Crossover flies [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Crossover flies

08-10-2004, 01:43 PM
I was thinking the other day about my collection of Salmon flies and Steelhead flies and the thousands I have stuffed into dozens of boxes. I love tying them of course and would not get rid of them or stop tying them for anything. It is funny, however, how I still go back to just a few of them for my fishing. If I worked at trimming them down I could probably get away with just a few boxes in each vest. Then I thought about taking it further. A vest with flies that would work for both, steelhead and Atlantic salmon. Some of the best for me are the Picasse (pictured below), Winters Hope and the Lady Caroline. They are all fantastic for both species.

Who else has flies that “go both ways”. Please let me know. :confused:

Thanks, Charlie.

08-10-2004, 03:10 PM

Don't have any crossover patterns but...
Looks like a very good fly. Could you post the recipe. I can just about make out everything but am curious about the body... what material are you using?

Thanks -- Hansen

08-10-2004, 03:51 PM
Lady Caroline, Shhhhhhhhh....... It is one of my favorites for steelhead. I even tie it at as a low-water version. The Bomber is another one.

08-11-2004, 07:18 AM
Gota love the Lady C. As for the Picasse, the recipe is as follows.

Body – V-rib or any similar body material. Either black or clear over black thread.
Wing – Black over yellow bucktail.
Hackle – Blue Eared Pheasant
Sides – Lady Amherst Pheasant and Jungle cock.

This thing is probably my number one Atlantic fly. And it is a fantastic Steelhead fly to boot. Mark Leblanc, a guide on the Cascapedia River in Quebec, invented it. He wanted a durable fly to give to his clients and this is what he came up with. He has some fantastic Spey patterns that I will have to post later.


08-11-2004, 08:28 AM
Thanks for the recipe. Looks like some time at the vice will be needed. I had thought it was actually just black crystal flash for the body. Might try that to.

Thanks, - Hansen

08-11-2004, 08:46 AM

They can actually be tied rather quickly compared to other Salmon and Steelhead flies. No tail, rib, tag or but. Just tie in the v-rib and rap it to the front and you are done with the body. Simple. :smokin:


08-11-2004, 02:52 PM

The Picasse is also one of my favorites: I've caught Atlantic salmon in Russia and Canada, plus steehead in the Northwest with it. I tie it in many sizes, both singles and doubles. It's been one of my "go to" flies for quite a few years.

But I tie it a bit differently . . . the way I first saw if years ago. I've since seen different variations, mainly where silver pheasant is used as cheeks and now your version using amherst pheasant. I've corresponded with Marc Leblanc for a couple of years and purchased flies from him. We even made a point to finally meet this June on the Petite. The attached photo is of a fly that I tied (the version I use) based on Marc's pattern that I first encountered and as he's supplied to me.

Materials are: vinyl v rib (proportionally a bit heavier than your version), I've now been using yellow arctic fox and black kid goat as the hair, a few strands of black krystal flash, black or very dark gray spey hackle (your choice of color and origin), one turn of silver pheasant hackle as a collar, plus jungle cock.

Quite frankly, I think most Atlantic salmon flies to steelhead can be good "crossovers". Some of the successful ones for me have been lady caroline, green highlander, bomber, sunray shadow, temple dog.


08-11-2004, 03:05 PM
Very nice Bill,

I have one from Mark that is tied like yours. A friend gave it to me (never actually met Mark). I heard he started making them that way because he kept on running out of the small Amherst sides needed for the original. I would imagine that this version is more durable than the original also. I have had fish chew off the Amherst pheasant.


08-11-2004, 06:26 PM
Beautiful flies guys!!

08-12-2004, 01:06 AM
Charlie and Wrke,

The first time I saw this fly some 5 or 6 years ago my intitial thought was that it would be a very good summer/fall steelhead fly. I've not tied it nor fished it; however, you guys substantiated my initial impression of its effectiveness for steelhead.

I have a very strong suspician that most of the effective Atlantic Salmon would be effective for steelhead and vice versa. I say this because I regularly tie and use the Ally's Shrimp, Cut Sild Shrimp, G.P., Akroyd, Avon Eagle, Purple Emperor (Kelson), Kate (Kelson), March Brown (Tannat), Silver Blue, Logie, Jeanie, Claret Alder, Blue Charm, Stardust (Lee), Bomber, Purple King, Grey Heron, Blue Boyne, Red Pirate, Sun Fly (Kelson), Lady Caroline, Carron (Kelson), Owenea Shrimp (yellow and orange versions), and Night Hawk for steelhead and have found they are very effective. I'm equally sure that Glasso's Orange Heron, Brown Heron, Gold Heron, Black Heron, Sol Duc, Sol Duc Dark, and Sol Duc Spey would work well for Altlantic Salmon.

My good friend Bob Arnold feels that Atlantic Salmon flies and techniques are also very good techniques and flies for steelhead. He has often spoken to me about how much he learned that is applicable to steelhead from reading the old classics on Atlantic Salmon. I have also found the old classic Atlantic Salmon books to be full of useful information for steelhead fishing with the fly.