved to be stay-at-homes to such a great extent, that we don’t believe that there are any anadromous offspring of these rainbow.

Hummmmm.  If so, is this because there was such a clear disadvantabe to make the long migration to and from the ocean that the anadromous life history pretty much got weeded out of the population?  Are McKenzie mykiss derived from stream capture of an interior mykiss ancestor that had even less tendency to go clear to the ocean than to stay close to home?

So, yes, I think if one goes far enough inland, and looks at”rainbow” that have been isolated from the ocean long enough, you will see anadromy pretty much lacking from the life history expressions.

The Elwah?  I do not know enough about the specifics to be an expert and recommend a breeding program to re-establish runs of anadromous Pacific Salmon.  But your proposal should be considered.  And it really grates on my sensibilities to think about flooding the system with hatchery fish to restore anadromy to the upper basin.  I do not know exactly what has survived below and above the dam.  I am sure that a hundred years of isolation has had some genetic effects on the up and downstream mykiss.  So too, the below-dam Pacific Salmon in the Elwah, may have been influenced by hatchery programs.  Wouldn’t this be a great opportunity to restore an all wild assemblage of many species of Pacific Salmon in this gorgeous basin that has been strangled by the dam for so long?

Ooops.  Editorializing.  Again.

But hey, here’s an idea, if it is deemed essential to use hatchery fish to restore a wild run, what about limiting the program to one life cycle and prohibiting any fishing on the river for three life cycles?  I know, none of my business.  But an honest to goodness conservation/restoration effort shouldn’t get mired in harvest battles, and should give the fish a decent shot at making the re-introuduction on their own, because these are amazing resilient fish, given half a chance, and especially considering the quality of the upriver habitat in the Elwah.

And how would anyone know that there are not any anadromous mykiss returning to the Elwah from above-dam resident rainbow?

Jay Nicholas, May 25, 2011

Watcha Up to these days, huh?

Well….

1.  Went fishing and my friend Jim caught a beautiful hatchery spring chinook and a Kwikfish about half as long as the boat and Bandit wasn’t with us and it was great to be on the water with Jim after who knows how long an intermission man did I miss that dog and no, I didn’t really get a grab but I did get a jiggle which I took for a cutthroat trout but who really knows and then there was a sort of but not quite pull or almost a sort of something at the end of my swing that just might have been a salmon but I doubt it not like those solid how could that fish not have been hooked oh my gosh now I am excited no not even enough to get the adrenaline pumping but it did generate at lease five minutes of well it could possibly have been a salmon but I wouln not want to overstate it and….

2.  I went to eat a forbidden hamburger in Tillamook like I always order which is just the meat and ketchup on the bun and no cheese or anything else please and yes I got the fries too and then I got my meal and was eating the fries and drinking my caffeinated need to stay awake for the drive home and had not opened my burger box when all of a sudden I became aware of someone yelling at someone else behind the counter and it was the manager ripping up more than one person because there on the counter was a all meat ketchup only burger that some customer had returned because they wanted the mushroom cheese bacon burger and they sure didn’t want a meat and ketchup only burger that was for sure and then the criticism flowed completely around the staff back behind the counter about how there had been too many misakes and so and so was not happy and I was pretty sure that Mr. so and so was the manager because he was like all dressed up and looking angry and the hired help was scurring around with frowns on their faces and then withoug even opening up my burger box i walked back to the counter to smile at the scared little face standing quivering there and I said something like it was Ok and everyone makes mistakes but this scared person whispered about not wanting to get in more trouble with the manager and then there elapsed maybe 4 minutes of yelling and harassment and I just went back and sat down and finished my fries which I would have done anyway because I am a save the meat and ketchup on a bun for last anyway and then after a while it got like really quite and the slicked up manager came out all smiles and so forth and handed my corrected burger with his apologies and I was tempted to ask him to lay off the staff because I was pretty sure that they were doing as good as they could but no I just smiled at him and said thanks but it has been bothering me ever since and I wish I knew if saying something to him would have made him treat his staff better or if he would have been even meaner the next time and who really knows and man it is sure a high pressure job to work the counter at a fast food joint and …

3.  I tied a Silver Hilton with a grizzly hen cape, a Langtry Stone with a #2 Cree cape, and a Chinook Prawn with ingredients so secret that I have already forgotten what I used but here are the photos anyway and let me tell you that no matter how many flies a person may have tied in their lives it is tough to sit down and get it right after a many too many hiatus from the bench and the first version of each fly sucked so bad that I refused to photograph them and man is it strange in the new era of almost impossible to get saddle hackles like just a few monhs ago we could have any rooster feaher in any color we wanted but not now no sir indeed and try to get saddles for out Intruders but ha ha ha and like a Pik-yer-Poket must be about a 90 buck fly now just for the feathers and I remamber when I used to take these feathers for granted but now now not never again and what will the world be like if the women and men decide to wear cross cut rabbit in their hair gosh that would be crazy and then we would really be DOOMED as fly tyers and maybe I should stock up on pink and purple and black and blue rabbit strips and now that I think about it has anyone noticed how difficult it is to get Osrich these days and I think I am going to see if I can stock up on hen capes for my steelhead and Chinook collars before they dissappear too and …

4.  I watched a video I shot with Chris Daughters on how to tie one of Brian Silvey’s most awesome steelhead flies and my fly looked puny next to Brian’s but heck it was unrehearesed and Chris wouldn’t let me re-shoot the video and I know the fly would have cagught fish anyway and I do need to get in the groove again and ….

5.  Our two new family Kittens, Boomer and Baby Rollo are about twice the size when we got them 3 weeks ago these cute little creatures with each their own personalities are perfect examples of what love and constant attention and patience and hugs can do for people if they ever receive it but there are one heck of a mess of people who never in their whole life get treated with the love and patience and respect that these two cats have been and I am going to need to work extra this month hell every month to buy cat food not to mention Jackson being 12 and what on earth will College cost when he is ready to go and I sure hope I am still here then but probably by then I will be back to normal whatever normal is for me ahhhhh what the heck anyway, I’ll focus on the cat food first and then a few tackle items and maybe a WaterMaster and finally take some fishing destination trips like I honestly have planned and……

In conclusion:  does anyone know what this photo (below) shows?   Do you?

Thanks for all the encouraging notes my friends have sent me.  They mean more than I can express.   I just received my official diagnosis:  weird.  Textbook.  Quirky too.  Sustainable.  Count on periodic lapses into sputtering and drooling and definitely bingeing on various subjects including fly fishing, fly tying, and lord knows what.

BTW, it was wonderful to throw a shooting head on a 9 wt after 6 months.  Next up:  an honest grab!

Jay Nicholas, 23 May, 2011

Product Loyalty, March 12, 2011


“Jay is a __________  Guy, you know.”

Huh?

I overheard this comment a few months ago, uttered by a fly fishing industry rep.  The implication was that, hummmmm, actually, I don’t know exactly what the implication of that remark was.

Probably, it implied that I would actively promote __________ fly lines over __________, __________ or some other manufacturer’s fly line.  Maybe it implied that I should be shunned by someone who is a “__________ Guy” (or gal) and certainly by an “__________ guy” (or gal).

Let’s call BS on this, folks.

Here is what it true: I’m on the “Conservation Staff” for __________ Sports and __________, and __________.  I have a bunch of friends at __________.  I actively promote __________, feel almost like family there and would probably die if __________ closed their doors.  I support __________  __________ and make a lot of tutorial videos for the __________.

Now let’s see how those relationships affect my fishing and my views regarding other Oregon Independent fly shops.

The fly lines I fish certainly don’t exhibit a pattern of brand exclusivity.  I fish __________ Skagit Compact and Scandi Compact fly lines.  I am fishing the latest models of __________ Skagit Flight and Skagit Short fly lines.  I have fished the new __________ Skagit Extreme Multi Tip fly line.

Without exception, I have found Spey fly lines from __________, __________, and __________ that I am able to cast well and enjoy fishing.  Keep in mind that I am not one of the rare guys or gals who are actual, verifiable expert Spey casters; casting Wizards who can make any line work.  I am basically a “hack” Spey caster, I love it, I am learning and getting better all the time, but still probably represent a very average skill level in the two-hand world.  Ask Rob, Nate, or Jeff; they will agree, they have seen me cast.

This background is important because it means that an average Spey fisher can expect a Spey fly line made by __________, __________, and __________ will perform for him or her; it means that I am able to recommend any of these three fly line manufacturers and be frank about my recommendation.  I pay attention to the rod – line weight match more than to the manufacturer.  If a person is product-loyal to __________, or ________, or __________ , that’s fine with me, and I can recommend a fly line based on weight for any rod in any of these brands.

My Chinook fly lines include the full spectrum of __________, __________, and __________ lines.  Traditional Shooting heads by, and are loaded on an arsenal of fly reels stashed in my jet sled.  The __________ shooting heads are dinosaurs in that they don’t have factory loops, but they hold a dear place in my heart.  The __________  __________ series of integrated shooting heads are perfectly suited to hassle-free tidewater Chinook fishing, as are the __________ fly lines, and both are loaded on my fly reels and spools when I head out to fish for spring and fall Chinook. Running lines from __________ and __________ back up my traditional and Spey head fly lines.  How’s that for product loyalty?

What about fly rods? I fish __________, __________, __________, __________, and __________ fly rods.  Each of these fly rods is fun and is an excellent fly fishing tool.  My beat-up old __________ 10 wt. generates a lot of fond memories associated with king salmon.  My  __________ single-hand salmon rod has a growing collection of happy memories and this fly rod makes me smile too.  The same is true with my fly rods by __________, __________, and __________.  Do I have favorites?  Sure, but I have many personal quirks too.  If I had to choose one fly rod for salmon; one rod for steelhead Skagit Spey fishing; one rod for Steelhead dry line Spey fishing; one rod to Spey fish king salmon; one rod to fish sea run cutthroat –get the idea.  I could do it if forced. The rod would be excellent and I would have fun if limited to only one fly rod for each species, season, and tactical situation.  But why not have fun and mess around.

Why would anyone limit himself or herself to only fishing one brand fly rod?  Why not experiment and fish different rods now and then?  Why not have fun with our fly rods and lines.  Why not try to learn and expand one’s experience base.

We live in a time where many really good casting and fishing rods are available to us fly fishing fanatics.  Let’s enjoy ourselves, OK?

Same goes with settling on a list of favorite flies for our salmon, steelhead, and sea run cutthroat fishing.  Sure I have favorite fly patterns when I fish for sea-run cutthroat, Chinook, or steelhead.  Sure I tend to go back to these year after year, day after day.  Some of my favorite summer steelhead flies have evolved only a little over three decades.   Some of my fly patterns are still in the early stages of evolution, and these change from season to season, mostly.  Each session at the fly bench could as easily produce a handful of experimental flies as it could produce a set of “tried and true” favorites.

What about loyalty to people who work for different fly line and rod manufacturers?

The sad part about a perception that a person is an __________ guy or gal, __________ guy or gal, __________ guy or gal, __________ guy or gal, is that it can create the effect of hindering friendships.  I have several friends, and I consider them good friends, who rep for various fly fishing manufacturers, own businesses, or work for retailers.  Industry competitiveness exists and this tension affects people’s relationships.  Yes it does.

So let’s knock it off folks. I recommend fly fishers and fly tyers shop at the __________.  I also recognize a network of most excellent, independent Fly Shops owned by several other people I consider friends.  Haven forbid that someone might buy a bag of dubbing from __________ when they could buy it from __________; buy a __________ fly line instead of an __________; buy a __________ fly rod instead of an __________ or __________; and a __________ bag instead of a __________.

Our world just might come to a screeching halt.

For goodness sake, people, enough with the silliness.

At day’s end,though, I’m a __________ ball cap person.  Sorry, it’s just how it is.

Jay Nicholas, March 12, 2011

Today and Every Day – Choices we Make

Mornin’ folks.

Look out, I’ve been feeling reflective lately.  No fishing stories.  No tales of adventure or tackle or feathers.

The signs are all around. Time is short.  Options are limited and are becoming fewer each day.  I have so much here to live for.  Family.  Friends.  Wild salmon.  Become a better man.  Resisting the push of water against my thighs. A chance, perhaps, to swim  with Wild Salmon.

Every moment counts, every choice matters.  I will make choices today.  So will you. May we be blessed to know who we are, create a small measure of kindness, seek ways to make each day better than if we were not here, and consider that justice and rightness are elusive.

By the way. I am not done here.  Not quite yet.

Jay Nicholas, March 9, 2011

Great Grabs: November 4, 2010

One of the places where I would like my family and friends to leave a pinch of my ashes.  Not too soon though.  May this be a place where salmon gather each year, long after you and I have passed on.

Great Grabs: November 4, 2010

Jay Nicholas, March 5, 2011

Jay Nicholas’ Salmon Fisher’s Journal: Great Grabs – October 20, 2010

Jay Nicholas’ Salmon Fisher’s Journal

Afternoon sun, bright king salmon rolling in the pool, a 300 gr., 30′ shooting head, and my trusty  Burkheimer 7115-4. Remember to keep a low rod angle, folks; this Spey rod makes an awesome delivery system to overhead cast shooting heads for king salmon.  Posted on January 28, 2011.  An enduring memory from my 2010 salmon season.

JN

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

General Practitioner Intruder Style: Adaptation to Pro Tube Fly System January 5, 2011

Adapting the General Practitioner to the Pro Tube Fly System

The General Practitioner fly pattern is an oft-mimicked fly  style and is embraced by fly fishers pursuing  steelhead,  Atlantic salmon,  and Sea Trout around the world. The reason is simple; the General Practitioner, or something like the “official” fly dressing is an effective fly to fish and a pleasing fly to tie.

Modifications of the General Practitioner are often given exotic names that include the word “Prawn.”  Many motivations have generated adaptations to the General Practitioner, including personal preference, level of tying experience, limitations of materials at hand on a tyer’s bench, two bottles of Micro Brew, or wild whimsy. The General Practitioner is often tied on shank hooks and is also tied Intruder-style on Waddington Shanks and tubes.

The General Practitioner fly is usually tied in orange, purple, pink, or Chartreuse.  But usually orange or purple.  Not that I have ever seen a purple shrimp in the wild.  Maybe there are hatchery purple shrimp.  Maybe, maybe not.

Maintaining my current focus on adapting favorite winter steelhead flies to Tubes, I decided to take a creative shot at a fly that maintained properties consistent with an orange, prawn-like General Practioner.  I also decided to stretch this tube fly a little beyond the traditional Practitioner proportions, with visions of  Intruder flies dancing in my brain.  But why not, you might well ask,  just tie the traditional dressing on a tube?

Good question. Answer: because I tend to be a “functionalist” when it comes to fly tying.  I like to zero in on function, to how the fly will swim, its sinkability, its silhouette, and how the steelhead will react to the fly.  Bottom line, I want a fly that will fish well under specific water conditions and that will elicit the grab-response from Mr. or Ms. Steelhead.

This General Practitioner Tube Intruder, I believe, will sink, swim, and stimulate winter and summer steelhead every measure as well as the traditional General Practitioner fly does, and that is a good thing.  One more point to note:  this fly is tied long enough and sparsely dressed that it could qualify as a “knock-off” steelhead or king salmon Intruder.

General Practitioner Tube Intruder steelhead Fly.

Tube: Pro Tube system Flixi Tube, black (not that it matters); adapted to seat trailer hook in Hook guide.  I preferred to use the tapered,  translucent Pro Tube Hook Guide rather than the thick diameter rear section of the Pro Flexi Tube to place the hook near the end of the tail.

Tail: orange bucktail, striped with black Sharpie (thanks Rob), three fibers of Hot Orange Krystal flash on both sides of tail.

Butt: Orange Ice Dub spun in loop; tie off and slide on red/brass Pro Tube system Cone Disc.

Body: Orange Ice Dub spun in loop; tie in oval gold Lagartun gold tinsel at rear of fly; wind body forward; tie in hot orange dyed grizzly Euro Saddle Rooster Hackle at front of fly by butt of hackle; wind palmer hackle to rear of body; wrap oval tinsel forward through hackle; tie off tinsel; trim hackle tip at rear of body.

Wing: hot orange bucktail, body length only.

Horns: 3 long Krystal Flash fibers to rear of tail; three fibers to length of wing only.

Collar: Hareline cross-cut rabbit, peachy orange ; grasp fur in Marc Petitjean Magic Tool, trim fur from hide strip; place in waxed thread loop; spin into dubbing brush; wind on as hackle collar substitute.

Cone: Pro Tube Fly System; gold cone head; 7.5 mm.

Hook: Daiichi 2571 Steelhead Boss hook #2.

Jay Nicholas, January 5, 2011