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Norwegian speyfanatic
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Still many month until the salmon season starts, and a couple of more months before my first steelhead trip. But it's better to get started tying early, so here is my first flies that will take place in my steelhead flybox.

The first flies had to be spey and dee type flies. Maybe that egg sucking leach is more effective, but if I'm gonna catch steelhead, I'm gonna do it with a nice looking fly. When looking on fly patterns from PNW flytiers purple is a color that oftens is used in the flies. Based on that I guess purple is a color which the steelhead favorize. So the first two flies had to be with purple as the main color. The first one is an experimental Dee fly with argus wings, the next is a spey type pattern. Both of them with purple marabou as hackle. The third fly is a chartreuse spey pattern. I know for salmon that this color is good in bright weather, and I guess that the steelhead also know this as well as the salmon :D
 

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Relapsed Speyaholic
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Anything but the ESL! Steelhead deserve better.

Some nice looking patterns Oddbjorn! Purple is a good color and one of my favorites but black is probably fished more than any other. Combinations of orange and red also work well. As do blues, greens and oh yes, pinks. Steelhead are not too picky when it comes to color.
 

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Junkyard Spey
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Nice ties! Those flies would be great were you coming to the Clearwater. Leave those ESLs and sinktips at home. :smokin:
 

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Mr. Mom
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MJC said:
Nice ties! Those flies would be great were you coming to the Clearwater. Leave those ESLs and sinktips at home. :smokin:
I wouldn't travel halfway around the globe without sinktips... Or ESLs for that matter. Gotta have bullets for the gun! :D
 

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Junkyard Spey
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I wouldn't travel halfway around the world without sinktips either but if McIntyre should decide to come to the Clearwater during the time frame of his trip I can't foresee him needing them.
I personally wouldn't waste space in my flybox for ESLs but to each his own.
Yes, I do sell them. :smokin:
 

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Mr. Mom
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MJC said:
I wouldn't travel halfway around the world without sinktips either but if McIntyre should decide to come to the Clearwater during the time frame of his trip I can't foresee him needing them.
I personally wouldn't waste space in my flybox for ESLs but to each his own.
Yes, I do sell them. :smokin:
I guess the open-mindedness in your sig line only applies to fly delivery, not what fly is delivered :D

Intruder= 10 minutes and 8 ingredients some of which are expensive or require pre-processing

Lead eye ESL= under 3 minutes and 5 "you always have them on hand cheap a**" ingredients counting the lead eyes.

Going on a month long or longer trip... I always have room for some ESLs.
 

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Junkyard Spey
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Hey Mom...

I am very open minded. As I said, "to each his own". I have absolutely no problem if "you" want to pack around 500 of those ESLs. Be my guest. I only stated my preference. I can find no conflict in my personal preference for not caring about ESLs and my tag line. My mantra is "whatever works for you".

Lead eye ESL= under 3 minutes and 5 "you always have them on hand cheap a**" ingredients counting the lead eyes.
Speyroo says "BIG purple wooly worms only take a minute and a half". Two materials and one hook:whoa:
 

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Norwegian speyfanatic
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Jamey McLeod said:
Is that Amherst for the tail, can't see the black tips if it is?
The white tail is tips from turkey marabou. I used feathers with little "fluff" on the tips.
 

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Mr. Mom
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625 Posts
Hello McIntyre

One thing that may be fun is to tie up the patterns that either had their historical beginnings, or have come to be associated over time with the rivers you will be fishing. For instance the red ant on the Rogue, the original skunk or the black prince on the Umpqua, the Skykomish Sunrise on the Sunrise... I mean Skykomish river :razz: The members here can surely provide a list for every river from Alaska to California.

The only downside to this is that in almost all cases they are very simple hairwings, and judging by the first flies you posted, will not challenge your skill. But hooking a fish on a river on a fly that is historically associated with that river can make for one heck of an amazing shadowbox display when you return home.
 

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Norwegian speyfanatic
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Philster said:
Hello McIntyre

One thing that may be fun is to tie up the patterns that either had their historical beginnings, or have come to be associated over time with the rivers you will be fishing. For instance the red ant on the Rogue, the original skunk or the black prince on the Umpqua, the Skykomish Sunrise on the Sunrise... I mean Skykomish river :razz: The members here can surely provide a list for every river from Alaska to California.
Good idea Philster.

I have the book "Flies for Steelhead" by Dick Stewart. This books mentions origins of many of the flies. Noticed that the Bulkley havea few surface flies with it's name. Guess at least I have to have some of those in my box. Veverka in "Spey Flies and How to Tie Them" also list history of many of the PNW spey type patterns, so I might tie up some of those as well. I guess the book by Trey Combs also list a few flies specific for each river. The book is ordered, but I haven't received it yet. Maybe the members here have aditional patterns that are not listed in these books.
 

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chartreuse=yes!

i did tie some chartreuse featherwings with died mallard as the wing/hackle,matching dubbing for the body,worked great under low light conditions,i would not look hard at the `style' of the tie but utilse the colors and then tie your own versions ;) ,one CAN tie a green butt skunk or a golden demon many ways,concerning trey combs book(s),the patterns of the `Rogue' flies in steelhead flyfishing and flies were tied by Harry Lemire truly a legendary man and an accomplished tyer beyond what i will ever be able to acheive ,but ( i feel) he tied them for Trey Combs to meet a deadline for his book,,if you compare the multitude of patterns he tied `for the book' versus his own creations,you can easily see a lack of passion in some of the flies,,the `golden rogue' for instance,a proven pattern (almost forgotten by the masses,but proven by me to be a producer ;) ),looks like nothing worth the time to tie,unless tied with passion,,the steelhead are not picky about patterns necesarily but sizes sometimes need to be small or shall we say,will optimise your chances,they will feed like trout on occaision,rising 4-5 ft from below to nip an emerger out of the film,down to a size 12 `wee-double' can be utilized then ;) so tie some small patterns,10-8-6 and send them to me for testing ;) :D
 

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Very nice flies, almost too nice to use !!!

Anyway noted that, the violet colours like blue and purple works incredibly well in low lights as Scandinavian summer nights and autumn afternoons. As you all know the violet colours are the last colour to disappear in dark, whereas Red is the first to go !!
Perhaps thats why your Steelheads dont care for much - but violet or black !!! I have yet to come catching an Atlantic Salmon or Sea Run Brownie on a red fly - after 27 years attempts, whereas yellow, black, brown, green and blue works fine.
In Scandinavia we have an old sayin´ (dont know from where it adheres) ;
Any fly is a good fly, as long as it is black !!!! - Works well in most cases.

By the way - dont see you Steelheaders use much of long winged tubes - why not !
The Steelheads here will take slim long winged tubes, gladly !

Michael
 

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Norwegian speyfanatic
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Michael Koch said:
Very nice flies, almost too nice to use !!!
Thanks for your nice words, Michael :eek:

Anyway noted that, the violet colours like blue and purple works incredibly well in low lights as Scandinavian summer nights and autumn afternoons. As you all know the violet colours are the last colour to disappear in dark, whereas Red is the first to go !!
Perhaps thats why your Steelheads dont care for much - but violet or black !!! I have yet to come catching an Atlantic Salmon or Sea Run Brownie on a red fly - after 27 years attempts, whereas yellow, black, brown, green and blue works fine.
In Scandinavia we have an old sayin´ (dont know from where it adheres) ;
Any fly is a good fly, as long as it is black !!!! - Works well in most cases.
How many times those years have you fished with a red fly? I've caught quite a few salmons on a red fly, but I have to admit it had a black wing. I'm pretty sure you are right about the colours though. I often put blue or purple in my salmon patterns for night fishing, cant prove that they do work any better than a pure black fly, but at least it give me some variations.
Usually the fly you caught most salmon on are the one that are most often on the leader :rolleyes:

By the way - dont see you Steelheaders use much of long winged tubes - why not !
The Steelheads here will take slim long winged tubes, gladly !

Michael
I'm sure the steelhead will take tubeflies too. If you have a look at flyfishingforum.com/flytalk you will see there a growing number of tiers in the pnw that have started experimenting with tube flies.

However you can't compare Steelhead to our seatrout more than you can compare seatrout to atlantic salmon.

Oddbjørn
 

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Red

While not widely used in steelhead flies, I know that red is a good color. Myself and a number of friends utilize red in a number of patterns. Mine tend to be as the non-dominant color such as red wings on my purple bodied Hotep spey and a red wing on the orange and yellow Volcano spey.
 

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Well Mac.

Obviously you are absolutely right that, the fish will "eventually" take the fly you fish ! - And that, no matter the colour.
I have for many years used red/orange coloured flies and in the early eighties the GP types were very popular. I did´nt though see a particular strike pattern towards the red colour, whereas today I clearly see a larger interests for the black/blue and yellow/black variations. I have fished the exact same beat and week number for more than twenty years, wherefore a reliable comparance is likely.
My theory is that, all red flies become grey and that is what the Salmon take it for - being nartural gray, as are the most natural shrimps at sea.
Fishing Sea Trout a grey shrimp fly with an attraction like yellow, white or bluish works great too.

My favorite Salmon flues today mostly have a black or brown base and then with either blue, green or yellow as contrast, but NEVER red, and my catches just increases. But wheather that comes with more knowledge to lies and runs, I cant say.
But as you all know - on a good day with a good run of fresh Atlantics, you will get them on anything !!!

Ref. Steelheads, I know that Steelies have a different eating attitude, and often will take a lot smaller bites than forinstance Sea Trout and Salmon.
But in Denmark, we have great success with very slim tubes up to 4-5 inches for Sea Trout and Steelheads.

Michael
 

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Norwegian speyfanatic
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Michael Koch said:
Well Mac.

Obviously you are absolutely right that, the fish will "eventually" take the fly you fish ! - And that, no matter the colour.
I have for many years used red/orange coloured flies and in the early eighties the GP types were very popular. I did´nt though see a particular strike pattern towards the red colour, whereas today I clearly see a larger interests for the black/blue and yellow/black variations. I have fished the exact same beat and week number for more than twenty years, wherefore a reliable comparance is likely.
My theory is that, all red flies become grey and that is what the Salmon take it for - being nartural gray, as are the most natural shrimps at sea.
Fishing Sea Trout a grey shrimp fly with an attraction like yellow, white or bluish works great too.

My favorite Salmon flues today mostly have a black or brown base and then with either blue, green or yellow as contrast, but NEVER red, and my catches just increases. But wheather that comes with more knowledge to lies and runs, I cant say.
But as you all know - on a good day with a good run of fresh Atlantics, you will get them on anything !!!

Ref. Steelheads, I know that Steelies have a different eating attitude, and often will take a lot smaller bites than forinstance Sea Trout and Salmon.
But in Denmark, we have great success with very slim tubes up to 4-5 inches for Sea Trout and Steelheads.

Michael
Hello Michael

I guess it all depends on the river you fish. In Orkla flies with orange and black seems to be the best allround fly during daytime and blue/black at the evening, night and early morning. Ally Shrimp both in orange and red is quite effective in the day. I do think the salmon sees this colors during daytime, but I guess your right they will fade into gray in low light conditions.

Are there Steelhead in Denmark? This must be fish that have escaped from fishfarms? In Norway there are sometimes escaped rainbows that go up in the rivers, they are not much of a sportsfish as the fins are allmost not existance and they don't give much of a fight. They usually take on anything, pellets being the best :p

Thight lines,
Oddbjørn
 

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Norwegian speyfanatic
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Whether the salmon and steelhead sees orange and red or not, I do think my box need to include an orange Dee fly. The actual fly has been fished a lot with and caught a salmon before the photo was taken, so it's proves that Dee flies could be pretty durable. Hope it will work for steelhead as it works for atlantics.
 

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Junkyard Spey
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That would be a great fly on the Clearwater in Idaho.
 
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