June 27, 2009

The Trout Slayer.

After several friends asked me how I tied this fly, I figured it would be easiest to show them here, rather than to try and explain over the phone. So... without further ado... The Trout Slayer. Currently named that for lack of a better name. I'm still undecided though; it's either going to be the Trout Slayer or the Master Baetis (thank you Scott).

This fly has worked exceptionally well in most of the rivers and creeks here in the sierras. Many times all of the other flies in my box would fail while this fly was catching fish. It was tied to imitate a Baetis or Callibaetis nymph as it ascends the water column, but has served well as both a PMD and BWO nymph (and probably some other kinds of bugs too, but only the fish can verify that one).

I use it all the time, even during hatches. Although I love catching fish on dry flies, when the Yuba rainbows start getting real selective about their surface meals, I get tired of watching them eat invisible bugs just inches away from my fly. So, I tie-on one of these and they just can't resist. The Truckee river trout seem to enjoy this pattern more so than any others during the summer and fall, as well as the trout on the E. Carson.

Here's the basic recipe:

Hook: Daiichi 1120 (size 16)
Thread: brown/olive 70 Denier
Thorax: olive/tan dubbing with polarflash flashback
Abdomen: hollow midge tubing, olive
Tail and Legs: Hung. partridge feather

Start with a small winding of lead wrap to help give the fly some weight.

Wrap thread several times around the lead windings, back and forth, to hold them in place. You can apply a drop of super glue or cement to the wraps if you like, I usually don't. Continue the thread wraps all the way to the bottom of he hook bend building a slightly tapered abdomen.

Lash-down some long straight Hung. partridge feather barbs to the hook bend as a tail using a couple of tight thread wraps. Trim the excess above the thread wraps.

Lash-down the end of the hollow tubing to the hook bend at the base of the tail feather barbs using a couple of tight thread wraps. Continue wrapping the thread back up the hook and stop just above the base of the lead wraps. It's important to note that the bulk of the tubing lashed to the hook can be significant, so sometimes you might want to leave a small section of tubing that extends up the hook to keep the abdomen somewhat naturally-shaped after you wrap the tubing over it (next step)

Take the tubing and wrap it around and up the hook until just above the lead wraps. Keep the wraps tight to each previous wrap to imitate a segmented abdomen. Tie the tubing down with a couple of thread wraps.

Tie down a few strands of polar flash and pull it back towards the back of the fly. Add a couple of thread wraps to the flash to lock it in place.

Dub-in a small amount of olive/tan dubbing and wrap it to create a small thorax. Be sure to use enough dubbing to make the thorax bulkier than the abdomen.

Take a small Hung. partridge feather tip and pull the lower barbs off exposing the feather shaft. Using you scissors, trim the feather shaft at the very tip of the feather to create a small V-shaped set of legs.

Lash-down the feather shaft to the hook near the eye, and pull the feather shaft to position the barbs as legs. Pull the polar flash back over the thorax of the fly covering the dubbing and legs. Tie the flash down below the eye of the hook.

Trim the excess feather and flash, and then add several thread wraps to create a head on the fly. Whip finish and add a small drop of head cement to secure the thread.

An that's the Trout Slayer. If you use it please let me know how it works, or if I can improve it. I'm always up for suggestions.

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