Steelhead Fly of the week – Skagit Special [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Steelhead Fly of the week – Skagit Special

12-21-2006, 03:20 PM
Developed by Bob Aid in the early 1980’s, this fly is one of a series. This fly is successful as a high water fly in just about any season but it is primarily thought of as a winter and early spring fly. Bob was the manager of Kaufmann’s Streamborn is Seattle.

Hook: Up eye Atlantic salmon hook
Body: Flat silver tinsel on back half and orange seal fur over front half of the body.
Wing: Orange marabou in front of yellow marabou wound around the hook.
Collar: Teal.
Head: Red.

Salty Dawg
12-21-2006, 05:57 PM
I was in Kaufmann's over lunch visiting with Bob Aid about fishing for Resident Coho in the south Puget Sound this weekend. Our wild weather has the rivers blown but we still have year round opportunities to fish the salt. Bob has tied some beautiful flies and is always willing to share some ideas or tips to help his fellow anglers. One of the great gentlemen of the sport. Thanks for sharing this wonderful fly.
Happy holidays, Steve Rohrbach

12-22-2006, 12:58 AM

Bob Aid along with now dead fly tyer and guide Joe Butorec are worthy of much more recognition than they have gotten for their contributions to steelhead fishing. We are richer for their contributions.

Also, for those of you not familiar with marabou spiders, this is a great example of one. I prefer it with some fl. yellow and hot orange Kystal Flash added between the marabou hackles for the added flash privided by the Krystal Flash.

This color combination is highly thought of on the fly's namesake river.

12-26-2006, 02:39 PM
One thing Bob told me about this fly was to build a dubbing ball behind the marabou to help it stand away from the hook to provide a larger and fuller silhouette. This fly has taken more steelhead for me than any other pattern. Thanks Bob!!


12-27-2006, 09:08 PM
Kip is correct about the dubbing ball being needed to help the marabou stand out as it is being fished. The duck flank collar is used to help the marabou move slightly as the fly is moving down and across on the swing instead of simply collasped against the body. The duck flank is just stiff enough to create little vortices around the body and these vortices are what keep the marabou hackle moving (actually pulsing) as the fly swims. Schlappen or hackle doesn't have the proper ballance of stiffness and fiber thickness to do this.

Without the dubbing bull keeping the base of the marabou hackle up off the body and the duck flank creating little vortices as the fly swims, which in combination cause the marabou hackle to sway, pulse, and waggle, marabou spiders would not be nearly so effective.

And if you add some Kystal Flash between the marabou hackles, it not only adds flash and sparkle, it also causes the marabou to move in a more energetic manner. Flashabou or other very soft flash materials don't have the stiffness needed to cause the marabou to move without some added movement from the rod tip or stripping.

Also, the fly could just as easily be tied with a ball of chenile, Estaz, Crystal Chenile, or yarn as the shoulder for the marabou hackle to work the same way. Another way to add a bit more movement and flash to marabou spiders is to add a sparse tail of 4-6 strands of Kyrstal Flash to the fly. However, this tail is not tied in at the normal tail tie in point above the hook point, instead it is tied in at the half-shank location where the body is begun and it extends out past the hook bend to the same distance as the marabou hackle.

None of these slight additions or changes to Bob Aid's original marabou spider changes the fly in any substantial or material way; therefore, I think of them as nothing more than minor variations on a theme and as such, the flies are still marabou spiders.