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Grandpa Howard
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3,432 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Here is a quick and easy, down and dirty, trailer trash type fly that I do use. I have never been much into the Intruder type flies; yes I know they are effective, but when it comes to tying and fishing big flies I prefer marabou for the base material. The first marabous I tied for winter steelhead were on heavy copper tubes. I had no clue on the proportions and ended up using 5 times the needed amount of marabou. It was disheartening as I watched my big winter fly floating on the surface all the way through the swing. The fly was almost impossible to cast and after 5 failed attempts to get it to sink, I cut it off and round filed the whole batch. When I told Dec of my misadventure, he grinned and said “two plumes, that’s all you need”. I tied up a new batch for my next trip using Dec’s advice. The flies worked, they were easy to cast, had great movement in the water, and the fish responded strongly. The trailer hook is a fairly new addition to the marabous I tie. I have experimented with a number of different materials for the hook loop and have found covered stainless wire to be the best. The stiffer loop minimize the chance of fouling, but still allows for some movement. I tie this type of fly on both tubes and shanks. This way I can get to any depth with out using lead wraps or dumbbells. I found my newest source for shanks in the local bait shop. They had some plastic worm hooks in the bargain bin for a nickel a piece, so I snatched them up. I have found when tying big flies less is best. I keep them simple so they are fast and easy to tie. There are no limits on color combos and remember, your shank, no rules. Thanks for looking and have fun with this one.



Hook: Shank or tube
Butt: Ball of dubbing
Body: Dubbing to match marabou
Hackle: Marabou, front, mid and aft
Wing: Two grizzly hackles and flash
Collar: Schlappen

Start by securing the shank in the vise. Start the tying thread about ¼ inch back from the eye. Make a loop with the covered wire and secure on top of the shank. As you move forward with the thread keep the wire on top of the shank and push the tag ends through the eye. Wrap all the way to the eye.

Note – you don’t have to take the wire through the eye. You could end the loop back from the eye a bit. I go through the eye for extra security and durability. This way I never get to wondering if the loop is going to hold, it’s a confidence thing. Also make sure the loop is long enough to thread on the trailer hook.



Pull the tag ends back and start wrapping back to the end of the shank. Keep the tag ends on the bottom of the shank as you make the securing wraps.



Dub a pretty good sized ball at the butt of the shank. Select a long fibered marabou plume and strip all the fluff off the stem. Next strip all the fibers off one side of the plume. Secure in the marabou plume tip first. Wrap the plume as a collar and secure. Keep it sparse.



Dub to the mid point of the shank and secure in a second marabou plume prepared the same as the last. Again keep it sparse. Dub to the front leaving ample room for more marabou and the collar.



Prepare two marabou plumes by stripping off all the fluff. Spoon the two plumes with the darker color in front. Secure the two plumes in butt first and wrap as a collar. Don’t over load the front of the fly with marabou.



Secure in two grizzly hackles on the sides and a few strand of flash on top. Add a collar of schlappen, build up a small head and this one is ready for the water.



To attach a hook all you have to do is pinch the loop tight at the end and force it through the eye of the trailer hook. Take the loop over the back of the hook and pull tight. Just that easy. Good tying and better fishing

 

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Great stuff Marty! Like you I have been into the marabou stuff a bit more than the intruders, even though I still have some intruder type flies in the pack. And I like how you leave color out of the equation. You can do that fly in just about any color.
 

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Hopeless Romantic...
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1,950 Posts
Super looking fly. Where can I find the "covered stainless wire".

Thanks.
It's called toothy critter wire - I think a Cortland product -
 

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Marty, great looking fly. Next time I sit down at the vise I'll be tying up some of these guys along with more Skagit minnows. Just one quick question, why do you tie the collar marabou plumes butt first? Are you looking for longer fibers in the front to give it a tapered profile?
 

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Grandpa Howard
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3,432 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Marty, great looking fly. Next time I sit down at the vise I'll be tying up some of these guys along with more Skagit minnows. Just one quick question, why do you tie the collar marabou plumes butt first? Are you looking for longer fibers in the front to give it a tapered profile?
Good question, I am not sure. I will have to ask Dec and get back to you. Dec got me started on the butt first thing. My guess is durability and profile.
 
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