Steelhead Fly of the week Purple Sundowner [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Steelhead Fly of the week Purple Sundowner

06-30-2006, 02:39 PM
This is actually the most popular color combination of a series of flies. They are also tied in pink, red, orange and black. The Originator of the series, Bob Wagoner from Lewiston Idaho, tied the flies in the mid 1980s. They are used primarily on the Clearwater and Grande Ronde Rivers. It is also unique in that it has a synthetic wing. One of the first of a new generation of steelhead flies.

Hook: Up eye salmon hook.
Tail: Purple hackle barbs.
Body: Rear 1/3: flat silver tinsel, Front 2/3: fluorescent orange yarn.
Hackle: Purple palmered over the orange yarn.
Wing: Pearl crystal flash.
Collar: Purple hackle
Head: Black

06-30-2006, 05:51 PM
A definite fish-getter!

I've tied no-name variations that use a lot of that juju one almost identical but with a tuft of marabou with the flash on the wing.

nice tie

07-01-2006, 02:25 AM

Wagoner's Sundowner series of flies also includes the JIMMY GREEN SPECIAL, a more or less all green/chartreuse version. It is a shame they are not in more general use. And the tying a steelhead fishing world suffered a real loss when Wagoner died a few years ago from compications due to diabetes.

I've rarely seen any of the Sundowners in use; but they are very effective on bright, sunny days in the fall, especially the orange (my favorite of the series) and purple versions. I've also found the Sundowners can be used to induce steelhead to strike if tied on standard, heavy wire salmon hooks, fished on a floating line, allowed to sink a bit, and then stripped in with 4"-6" pulls of line. I've had some rather vicious takes from summer steelhead when fishing for searun cutthroats in the fall with the ORANGE SUNDOWNER as it was stripped past a log jam.

I strongly suspect a large part of its effectiveness is due to the flash and twinkle of the Krystal Flash wings.

07-18-2006, 07:14 PM
Nice Fly,

Charlie are you from the Buffalo Area?