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Santiam Surprise
Text and photos by Pete Hiatt

This week's fly is the Santiam Sunrise which I developed. It is my favorite fly for Sea-Run Cutthroat and a very useful fly for steelhead and salmon. This is tied on a #4 Gamakatsu T10-6H in red. It is a good overall size for all three species. I have gradually improved the pattern over the years adding Hedron body dubbing and holographic side strips. I have also tied a few with Hedron's new Florescent materials. I am very impressed with Hedron materials.

Materials for the Santiam Surprise:

    Hook: #4 Gamakatsu T10-6H in red.

    Tail: Marabou fluff, red.

    Body: Hedron Flashabou Dubbing in yellow,and hammered red tinsel.

    Collar: Red hackle feather.

    Wing: Yellow, red, and natural polar bear hair.

    Flash: Hedron's red holographic material.

Tying Instructions for the Santiam Surprise:

    Step 1: is attaching the thread to the hook and tying on the tail. For the tail, I use the "marabou" fluff from the base of a dyed red chicken feather.

    Step 2: is attaching the body material and hammered red tinsel. I increase the size of the body by rolling on some yarn then applying the Hedron Flashabou Dubbing in yellow. I then roll the red tinsel over that.

    Step 3: is applying a red hackle feather as a collar. We get lucky here as the cheaper capes and saddles make the best large steelie flies. These capes run a bit under $10 for the most part.

    Step 4: is applying the wing. I use a section each of yellow, red, and natural polar bear hair and do not mix them. I have found the iridescence of polar bear hair helps the catching of fish. Also when using hot colored bodies like red or yellow, or orange, the fat body helps the fly's effectiveness.

    Step 5: is applying about 3 strips of Hedron's red holographic material to each side of the fly and wrapping head to shape.

This is a classic style of steelhead fly with modern materials. ~ Peter (Whopper Bubba)


For more great flies, check out: Beginning Fly Tying, Intermediate Fly Tying and Advanced Fly Tying.


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