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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a bit confused as to the meaning of Alaskabou. In some pattern books, it is listed as a specific fly pattern(Purple and Blue). But lately, I see it used more loosely as refering to George Cook's styled marabou fly such as the SHow girl and Chum Candy. Would I be correct in saying that Alaskabou is a style of fly, and that names like Popsicle would refer to the specific colour variation?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I did some digging and found about 10 unique named color combinations attached to Alaskabou like Volcano, Chum Candy, Candy Cane, SHowgirl, Nitro etc....

George Cook is credited with creating the fly. I couldn't find much info on him though. Can anyone help me find out some more info on his patterns.

Thanks
 

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Trey Combs Steelhead Flyfishing and Flies should give you what you need.
 

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Thanks, I'll check it out. I did manage to find a link courtesy of another friend that has some info I was looking for.

piscatorflies.com/marabou_flies.php
adiposflytying.com/marabouspeyflies.html

There are some new ones here I didn't hear about before.
 

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Alaskabou is as you mentioned a style of tying marabou spiders. Joe Butorec, now deceased, a professional fly tyer from Arlington, WA began tying marabou spiders for winter steelhead without the use of Krystal Flash or Flashabou back in the 1970's. Several other WA steelhead anglers then added flash materials to the flies very shortly after Joe started tying his marabou spiders.

Bob Aid added Krystal Flash to some of his for a bit of twinkle and flash. George Cook added Flashabou to his primarily to have quite a bit of flash to entice the Alaskan salmon he was primarily using his for. George also used some of his Alaskabou color combos for winter steelhead. There were others WA anglers experiementing with marabou flies as well. Russ Miller began tying marabou flies withou bodies and his flies are tied by simply lashing marabou to the top of a nickle (silver if you will) or gold plated hook allowing the hook to be the body. Some of his flies have flash materials and some don't. Sean Gallagher tied his with marabou lashed on top, a lot of Flashabou added to the wing, a schlappen collar added to the front, and usually a body of braided mylar. Bob Arnold had a tail on his, a body of chenile, and a wing lashed on top with or without the use of flash materials. Trey Combs tied his with a tail, florescent floss body tied over silver tinsel, and a wing that was composed of marabou and a bit a flash tied in as several wings up the body with a hackle collar. And many of us tied in a tail of Krystal Flash at the mid-point of the hook, a short body of chenile that was made thicker at front by triple wrapping it, with different colors of marabou wrapped spider style with Krystal Flash after each marabou, finished with a dyed mallard or teal collar.

There were also fishers in Oregon, nothern CA, and B.C. doing the same things. However, Joe Butorec as far as I know was the first to tie the marabou spiders followed by Bob Aid and George Cook with there additions of flash materials and hackle collars.
 

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You left out John Farrar, a classic guide,who gave me my first spey lesson on a famous Skagit bar.Thanks for the start John!!!I am apparently hawking Dec's book today,but,he gives Al Knudson credit for using it in the 1940's on his marabou history starting on page 66[some wonderful fly pictures].Beau
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
flytyer, thanks for the history behind the fly. Much appreciated. :hihi:

There is much more to it than I had thought.
 

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Beau,

I cop to forgetting about Farrar's and Knudsen's contributions. I also just remembered Randall Kaufmann's substituting marabou for hair on his flies.

You are right about Knutsen most likely being the first to use large marabou flies for steelhead when he adapted his white featherwing streamer (which I suspect was tied for CA Delta stripers prior to his move to Everett, WA) by substituting many whole, white marabou plumes for the hackle wings.

Knutsen as far as I know never tied them spider style (marabou wrapped like a hackle), he simply lashed whole marabou plumes to very large Carlisle hooks, usually #4/0-#6/0 for winter steelhead.

And I said in my other post above, there were many folks in B.C., WA, and OR experimenting with marabou and most of these folks are not well-known.
 

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I am a good friend of George's, he got me started in guiding, fishing the 2-hander, and has been a great mentor. George is the northwest sales rep for Sage Rods. The Alaskabou is pretty much his 15 minutes of fame. He also has a pattern which isn't near as famous called the Alaska Bunny. Basically an alaskabou with a strip of rabbit tied on the tail end of the hook, then marabou, then flash, then schlappen. This was my "go to" fly before I started using stinger hooks and rabbit leeches. George usually shows up at the big consumer fly-fishing shows in the Pacific Northwest, so if you want next time a show comes around stop by the Sage booth and bend his ear, if he's not too busy I'm sure he'd talk to you about his flies.
 
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