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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I attempted to tie two of Ed Ward's Intruders last night. I think they turned out okay, but they are kinda freakin' me out. They are HUGE! This one is on a 2.5" tube and seems huge to me.


I have only seen them online, so I am not sure about the scale. I didn't have all the materials and had to make do with what I have around. I really can't afford to buy all this stuff.

I would appreciate any advice. I followed Ed Ward's pattern from Jack's site and from the one Kush found in forum and just posted again the other day.

Rear Hackle-

Deke's Spey Hackle (imitation heron with huge stems) this is my first time working with this stuff and it is a pain! Doesn't wrap very well. Should I be splitting it like the pheasant tail? The package says not to expect more than 2-3 turns and to steam the feather prior to use.

Feelers-

Tons of ostrich plume tied in separately around the tube. How long should these be? Do you trim the feathers after finishing the fly, or do you tie them to fit? The only colors I have now are from tying scuds and sowbugs on the Bighorn in MT- so kinda limited there. (gray and pink)

Pheasant Tail per Kush's prep- I was pleasantly surprised at how well this palmered. It is really buggy. At first, I thought there is no way this stuff is going to wrap. But, it was hard to find good section of feather after splicing it.

I wonder what I am doing wrong in the prep? How many good pieced does one average per tail? The whole thing? One?

Body-

I used some sparkly chenille I had from tying crawfish patterns for the Lower Madison. It worked alright but looks kinda goofy. I have Estaz, but only in bright colors, and I was going for a darker look.

No badger hackle here! Didn't even know badgers had hackles. I resorted to this Deke's crap I bought at GIJOES. Huge pain to work with on the body. I supposed that is what I get for buying it, but I am fighting with the local fly shop...I guess they won. I was really excited to find this material, but it is tough to work with. I had to do the body in segments- tie in a feather, wrap a few turns of chenille and tie in another feather, etc... I couldn't get more than a few turns out of each feather. I finished-up with pheasant tail per the pattern. Again, I was amazed that this stuff palmers, but I found it really bunches up at the tube. Still, it is the best looking part of the fly. I skipped the deer hair. I was getting lazy and desperate to have this montrosity off my bench.

Shell-

The pattern calls for cree hackle. I am not sure what that is. I assume that is grizzly hackle- at least that is what it looks like. That is what I used. How long should these be? I forgot the guinea.

Head-

I have brass colored lead eyes so I used those. I noticed most guys use steel gray colored ones. Any reason? Oh yeah, skipped the small ball of chenille over the eyes.


Thanks for taking the time to read this. I really want to get these patterns down. I was scared to even try one, but it wasn't that bad. But, I have to admit now I am afraid to fish it! Help me, or I will resort to an ESL.:chuckle:
 

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Here's an article about Cree hackle...

http://www.conranch.com/cree_article.html


What is Cree? No one really knows but in asking around in our fly tying circles we find more thoughts and opinions than one should. Why? There has really never been a standard written down as to what really comprises the color Cree. It has been told that the Cree color has been named after the colors of the Cree Indian Nation. In my search I can not find facts that substantiate this. It may be true but the three colors that are alluded to is just not so. Some say that the colors are Grizzly, ginger and brown. Now I see this as being four colors. Black, white, ginger and brown. But in looking at Crees I see the colors as being 5. They are Black, White, Light Cream, Ginger and Brown. There may even be shades of the above to include Tan.
-- Denny Conrad co-owner of Conranch Hackle.
 

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working w/ spey hackle

I've use some spey hackle from Spirit River that sounds very similar to what you're using. You might try soaking it in water for a bit to soften the stem and then strip one side. Stripping it essentially split the stem and the water made it pliable.
 

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That Guy in PEI.....
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Why all the fuss??

Argos.
Why so worried about following this pattern to the letter,,, you can rest assured that the failure to track down genuine cree hackle will not make the Intruder you tie any less potent. You can pretty much follow the general profile with whatever you can lay your hands on and you will have a fishable fly. Your "didn't even know badgers had hackles" line made laugh my ass off,,, easily the most humorous line i've read in awhile:chuckle:
If you can find all the materials that Ed calls for then fine,, but trust me,, no one will question if your Intruder has been tied in the Classic style;)
Good luck with them and post a pic in the gallery when you have them finished.
Salmon Chaser
 

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Argos,

That is right - don't fret too much over exact materials. The wings used are pretty much whatever I feel like using - though I am partial to hackle feathers and use natural grizzly alot (yes Grizzlies do have hackle - the trick is to pull them out while they are in deep hibernation) :rolleyes: .

I really like using 3 or 4 strands of peacock herl for the bodies of my "buggy" Intruders.

The only material I will not substitute is the pheasant tail. So far ringneck is the best I have found. Most shops out here have taken to getting dyed tails in an array of colours.

I soak mine overnight in water with a generous dollop of hair conditioner and while it is still wet strip it and the membrane from the main stem. It does take a little practice to get the whole tail stripped in one piece, but that is not necessary as a 3 or 4 inch piece will easily provide the 3 or 4 turns that I use.

As for the facing hackle I use any big hackle in the colour needed for that particular fly... suit yourself.

When you first tie it the pheasant stands way out, but when you fish, it sweeps back nicely. The real value of using pheasant as hackle is that its stiffness maintains a large profile and the appearance of bulk - without real bulk. With a fly that could be 4 or 5 inches long this is important.

By the way I have been successfully experimenting with "smaller" Intruders - that is 2-3" long flies - so they do not have to be gargantuan. But, the huge mothers do catch fish!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks

Thanks guys!

I have 2 pics in the gallery, and will keep tying when I get home.

Kush, when you strip your phesant tail is the membrane wide? Is it quite a bit thicker than the feathers themselves? It seems to really bulk-up in spots around the tube.

Do you imagine most rivers with good winter steelhead rivers are a good spot to try intruders?

Thanks again guys!
 

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I do find that the membrane is a little wider - but not thicker and it doesn't get in the way for me. You could try soaking the feather for 10 minutes in warm water (this is what Ed does when he wraps his split pheasant tails) this would help create a nice tight wrap.

As for where to fish them - where there are steelhead1 :D I have had success with both winter and summer fish. If the water is very clear or the sun bright I will go with smaller more neutral colours... but if you fish them, you will get fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
prepping pheasant

Ever try prepping a bunch of pheasant tail at one time? seems like this is the biggest consumer of time in the whole pattern and one could save time in the process by prepping before tying.

If so, how do the hackles work after prep and storage. That is to say, do the hackles need to be moist from soaking while actually tying, or do you soak just for stripping?

I am practicing stripping/slicing a bunch of mallard flank because I have bags of it. I have soaked it for a few hours in a lot of hair conditioner. I got carried away with the"dollop." How much is a dollop exactly?:)

I think less is more in this case. My kitchen smells like cheap perfume from this stuff and my fingers are raw, but it is good practice. I am holding off on the pheasant because, while I have tons of pheasant tail from hunting, I don't have much dyed stuff.

Anybody dye thir own? Always heard it is too much of a pain in the ass, but i just paid $4.49 for two lousy pheasant tails dyed bright orange. And, the dye is coming off in the water/conditioner mixture. Cheap stuff?
 

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I normally do a bunch of tails at one time. The hair conditioner's purpose in the process is to keep the membrane supple after it dries. I have not found it necessary to soak them before tying. Ed does it because he splits his tails and they need to be soked to be supple enough. I tried the razor blade splitting for a while, I am afraid that I am not anal enough to have the patience... I much prefer the stripping.

You don't need too much conditioner a teaspoon full would be more than enough for an average sink.

Yes dying anything is a pain in the butt and pheasant tails do not seem to take it too well. Darker colours appear to take better. I buy black, orange and red and the orange and red are not particularly bright. If I want a bit more brightness I will wind 2 or 3 turns of a nice bright hackle feather in front of the pheasant.

As well, I am using more natural pheasant as I have found the duller natural flies work quite well!
 
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