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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Tis' the time of year to be fishing bits of hair, feathers or (heaven forbid) synthetics over your favorite anadromous salmonids. I thought it would be fun to hear what your favorite surface patterns are and why these patterns have become favorites.

I'll start:
At the risk of sounding really self absorbed, I will admit that my favorite surface fly happens to one that I developed - the Little Wang (at least I wasn't the one that named it, thanks Jeff).

This odd fly appeals to me mainly because I can see it thanks it's upright, umm, anatomical feature. The visual aspect is critical to me because being able to track my fly keeps my focus and anticipation going. Of course, when a surface attack comes, I don't want to miss any of that action! I also designed this fly with maximum wakability in mind and the wang tends to stay up in all but the most extreme downward sucking hydraulics.

Of course there is nothing truly new under the sun, so you will probably note in my pattern traces of influence from Tony Wratney's foam dome, Dean Finnerty's skater, and Mark Pinch's Riffle Dancer.

My other favorite is McMillan's Steelhead Caddis. I love the low riding bugginess of this simple, sparse pattern. I always fish this fly with a riffle hitch and for some reason, when steelhead come up for this fly, the takes are confident with a high percentage of solid hookings. This fly is also dear to me because it's originator Bill McMillan and the stories in Dry Line Steelhead that showcased this fly.

Wishing you all a blessed surface fishing season where surface attacks stream through your conciousness uncontrollably!

Todd
 

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Marmalade Manic Muddler, pard. Not surprised are you?

Why? Well, I enjoy the story of its Scotch-fueled, convoluted, camp-site creation (if any muddler pattern can be said to be “created” anymore), tied right, it skids like a champ, fish seem to go for it, and two of the hottest summer fish I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet have risen to play with it.

What’s not to like?

(After the MM, give me a simple Spade......Hey, I am a simple guy)

I think we all gravitate, where possible, to some pattern we have had a hand in coming up with or tweaking.
 

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Red Truck, ACR, Echo DHII, Danielsson, Leland, Hardy, Rio, Airflo
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Without a doubt I have two dependent on foe...
Trout would be a greased up Muddler no questions asked, as much Gunk as it will hold
Salmo Salar I am a historian and a Green and Orange Hackled Deer Hair Buck Bug trimmed football shaped

Yes I am a bit old fashioned :)
 

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For me that's easy...a Green Bomber on a size 2 streamer hook.
My first dry fly taken Atlantic was on that pattern in Spring Rock Pool on the Dartmouth River Near Gaspe, Quebec...22 pounds!!!
 

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Idahodryfly
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X2. Can’t beat a big dead drifted bomber
Hi Gang:

Life is short- too short not to do what you love-as often as you can. Therefore, I don't spend much time fishing subsurface. Triggering a steelhead to move to my surface fly is what I love...each "experience" is etched in my mind forever. As far as where I'm on in the surface fly steelheading path - I'm not sure. I've chased these fish for 50 years using this method - yet I feel like a novice every time I'm on the river. Each rise brings me to my knees, the experience leaves me shaking with the thrill, and I end up smiling for days in the afterglow. Surface fly steelheading makes me a kid again and provides me memories that I hold fast too and play over and over in my mind. My fountain of youth.

I don't know much- but what I do know is that I have a bad case of: "surface steelhead obsession." I've gladly given up numbers of fish- for that one fish. I've gladly given up trying for big fish- for that one fish. And, while I sometimes go fishless- I'm happy to do so if I have fished the river well and if I've presented my surface fly to any and all willing fish within a run. Snobbish- no -just obsessed. I'll be the first one to a friend's side when he or she has hooked up using any fly fishing method. I'll celebrate with them and rejoice for they have accomplished a great feat. I just love the journey and times that are shared with others. It's a pleasant illness I suffer from...and only my friends here on Speypages can understand that I have gladly learned to love my own illness and obsession. Why would a guy stand in an ice cold river waiving a stick using nothing but a few feathers trying to catch a sea going fish that has traveled to the Aleutian Islands and back - some 2000 miles - and which-as best we know-in the fish's mind has only reproduction on it's to -do list. yep, I'm crazy and my kids never let me forget it.

Oh well - it's what I love. Thank god guys like Todd and the group exist so I'm not alone. In fact, compared to Todd, I'm very normal!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
X2. Can’t beat a big dead drifted bomber
Hi Gang:

Life is short- too short not to do what you love-as often as you can. Therefore, I don't spend much time fishing subsurface. Triggering a steelhead to move to my surface fly is what I love...each "experience" is etched in my mind forever. As far as where I'm on in the surface fly steelheading path - I'm not sure. I've chased these fish for 50 years using this method - yet I feel like a novice every time I'm on the river. Each rise brings me to my knees, the experience leaves me shaking with the thrill, and I end up smiling for days in the afterglow. Surface fly steelheading makes me a kid again and provides me memories that I hold fast too and play over and over in my mind. My fountain of youth.

I don't know much- but what I do know is that I have a bad case of: "surface steelhead obsession." I've gladly given up numbers of fish- for that one fish. I've gladly given up trying for big fish- for that one fish. And, while I sometimes go fishless- I'm happy to do so if I have fished the river well and if I've presented my surface fly to any and all willing fish within a run. Snobbish- no -just obsessed. I'll be the first one to a friend's side when he or she has hooked up using any fly fishing method. I'll celebrate with them and rejoice for they have accomplished a great feat. I just love the journey and times that are shared with others. It's a pleasant illness I suffer from...and only my friends here on Speypages can understand that I have gladly learned to love my own illness and obsession. Why would a guy stand in an ice cold river waiving a stick using nothing but a few feathers trying to catch a sea going fish that has traveled to the Aleutian Islands and back - some 2000 miles - and which-as best we know-in the fish's mind has only reproduction on it's to -do list. yep, I'm crazy and my kids never let me forget it.

Oh well - it's what I love. Thank god guys like Todd and the group exist so I'm not alone. In fact, compared to Todd, I'm very normal!
Rick,
Thanks for capturing the essence of what this quest is about. Totally agree that it's no longer about numbers or size, just finding those special fish that are willing to provide the thrills we seek.

You are right, compared to me, just about everyone else is normal! So glad that you and I connected over this common passion that we share.

Todd
 

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Great posts!!!
So far my favorite surface flies are the Little Wang, tied on with a loop, and a muddler, especially a black and peacock version, riffle hitched.
I love the Little Wang because it is virtually unsinkable, can be seen from a distance, rides choppy water like no other, and leaves a phenomenal wake that ellicits vicious strikes.
The muddler leaves a nice wake, is easy to cast and just feels right. My first take by a surface steelhead using a muddler may have something to do with it.
I have tried the Lemire flies yet, but plan too.

Nate
 

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Idahodryfly
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Royal Wulff.
Steelhead 23- the Royal Wulff is one fly I haven't tried for surface steelhead and I have always wanted. You find it productive sense it is your favorite. Please provide more details and cornicle some experiences if you would. I'd love to hear about its use and effectiveness.

A couple of questions:

1.) Do you fish it with action? movement? or just dead drift it?

2.) What sizes do you like best?

3.) Any special tying features? tail material? red- tinsel or floss? hackle?

Thanks,
IdahoDryFly-Rick
 

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Steelhead caddis, TRC, Muddler are my usual, or a cross of them all. I like buggy natural material flies, about half the time I'm just hitching a small GBS.
 

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The only foam skater I use is Todd's Little Wang ... very partial to the Celestial Skater :)

I like to change things up because I love tying flies ... but here's are my favorites

- Greaseliner in gray muskrat or "Wasp" (black and yellow stripes)

- Keith's Marmalade Manic Muddlers in black/peacock

Muddlers (silver and gold)




And this creation that has no name yet but is fashioned after a GB Skunk



I tie it in a Hairy Mary version too



Both the GB Skunk and Hairy Mary versions were good to me last season :D


Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Marmalade Manic Muddler, pard. Not surprised are you?

Why? Well, I enjoy the story of its Scotch-fueled, convoluted, camp-site creation (if any muddler pattern can be said to be “created” anymore), tied right, it skids like a champ, fish seem to go for it, and two of the hottest summer fish I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet have risen to play with it.

What’s not to like?

(After the MM, give me a simple Spade......Hey, I am a simple guy)

I think we all gravitate, where possible, to some pattern we have had a hand in coming up with or tweaking.
I remember that, you were watching me tie Wangs and when you saw that it involved flaring hair in front of the chenille ball, your muddler brain went hey....... next thing you got on my vice, grubbed up materials and rest is manic muddled history!
 

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Love your muddlers, Mike (as always)! And I tied up a fly two nights ago nearly identical to your GB Skunk Muddler.

Great minds......
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Both the GB Skunk and Hairy Mary versions were good to me last season <img src="http://www.speypages.com/speyclave/images/smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Big Grin" class="inlineimg" />


Mike
Hey, did I miss a story about this, Mike? Otherwise tell us about your success with these flies...

Todd
 

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Love this thread Todd!

My favorites that instill the most confidence are an October Caddis colored Dragon Fly, a Muddler, and my new favorite the Lil Wang:D Over the years I would say the Dragon Fly has accounted for a bulk of my success, but the Wang is now right up there in the confidence department.

I posted a picture of the Dragon Fly below as it may have another name, but I've always heard it dubbed as the Dragon Fly....either way, it works :smokin:

[/url]IMG_6220 by cphatts, on Flickr[/IMG]
 
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