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Skykomish Sunrise (with Marabou)
By Pete Hiatt

For the story about the creation of this version of the Skykomish Sunrise, and why it works so well for steelhead, cutthroat trout and salmon, read my article, Steelhead/Sea Run Cutthroat/Salmon Flies.

Materials List:

    Hook:   Eagle Claw #1197, size 4 in nickel.

    Thread:   Black or dark brown 3/0 waxed.

    Lead Wire:   Lead wire for weighted bodies if fishing conditions require.

    Body:  Orange yarn.

    Rib:   Hammered silver tinsel.

    Tail:   Red and yellow marabou for tail, (fluff off the hackle feathers).

    Underwing:   Marabou in red & yellow.

    Wing:   Polar Bear for wing or substitute bright silvery asil Arabian Stallion mane.

    Hackle:   Red and yellow feathers.

Tying Instructions:

1. Mix red and yellow marabou-like saddle feathers and apply as tail. These provide more movement.

2. Then apply yarn. This will be a semi-thick body so I start it at the front, wrap back and cover wrap with thread. Apply liberal amounts of lacquer as this will be a long lasting fly if your leader is strong enough.

3. IMPORTANT!!! Apply tinsel (if used) at a angle downward of up to 45 degrees. This will keep it from kinking on the first wrap and make it stronger. Do not use chenille for the reasons mentioned in the article. (See commentary Atlantic Salmon).

When wrapping the yarn forward, re-grip it next to the fly after each wrap. Otherwise, some lines on the yarn travel a shorter/longer distance than others and will look messy. Wrap tinsel and tie off WELL and apply liberal amounts of lacquer again. Lead wire can be wrapped under the yarn for deeper waters. If a tapered THICK yarn body is used (best for cutthroat and salmon) use thin copper wire and double half hitch around each wrap of yarn, this will keep the yarn from sloughing back from the teeth of a whopper.

4. We will change the pattern a bit here to add marabou underwing. It helps. Apply the marabou a bit further back to allow a slightly smaller head. I don't mix the colors as in real life, banded colors are prevalent, especially in the critter that we are copying (hope I never meet one). I use about 10 thread wraps. We master tiers can apply the marabou with no left over stubs...other wise, cut them off not too short and apply liberal lacquer and wrap thread again. Marabou can be tied tail length or even double that length...leech style.

5. Now we apply the hackle. Tis the most important time for catching quality for the fly. We can tie long/limp/thin hackle spey style or normal length/thickly tied with stiff hackles. We can apply the polar bear wing under or over the hackle. This makes a lot of difference in how high/low the fly will fish and how buggy or skimpy it will look. Since spey sucks in looks, I tie and fish mine as shown. If I want it to go deep, I can always tie some lead wraps under the hook. Gotta look good first of all!.

6. Leave an even diameter base for tying the hackle on and wrapping it. Otherwise, it will look funny. This pattern requires both a red and a yellow hackle. I have found it better to tie them on at the same time but wrap and tie them off separately. About 5 wraps each works good.

7. Then tie on the Polar Bear hair at last. When hair is just secure, add lots of head cement then continue wrapping. Clip and shape head as desired (regular black thread on head with lots of lacquer). Whip it and even stomp it if it is bad, and add copius amounts of cement to finish. Whoppers don't like their flies coming apart.

Here are more tied by the same method:

~ Pete Hiatt (Whopper Bubba)

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

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