Wednesday, September 10, 2008
They are big.
They are scary.
They are intruders!
Ed ward invented these things while inspired by absinthe...or something. They have great motion in the water, are highly visible, and attract steelhead in winter and spring. They look like giant mutant squid/shrimp in the water. Given all the invasive species in the great lakes, I should call these 'invaders'. They are also a whole lot of fun to cast. The first time I tried to throw an intruder it was with a windcutter. It was way too much like work, and often didn't turn over at all. The problem of casting these things was solved with the modern Skagit line, and the compact Skagit line. I went out yesterday to test one of these combinations. I customized a Scientific Anglers Skagit line by cutting it back from 33' to around 27'. This reduced the weight of the line without a sinktip to @ 520 grains. The line started out at 600 grains. Add the sink tips and it weighed over 700 grains! 520 was more like it. It cast quite well. Not quite as nice as the new Airflo compact Skagit heads, but pretty close. The intruder just went along for the ride. The bass liked it, even if it didn't have a hook. They just munched on it's feathers.
I made the line for use on my Fly Logic 1308. A rod that I used to love for dry line, but since has become my rod of choice for heavy sink tip work. The line will also work on the Echo 1409.
I wrapped 10-15 wraps of .020 lead wire onto the front third of each of these, but will have to wait until winter or high water to see if they sink. I did get a little crazy with all the materials and color blending. They are around 3 inches long.
I can't wait to see if they work.
recipe: (for the pinkish ones)
2" plastic tube of your choice
10 to 15 wraps of .020 lead in forward portion of body
Silver oval tinsel for tag.
Dubbing ball in front of tag. Orange or reddish. I blended my dubbing.
6-10 strands pink, purple and gold flashabou in front of dubbing ball.
6-8 strands of orange and 6-8 red ostrich herl.
Two turns of teal or mallard flank dyed pink. Two turns of teal or mallard flank dyed orange.
Body consists of trilobal dubbing or your choice in pink. Webby grizzly hackle over and medium oval silver tinsel ribbing.
Front portion: 6 strands of pearl flashabou followed by 4-5 long grizzly dry fly hackles, followed by two turns of teal or mallard flank dyed pink and two turns of teal or mallard flank dyed red.
Collar is 6 strands of peacock sword. Head is peacock ice dubbing followed by red thread.
Optional are lead or real eyes or cone heads, which work better than the lead, but spoil the symmetry of the fly.
They are not delicate. Fish them while listening to Mahler, not Bach.
Posted by Erik Helm at 5:20 PM
Labels: Flies, fly fishing, steelhead
I am a middle aged hyper-creative writer, angler, and hopeless romantic.
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I love the photography and your writing.
I noticed in one photo that you apear to fish the green and silver bougle. Me too, OMG!!!
We met on the Klickitat in 2005, I was with Tom and Billy and you and Rob were there. If you get a chance check out my other blog and main blog to hear about me getting skunked on western rivers last week.
Thanks for you post and I hope you are coming up to the Green Bay Spey Clave in October.