1. On large hooks, use single-strand floss (Flat Waxed Nylon,
UNI-Cord, or 210 Denier) as a tying thread. At the front of
the hook, just behind the return-loop eye, attach a length
of small or medium-size silver oval tinsel and bind it down
along the entire length of the shank. When you reach that
portion of the shank that will be occupied by the tag, make
certain that the material is bound down firmly to the hook
shank with thread wraps placed close together as shown.
2. Fold the tinsel firmly over itself and make 8 to 10
turns to form the tag. Tie off the end of the tag securely
and do not clip away the excess.
3. Make the tail from a dense bundle of bright red hackle
fibers, and then wind the thread forward to the front of
the hook, binding down the end of the tinsel used for the
tag. At the front attach a long piece of large silver oval
4. Wrap back toward the base of the tail, binding down
the oval tinsel along the shank.
5. Reverse direction and return to the front, forming a
fairly thick, even underbody. Use overlapping wraps as
needed to create a uniform diameter to the underbody.
6. Continue using the thread to create a smooth,
uniform-diameter underbody until you reach the front.
7. Now burnish the thread underbody, rubbing away the
ridges and uneven spots in the thread work...
8. Wrap the large oval tinsel forward, forming a tinsel
body. Add one or more layers of cement or varnish.
9. Once the varnish dries, switch to a small-diameter
black thread and add a dense throat of long orange hackle
10. Take 4 to 6 wide, webby white saddle hackles and
measure them against the fly's body. These hackles
should extend back almost twice the length of the hook
shank. Match the feathers with the glossy sides facing
outwards, 2 or 3 feathers on the left, and 2 or 3 on the
right. Strip away the unneeded fibers from the feathers
and tie them in all at once atop the head of the fly.
After securing the wing so it cannot shift positions,
feed the hackle stems through the eye of the hook.
11. Fold the hackles' stems sharply backward and bind
them down with thread to secure them in place.
12. Clip away the excess stem portions and build up a
fairly large, tapered head.
~ John Shewey
Credit: This fly is one of many in the book
Steelhead Flies by John Shewey. A well
written and researched book, with hundreds of sharp
color photos, including step by step instructions.
Published by Frank Amato Publications, in both
Spiral Hardbound and Hardbound. $49.94 US.